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Staff Picks: Books

The Nordic theory of everything : in search of a better life

I picked up this book expecting something completely different than what it actually is. The quick blurb I read about the book said something about how the author had moved from Finland to the United States, and was reflecting on how Nordic attitudes could improve life in the US. I was expecting a light-hearted look at cultural differences, such as food and traditions. What I got was an in-depth look at the how the political policies of the Nordic countries reduce income inequality, provide universal healthcare to all citizens, provide free education through college, and guarantee medical and parental leave. This allows people to live relatively free from the constant fear of doing into debt for medical or higher education. As she says, the American dream is alive and well in Finland.

Another great thing about this book was the effort she took to seriously consider all of the concerns that Americans have about adopting these types of social programs. For instance, she addresses the concern over higher taxes by comparing real tax rates for people in all income levels.

If you’ve ever looked at taxes, health insurance, college loans, or child care and thought “There has to be a better way”, this book might be for you.