Most readers expect better than silly cliches from the New York Times. That is why it was striking to see an article on Svalbard, a small town in northern Norway, tell readers:

"But it [Svalbard] shuns the leftist, leveling consensus that according to conservative critics has made working almost a lifestyle choice in the rest of Norway."

Hmmm, a leveling consensus that makes working a lifestyle choice? A quick visit over to the OECD's website tells us that 75.1 percent of the people in Norway between the ages of 16 to 65 opt for the working lifestyle. That's more than 7.0 percentage points above the 68.0 percent share of this age group that works in the United States.

It's understandable that some people will say silly things about the Scandinavian welfare state, just as some people make silly statements about almost everything. However we don't expect the NYT just to repeat whatever silly assertion that a reporter happened to overhear. That is not news.

 

Thanks to David Dyssegaard Kallick for calling this one to my attention.

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