For a while now there has been a meme doing the rounds, extolling the virtues of the Finnish social model and asking: “Why Does Finland Have The Lowest Child Poverty In The World?” While some of the claims might be a little over-the-top (guaranteed jobs for under 25s, really?), and the upholding of Nordic countries as a kind of ‘utopia’ is a well-known political trope for certain people, there is a reason why Finland consistently scores at the very top of life quality indexes. And it’s not the weather!
When the meme appeared over on Tumblr, it ignited a heated but really interesting debate. Some Americans lamented the fact that even a minimum wage seems to be asking too much, and suggested that there is much to learn from countries like Finland, who look after the vulnerable in their society.
Someone else had a different take on things, however, and while the point about Finland being a monoculture holds some weight (some), others lacked historical knowledge and insight.
Enter a Finn, to come and correct a few erroneous points. Because while colonialism and oppression were tools of many European nations back in times past, a dark history that has helped to build much of the prosperity that they enjoy today, Finnish history is quite different.