Feb
20

Denmark Is No Proof that Socialism Is Good

By

There seems to be a new (perhaps a recycled) argument about the greatness of socialism circulating around these days. I’m not sure what brought it forth, but I suspect it all started recently after Oprah did a profile of the country of Denmark.

Denmark, as you may know, is a country with quite a lot of social programs. And so the argument goes: Denmark has a lot of socialism and is a successful country, therefore socialism is good.

There are two main problems with this argument:
1. Is socialism the cause of Denmark’s relative success? Or are there other more significant contributing factors? (Answer: Yes there are.)
2. Is Denmark really such a smashing success? (Answer: No, it’s not.)

Let’s look at problem #1:

Denmark’s population consists of no more than two guys named Bjorn for crying out loud! Yet people are so ready to use it as a general example with comparisons to the U.S.

Thought Experiment: Let’s just try Denmark’s policies in the U.S. and see how it all works out… will it work out the same way?

Denmark is a tiny country with a homogeneous society, which has been settled in the same place for many generations. It’s of a specific European culture and ethnicity, and has a uniform mindset with strong collectivist tendencies that look down upon extraordinary success.

Now, *WITH SARCASM* I can’t possibly imagine why similar collectivist welfare policies won’t work the same in the U.S.?

The United States, in contrast to Denmark, is a huge country with an extremely diverse population. It has very large population segments originating from very poor 3rd world countries, and a much more individualistic mindset. Therefore, any socialist program implemented in the U.S. has a much greater potential of becoming an unsustainable burden on (the productive part of) society.

Comparing Denmark to the U.S. is essentially equivalent to cherry-picking the best working tiny part of European socialism and facing it off with the whole U.S. This is like taking stats for just American Jews, for example, and comparing those to stats of Europe as a whole. Who do you think is going to come out ahead?

And now for problem #2:

Is Denmark really that successful? Despite its clear cultural advantages over the U.S. (from the perspective of making socialist policies work), and its “cherry picked” tiny size, it’s far from being a clear winner in standard of living and economics… to say the least!

The arguably most successful part of European socialism isn’t as great as many make it out to be.

Here are some stats:

The average (2007) full time wage in Denmark is $39,143. In the U.S. it’s $49,483. 26% more. (Source: Wikipedia)

It is also true that in the U.S. the average worker works 25% more hours than in Denmark. (Source: Wikipedia) So one may argue that most of the increase in earnings is due to more work and hence less free time. However, it’s also indicative of greater opportunity for full employment or more work if one should choose to. And furthermore, the total household income in the U.S. is more than that of Denmark’s over and above the 25% increase in working hours…

The average (2004) household income in Denmark is $22,524. In the U.S. it’s $32,195. 43% more. (Source: Wikipedia)

In Denmark people receive more services and assistance from the government than they do in the U.S., however, they also pay WAY more taxes, and material things are WAY more expensive.

The income tax in Denmark goes up to 63%, the highest rate in the world. (Source: Wikipedia) And don’t think that it’s only a few rich people who pay that tax rate. The highest tax bracket in Denmark starts at 347,200 DKK (2009), which is about $66,000 per year. (Source: TaxInDenmark.com)

Denmark has a value added tax (a.k.a VAT, which is similar to sales tax) of 25%, again the highest in the world. By comparison, the highest sales tax levied in the U.S. is about 10%. (Source: Wikipedia) But it doesn’t end there. In addition to the general VAT, citizens are required to part with more of their money for special things the government targets for extra taxation. Cars, for example, are taxed at around a 200% level, making 2/3 of the cost of a car in Denmark go to taxes. This is effectively like paying for a luxury car and getting a compact.

So first the major portion of your income is taken away, and then to add insult to injury, the government makes sure that whatever you can buy with the measly remnants of your money is much more expensive.

Now, with all that in mind, I think it’s instructive to watch Oprah’s profile of “wonderful” Denmark. Notice how when Oprah visits a “typical” Danish family’s apartment, she keeps repeating stuff like, “this is your whole bedroom?”, “that’s your whole refrigerator?”, “this is the whole bathroom?”, “this is the bed?”, etc. Oprah is shocked at how small and spartan everything is. And that apartment is actually rather upscale as far as Copenhagen apartments go.

Here is a link to the video of Oprah’s Danish apartment tour on her Web site.

In addition to the austere, but supposedly happy lifestyle of its people, Denmark is facing long term problems.

The citizens of Denmark are reportedly among the happiest in the world. They are so happy, in fact, that young educated people who have a shot at earning a good salary are leaving Denmark in large numbers to work and earn elsewhere.

They get a government paid education in Denmark, and then leave to work where taxes are lower. How can this possibly be sustainable? This New York Times article describes the ramifications of the problem, which include a skilled labor shortage.



Tiny alternate link for this article: http://tinyurl.com/yjj4xtd

59 Comments

1

Funny how everything you just wrote as being a negative about Denmark and socialism’s ability to work in the US sounds absolutely perfect to me.

2
Capitalist in Chief
March 12th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Funny how everything you just wrote as being a negative about Denmark and socialism’s ability to work in the US sounds absolutely perfect to me.

Your statement makes no sense. I can’t even tell if you’re for or against socialism. Funny indeed!

3

Pure capitalism doesn’t work any better than pure socialism. America has proven that the best and most successful system is a judiciously applied melding of the two. It only fails in the eyes of the truly and excessively greedy.

How blind of you to suggest that happiness is to be equated with the accumulation of “stuff”. The Danes are the happiest people in the world because they have figured out that there are many other and far more important values to be considered. The size of one’s apartment is only important if one intends to barricade oneself in it. They (and I) laugh at your tunnel-vision.

4
Capitalist in Chief
March 31st, 2010 at 11:11 am

Pure capitalism doesn’t work any better than pure socialism.

Mr. Straw man, bring me a dream! You’re arguing against things that I never said or implied. What’s “pure” capitalism and socialism anyway?

America has proven that the best and most successful system is a judiciously applied melding of the two.

So why do some want more and more socialism in America just so that we can be like other systems, since, according to you, America is a good example of the “melding of the two”?

How blind of you to suggest that happiness is to be equated with the accumulation of “stuff”.

Mr. Straw man, bring me a dream… take II!

The “accumulation of stuff” you speak of is the standard of living. And it does not equal happiness, but it’s a significant component of it.

Let’s go for a lower standard of living in the U.S. and see how much more happy people would be, shall we? In fact, why don’t the Democrats announce that all their socialist goodies will come with a lower standard of living (since people would be happy with it anyway) and see how many of them get elected. Most Americans (and I) laugh at your statements in general.

5

“Standard of Living” is not an accumulation of of stuff. It is a composite of the opportunity available to a person, and how comfortable they are in day to day life. Denmark is the happiest nation on earth, and yet they don’t strive to have a gigantic “accumulation of stuff”. Despite their high taxes, they are happier than people with lower taxes. I fail to see how this is an argument against their tax system. It is obviously working.

Further more, the amount of skilled young people leaving denmark (who became so skilled through free socialized education) is mainly to to greed. Despite their happiness, these young people obviously value money more than happiness, or (falsely) equate the two. This common belief has been shown over and over again to be wrong. What is life about, making money, or being happy?

6
Capitalist in Chief
April 6th, 2010 at 12:29 am

“Standard of Living” is not an accumulation of of stuff. It is a composite of the opportunity available to a person, and how comfortable they are in day to day life.

You probably didn’t mean to, but you’re actually agreeing with my point. Greg was wrongly speaking of “accumulation of stuff.” The correct reference is to the standard of living.

Despite their high taxes, they are happier than people with lower taxes.

This is all speculative nonsense. No one can say that with lower taxes they’d be less happy.

Further more, the amount of skilled young people leaving denmark (who became so skilled through free socialized education) is mainly to to greed.

Nonsense again. It’s about wanting a better living for oneself, which is what nearly all people want, even the non-greedy ones.

What is life about, making money, or being happy?

Money is just paper. But prosperity, a high standard of living, and “stuff”, which money buys are a huge component of happiness.

If you’re so happy having no money, why don’t you give it all up, go live in a cave like they did before this money thing was invented and wait for the mother ship to come and transport you to a better world.

7

Yes, I agree that high taxes do not mean happiness. But denmark has socialized so many system that the taxes they do take obviously affect the people. If their high taxes were wrong, and not being utilized correctly, the people would be unhappy. Danes aren’t naturally especially happy people, their happiness depends largely on the society in which they live. just like a person living on the beachfront will probably be more happy than someone living in the slums. At the very least, it is not preposterous to say that high taxes do NOT make people unhappy, so it is unfair to use high taxes as a scare tactic.

how do you define a better living? wouldn’t you say it was a HAPPIER life? if they are already so happy, why would they seek it elsewhere? the only thing they don’t have enough of is MONEY.
The “stuff” money buys is NOT a huge component of happiness. After a certain income level, people are no more likely to be happy with more money. Strangely enough, that income level is not upper class income, but middle class. I don’t remember the exact number, but i’m sure you can find it- this isn’t heresay, but based on actual studies.

Did I say i would be happy with no money? no. I merely said that being happy was more important than money. If money can be one tool help me to that happiness, there’s no problem at all , but if could be happier without it, why wouldn’t i chose that? my point is that the focus should be on whether or not someone is happy, money is secondary.

8
Capitalist in Chief
April 6th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

if they are already so happy, why would they seek it elsewhere? the only thing they don’t have enough of is MONEY.

Because they are not “so” happy. Happiness indexes, studies and measures have their limitations. Sweden is also considered a very “happy” nation, yet their suicide rates are among the highest in the world. Go figure. In addition, the range for whatever is considered happiness is not very wide. Even the Danes, supposedly living in the happiest nation is the world are not walking around ecstatic all the time. And the ones who are choosing to leave Denmark are apparently not that happy with living there.

Danes aren’t naturally especially happy people, their happiness depends largely on the society in which they live.

How do we know that? Genetics/inherent personality is another large contributor to happiness. For all we know, this is what gets them over the top, and therefore there’s not much we can take away from the Danes and apply anywhere else in the world.

just like a person living on the beachfront will probably be more happy than someone living in the slums.

Bingo! And living on the beachfront generally takes more money to incorporate into one’s life than living in the slums.

At the very least, it is not preposterous to say that high taxes do NOT make people unhappy, so it is unfair to use high taxes as a scare tactic.

High taxes diminish wealth, a significant contributor to happiness. So holding all other things equal, high taxes are very likely to diminish happiness. And it’s not all about the raw monetary figures here. There is something quite miserable about one’s own hard earned wealth being forcibly taken away. Nearly everybody tries to pay as little taxes as possible themselves, even the bulk of those advocating higher taxes in general. Is that because they don’t mind handing it over?

The “stuff” money buys is NOT a huge component of happiness.

Wealth is not only “stuff money buys”. It facilitates thins such as comfort, economic security, freedom of choice, and ability to personally help others. And you would argue that those things do not contribute to happiness? And yes, even “stuff” money buys contributes to happiness. So overall, wealth is a large contributor to happiness.

After a certain income level, people are no more likely to be happy with more money.

Again, happiness has a restricted upper limit. Nothing is likely to make people ecstatic all the time. Someone can have 100% health, a great family, live on the beachfront, etc. and still not be walking around ecstatic all the time. So of course all the contributing factors to happiness quickly reach diminishing returns, including wealth.

In addition, there are causality issues here. Many people who acquire wealth do so by sacrificing other parts of their lives such as family and recreation time. Therefore, those negative factors cut into any happiness gained by the wealth they acquire. But it’s not the wealth that quits providing happiness. It’s the influence of the other sacrifices people make. So if it were overall made easier to acquire wealth by, say, lowering taxes, we would find that the level at which wealth reaches diminishing returns is pushed higher.

Strangely enough, that income level is not upper class income, but middle class.

And high taxes in Denmark start way before anyone reaches the “upper class.”

Did I say i would be happy with no money? no. I merely said that being happy was more important than money. If money can be one tool help me to that happiness, there’s no problem at all , but if could be happier without it, why wouldn’t i chose that? my point is that the focus should be on whether or not someone is happy, money is secondary.

Money is a tool that lets you gain things that would make you happy. And again by things, I don’t mean just “stuff.” Money can help you have more choice in your life, more freedom, seek companionship, help others, etc. If you think you could be happier without money, then go for it.

9

“Sweden is also considered a very “happy” nation, yet their suicide rates are among the highest in the world.”

This statement is just incorrect and the information is very easily found. The United states has a higher suicide rate. denmark is ranked 39th in terms of suicide. Many, many capitalist countries come come before it. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate).
so much for being unhappy.

“High taxes diminish wealth, a significant contributor to happiness. So holding all other things equal, high taxes are very likely to diminish happiness.”

Once again, this is just plain incorrect. why don’t you compare countries with the highest happiness, with the a countries taxes? here, ill even give them to you:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lif_hap_net-lifestyle-happiness-net
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/the-tax-burden-around-the-developed-world/

10 out of the 12 nations that are happier than the US have higher taxes! once again, this isn’t saying that high taxes make you happy, but that what is done with those taxes does not have to degrade happiness, and in fact, usually increase it! (this isn’t because they are taking the money, obviously, it’s what their doing with it)

“And high taxes in Denmark start way before anyone reaches the “upper class.””

Doesn’t seem to get them down, does it? the only thing they don’t have enough of is MONEY. they’re chasing a carrot on a stick when they already have a great meal waiting at the table.

“In addition, there are causality issues here. Many people who acquire wealth do so by sacrificing other parts of their lives such as family and recreation time. Therefore, those negative factors cut into any happiness gained by the wealth they acquire. But it’s not the wealth that quits providing happiness. It’s the influence of the other sacrifices people make.”

you may not know it, but you just agreed with me. Nobody is saying money has this magical powder on it that makes you unhappy (in fact, over 90% of US bills have cocaine on them- quite the opposite :P). It’s what people have to sacrifice to get to the money. Because people are so adamant about earning more money, they forget about what actually makes them happy.

“Again, happiness has a restricted upper limit. Nothing is likely to make people ecstatic all the time. Someone can have 100% health, a great family, live on the beachfront, etc. and still not be walking around ecstatic all the time. So of course all the contributing factors to happiness quickly reach diminishing returns, including wealth.”

hmmm, 100% health, great family, and a nice place to live? I guess that’s not the ONLY thing that can make you happy, but it sure helps! good social relations and a feeling of security are the best indicators of happiness. unfortunately, not everyone in the united states has this, because it takes a lot of money. Many people want these things so badly, and are unable to afford them, so they put themselves into debt for life.

and the diminishing returns thing is true- but guess what, the diminishing returns start at middle income, not in the upper echelons.

“Money is a tool that lets you gain things that would make you happy. And again by things, I don’t mean just “stuff.” Money can help you have more choice in your life, more freedom, seek companionship, help others, etc. If you think you could be happier without money, then go for it”

unfortunately, this is partly true. A certain amount of money is needed to live comfortably, or even to survive at all. why is that unfair? lots of reasons, but a big part is the children of poor families, who have no way to enjoy that comfort growing up. When they get older, if they can overcome the obstacles of having an inferior education and little to no healthcare (which the children of more affluent families do not have), maybe they can EVENTUALLY be comfortable. The percent of people able to accomplish this “american dream” is very low.

how do I actually put statements in quotation, like our nifty little gray boxes?

10
Capitalist in Chief
April 6th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

This statement is just incorrect and the information is very easily found. The United states has a higher suicide rate. denmark is ranked 39th in terms of suicide. Many, many capitalist countries come come before it. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate).
so much for being unhappy.

I was not talking about Denmark. I was talking about Sweden. Please read my statement… SWEDEN. Sweden seems to be a very happy nation, with a high suicide rate. This proves that the measurement of happiness is very elusive. I guess those who’ve committed suicide or are about to aren’t into answering surveys about happiness.

“High taxes diminish wealth, a significant contributor to happiness. So holding all other things equal, high taxes are very likely to diminish happiness.”

Once again, this is just plain incorrect. why don’t you compare countries with the highest happiness, with the a countries taxes? here, ill even give them to you:

All these studies are nearly useless to argue against my point because they don’t hold other variables constant. Do you know why the countries happier than the United States have higher taxes? Because nearly all countries in the developed world have higher taxes than the U.S. anyway. If there are any other factors that propel a country above the U.S. in happiness, just by random chance alone, it’s sure to have a higher tax burden. The fact that the U.S. is among the happiest nations and with the lowest tax burden makes those statistics much more of a testament to my side than to yours.

Doesn’t seem to get them down, does it? the only thing they don’t have enough of is MONEY. they’re chasing a carrot on a stick when they already have a great meal waiting at the table.

Again, we don’t know. There could be other things keeping them relatively happy. But that tells us nothing about the effects of what would happen if taxes were lowered in Denmark or anywhere else.

you may not know it, but you just agreed with me. Nobody is saying money has this magical powder on it that makes you unhappy (in fact, over 90% of US bills have cocaine on them- quite the opposite :P). It’s what people have to sacrifice to get to the money. Because people are so adamant about earning more money, they forget about what actually makes them happy.

I don’t know about agreeing with you since you seem to miss/ignore my point here.

hmmm, 100% health, great family, and a nice place to live? I guess that’s not the ONLY thing that can make you happy, but it sure helps! good social relations and a feeling of security are the best indicators of happiness. unfortunately, not everyone in the united states has this, because it takes a lot of money. Many people want these things so badly, and are unable to afford them, so they put themselves into debt for life.

Completely irrelevant to anything I said.

and the diminishing returns thing is true- but guess what, the diminishing returns start at middle income, not in the upper echelons.

I already addressed this in the part that you said I agreed with you, but guess what, you’re still ignoring my point.

unfortunately, this is partly true. A certain amount of money is needed to live comfortably, or even to survive at all.

It’s not partially but 100% true.

why is that unfair?

And the rest of what you said is just standard socialist spin opening up what amounts a new topic.

how do I actually put statements in quotation, like our nifty little gray boxes?

Do this: <blockquote>Text goes here.<\blockquote>

11

Do you know why the countries happier than the United States have higher taxes? Because nearly all countries in the developed world have higher taxes than the U.S. anyway.

This fails to show why high taxes are necessarily bad. It only shows that high taxes do not seem to have a negative affect on happiness. There ARE many factors to happiness, but, apparently, taxes aren’t one of them, so you should not use it in an argument .

I was not talking about Denmark. I was talking about Sweden. Please read my statement… SWEDEN. Sweden seems to be a very happy nation, with a high suicide rate. This proves that the measurement of happiness is very elusive.

Ah, I see about sweden, but the US is still right up next to it in terms of suicide- its only 9 places below (13.3 vs 11.1 per 1000 people)- not exactly showing a huge difference.
Suicide rates merely shows that some section of the population is significantly unhappier than the majority. I don’t know the finer details of the study, so I cant say what that section would be. But neither can you say that it makes the happiness index unreliable. Happiness of a country is measured by what percentage of the population IS happy, not what percentage is not.

I don’t know about agreeing with you since you seem to miss/ignore my point here.

ummm…. you say I missed your point somehow, and fail to show why. You said that money doesn’t make people unhappy, it’s what it takes to earn it. I said yes, which is exactly why money does not make you happy, and it should not be the most important thing in someone’s life. You then keep on referencing back to it, saying that you “addressed it”, when you never did. You also said that money gives you “your life, more freedom, seek companionship, help others, etc.” I don’t see how money is necessary in any of these. Money can be a tool, yes, but it is not the doorway to these things. I would venture to say that in some of these things, like seeking companionship, money can become more of a hurdle than a blessing, as it can potentially commodify a relationship.

12

I meant to say in the above that “Happiness of a country is measured by what percentage of the population IS happy, not what percentage is suicidal. While interesting to study, it has no bearing on how much of the population IS happy.”

IS THERE A WAY TO EDIT POSTS, so i don’t have to do this?

13
Capitalist in Chief
April 6th, 2010 at 11:19 pm

It only shows that high taxes do not seem to have a negative affect on happiness.

It does no such thing. This is a simple study that merely asks people whether they are happy. It is not a controlled study to show the effects of taxes or wealth on happiness. Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a controlled study/experiment. Plus a simple question of “are you happy” cannot possibly be the end all be all of quality of life.

Lets ask people here in the U.S. if they would be just as happy and would have no problem living in a home half the size, drive a car half the size, and give up half their gadgets. Since “stuff” doesn’t matter and all. Do you think their answer would be yes?

In fact, I would bet that if people were asked the question “are you happy 30 years ago”, the results would have been similar. What’s the point of technological progress then? Let’s just give it all up.

Ah, I see about sweden, but the US is still right up next to it in terms of suicide- its only 9 places below (13.3 vs 11.1 per 1000 people)- not exactly showing a huge difference.

Irrelevant.

Suicide rates merely shows that some section of the population is significantly unhappier than the majority. I don’t know the finer details of the study, so I cant say what that section would be. But neither can you say that it makes the happiness index unreliable. Happiness of a country is measured by what percentage of the population IS happy, not what percentage is not.

It would definitely diminish any reasonable person’s confidence that merely asking people whether they are happy, as that study does, holds true to all aspects of life.

ummm…. you say I missed your point somehow, and fail to show why.

I merely failed to repeat myself. Here it is: “So if it were overall made easier to acquire wealth by, say, lowering taxes, we would find that the level at which wealth reaches diminishing returns is pushed higher.”

Or in other words, if the process of acquiring wealth diminishes the happiness that people obtain from the wealth, then making wealth easier to acquire would make things better.

I don’t see how money is necessary in any of these.

Not necessary in all circumstances, but helps quite a lot in many. If you don’t see that, then we just as well live in parallel universes, and therefore there’s nothing really more for me to say.

14
Capitalist in Chief
April 6th, 2010 at 11:22 pm

IS THERE A WAY TO EDIT POSTS, so i don’t have to do this?

Sorry, no there is not. I suggest you compose your comments in a text editor, review and then submit. Also, you can see a preview of the comment below the comment entry box. It’s easy to see formatting errors that way.

15

I recently stumbled across this on wiki:

Denmark, with a mixed market capitalist economy and a large welfare state,[4] ranks as having the world’s highest level of income equality. Denmark has the best business climate in the world, according to the U.S. business magazine Forbes.[5] From 2006 to 2008, surveys[6] ranked Denmark as “the happiest place in the world”, based on standards of health, welfare, and education. The 2009 Global Peace Index survey ranks Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after New Zealand.[7] In 2008, Denmark was ranked as being the least corrupt country in the world according to the Corruption Perceptions Index,[8] sharing a top position with Sweden and New Zealand.

The national language, Danish, is close to Swedish and Norwegian, with which it shares strong cultural and historical ties. 82% of the inhabitants of Denmark and 90.3% of the ethnic Danes are members of the Lutheran state church. As of 2009, 526,000 persons (9.5% of the Danish population) were either immigrants or descendants of recent immigrants. Most of these (54%) have their origins in Scandinavia or elsewhere in Europe, while the remainder originate mainly from a wide range of Asian countries.

It sounds pretty good to me.

16
Capitalist in Chief
May 24th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Denmark, with a mixed market capitalist economy and a large welfare state,[4] ranks as having the world’s highest level of income equality.

Of course it has income equality. It’s extremely difficult to make any serious money in Denmark, and most of the money anyone makes is taken by the government and redistributed back to the populace. And who decided that income equality is such a positive thing anyway? Should we strive for a society where everybody is mediocre?

Denmark has the best business climate in the world, according to the U.S. business magazine Forbes.

Except for when it comes to keeping one’s money. It would probably be great to have a company in Denmark and live elsewhere.

From 2006 to 2008, surveys[6] ranked Denmark as “the happiest place in the world”, based on standards of health, welfare, and education.

Happiness is a state of mind, therefore it cannot be based on such “standards.”

The 2009 Global Peace Index survey ranks Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after New Zealand.

It’s great to be peaceful when you have had others protect you from nations such as Germany and the Soviet Union in the past, and also when you have a very homogeneous population all with similar values and backgrounds.

Denmark was ranked as being the least corrupt country in the world according to the Corruption Perceptions Index,[8] sharing a top position with Sweden and New Zealand.

It’s a testament to the Danish culture, and has nothing to do with socialism or Denmark’s status as a welfare state. If it weren’t for the Danes’ low tendency for corruption, Denmark would probably be on the brink of collapse already with most of the rest of the welfare states in Europe.

The national language, Danish, is close to Swedish and Norwegian, with which it shares strong cultural and historical ties. 82% of the inhabitants of Denmark and 90.3% of the ethnic Danes are members of the Lutheran state church. As of 2009, 526,000 persons (9.5% of the Danish population) were either immigrants or descendants of recent immigrants. Most of these (54%) have their origins in Scandinavia or elsewhere in Europe, while the remainder originate mainly from a wide range of Asian countries.

This strengthens my argument. Denmark is a very homogeneous white European nation. This is one of the keys to its relative success as a welfare state. Open it up to immigration from the rest of the world and it will quickly fall apart.

17

I bet you were a big Alex P Keaton fan.Hahaha

Not everybody is motivated by making “serious money”. In fact the majority of Australians (which is where I’m from) seem content to make a regular living and have a normal life. It’s a minority of people who are driven to make “serious money” Also, money isn’t the only thing that motivates people to achieve great things. Look at politicians for example; a lot of them are motivated by the thirst for power or the desire to do public service when they could be making a lot more money in the private sector. Are you going to tell me that getting elected into parliament is a mediocre achievement?

A lot of capitalists say that socialism takes away the incentive for people to work hard, but I disagree. If a democratically elected socialist government controlled a nation’s industry and resources obviously they’d want to do a good job, otherwise they’d be voted out. Also, there’s no reason why a government controlled economy couldn’t have a tiered wage system. But there’d need to be a cut off point, so you didn’t end up in situation like you have in the USA, with 10% of the population controlling 70% of the wealth. I don’t see how allowing such a small minority of people to control the wealth is any more beneficial than letting a democratically elected government control it. At least if the government controls it and the people aren’t happy with them then they can be voted out. But allowing a minority of people, who are not held to account at the ballot box, to make decisions that effect the lives of millions of people is a form of fascism.

18

“It’s great to be peaceful when you have had others protect you from nations such as Germany and the Soviet Union in the past, and also when you have a very homogeneous population all with similar values and backgrounds.”

What about the present?

“It’s a testament to the Danish culture, and has nothing to do with socialism or Denmark’s status as a welfare state. If it weren’t for the Danes’ low tendency for corruption, Denmark would probably be on the brink of collapse already with most of the rest of the welfare states in Europe.”

So what do you think motivates corruption in the USA? Greed?

“This strengthens my argument. Denmark is a very homogeneous white European nation. This is one of the keys to its relative success as a welfare state. Open it up to immigration from the rest of the world and it will quickly fall apart.”

Not if they had good immigration policies.

19
Capitalist in Chief
May 27th, 2010 at 1:47 am

What about the present?

So in the future, there won’t be anymore threats? Can everybody just disband their armies already.

So what do you think motivates corruption in the USA? Greed?

I suppose you could say that greed motivates corruption. But so what? Except for Scandinavia, socialist countries tend to be quite corrupt. Socialism does not do away with greed. And as it stands now, there are only a handful of nations considered less corrupt than the U.S.A. Corruption in the U.S.A. is relatively low. Not as low as it is in Scandinavia, but low. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_Map_Index_of_perception_of_corruption_2009.svg

Not if they had good immigration policies.

What’s having good immigration policies? Letting just the right people in. Which is basically restating my case.

20
Capitalist in Chief
May 27th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I bet you were a big Alex P Keaton fan.Hahaha

I’m a big fan of reality.

Not everybody is motivated by making “serious money”. In fact the majority of Australians (which is where I’m from) seem content to make a regular living and have a normal life. It’s a minority of people who are driven to make “serious money” Also, money isn’t the only thing that motivates people to achieve great things. Look at politicians for example; a lot of them are motivated by the thirst for power or the desire to do public service when they could be making a lot more money in the private sector. Are you going to tell me that getting elected into parliament is a mediocre achievement?

Irrelevant. People don’t need to be motivated by “serious money” to be motivated by money in general. And I never said nor implied that money is the only thing that motivates people. You’re arguing against something I didn’t claim. (A practice which is known as a straw man argument.) The fact that people are motivated by other things does not take away from the fact that people are also motivated by money. And as for those other things people are motivated by, e.g. power, prestige, satisfaction, etc., you can’t tax them and distribute them to the poor.

It’s also irrelevant that only a small minority is motivated by “serious money.” It’s always a small minority that pushes the realm of possibilities for humanity. How many people have made great scientific discoveries? A small minority. How many people created successful corporations? A small minority. So small minorities don’t matter? Of course they do.

A lot of capitalists say that socialism takes away the incentive for people to work hard, but I disagree. If a democratically elected socialist government controlled a nation’s industry and resources obviously they’d want to do a good job, otherwise they’d be voted out. Also, there’s no reason why a government controlled economy couldn’t have a tiered wage system. But there’d need to be a cut off point, so you didn’t end up in situation like you have in the USA, with 10% of the population controlling 70% of the wealth. I don’t see how allowing such a small minority of people to control the wealth is any more beneficial than letting a democratically elected government control it. At least if the government controls it and the people aren’t happy with them then they can be voted out. But allowing a minority of people, who are not held to account at the ballot box, to make decisions that effect the lives of millions of people is a form of fascism.

Wait, it is planet Earth we’re discussing here, right? Or is it some other planet where all this somehow applies? Of course in a place where socialism does not take away any incentive to work, the government is fully capable of using resources better than the free market, politicians only want what’s best for everybody, politicians are great managers of the economy and if they don’t do a good job, they are thrown out of office and capable managers take their place, and an earnings cap does not destroy private business and investment, socialism may have a chance. But none of those things match observable reality on planet Earth.

21

“I suppose you could say that greed motivates corruption. But so what? Except for Scandinavia, socialist countries tend to be quite corrupt. Socialism does not do away with greed. And as it stands now, there are only a handful of nations considered less corrupt than the U.S.A. Corruption in the U.S.A. is relatively low. Not as low as it is in Scandinavia, but low.”

So Denmark has lower levels of corruption than the USA.

“Wait, it is planet Earth we’re discussing here, right? Or is it some other planet where all this somehow applies? Of course in a place where socialism does not take away any incentive to work, the government is fully capable of using resources better than the free market, politicians only want what’s best for everybody, politicians are great managers of the economy and if they don’t do a good job, they are thrown out of office and capable managers take their place, and an earnings cap does not destroy private business and investment, socialism may have a chance. But none of those things match observable reality on planet Earth.”

But socialism wouldn’t take away the incentive to work if the majority of people were working under a tiered wage system where they still could earn more for working hard and getting a better education than the next bloke. Let’s face it in “this world” the majority of people work to make a living not to make serious, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to be good at whatever is we do.

“ And as for those other things people are motivated by, e.g. power, prestige, satisfaction, etc., you can’t tax them and distribute them to the poor. “

Yeah. But the people who are motivated by those things are capable of running a successful country like…..Denmark!
“It’s also irrelevant that only a small minority is motivated by “serious money.” It’s always a small minority that pushes the realm of possibilities for humanity. How many people have made great scientific discoveries? A small minority. How many people created successful corporations? A small minority. So small minorities don’t matter? Of course they do.”

That doesn’t mean they’re the only ones capable of managing a nations industries and resources.

“What’s having good immigration policies? Letting just the right people in. Which is basically restating my case.”

But a lot of capitalists like bringing unskilled migrants in from other countries, so they can hire cheap labour and undercut the existing workers who refuse to work for unfair wages. As for those migrants who don’t work, the capitalists don’t care because the government supports them. The truth is a lot of Western capitalists are no better than the Chinese government in regards to their attitudes towards workers, because they’d love to have a domestic work force that is as oppressed as the Chinese work force. This is why a lot Western companies take their business offshore for cheap third world labour. I’m surprised you can’t see the hypocrisy. On one hand they criticise the commies but on the other they’re happy to utilise their repressed work force. They’d do the same to Western workers if the Liberals and Lefties weren’t around to stop them.

22
Capitalist in Chief
May 29th, 2010 at 12:00 am

So Denmark has lower levels of corruption than the USA.

Yes. At least that’s what the perception is. However being that the USA is such a large multicultural society that includes so many recent immigrants from cultures that are far more corrupt, the relative low level of corruption in the USA, beating the average of Europe, is quite a impressive.

But socialism wouldn’t take away the incentive to work if the majority of people were working under a tiered wage system where they still could earn more for working hard and getting a better education than the next bloke. Let’s face it in “this world” the majority of people work to make a living not to make serious, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to be good at whatever is we do.

Socialism won’t take away all incentive to work, but it would take some away. Your suggestion of a “tiered wage system” is an admission that money is a significant motivator for work and success. If it weren’t, why would socialism need a “tiered wage system” (as opposed to just paying everyone exactly the same) in order to not “take away the incentive to work?”

At any rate, a government set “tiered wage system” would be an economic disaster since no individual has a clue what the tiers should be.

“Yeah. But the people who are motivated by those things are capable of running a successful country like…..Denmark!”

It’s much easier when you have a culture with collectivist tendencies, low corruption, that barely lets any strangers in on it. You think Denmak’s case is translatable to other places in the world then? Besides, Denmark is not that much successful. And their socialism comes at a price.

That doesn’t mean they’re the only ones capable of managing a nations industries and resources.

This does not argue against what I previously said.

But a lot of capitalists like bringing unskilled migrants in from other countries, so they can hire cheap labour and undercut the existing workers who refuse to work for unfair wages. As for those migrants who don’t work, the capitalists don’t care because the government supports them. The truth is a lot of Western capitalists are no better than the Chinese government in regards to their attitudes towards workers, because they’d love to have a domestic work force that is as oppressed as the Chinese work force. This is why a lot Western companies take their business offshore for cheap third world labour. I’m surprised you can’t see the hypocrisy. On one hand they criticise the commies but on the other they’re happy to utilise their repressed work force.

Also doesn’t argue against what I previously said but opens up a new can of silliness instead.

I doubt the “capitalists” you speak of care about Chinese domestic policies enough to criticize those. And besides, at the end of the day, everybody does mostly what’s comfortable for themselves. Al Gore rides a private jet. Obama praises China, despite their repressed workforce. And besides, Hypocrisy?

They’d do the me to Western workers if the Liberals and Lefties weren’t around to stop them.

Oh yes, I’m sure that if it weren’t for the Liberals and Lefties, we’d be running slave camps and gulags here. Let me let you in on a little secret, the communists, the ones with the slave labor in China and gulags in the former U.S.S.R., are lefties too. Slave labor is required for the common good you know. How else would a little old nation such as China compete against the mean evil capitalists of the world?

And, no employer is required to pay more than minimum wage, yet nearly all workers get paid more… I wonder why…

23

I can’t believe the author of this article used WIKIPEDIA as a source….he was on the right track until he compared GDP per capita (as if that was an accurate portrayal of a country’s standard of living) between the u.s and denmark.

24
Capitalist in Chief
November 24th, 2010 at 12:14 am

I can’t believe the author of this article used WIKIPEDIA as a source….

Wikipedia references its figures. Are there any specific figures cited you have contention with, or are you just blowing hot air?

he was on the right track until he compared GDP per capita (as if that was an accurate portrayal of a country’s standard of living) between the u.s and denmark.

GDP per capita is the most accepted measure of standard of living. See here.

25

Okay let a Dane enter the debate.. First of let me apologize for bad english, its not my first spoken langauge.
Alot of your arguments take roots in how much money you earn, and you use the fact that many danes dont earn as much as an average american does, and this argument is used as a example of why socialsm dosnt work.

Let me start out by objectivly saying.. Yes, Denmark is proberly one of the most succesfull nations in the world.. we dont earn as much as americans does.. but hey, we dont have to, money is just not as importent here.
The only thing a paycheck of 2 millions changes compared to a paycheck on 30000 is how luxerious you live.

Where in the US, if your paycheck is small you really lose alot of life quality.
We are very happy in Denmark.. because we know, even though you may someday get fired, earn less and so on, it doesnt mean that you will be left behind.. for you taxes we get SO much back… Unbelivale much back actually. education is not only free, were getting payed to take one, we have free medical care.. and if you get fired you get payed by the goverment until you find a new job.
I just think its sad that in the US the 1% richest have as much money put together as the rest of the 99% of the american population, where in Denmark we have the most equal population when you look at our income.

A new car or a big house is simply just not that important, most are glad to pay high taxes because we know how much we get back. even the very rich in Denmark often buy used cars and smaller houses.
Ofcause there are many other factors that make Denmark the happiest country is the world, like we’re one of the most non-religious countries in the world – around 80% of our population is non-religious.

You use money as many of your arguments, but really… why is it so important to have two cars and a new tv? i simply CANT see your logic in why socialism dosnt work.

And if you really base it on imcome, why is sociaty classes in the USA so unbeliavle unequal in the US.

26
Capitalist in Chief
December 18th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I just think its sad that in the US the 1% richest have as much money put together as the rest of the 99% of the american population, where in Denmark we have the most equal population when you look at our income.

So you like making numbers up? It also seems you didn’t read or quite understand the article.

27
Capitalist in Chief
December 18th, 2010 at 2:21 pm

You use money as many of your arguments, but really… why is it so important to have two cars and a new tv?

So you don’t like the stuff money buys? It also takes money to invest in and develop life saving medicine, for example. How about that?

And if you really base it on imcome, why is sociaty classes in the USA so unbeliavle unequal in the US.

It’s because the up-side in the US is so great. And it’s also because the US has a very large variety of people and cultures from all over the world many of whom are 1st generation immigrants. How much immigration and cultural diversity does Denmark have? Almost none.

I would love it for Denmark to open up its borders to more immigrants from the 3rd world. And then continue paying everybody indefinitely until they find a job. Why not? It makes people happy productive members of society does it not? I wonder how long Denmark will hold up until everything all comes crashing down.

28

The fact that 1 percent of the richest americans own rougly as much as the 99 rest is complety true fact.

”So you don’t like the stuff money buys? It also takes money to invest in and develop life saving medicine, for example. How about that?”

Yeah, we pay our high taxes to develop those things.

”It’s because the up-side in the US is so great. And it’s also because the US has a very large variety of people and cultures from all over the world many of whom are 1st generation immigrants. How much immigration and cultural diversity does Denmark have? Almost none.”
No its because the poor in the US dont stand a chance.
About 12 percent of the danish population is immigrants with other religion and culture. in the US its 12.5 percent..

29
Capitalist in Chief
December 29th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

The fact that 1 percent of the richest americans own rougly as much as the 99 rest is complety true fact.

Bogus statistic. Please supply a reference.

”So you don’t like the stuff money buys? It also takes money to invest in and develop life saving medicine, for example. How about that?”

Yeah, we pay our high taxes to develop those things.

Taxes are money that’s taken from those who earn it.

About 12 percent of the danish population is immigrants with other religion and culture. in the US its 12.5 percent..

Hint: It’s not just about first generation immigrants. Just because Africans and Latin Americans and Europeans from various countries are born in the U.S. it does not make them similar in culture.

On the other hand, over 90% of people in Denmark are ethnic Danes. See here.

There is no single group of people in the United States that comes even close. The United States is a cross section of the globe with its different cultures and problems, in Denmark, nearly everyone is Danish.

30

data suggest that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of families. The wealthiest 1 percent of families owns roughly 34.3% of the nation’s net worth, the top 10% of families owns over 71%, and the bottom 40% of the population owns way less than 1%. So not quite as bad as the numbers posted but this is pretty pathetic, source: http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/faculty/hodgson/courses/so11/stratification/income&wealth.htm

31

Some more fun stats about the distribution of “wealth” in the U.S.:But it’s important to note that for the rich, most of that income does not come from “working”: in 2008, only 19% of the income reported by the 13,480 individuals or families making over $10 million came from wages and salaries. See Norris, 2010, for more details.)
on the effects of the Great Recession on the wealth distribution. They suggest that average Americans have been hit much harder than wealthy Americans. Edward Wolff, the economist we draw upon the most in this document, concludes that there has been an “astounding” 36.1% drop in the wealth (marketable assets) of the median household since the peak of the housing bubble in 2007. By contrast, the wealth of the top 1% of households dropped by far less: just 11.1%.
The Wealth Distribution

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2010).
Just more fun “FACTS” for you if anything online can be called fact.
Source: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

32
Capitalist in Chief
April 3rd, 2011 at 11:23 am

Yes, these are not much more than “fun” facts. All they demonstrate is that the rich are rich, and once you’re rich it’s easier to get richer and protect yourself from financial trouble than if you’re poor. There’s nothing new here, as it’s almost a law of nature.

Here are a few questions to contemplate, without which these facts are meaningless:

Is there a problem with people being rich? If so, what is it?

Is the poverty of some people caused by the wealth of others? If so why?

What effect will attempting to reduce the poverty gap have on the economy? Will it help the poor or just make the rich poorer?

Confiscating wealth (is there any other way by which you would propose to reduce the wealth gap) does put a damper on the economy. One of the major problems in the Great Recession is job creation. Would confiscating the wealth of highly profitable businesses help or hurt?

33

I’d like to weigh in on a few points… First of all, I am an immigrant ACTUALLY living in Denmark and there is quite a bit those on the other side of the world will actually never know until they live here.

- The “happiness” argument…if you ask any Dane on the street he will tell you he is happy. Happiness is subjective and fleeting for all human beings. However, their perception of reality is a bit off centered. The average Dane walks around like a deer in headlights, mentally-checked out, completely oblivious to preventing certain accidents, walking into people, and having no concept of personal space. They live a simple, small life equivalent to rural or town, off the beaten path living. Happiness is derived from simply knowing their Dankort will work, the weekend will arrive, sex is easy to obtain (but why is it so difficult to wear condoms, boys?), and they will have money to maintain their metrosexual look. It is equally so with the women who maintain bottled blonde coloring. Happiness is easiest for those who ask for nothing of life but this. If you have no goals, no hopes, or ambitions, you fit right in with Jante’s Law.

-Denmark is no stranger to exploiting foreign workers. If you find places under construction in Copenhagen and speak to the workers, you’d be surprised to learn many have no certificates for construction and do not speak Danish.

-Denmark still claims not to be socialist but it is fine. A small percent is rich, and I mean very rich. But the majority of them are middle-class with “working class” mentalities. Their education is free and mediocre and does not guarantee one a job in Denmark. They are not an imaginative, avante-garde, purposeful, people. They are successful in terms of Scandinavian culture, but the individual Dane lives a mediocre existence. What makes them successful is that there country, economy, or currency hasn’t been tested, but if it is, or should ever admire too much the democratic way, the sheep of Denmark will perish. Their society is not set up for change. This is evident in how nationals and foreigners ignore each other. They are collectivist maintainers by nature, not innovators. I guess if it is fine to go through life and not make any real achievements and not be motivated to. Oh, but hey! Where are you getting wasted Friday night?

- As for immigration, they have opened their doors to darker skin foreigners, which they show their “tolerance” by ignoring and speaking derogatorily in Danish about. This is how they show they are peaceful, they won’t hit you but they will condescend you. It is awful to be a muslim here, because in Denmark, it is *socially acceptable* to publicly hate Muslims or people from the east. They simply label foreigners as, and I quote by many, “Stupid immigrants who are too dumb to learn the Danish way.” They think foreigners are robbing their system when many are not even eligible for benefits excluding healthcare. They blame crime and the depletion of welfare on immigrants, whom must have citizenship/permanent residency in order to reap any of the benefits many of the Danes receive, even though they are out of, and/or refuse to work. Danes are blatantly intolerant, but it is considered bad taste to admit it. And unless you know them, they definitely won’t admit to it publicly.

– Strangely they live, as if oxygen for the brain, to compare Denmark to the US, and with Europeans, the UK. It is the worst display of envy ever. They don’t bother to research how US government is set up, only to compare their iddy biddy city nation to a monstrous sized nation. The reason the US is a superpower is because of capitalism, its military, GNP, GDP, and the strength its multicultural nation contributes. Denmark has specks of other nationalities, but cannot be considered cosmopolitan in this decade. They do not have the mentality for it.

-They are financially thriving above the UK and US––NOW, only because these two are in a recession, which the US has proven its ability to bounce back like no other nation and the UK, well, will take a bit of time. They lose their “educated” to other countries, which many of them must take a standard of living reduction, in order to survive in those other countries. If you are not used to competing in the workforce, earning your wealth out of skill, talent, or being better than the next man, how will they survive when there is no handout and hundreds who are better educated and more talented with cultural experience who apply for the same job? What was your GPA? And how does your university rank with the top in the world? In Europe? What are your conversational skills? How will you treat clients who are from different cultures? Who are Muslims or from the Middle East? If you dislike the US so much, why are you here asking us for a job? And blah, blah, blah,

I don’t mind the Danes at all. I just think the idea of success is subjective, and what it measurable needs to be measured equally and properly compared. Denmark needs to stop envying the US because they will never be the US…if nothing more than just not producing world leaders of industry. However, as long as their mentalities stay confined to this tiny glacier and doesn’t infect the rest world, all will be just fine.

34

It is important to note that although Denmark has what could be socialist policies it is not a socialist government. In fact the Socialist Party of Denmark doesn’t hold any real power in government. In fact Denmark has one of the most free financial and product markets according to the OCED. So the argument that the people are happy because of socialist rule is in actuality misleading. In fact if we go by the proponents of socialism train of logic, it would seeem as if the Danish people are happy because of their free markets. Over all I think that would make a better argument for free enterprise.

35

Just coming from a weeks stay in Copenhagen l never had the feeling I was surrounded by the ‘happiest people in the world. More like rats on a treadmill going from day to day. The hundreds of cyclists riding in the pouring rain because they had no otherchoice looked downright miserable. I am happier than all the dames combined.

36

“Denmark is a tiny country with a homogeneous society”. I think these two points (but in reverse) are what make any form of liberal socialism viable. Neither is available in the United States, nor the European Union, I doubt socialism will be a successful experiment in either. Socialism is inheritently collectivism, the ‘good’ of the group over the good of the individual. It sounds good and dandy, possibly even great depending on who is spitting it. Inevitabley as the population grows, and grows more heterogeneous, the ‘good’ of the group comes at the cost of the individual, or groups of individuals, because of the rise in differing and conflicting ideals.

I find the idea of liberal socialism, in all its many forms, interesting. I think it goes along way in removing itself from more destructive forms of socialism, in theory at least. I just find it hard to believe the balance can be struck in non-homogenous populations.

37
Capitalist in Chief
May 18th, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Indeed. In the general case, the “common good” mantra of socialism is an utter failure. What ends up happening is that a whole bunch of special interest groups compete to get the resources of the collective for themselves. We can see it happening in the U.S.

38
Capitalist in Chief
May 18th, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Well, of course Denmark is not socialist in the Soviet sense, but as far as Democracies go, they are quite socialist. As for freedom, high taxation alone negates that. If I allow you to do whatever you want, as long as I get 100% of your money, how much freedom would you have? Very little. How about 90%? And freedom goes up from there.

39

Most danes do not mind paying high taxes because it has made the Danish dream come true.

Everybody can live out their dreams by getting an education, which is for free, you even get a paycheck every month while in school. You do not have to worry about getting old or sick the government/people will take care of you. Maternity/paternety leave is around a year.

A lot of science, innovation, and design has come out of Denmark, (Windmills, Novo nordisk, Novozymes, Lundbeck, Danisco). So dear “Reality check”, we danes are very competitive and we do have golds, hopes, and ambitions.

Wrong and negative as you are in most of your perceptions of Denmark after living there, you are right on one thing and that is that we should treat our immigrants nicer.

40

Wow.! I happened upon your discussion quite by accident, and in doing so, a stark observation being left out of the entire discussion jumped out at me. FREEDOM.! Noone has the right to limit me. Noone has the right to dictate to me what my definition of happiness. FREEDOM.! If I want to be filthy rich, or live with austerity, that is MY choice. I choose FREEDOM instead of a limiting socialistic world. Oh, and to any progressives out there who purport to be trailblazers for their cause…take heed.! Because true socialism will silence your ability to speak out.

41

Sorry but this article seems to be a desperate knock at anyone who doesn’t embrace a more capitalist society.

Bias, bias and more bias.

USA has its own problems too you know. I could make an entire article about how capitalistic traits screw up our society as much as you claim the socialistic traits screw up Denmark’s.

But than again you probably just brush it off as crap because you clearly refuse to look on the other side and are too caught up in your own bias opinion.

42
Capitalist in Chief
August 15th, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Sorry but this article seems to be a desperate knock at anyone who doesn’t embrace a more capitalist society.

Why, I’m not desperate at all. Can you say what’s so “desparate” about it?

Bias, bias and more bias.

Yes, bias! I say 1 + 1 = 2, others claim 1 + 1 = 3. A non-biased balanced approach 1 + 1 = 2.5 is still wrong.

USA has its own problems too you know. I could make an entire article about how capitalistic traits screw up our society as much as you claim the socialistic traits screw up Denmark’s.

1. A lot of the problems in the U.S. come from screwed up socialist policies.
2. I never claimed the U.S. or capitalism are perfect.

But than again you probably just brush it off as crap because you clearly refuse to look on the other side and are too caught up in your own bias opinion.

I’m brushing your comment off as crap because you didn’t say anything aside from claiming that I’m wrong. Well, I say that you’re wrong. So there!

43

Dear everybody

I AM a dane … i live in Copenhagen, and you know what … what is stated above is TRUE. Denmark is not all bad, not at all. But it is VERY boring to live here you cant really do anything, nobody can really afford to do anything. I know an american who lives here until his kid (danish mom) is older … as he puts it … its sufficating. We are on the very wrong side of the Laffer curve, and it seems that the socialistic partys will win the election sep 15 so we are in for more taxes more roadpricing and more weird rules (we have rules for EVERYHTING, dogs, knives, smoking, how tall your bushes can be, and so on .. you would be amazed). Please where ever you are from enjoy the freedom that may have, trading it in so you might feel more secure is not always a good thing. Greetings from Denmark – a great place to wait for death.

44

Baha, someone’s probably already said this in the above messages but you are an idiot. I vote you go live on an island so you can be an independent individual and only care about yourself like you want. Danmark is a kick ass country and basically what you said was “USA makes more on average than a Dane”… Ok great money, you know there is more to life than money? Danmark’s better at all that other stuff (maybe not war/destruction). And I love how you say material things are expensive, oh no not the material things! Screw healthcare, perfect public transportation, clean facilities, public assistance and other benefits- I want an iPhone and a flatscreen! Danmark has a quality of life far above the USAs, smarter, healthier, less crime, less pollution, list goes on….

45

People have come at me time and time again about stuff like this. When I say Capitalism is better than socialism, people come at me with stuff like “Scandinavian countries are much better than the US is” or something to that degree. Prior to reading this article, I didn’t have much of an idea of what to say to them. I think this is a great article, and I’ll use it as reference next time I come across people like that. I also love this website. It’s just perfect. Thanks, Capitalist-in-Chief.
As for the house in Denmark shown in the video, I think it’s a pretty nice house. I like the design. It would be perfect if I was in there by myself, or had like two or three people to support. But I think that the bathroom and shower could use some curtains for privacy. They also use quite a bit of glass there. I still think the place is pretty nice though.

46

void in my opinion since he can’t even get his terms right. An example of a true socialist country would be Vietnam, and I am willing to agree there is an even bigger wealth gap there than the in the US. If you research Denmark on Wikipedia or otherwise it’s stated as a “Mixed Economy” where the government and the private sector direct the means of production.

I think the best kind of economy is a mixed economy which the U.S. also has, only I believe the U.S. leans more toward capitalism and Denmark leans more toward Socialism and social programs. The real question then is how many social programs, for whom, and how much?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and see where the author stands. Right now in America because of the government subsidy’s if your friend gets in a car wreck or has a heart attack he or she can be taken to the emergency room and the hospital “MUST TREAT THAT PATIENT even if they can’t pay for it, and later and have to declare bankruptcy.

This would likely not happen in a pure laissez faire capitalistic system. It’s either do you have a means to pay for this or die. So tell me do you think this current system is a good idea? Or do you think if doctors and hospitals don’t think you have enough money that they should turn down someone who gets in a car wreck and just let them bleed to death?

47
Capitalist in Chief
November 21st, 2011 at 11:59 pm

void in my opinion since he can’t even get his terms right.

See reply to the same comment here: http://socialismdoesntwork.com/denmark-is-no-proof-that-socialism-is-good/

48

The article went right to poop.

The problem is americans who think that Denmark is socialist, but somehow magically, USA is not socialist.

For the record, USA is ranked as economically more government controlled country than denmark. Just because Denmark happens to use it’s money on basic wage rather than military+ completely dead retirement program(SS) does not mean one country is socialist and the other not. For the record both of these countries are mixed economies.

US government spending is over 40% of economy and they hide some of the spending via the central bank. USA is way more corrupt and has arguably much worse spending decisions than Denmark. Which is why it is ranked less free economically.

You can not really directly compare USA and Denmark. Denmark is not really even comparable to a state of USA. It’s population is 5 million, less than the city of new york. And a lot of things are decided by the municipalities in Denmark. So it’s quite local form of government. Which explains the smaller level of corruption.

You are not dealing with socialism vs capitalism here. It’s more like dumbfuckery vs saneness. The government of Denmark acts in a much more logical way.

For most part there exist no argument against that freer economies tend to do better, all other things being equal. And here we prove a case of that yet again.

BTW the use of household income was unnecessary. It just shows Denmark has smaller/more households. The income is what matters, not what size your household happens to be.

49
Capitalist in Chief
November 27th, 2011 at 10:07 am

Okay poopy head… you think you’re so smart don’t you?

The problem is americans who think that Denmark is socialist, but somehow magically, USA is not socialist.

Maybe the socialists say that.

For the record, USA is ranked as economically more government controlled country than denmark. Just because Denmark happens to use it’s money on basic wage rather than military+ completely dead retirement program(SS) does not mean one country is socialist and the other not. For the record both of these countries are mixed economies.

Yes, it’s true now that the US has elected Marxist wannabees to be in charge.

You can not really directly compare USA and Denmark. Denmark is not really even comparable to a state of USA. It’s population is 5 million, less than the city of new york. And a lot of things are decided by the municipalities in Denmark. So it’s quite local form of government. Which explains the smaller level of corruption.

You’re agreeing with me here.

For most part there exist no argument against that freer economies tend to do better, all other things being equal. And here we prove a case of that yet again.

Agreeing with me.

BTW the use of household income was unnecessary. It just shows Denmark has smaller/more households. The income is what matters, not what size your household happens to be.

Use of household income is absolutely necessary, unless you believe a country that doesn’t have children working as adults is somehow economically deficient.

50

Well I’m a Dane too, and sure there are problems in Denmark, but none that I don’t see worse in other places. I’ve lived in many places around the world including the US for several years. Sure our average housesize is smaller than in the US, but if you looked at statistics (that weren’t only in favor of your view) you would see, that it’s only in the US and a couple of other countries, where the houses actually are bigger. (Not to mention that our population density is considerably higher than in the US).

And with regards to freedom and taxes, if you checked other statistics, you would also see, that DK is one of the countries in which citizens are the most happy to pay their taxes (huge as they are). I gladly do, because it gives me the freedom and insurance of knowing, that if I or my family ever get sick, that there’ll be no huge bills to pay, and that we’ll be taken care of – that the government will pay for the best treatment.
Not to mention the freedom we have in being able to choose whatever education we wan’t! And whatever you may say about comparisons of salaries, the salaries are still so high (everyone’s), that we can travel and see the world. No one but people in top postions or that have good careres work for more than 37 hours a week, giving the ordinary person lots of time to spend with their families. (And familiy values is one of the few things that Oprah seemed to hit spot on – for most Danes eating supper together every night is very important). Not to mention the fact that no one needs to starve or sleep in the streets.

I’m not going to say however, that our system would work out succesfully in the US though. Because you’re right when you say there is a huge difference in the populations. Denmark IS a small country with a very homogeneous population. But I would still want to live in the DK, with the possibilities and (real) freedoms we have, that I consider far greater, than the (in my case very likely) possibility, that my salary would be considerably higher in the US. (But as to us owning less material property – I mean everybody has several laptops and most people have smartphones and all that – I don’t think people mean they really lack anything of importance – and most people certainly wouldn’t trade the econmic and social stability they have in the DK, for what? the newest edition of a macbookpro and some such? – if we assume they would be better of in the US)

But I respect your opinion, although I consider it hugely flawed.

Best regards

(Sorry for any misspellings, it was written in rather a hurry)

51
Capitalist in Chief
December 26th, 2011 at 11:59 am

But I respect your opinion, although I consider it hugely flawed.

I don’t see how you could think that it’s hugely flawed since you mostly agree with me. I don’t argue that Denmark is a bad place, just “that Denmark Is no proof that socialism Is good.” You yourself agree that Denmark possesses certain qualities that make it an outlier, and that the system in Denmark would not work in the general case.

And with regards to freedom and taxes, if you checked other statistics, you would also see, that DK is one of the countries in which citizens are the most happy to pay their taxes (huge as they are). I gladly do, because it gives me the freedom and insurance of knowing, that if I or my family ever get sick, that there’ll be no huge bills to pay, and that we’ll be taken care of – that the government will pay for the best treatment.

for what? the newest edition of a macbookpro and some such?

I don’t know, personally I’d like to use the extra money to start a business and invest so that I could work more on things I enjoy rather than those that other people want to pay me for. Why would you assume that the only thing one can do with more money is buy better electronics?

But also, yes, the newest edition of a MacBook Pro. The faster my computer, the more productive I am.

52
Capitalist in Chief
December 26th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Baha, someone’s probably already said this in the above messages but you are an idiot.

It somehow always turns out that those who call me an idiot make the most idiotic remarks themselves. It’s just the strangest thing.

I vote you go live on an island so you can be an independent individual and only care about yourself like you want.

I’m really glad you’re not in charge then. How do you figure I care only about myself?

And I love how you say material things are expensive, oh no not the material things! Screw healthcare, perfect public transportation, clean facilities, public assistance and other benefits

It’s funny how you say that I care only about material things, but not other things, and then your examples are material things that require money to provide. Healthcare, public transportation, clean facilities, are all material things that require money. Public assistance, I don’t know what you mean here. Assistance in what? Paying for things that cost money?

smarter, healthier, less crime, less pollution, list goes on….

I agree, on average yes. They have a different population from the United States, which is composed of a much wider cultural and racial cross section of the world. Did you even read the article before calling me an idiot?

53

Well the one thing I can say about Denmark is that they have the second least corrupt government in the world. Perhaps that’s because they don’t have 1% of the population, in their country, controlling 40% of the nation’s wealth which they use to bribe and corrupt the politicians with. Medical bills is the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy in the US. Luckily, because they have universal health care, the Danes don’t have to worry about that. Actually, neither does 99% of the industrialized world.

54
Capitalist in Chief
December 30th, 2011 at 11:57 am

Well the one thing I can say about Denmark is that they have the second least corrupt government in the world. Perhaps that’s because they don’t have 1% of the population, in their country, controlling 40% of the nation’s wealth which they use to bribe and corrupt the politicians with.

And perhaps it’s because they’re a very small homogeneous society that doesn’t let immigrants from all over the world in on the gig.

Medical bills is the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy in the US. Luckily, because they have universal health care, the Danes don’t have to worry about that. Actually, neither does 99% of the industrialized world.

Yes, in most of the industrialized world, the government pays for basic care, but if it gets too expensive, they just say sorry, it’s not worth it for us to treat you. And then if you don’t have private insurance as well, you’re out of luck.

55

The sum of all tax percentages (municipal tax, state taxes and health care contribution) cannot exceed 51.5.

Is is really worth your time to write such a blasphemous and biased article.. the first link I clicked provided by the author proved his statement leading to the fact wrong. Thus, I read no more. Also, 5 million people are not “two men named Bjorn”, Probably should have stopped there. Boo on you.

56

Oh, and I do live in Denmark at the moment, and hopefully will NEVER go back to the “good ole” US as people here aren’t whining about the tax, the only place I have heard that was “back home”, there are far more advantages here outweighing worrying about the few people who chose to not work.

57
Capitalist in Chief
January 29th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Is is really worth your time to write such a blasphemous and biased article.. the first link I clicked provided by the author proved his statement leading to the fact wrong. Thus, I read no more.

This article was written in 2010, the figures on Wikipedia have changed since then. It’s certainly not worth my time to constantly monitor the minute figures just to satisfy the likes of you.

Of course you conveniently missed the following sentence

Under the Danish tax system, therefore, it is perfectly conceivable for a high-wage earner to pay out up to 51.5% of their total income after Gross Tax, giving a total of 57% of the total income.

So it’s not 63%, it’s 57%. That is still very high, and it’s still not just the “rich” that pay those taxes. And on top of that you have the lovely %25 value added tax that effectively reduces one’s income by that figure.

Also, 5 million people are not “two men named Bjorn”, Probably should have stopped there. Boo on you.

Obviously the concept of exaggeration to make a point in humor escapes you. The USA is still more than 60 times the size of Denmark, a small homogeneous country.

58

Socialism is based on non-materialism. The focus is on job-satisfaction and security not on who can buy a Porsche first. The value of money is relative to what you do with it. FYI: Socialism and Communism is not synonymous. A simple wiki search would teach you that. Your getting confused because Communist Russia called themselves that as a ploy to get people to believe they have the interest of the masses at heart. Traditionally socialism refers to the concept that work force should decide what happens within the country. Furthermore socialism and a democracy are not mutually exclusive terms. I suggest next time before you start a website and make a Fool of yourself you do little better research.

59
Capitalist in Chief
February 4th, 2012 at 11:34 am

Yes, there are advantages, as long as you keep Denmark’s population restricted to a small homogeneous bunch that’s been indoctrinated into socialism, and as long as you remain a good little citizen and do exactly what you’re told.

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