Denmark

The Democrats' Denmark Fetish

Is confiscating half of GDP and high energy prices a winning Democratic strategy?

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SandersClinton
cbc.ca

For the record, I like Denmark. I have visited a couple of times and had a pretty good time. My favorite visit was reporting on the spectacular blow up of the 2009 U.N. Climate Change conference.

I noticed at the time that various American liberals were really smitten with Denmark's welfare state. In yesterday's New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman waxes eloquent—Something Not Rotten in Denmark—over what he thinks the Danes can teach us about running our country. He adores the fact that the top income tax take is over 60 percent and that government takes in just about half of the national income to redistribute. Interestingly, Krugman doesn't mention that the 60 percent rate kicks in when Danish incomes reach just $55,000 per year.

Back in 2009, another Times columnist admirer of Denmark, Tom Friedman, couldn't say enough about how wonderful he thought the Danish energy frugality was. What he didn't tell Times readers is that Danes are "encouraged" to conserve energy by paying nearly the world's highest rate for electricity: 41 cents per kilowatt-hour compared to 12 cents in the U.S. In addition, Danes pay $6.47 per gallon for gasoline, whereas Americans pay about $2.57 per gallon. It is true that Danes ride their bicycles everywhere and tend to take public transportation. After all, they must pay a vehicle registration tax of 180 percent of the value of their automobile. Perhaps this accounts for part of the difference in vehicles per capita; in Denmark the rate 480 per 1,000 and in the U.S. it is 809 per 1,000.

And liberal Democrats just love Denmark's vaunted income mobility and equality. Of course, mobility is much easier if the rungs on the income ladder are much closer together. As I pointed out a while back:

One way to think of the comparison between the U.S. and Denmark is that, in absolute terms, it takes only an increase in income of $47,000 for a Danish household to rise from the bottom quintile to that country's top five percent.  A comparable rise in the United States would mean that a household's income has increased by $166,000 to cross the pre-tax threshold or $190,000 to achieve the average post-tax income of Americans who are between the 96th and 99th percentile of incomes. In some sense, it's easier to appear "mobile" when you have a lot less distance to travel.

Another way to think about comparing the U.S. and Denmark is that with an increase of $47,000 an American household would rise from the bottom quintile to the middle quintile of the U.S. income distribution. In other words, a solidly middle class American income is comparable to an income that would put a Danish household in its country's top five percent of households.

So it is true that the income is more unequally distributed in the U.S than in Denmark. However, the greater income equality found in Denmark and other Western European countries is not an inherent feature of their economies, but is almost entirely due to taxation and subsequent redistribution. That fact is rarely highlighted by Democratic candidates. See below:

Inequality is often measured by the Gini coefficient in which a score of 0 indicates perfect income equality and a score of 1 means that one household gets all the income. In December, the Pew Research Center published data showing how the pre-and-post redistribution Gini coefficients of various rich countries stacked up. Below is a table with selected values.

Gini CoefficientPre-redistributionPost-redistribution
U.S.0.4990.380
Denmark0.4290.252
Germany0.4920.286
France0.5050.303
Sweden0.4410.269
 

Basically, American liberals love Denmark because its government confiscates half of its citizens money and makes them pay high prices for energy. Strangely, advocating such policies out loud does not sound like a winning electoral strategy in 2016.

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  1. Basically, American liberals love Denmark because its government confiscates half of its citizens money and makes them pay high prices for energy. Strangely, advocating such policies out loud does not sound like a winning electoral strategy in 2016.

    It’s working for Bernie.

    1. it’s an easy appeal to make to the looter and grifter class in America.

      1. Your precious constitution has not been able to stop the looter and grafter class. In fact, it has enabled them to thrive.

        Have you ever read Spooner’s A Constitution of No Authority? 140 years ago he nailed it. He, unlike you, did not drink the Kool-Aid.

        1. back again with more inane drivel, I see. So, Spooner wrote a book, much like the Founders wrote the Constitution. One aimed at organizing a society based on individual liberty, the one griped a lot. Either way, the ideas on paper are nothing without people putting them into action.

          Again, you are invited to demonstrate which society’s founding documents have produced something better than what we have, even with this nation’s flaws. Or you and Sancho can keep tilting at the windmill of perfection, hoping one of the paddles does not knock you off your high horse.

          1. The inane drivel is the proposition that the constitution is some kind of magic liberty dust.

            True, we agree that “ideas on paper are nothing without people putting them into action.” Thus, your assertion that the constitution produced something better than any other society is contradictory.

            It was not able to prevent the forced, repatriation of native peeps.

            It was not able to prevent the genocidal actions of the people ostensibly bound by, and in love with, the constitution.

            It was not able to stop the Adams administration from implementing the Alien & Sedition Act.

            It was not able to stop the Fugitive Slave Act.

            It was not able to stop Abe Lincoln’s mass murdering.

            It was not able to stop the “American System” in which crony capitalism thrived.

            It was not able to prevent the implementation of the take-out of the Plains Indians.

            It was not able to stop the caging of tens of thousands of native peeps.

            What good was the constitution for the million or so Philipinos who were caged or murdered?

            1. your assertion that the constitution produced something better than any other society is contradictory.

              Actually, my assertion has backed up my claim beyond any shadow of a doubt seeing as how we have a global lab and centuries of history to use for reference. If that were not the case, you have provided numerous examples of places that have done a better job.

              That people have ignored parts of the Constitution to do the things you cite is not the fault of the document but of those charged with upholding it and, to a degree, with us for not demanding better.

            2. It was not able to stop the Fugitive Slave Act.

              The Constitution explicitly authorized the Fugitive Slave Act.

              The 3/5’s clause is hardly the most outrageous part of the Constitution. The worst of the Constitution is Article IV Section 2, which essentially requires something like the Fugitive Slave Act: “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.”

              The Constitution as written was a profoundly defective document. The living Constitution is even worse.

              1. The Constitution as written was a profoundly defective document.

                It was “defective” only relative to your expectations, but that’s a problem with your expectations.

                The US Constitution wasn’t intended to redress any ill or impose a perfect system of government on all its members. Instead, the US Constitution was a set of rules regulating how a bunch of states coexisted and cooperated. The US Constitution imposed strong limits on federal power, but only weak limits on state power.

                And relative to its limited goals, the Constitution did quite well.

                1. There was already the Articles of Confederation that had its own set of rules regulating how a bunch of independent states coexisted and cooperated. For those who wanted a strong central government and nationalism, the Articles of Confederation were not good enough.

                  Therefore, from the perspective of enabling those who wanted to have a strong, central government in order to create a bigger, better version of British mercantilism, yes, the constitution did quite well.

                  Neither Free Society nor I have argued that the constitution was intended to solve the problems we have enumerated; to the contrary, at best, the constitution has failed to stop such problems, and at worst, it has enabled them.

            3. Most of your “points” about how the Constitution has failed sound Howard Zinn like. Big bad rich white people harming the marginalized!

              1. So, do you think that Howard Zinn was a fan of an unregulated free market?

                Do you think that Howard Zinn was against the income tax?

                Do you think that Howard Zinn was against the gift & estate tax?

                Do you think that Howard Zinn was against the redistribution of income from big bad rich white people to the poor, nice brown people?

                Do you think that Howard Zinn was against affirmative action?

                How the hell, consistent with fact and logic, could you conflate anarcho-free enterprise-individualism with Zinn’s weltanchaung?

            4. It was also not able to prevent tooth decay, body odor, or bad taste in music.

            5. It was not able to prevent the implementation of the take-out of the Plains Indians.

              I love Indian take-out! Why do you hate ethnic food?

            6. “It was not able to prevent the implementation of the take-out of the Plains Indians.”

              The people we commonly refer to as American Indians were not the original inhabitants of this land, especially in the Mississippi drainage basin. They eradicated the people who originally lived there known as the Mound Builders.

              The Comanche Indians committed genocide on the Alabama Coushatta Indians leaving only a few of their original numbers who now own casinos in Louisiana and are dong quite well.

              People should get over their Indian worship if it interfers with their honest evaluation of the USA.. The US’s policies toward the Indians were no worse than the Indians policy toward other Indians. It’s just another example of one society overpowering another as has been done through the centuries on every continent. Barbarians at the gate.

              That doesn’t excuse it but it puts it in perspective.

              1. Deflection, my boy, deflection.

                Why must folk resort to deflection when the issue is what the ostensibly wonderful americans, with their constitution and all men are born with unalienable rights and equality before the law, did to the Indians?

                It is like little Johnny telling his mother, “Timmy did it, too, Timmy did it, too.” It is just intellectually dishonest.

                Was there a proposition on the table that the Indians were without fault or that they were the best exemplars of free enterprise and peaceful and voluntary action? It is not a proposition that I put forward.

                1. Why must folk resort to deflection when the issue is what the ostensibly wonderful americans, with their constitution and all men are born with unalienable rights and equality before the law, did to the Indians?

                  American Indians were exterminated by European diseases and European conquerors. By the time the US was founded, American Indians were already defeated and their societies in shambles. Don’t blame Americans for what Europeans did.

                  Was there a proposition on the table that the Indians were without fault

                  The proposition that’s on the table is that somehow a great injustice was visited upon American Indians. But Europeans did to American Indians the same thing Europeans did to each other and American Indians did to each other: they engaged in military conflict and conquered each other. All participants played by the same rules, and the American Indians lost. And unless you are a racist, it is no more problematic that American Indians now live as citizens of the US with equal rights, than it is that the Frisi now live as citizens of Germany with equal rights within that nation.

                  1. So, are you asserting that all American Indians were already defeated in 1776? You might want to rethink that one.

                    Upon what factual basis do you argue that “all participants played by the same rules?”

                    Did the Indians initiate total war against americans?

                    Did the Indians make a habit of attacking settlements at dawn and killing hundreds of women and children as did the US?

                    Did the Indians constantly break treaties as did the US?

                    Did the Indians demonstrate a propensity to engage in mass murder upon the scale of the US?

                    Did the Indians have a concerted plan to exterminate americans?

                    Did the Indians cage and warehouse large numbers of americans?

                    Again, your argument, thoroughly devoid of nuance and fact, amounts to little Timmy complaining to mommy that “Johnny did it too.”

                    1. So, are you asserting that all American Indians were already defeated in 1776? You might want to rethink that one.

                      Less than 10% of the original American Indian population were left by the time the US was founded. The original societies had been uprooted and destroyed. The people left over had little legitimacy to the land the were negotiating over.

                      Again, your argument, thoroughly devoid of nuance and fact, amounts to little Timmy complaining to mommy that “Johnny did it too.”

                      Judging the morality of an act by the standards of the time indeed means comparing the act to the beliefs and practices of the time, as well as the outcome. American Indians were conquered and assimilated into a new nation, and a prosperous one at that. You can get all pushed out of shape about it if you choose, but don’t expect other people to give a shit.

                      And as a recent immigrant (1) my family has been through much worse in Europe, and (2) I bear no responsibility for these actions either.

              2. “The people we commonly refer to as American Indians were not the original inhabitants of this land, especially in the Mississippi drainage basin. They eradicated the people who originally lived there known as the Mound Builders.”

                The Mound Builders were not a separate group from American Indians (which itself is obviously a broad label). That is a myth that was debunked in the 19th century. American Indians are descended from the first people who migrated to the Americas from Asia. There was a drastic depopulation and ensuing cultural change in much of the Americas during the 1500s and 1600s as the Mississippian and other cultures largely collapsed following the spread of European disease, but that doesn’t mean the people there after were not descended from those who lived there in pre-Columbian times. There were obviously many wars, migrations, and some incidents of displacement over the centuries, but I fail to see how exactly that is relevant. Ethnic cleansing is no big deal as long as its victims (or their ancestors) at some point engaged in warfare? I guess Germany’s invasions and actions during WW2 were no big deal then. And if China had the power to invade the US and did so, killing or deporting its residents along the way, that’s not worth making a fuss over.

              3. I fail to see why this logic would have any sort of appeal to a libertarian. Governments have always taxed, exploited, killed, etc. and yet I don’t see that stopping people here (for good reason) from complaining every day about things that in the grand scheme of things are far more benign than the policies of the vast majority of governments to ever exist. One doesn’t have to worship Indians to think that what happened was terrible and worth putting in a list of major abuses and incidents of oppression in US history. Out of everything in that list, which included the Alien and Sedition Acts and the American Systems, which while bad were far less bad, that was what stuck out to you as not belonging?

                1. In relation to the ostensible ideals, i.e., “America is the single greatest thing to ever happen to the world” and “the constitution is the greatest document in world history” and “no place has been freer in the history of the world”, the actual record falls far shorter than most other societies.

                  Thus, if you want to measure the performance against the promise, it does not look so good for America.

                  Czarist Russia, and its apologists, for example, did not tout the Romanov dynasty as the greatest boon to liberty.

                  The Comanche did not talk of themselves as the greatest boon to liberty.

                  Has there ever been any society that was so self-congratulatory the way America is with its self-serving conception of itself as embodied by “American exceptionalism”?

                  There has never been a society that has engaged in mass murder against so many different peoples, including its own, as has America. Sure, there are technological reasons for that and given the option, other societies would have done the same.

                  Thus, yes, it is government, the nation state, in general that is the enemy of liberty. The US just happens to be one big bad ass enemy of liberty, but not the only one.

                  1. Statistmike: Please go masturbate in private.

                    1. Okay slaver.

                  2. “Has there ever been any society that was so self-congratulatory the way America is with its self-serving conception of itself as embodied by “American exceptionalism”?”

                    Cuba. Venezuela. North Korea. Iran. Iraq. Libya. The USSR. Romania. East Germany. Nazi Germany. Fascist Italy. China. Imperial Japan. Imperial Britain. Rome. Various times of England.

                    “There has never been a society that has engaged in mass murder against so many different peoples, including its own, as has America.”

                    The USSR, China, Nazi Germany. By several orders of magnitude.

                    Most of the indigenes of the Americas were wiped out long before there WAS a US.

                    Grow up, you retarded fapmouth.

                    1. Okay slaver.

                  3. the actual record falls far shorter than most other societies.

                    The only other societies that even come close to the US in attempting to institute justice and liberty are Europeans. And what’s their record? Much of Europe was enslaving and brutally oppressing native peoples around the world through colonialism well into the 20th century. Much of Europe eagerly assisted Germans in the genocide of millions of Jews. Much of Europe was governed by aristocracies, theocracies, fascist dictators, and socialist totalitarian states. Even today, Europe is largely in the hands of powerful elites. Europe’s economy is vastly inferior compared to that of the US, and its societies are racist and bigoted.

                    There has never been a society that has engaged in mass murder against so many different peoples, including its own, as has America.

                    European history is a history of mass murder, oppression, and genocide. Europeans are also responsible for the near extermination of American Indians and the institution of slavery in the Americas. The only reason Europeans aren’t currently murdering each other is because of the aftermath of WWII and because the US handles their defense. And I wouldn’t count on that to last: 70 years of peace is but a blink of an eye in European history.

                    For all its faults and historical mistakes, the US has been far superior to the Europeans in terms of liberty, justice, and peace.

                    1. Post 1775, it is the US, and the US alone, that must bear the responsibility for the mass murder, enslavement, caging, and warehousing of American Indians, not Europe. Ditto for the wholesale theft of land. Right of conquest is just gibberish spouted by totalitarian apologists. It is not a proposition defended by advocates of liberty and free enterprise and peaceful and voluntary exchange.

                      Europe is not to blame for the enslavement of black folk in America, post 1775. Was France forcing Virginia to maintain slavery? Was Spain forcing South Carolina to maintain slavery? In fact, the slave trade picked up after the war and slavery, for a while, became more important to, and a pivotal part of, many of the economies of the slave states.

                      Was Europe responsible for the mass murder of the Philipinos? Did Czar Nicky II force America to invade and ravage the Phillipines? Did Portugal force us to commit horrific war crimes against the Philippino people?

                      How about the firebombing during WWII? Hundreds of thousands of civilians, including old women, little boys and girls were burned by that great beacon of liberty and justice.

                      How about the use of atomic weapons? There has been only one nation state to do that.

                      How about the million or so German POWs that were either starved or allowed to freeze to death?

                      Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

            7. Only assholes use “we” when referring to themselves. Pretty sure that’s in the Federalist Papers but I could be wrong.

              Also, your cherry picking the Filipino thing. Our actions to stop an insurrection there were relatively gentlemanly for the time.

            8. The inane drivel is the proposition that the constitution is some kind of magic liberty dust.

              Well, that may be your proposition, it’s not anybody else’s. What the Constitution is, and always has been, is a political compromise and agreement on how Americans live together.

              Thus, your assertion that the constitution produced something better than any other society is contradictory.

              There is nothing “contradictory” about it. Saying that the US Constitution has been a better basis for government than any other set of basic laws people have been able to come up with is not the same as saying that it perfect.

              Furthermore, you criticizing it for failing to accomplish things it wasn’t even intended to do. The US Constitution was supposed to set the rules by which largely autonomous states integrate into a political union. It wasn’t intended to eradicate all injustice in the US.

        2. Have you ever read Spooner’s A Constitution of No Authority?

          Of course hasn’t read it. He hasn’t read any anarchist literature that he claims to be so familiar with, as evidenced by his juvenile understanding of the concept. He’s unable to accurately describe any anarchist theory, no matter how many times you try to tell him.

          Strawmen are just too important for his argument to simply abandon them when presented with new information.

        3. You’re WELCOME to move to Cuba or N Korea where they have the GREATEST of Constitutions meeting your DREAMS!

          1. Okay slaver.

    2. Its working for all of the yahoos here who do not think through all of the facts regarding government confiscation of property re state income taxes, city income taxes, state automobile excise taxes (not gas) state gas taxes, federal gas taxes, the gift & estate tax regime, mandatory automobile insurance, mandatory health insurance, compliance & regulatory costs and on and on and on.

      Then, when you factor in the cost of the staggering debt of the US and its political subdivisions, including the hundreds of trillions of unfunded liabilities, you get a more complete picture of reality.

      1. Dude, just tax the rich a little more. That will pay for it. Right?

        1. Tax and tax and tax some more, until the rich are rich no more.

          1. Then we will know they have paid their fair share.

            1. For some, it will still not be enough.

              1. Reparations must be made, for past inequality. Equality now is not enough.

              2. There will always be more rich.

        2. Fun fact: the United States has the most progressive income tax of any developed country. That is, the the rich pay a bigger share of government revenue than in any other developed country, even adjusted for income inequality. Why? Because taxes on the middle class are, relatively, extremely low; you could say they “aren’t paying their fair share.”

          1. The dems knows this. But they also know they will not retake Congress and thus they can run on fantasy socialism.

            Then when they can’t implement it, they are still president or whatever.

      2. you get a more complete picture of reality

        Whatevs. I got checks left, a pen and a phone – so it’s all good.

        s/ Block Insane Yomamma

        /Mike

        1. Well, what you have, checks, pen, and phone is better than what a lot of peeps have.

      3. Tulpa?

    3. It’s been the very same economic principal since the beginning of time. The haves against the have-nots; the pendulum swinging back and forth. It’s going to be the socialists/communists side of the pendulum for the next 50 or so years.

      I’m just glad I peaked at the same time capitalism peaked. I had an unbelievable amount of fun and growth. So sorry for the next few generations coming along. My generation fucked it up for you big-time ! The good news is, most of you are too stupid to even care. So there’s that.

    4. It’s not going to get him the nom.

    5. They also only have 5.5 million people. Total. And a big chunk of those are in one city. It’s not too hard to have Universal Medical and free tuition when your whole country has fewer people than NYC. NYC tried free tuition though and they went bankrupt and had to walk it back.

  2. I would easily choose to live in Germany. I’ll take the social freedoms over economic freedom any day. Prostitutes, no speed limits on the autobahn, cheap hash at the Frankfurt bahnhof, Everything is closed on Sundays, trains. I’ll take shitty socialized health care over the no health care I have now, too. No you fucks, the emergency room isn’t health care. Too bad I am not a Muslim.

    1. Too bad I am not a Muslim

      That’s easily rectified; all it takes is one public recitation of the shahada. HTH.

      1. I thought that was a joke so I repeated it. Thanks, HM. Now what?

        1. No refunds given at the Allah store.

        2. You have to cut someone’s head off to prove you are worthy.

    2. Wait…you like things being closed on Sundays?

      1. Blue laws are the worst thing ever invented.

        1. I know!

          And if you live in a place where almost everything really is closed it’s like a whole day of the week just fucking disappears. You can’t do anything.

          1. Places to eat and drink are open. If you forgot your batteries for your vibrator, too bad. Think a head next time.

            1. Bitches want to shop, Troy.

            2. Was that supposed to be “think ahead”?
              Or not?
              I guess either works.

        2. #BlueLivesMatter

      2. Me. Only Churches.

        1. Churches? The Fried Chicken place?

          1. *narrows gaze, looks over at Popeye’s bucket and reassures it*

      3. Yeah. I like the peace and quiet on Sundays. Yeah I know, take my libertarian card away. But I loved living in Germany.

        1. I’m not surprised from a libertarian perspective, just in general. I could not stand this about living in Quebec and it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Germany probably is.

          1. I lived there 30 years ago when it really was quiet on Sundays – I was a teenager so it’s not like I was going to *do* anything anyway. I rather liked it. I believe these laws are much more relaxed now.

          2. Most places in QC are open on Sundays, but just until 5 pm. That does make it kinda hard when you sleep in late and can’t get yourself out the door until half past 3.

        2. I am pretty sure they still have flights to Krautland. Hop your ass on a plane. I won’t stop you.

          1. He’s unemployed for a reason.

        3. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? I am so fucking glad people like you are slowly dying off.

          There is nothing worse than shit being closed on Sunday. Sunday is not special to me. Sunday is, in fact, the best day to do errands and shit.

          Fuck you Troy, and fuck your shitty preferences.

        4. Maybe city life isn’t for you.

    3. “Too bad I am not a Muslim.”

      I hear Isis is recruiting.

      Disclaimer: I have no knowledge about Isis

        1. That was a really bad show, but goddamn, Joanna Cameron was HOT.

      1. I would make a shitty Muslim. I hate authority. I can’ grow a beard worth a shit. I love bacon.

        1. I’ve got the same three problems as you, plus the additional ones of not getting off on oppressing women, actually preferring to be with sexually liberated and experienced chicks, and being hopelessly confused and bewildered whenever someone interprets a religious text as literal, factually-accurate report. These six problem areas, plus the sad fact that I don’t look good in a long robe, pretty much eliminates the possibility for me.

    4. I could live in Germany Troy. And I agree with you about the social freedoms. Of course Germany has more social cohesion and a generally much less fucked up society than the US has. So those social freedoms work better there than they would work here.

      There is a veneer of civility in Germany that doesn’t exist in significant parts of America. You can go to a German beer garden and there can be dozens or even hundreds of people drinking huge amounts of beer and no one is loud or noxious, there are no fist fights, everything is chill and nice. Do that in America and people will be throwing up on each other, cursing, getting into fights and the place will quickly turn into a fucking zoo.

      It isn’t just that you have more social freedoms in Germany. It is that you can enjoy those freedoms without a bunch of retards showing up and ruining everything.

      1. John: People been wondering whether the more obstreperous H’n’R commenters had pissed you off.

        1. Obstreperous. What a great word. No. I am one of those. I am the classic violent noxious American.

          What happened was I read Cytoxic telling everyone how the Muslims invading Europe was going to make Germany more free and something just snapped. What do you say to something like that?

          1. Don’t let Cytotoxic’s immigration psychosis drive you away, John. I try to reason with him, but to little effect. A few days ago he was claiming that Sweden’s rape epidemic is caused only by Sweden’s definition of rape. So I posted a graph showing the steep climb in Swedish rapes since they decided to become multicultural in 1975, and asked if Sweden had somehow slowly and incrementally redefined rape over the course of decades. Of course he had no convincing response.

            To get back on topic, Denmark also has a Muslim immigrant rape problem.

            1. ” So I posted a graph showing the steep climb in Swedish rapes since they decided to become multicultural in 1975″

              Never saw that graph, only the one that shows an ‘increase’ in the aughts that is explained by a change in definition. Second, correlation =/= causation.

              You’ve never once reasoned with me or anyone else because you don’t know what that means. You are too stupid to think.

          2. “You are completely right”

            How flattering to hear that I was the one that got you to fuck off and shut up for such an extended period of time. You should do an encore.

          3. “Invading”. That’s so adorably and typically stupid.

            1. Manners, Cytotoxic. It’s a thing, and it even applies online.

          4. was I read Cytoxic telling everyone how the Muslims invading Europe was going to make Germany more free

            And it took all of a week for Germany to change its mind. Even Merkel’s own party wants to put up a fence.

      2. Welcome back, John!

      3. Maybe you need to go to nicer locations in the US.

        Oh that’s right, in the USA poor people can afford to go out.

        In Germany the guys who fight and yell drink beer in front of the train station or other poor areas.

    5. Germany does seem to balance government intrusion and personal freedom a little better than other countries /cultures. However, hardcore statism is pretty deeply rooted there as well. It’s not as free as it feels. Although you are allowed to drive as fast as you want, pop open a beer, and wander around in public looking for hooker.

    6. ” the emergency room isn’t health care”

      So explain the spike in ER usage as a direct result of ACA implementation.

    7. Germany is awesome. The only fat people I saw in the entire country were in the McDonald’s.

      1. What? I saw quite a few fat fucks. I was in the Black Forest Region.

    8. Germany isn’t going to be able to withstand the onslaught of migrants they’re receiving right now. It could well collapse their economy and will at the very least crank up taxes and collapse a few social services.

      And the social freedoms may not last long either, with sharia enforcers assaulting non-Muslims to shove their religious fundamentalism down others’ throats.

      I am telling my world traveler friends to visit Europe now, while the economic effects of the migrant invasion haven’t yet hit.

    9. I’ll take shitty socialized health care over the no health care I have now

      Germany doesn’t have “socialized health care”, it has mandatory health insurance. If you don’t pay for your health care, you don’t get health care and you are breaking the law.

      I would easily choose to live in Germany. […] I’ll take the social freedoms over economic freedom any day.

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Germany is so desperate for immigrants that they’ll likely take you. You can start by learning German and train yourself to conform to German social and cultural norms, because both are requirements for German immigration. And if you want to get anywhere, you better become quite attuned to German social status and how you deal with that in day-to-day life, because if you screw up, people won’t give you the time of day. Enjoy your new-found “social freedoms”.

  3. Had a friend who ran a small company. Did very well. Started a company that went public-became a large company. He went to jail. Why? Not a crook, just didn’t know the rules. Simply-you run a small organization differently than a ver large one. Denmark to the USA is Mom & Pop store to GM. Dems do not understand this-and never will- because most have never run either, but especially the Mom & Pop.

    1. They also lie, continuously, about what actually goes on in Denmark.

      I was born there, grew up there, went to school there, and spent the first 15 years of my career there. Denmark is pretty shitty when it comes to any kind of liberty, but apparently the likes of Sanders and Krugman wants to turn it into an even shittier version of that:

      The real truth about Denmark.

      1. Real capital, as opposed to the paper kind, is accumulated gradually over generations.

        In most of 20th Century’s experiments in socialism, that accumulation of capital was squandered in one generation or less.

        The Protestant work ethic of the Scandinavians, however, was so thoroughly ingrained that their capital accumulation was sufficiently large to withstand two generations of socialism.

        If the Scandi model is so wonderful, why doesn’t the Scandi diaspora return to the home country? Why is the incidence of rape so high?

        1. We don’t return because we realize that you can actually keep what you earn in most other places.

          As for the rape rate, that’s a recent and somewhat different problem, resulting from Scandinavia being inept at “multiculturalism”.

      2. Comparing the USA to countries that have nationalized oil profits and no need for a standing army to guard their orders or a navy to keep their trade lanes pirate free around the world is hard to do in an honest and non biased manner.

        If the US Navy sent a bill to all the free riders who enjoy its product ( free shipping lanes) the Navy might be self supporting.

        1. “If the US Navy sent a bill to all the free riders who enjoy its product ( free shipping lanes) the Navy might be self supporting.”

          Does Donald Trump know about this?

      3. Good comments. I missed them at the time, and did not know about the eugenics program. Ironically, Denmark now has a bit of a disgenics program, importing Muslims who are often inbred due to cousin marriage.

        1. The cure to inbreeding is outbreeding.

          1. Do you think immigrating to other countries automatically causes cultures to end long-established practices like cousin marriage? It still happens among Muslim immigrants in Europe. Look up the percentage of birth defects among Pakistanis in the UK.

            One of your blind spots is that you somehow don’t grasp that humans are not simply bundles of rights and interchangeable economic units. They have culture and language and religion. Moving people, especially large numbers of them, into different cultures does not quickly or automatically change them. And if they have a religion that tells them not to change, it make change much, much harder.

            1. And especially so when those large numbers of people left most all of their women and children behind. It might be hard for them to find women in their new countries who are willing to abide by the yoke Islam puts on women.

      4. If you are basically opposed to liberty, or you have a distorted definition of what it is more likely, this would not be an issue.

    2. My take on the US versus Europe.

      Europeans wanted harmony, so they drove anyone who disagreed out, many of whom came to the USA. So that got their homogeneity they wanted and so now can implement confiscation because most will agree and like where it goes. Everyone else who disagreed came here to the US and so we are the amalgamation of everyone who couldn’t get along. There is no homogeneity and trying to apply modern European sensibilities won’t work despite how hard they try. So they just resort to smoke and mirrors and fool the dullards that there’s two pies instead of just one. It is now coming well into focus, as the smoke clears, that there is only one pie and the other was simply a reflection in the mirror. The question is will hardliners, of the left or right, get control or will we shift away toward individualism and freedom. I won’t hold my breath for the latter.

      1. You are right. Think about this for a moment. The very same people who as you correctly put it are “trying to apply modern European sensibilities” to America are also totally committed to multiculturalism who have spent the last 60 years doing everything they can to tear down all vestiges of traditional American and European culture in this country.

        There is no explaining these people.

        1. There is no explaining these people.

          Insanity is an explanation. MacKay wrote about it in “Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” in 1841.

        2. Actually the explenation is quite simple, but nobody wants to say that because pointing out the agenda is actually to tear it all down, isn’t very palatable.

  4. “In other words, a solidly middle class American income is comparable to an income that would put a Danish household in its country’s top five percent”

    Destruction of the middle class is always the goal of the socialist.

    1. You have the freedom to do what we tell you.

    2. “Destruction of the middle class is always the goal of the socialist.”

      Add to that the destruction of the basic family unit is also a goal of the purest of socialists.

  5. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.

    1. I have grown to love my chains!

  6. a vehicle registration tax of 180 percent of the value of their automobile.

    Wait, as in “a Toyota Camry costs as much in Denmark as a Mercedes S550 costs in the US”?

    1. yep.

      but it’s environmental justice.

      1. Nope, this was put in place way before “environmental justice” became a thing. It was originally a “luxury tax”, because a car is a luxury item. You don’t need one, you can take a bus or a train.

        Similar taxes plague other “luxury” items in Denmark as well.

        1. To be clear, most Danes can’t take a bus or a train, but all policy is created by people who only consider the two largest cities in the country.

    2. *pats $1000 Jeep Cherokee on the hood*

    3. How the fuck does anyone ever buy a car there at all? Do they finance the taxes, too? Or it it just straight up “Save up $25k for the taxes (in a country where you get taxed 60% after $55k) and pay ’em lump sum if you need a car.”?

      1. They buy smaller cars and yes, per KPMG, the tax is paid out over time along with a fixed interest fee.

      2. Lots of Danes drive very old cars with a lot of miles on them.

        Of course you still have to keep paying your registration fees to keep your license plates. But if your car is old enough, these fees are lower.

    4. a vehicle registration tax of 180 percent of the value of their automobile.

      Wait, as in “a Toyota Camry costs as much in Denmark as a Mercedes S550 costs in the US”?

      Yes, it does. Buying a new car is like taking out half a mortgage. And you also have to add 25% sales tax on it after those 180%. And then of course there is the fact that gas costs up to 4x what it does here in the US.

  7. This is all moot anyhow as Denmark’s system would not be scalable. But don’t let that reality get in the way of “good intentions” and “fairness”.

    1. Actually, Denmark would be a good argument for Federalism, but I don’t see Washington politicians, especially Democrats, willing to give up that much power.

  8. Denmark, unlike Sanders and the rest of the Democrats, is honest about their thievery. If you want a whole bunch of free shit, it’s going to require massive confiscation of wealth. None of “fair share” the bullshit we hear in the U.S. about taxing the wealthy. The money is in the middle class.

    1. If you want a whole bunch of free shit, it’s going to require massive confiscation of wealth.

      IOW they don’t subscribe to the free lunch illusion.

    2. Denmark is also a homogeneous society for the most part that has bought into this mode of living. A huge part of the problem in Greece is telling people that generational habits have to change. Bernie wants to change those habits in the opposite direction. Either way, change tends to encounter resistance.

  9. Danes produce the cheap insulin that keeps me alive. Which is a mark against them, I guess, depending on your PFW position.

  10. Wasn’t Sweden the old poster-child for successful socialism? Before they let in too many Muslims, became the rape capital of Europe, and started sinking under the cost of so many free-riders.

    1. Is that what happened.

      1. Something happened – they stopped talking about how great it is in Sweden.

        1. School choice and some other reforms.

          But you’re right it was Sweden for decades and now its Denmark.

      2. Are you trying to tell us that you take regular trips to Sweden?

        But you couldn’t possibly account for that entire statistic by yourself.. could you..?

        1. Yes. Yes he could.

          *shudders*

  11. It’s not “redistribution” when you take shit from someone. Nothing was “distributed” in the first place.

    1. Enh. “Distribution” has multiple meanings. Negating one of those makes sense in this context.

  12. No discussion of Bernie is complete without linking to DU

    I’ve always been a self thinker.

    That’s what rules my life. Science, critical thinking, triangulating information, re-evaluating and adjusting like a scientist. There’s no other choice for me. While I will still vote for Dem over a Republiscam any day. I WANT BERNIE!

    1. the self-thinker is self-deluded.

      1. Science rules his life! How can you deny his superior thought processes?

        1. clearly, I am a denier.

        2. He triangulates information! He’s a self-starter and expert on synergizing new paradigms.

      2. Lee G’s post was a cut and paste from a post at the link he added.

        Not sure if Lee is the original poster there who was named Phlem.

    2. “While …”?

      lrn2english.

    3. For goodness sake, you have to warn a MFers when there is going to be a big pictures of a witch on the page.

  13. Don’t forget high rates for VAT, higher cost of living, lower standard of living, and very high levels of personal debt that will never be paid off. Their debt to disposable income ration is the highest in the world. Maybe because they are taxed too high and everything is too expensive to just get by.

    Fuck Denmark’s system and any like them, and fuck Democrats who try to push that shit on us. They should fucking move to Europe if they love it so much.

    1. There were also studies that Danish society is really cloistered and that “happiness” there depends on squishing others who are too loud, too showy, have success, stuff like that. Fake nice, if you will. Abject social conformity!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Jante

      1. There were also studies that Danish society is really cloistered and that “happiness” there depends on squishing others who are too loud, too showy, have success, stuff like that. Fake nice, if you will. Abject social conformity!

        Absolutely, and by those standards, Americans come in right at the bottom.

        Even Bernie would be loathed by most Danes, simply because he’s American.

        A former friend of mine, upon meeting my wife for the first (and only) time, asked me why I’d want American babies.

        1. asked me why I’d want American babies.

          “They taste better.”

        2. Ha…former friend

      2. I wonder how all those leftist/progressive Hollywood elites would feel about being forced to give up their loud, showy, successful lifestyles to be more like the little people? Like Leonardo DiCaprio not being allowed to fly a private jet ever–much less to environmental summits.

        Given how many of them have completely ignored the water rationing due to the Calif. drought, probably not well at all…

        1. This is a great idea, actually.

          Virally, it should be possible to get a campaign going for this stuff.

    2. I would if I could. The idea that you are free in the US is a fucking joke. Free to obey. Free to comply. Want to open a business? Got your business license? You an attorney? Did you get your permission slip from the State bar for the privilege of trying to earn a living? Get your IOLTA account in order? Get your E-verify on your employees? Did you pay your state income taxes, city income taxes, state automobile excise taxes, state gas taxes, personal property taxes, federal gas taxes, mandatory automobile insurance, mandatory health insurance? Did you pay the medicare, SSI, and witholding taxes on your employees?
      Oh, when the pigs pull you over for no reason but for a fishing expedition because you are driving a nice car on I-10, did you assert your right to be free from being molested without at an reasonable and articulable suspicion that a crime has or is occuring? When the pig says, “papers please,” do you hand them over?
      The only saving grace of this country is the West. Where there are wilderness areas without cameras, without roads to drive to wal-mart to by shitty fucking chinese made shit. defacto no rules, an no government loving sycophants. That and freedom of speech. So you can at least complain about living in an open-air prison.

      1. America is the worst country. Except for all the others.

      2. for the life of me, I cannot grasp the point of this vein of argument – how horrible the US lives yet I can’t go live elsewhere.

        A lot of the things you cite re: the ease of getting business licenses and such can be found in many Asian countries, as you no doubt know. What’s missing is political freedom. Just ask those in Hong Kong or Singapore. Maybe that’s okay by you, maybe not. But it’s not like those countries, not to mention the ones in Europe, are not getting their cut of your income. Many may not nickel and dime it with all the different taxes and fees cited, but taking a huge lump sum is not mathematical benefit.

        The problems that exist here are changeable and we have the framework for doing so. The will to do that is another matter.

        1. Wareagle,

          No one is a bigger lover of this country than I am. But, I think Troy sadly has a point. He is exaggerating but not by as much as you think. We are not nearly as free or just as we should be or once were or certainly think we are.

          Our prison and justice system is completely evil. We are getting to the point that we don’t have that much on places like China. We throw hundreds of thousands of people in prison for decades for crimes that would barely get them prison time in other countries. And I am not just talking about the drug war, though that is the worst of it. We send people to prison for years for the crime of downloading child porn off the internet. I have a friend whose cousin went to federal prison for a year because she when she was working as a secretary at a brokerage firm she made a few thousand dollars trading on “insider information” her boss gave her thinking he was doing her a favor. A fucking year for buying stocks.

          Our system is evil. No one caught up in it ever gets a second chance. We just suck them up and flush them down the sewers of the BOP and call it a day. I love this country but there are things about it that are pretty fucking intolerable.

          1. I’ll reiterate my last point – things can be changed. We have a long history of that, often in changing things for the better. It may well be that the system is too far gone for that and it just needs to crash, but I don’t have enough of a shelf live to wait for that.

            All of the laws you cite were not created in a vacuum, they did not create themselves. They reflect, to various degrees, public will motivated by the worst of things, the need to “do something.” We often view govt as some vague entity. It’s not; it is people, just like the organization where you work or the neighborhood where you live.

            I’m not trying to be pollyana-ish, but our system allows for change, often from the grass roots level bubbling upward. It’s how things like two states legalizing weed or the SSM movement gain traction. What gets tiresome here is the incessant complaining about horrible America is with the insistence that things become 100% libertarian overnight. That’s not going to happen. At some point, you work with someone who can advance things in your direction, even it is incremental advancement. Yes, it steals a page from the leftist book but those folks this much – they do not lose sight of the end game.

            1. You are right. Our system does allow for change. And the evils of our government are nothing but a reflection of the evils of our society.

              That being said, this country and our society is not as free as it thinks it is or it should be. Troy is absolutely right about that.

          2. I love the idea of America, but pretty much detest the wars, expropriations, domestic brutality, regulatory arrogance, and malpractice of justice by the United States.

        2. What’s missing is political freedom.

          Hell, not like I’ve ever voted for anyone who won an election

          1. but those people were there for you to support.

        3. but taking a huge lump sum is not mathematical benefit.

          I dunno, there might be a reduction in overhead, time saved filling out forms, etc

        4. A case in point of someone who still holds onto their illusions. This country is plodding along enjoying the fact that the world currency is still the dollar. Any attempts to mark against anything has had a habit of having bombs and missiles follow shortly after the attempt.

          This country is drowning in debt, and the levers of debasement and interest manipulation are about used up. There are no more “credit cards” coming in the mail.

          If people understood just how close this country came to a collapse in 2008 they’d be shitting bricks, but they swallow the kool-aid, even many here at Reason. They may be mildly rehabilitating Republicans, but they still believe a vast majority of what they’ve been taught. They simply can’t get their minds around what is really going on around them, especially if is smells a little “leftward”.

          Libertarianism isn’t about left or right, it’s about the brute use of Force against peaceful and productive people. And this country has and is unleashing massive amounts of Force internally and externally. The less it exerts externally, the more it must exert internally, and vice versa. The only thing the left and right are clearing houses for is how much will be exerted where.

          And once the dollar is no longer the world currency, and other countries are no longer largely invested in it, the toleration for external Force will disappear in a flash. Where to you think all the Force will put then?

          1. Lots of countries have had huge debts and many of them have gone broke and defaulted. Those countries still exist today. I don’t buy the idea that our entire civilization and economy is dependent on the government paying its bills. In fact, I find it more than a bit ironic that the very same people who rightly understand that government is not the end all be all of life and society then turn around and think the government failing or going broke is the end of civilization. Hardly.

            The problems facing the US are not going to be bad for the US. The US will as it has always done and as other countries have done, figure out that it can’t spend forever and eventually blunder forward into a more stable future. The problem is that as the US does that and even after it does it, the US is unlikely to have much of an apatite to be a Super Power any longer. It will return to being just a great power. The last sixty years of the US being a super power has created an enormous amount of stability and growth for the world. As you are seeing now in the Middle East, when the US goes home and leaves the rest of the world to its own devices, the results are not good.

            The US will come through all of this just fine. The rest of the world, however, is going to have a very hard time without the US enforcing its hedgonomy. It is a big nasty world out there.

            1. Lots of countries have had huge debts and many of them have gone broke and defaulted

              The US won’t even default. Our international debt is largely notated in dollars; we can take care of it by printing more dollars. The only consequence would be that people won’t lend us money in the future as readily, but that’s not a bad thing.

              The US will come through all of this just fine. The rest of the world, however, is going to have a very hard time without the US enforcing its hedgonomy.

              We’re not enforcing our hegemony for simple utilitarian purposes: conflict elsewhere is bad for our economy and well being. I think that’s why we are going to continue to do it. The fact that it brings peace and prosperity to Europe and other places is a nice side effect. Unfortunately, a degree of corruption of the US political process is a not-so-nice side effect.

        5. What’s missing is political freedom.

          Yeah, in America we’re free to choose from two political parties!

          1. Our representatives may be nominally part of the same parties, but they individually represent a wide range of political views and ideas.

            In Europe, you may get a few more parties, but their party leaders run the show: they select the candidates, impose party discipline and conformance, and select representatives without any voter input.

        6. Taiwan is pretty free.

          Still need a business license, though.

      3. Everything is relative. The US easily beat out Denmark when it comes to freedom.

        At least here you can still speak your mind about most things without risking jail time. Denmark have laws against saying certain “bad things” and offending (some) religions.

      4. “The idea that you are free in the US is a fucking joke.”

        This place is freakishly free in comparison to most countries elsewhere.

        Lots of countries that Americans typically think of “democracies” are borderline banana republics. Japan comes to mind. Military service is mandatory for all men in Korea. South Korea.

        People basically come to America to BREATHE. The lower middle class live in cramped little apartments and have to deal with all sorts of social hierarchy. Near universal car ownership is but a pipe dream in most places.

        Obama speaks lovingly about fast internet speed and fine infrastructure in Asia. But those places are crawling with able bodied men wishing on a star that some company will hire them. Lots of Asians quietly DETEST their motherland.

        The irony is that American leftists want to emulate foreign models, even though their nation has more immigrants than just about anywhere. Why have they left their free healthcare and wonderful social safety nets to come here? They never ask that question.

        1. Yeah, you will meet Chinese people or even Taiwanese who will never go home.

          With Chinese, its often political.

        2. I think Troy is just a misanthrope.

      5. I would highly encourage you to try living in another country. As much as the US fucking sucks on liberty, comparatively it ain’t that bad. Three years in Brasil and three in the NL have cured me of the notion that better freedom is obtained elsewhere. I say this as someone who loves both of those places.

    3. A lot of this is that Denmark simply doesn’t have the space to house people the way Americans think the wealthy should live (huge house, huge yard, three-car garage etc.)

      When I lived in Germany the middle-class appeared to me to be just as well off as in America – except for the housing. This stuff about “low quality of life” really boils down to smaller houses and yards.

      1. or the fact that everything else is so damned expensive, you can’t get much but the basics.

      2. Housing is a big deal and stuff in general. The problem is that it is so hard to get into the middle class in Germany. If you can snag a job working for one of the big companies over there, you can live pretty well, housing costs aside. But getting one of those jobs and getting access to that lifestyle is much harder than it is in the US.

      3. This stuff about “low quality of life” really boils down to smaller houses and yards.

        Maybe in Germany, but in Denmark you have to think twice about what you put in your grocery basket.

        In fact, Danes who live within an hours drive of the German border drives down there to do bulk shopping.

      4. When I lived in Germany the middle-class appeared to me to be just as well off as in America

        Appearances can be deceiving. It may look like the German middle class just has slightly smaller homes, but otherwise lives as well as the American middle class, that’s not true. The German middle class is necessarily much more frugal than the US middle class. It is also constrained in other ways; for example, while Americans finance retirement with savings, giving us a lot of freedom and control, Germans tend to be locked into pension plans.

        There are lots of statistics you can look at, but expenditures are a good way of getting some idea: http://tinyurl.com/ndu9kjn

        Another way of looking at wealth is to look at percentage of income spent on food:
        http://tinyurl.com/nu8sjuv

        The last is actually a pretty good indicator of actual wealth of a population.

  14. Another thing that doesn’t get brought up is how Denmark is dependent on other countries, particularly the US, for its military budget. Sweden and Norway also help protect Denmark as well. So yeah, the “free” stuff is really paid for by American, Swedish, German, Norwegian taxpayers, especially Americans.

    In fact, this is true for all the European countries who are “socialist” wonderlands with “free college and healthcare” – American citizens pay for it by subsidizing their militaries.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_Defence

    http://www.cato.org/blog/us-ta…..s-continue

    http://www.eucom.mil/mission/the-region/denmark

    1. How much of our military shit is dependent on rare earth elements from china? Just asking.

    2. So if we didn’t subsidize their defense, ze Germans would invade?

      1. Part of the treaties at the end of WW2 was intended to limit the German military…subsidies and limits on the German military were to prevent Germany from being a power like they were before, so…kinda.

  15. John Oliver isn’t a big fan of Denmark.

    1. Wow. That guy is painfully unfunny.

  16. HAHAHAHAHA

    Tesla’s tax break phased out in Denmark because the socialists want their kroners.

    As a result, the costs of some popular electric models will skyrocket. The hardest hit will be the luxury model Tesla S P85D, which will more than double in price from 875,000 kroner today to 1,807,100 kroner in 2020.

    The Venstre government defended the move by saying that the Tax Ministry misses out on 650 million kroner per year by not applying Denmark’s 180 percent car registration tax to environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. The Social Democrats, Danish People’s Party and Social Liberals (Radikale) supported the phase-in of the tax on electric vehicles.

    1. $275,000. Jebus

    2. And “Venstre” are the classical liberals, generally viewed to be pretty far right, believe it or not.

      Every single party in Denmark are socialists. Even the recently formed “Liberal Alliance” who are (comparatively) somewhat real classical liberals, are OK with income tax capped at a mere 40%.

      1. What ever happened to the Retsforbund(Justice Party)? Didn’t it just want a property tax but no income or sales tax?

        1. They are so small and inconsequential in Danish politics, that no-one knows who they are. Denmark has a slew of other small, weird parties. Like a Georgist party. There is even a “sunshine” party.

          Anyone can start a party, but ultimately no party will get into parliament, unless they are firmly for the continued existence of the expansive Danish welfare state.

    3. Kroner capitalism?

  17. Also worth noting is the difference in the useful residential floor area enjoyed by the average Dane and the average American.

    In Denmark, the average is 51 square meters, 550 square feet, per person. The Danes enjoy the largest residential floor areas in Europe, excluding Luxembourg. The EU average is closer to 40 square meters, 430 square feet, per person. Link

    In the US, the average is 77 square meters, about 830 square feet. For poor Americans only, the average is about 440 square feet per person. Link

    1. As PJ O’Rourke put it: “You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them all together and it wouldn’t give us room to park our cars. We’re the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d’Antibes. And we’ve got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go. You say our country’s never been invaded? You’re right, little buddy. Because I’d like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who’d have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying ‘Cheerio.’ Hell can’t hold our sock-hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, fuck longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I’d rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen, and jack of all Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch.”

    2. that is the sort of thing that should be cited at the statists at every turn. By almost any measurable standard, even the poor in America live better than the middle-class in many other countries. In terms of square footage, in terms of standard of living, in terms of material wealth.

      1. the poor in America live better than the middle-class in many other countries

        This is not strictly true.

        I can assure you from personal experience that the poor in America most definitely do NOT live better than the middle-class in Germany, unless the only measure you go by is “square footage”.

        1. Nobody said that it is strictly true. The comparisons are always made in terms of the average, and on average, I would rather be poor in the US than a “middle-class” person in, say, France.

          1. To each his own I guess. There are a lot of things I value more than square footage.

        2. there are measures beyond square footage: household appliances, cost and availability of utilities, presence of things like flat screens and cell phones, vehicle ownership, and so forth.

          In many European countries, the clothes dryer is relatively new. Same with the dishwasher. Plenty of hotels tie a room’s air conditioner to the key card used at the door, meaning AC does not work when you’re out, a lovely experience in the summertime. The US has bastardized the meaning of poverty in many respects. Finding genuine squalor requires a bit of work.

        3. I can assure you from personal experience that the poor in America most definitely do NOT live better than the middle-class in Germany, unless the only measure you go by is “square footage”.

          Plenty of low wage American families have more disposable income than (lower) middle class families in large parts of Europe, and Scandinavia in particular.

          1. My experience is limited to mid-80s Germany, FWIW. It also probably didn’t hurt that the dad in the family I lived with was a high-school teacher.

            1. Just saying “disposable income” may have been a little simplistic on my part as well. It’s really a combination of disposable income and purchasing power.

              1. I honestly have no idea how my German host family did it. They had a nice house (a rowhouse with a small back year), nice car, a condo in Spain, nice things, two kids, and a Hausfrau – on a teacher salary. I don’t think even today’s overpaid American teachers live so well – oh, they might have more space and shinier toys but both parents work and more hours too.

                I am well aware of the effect of American military expenditures in Europe but surely that’s not the whole story.

                1. They may have had old money.

                  You see this sometimes…someone who lives way above their income.

                  Probably great grandaddy was a millionaire and they have land, houses, a trust, whatever.

                2. The way they did it is the way a lot of Germans do these things: they focus on the essentials, house, transportation, vacation, cut out non-essentials, and budget carefully. They also pay a great deal in freedom: that teacher effectively was stuck in that job for life, with no realistic option to start another career, no control over his retirement, and limited choices on health care.

        4. I can assure you from personal experience that the poor in America most definitely do NOT live better than the middle-class in Germany

          It’s a simple economic fact that by income, a significant chunk of the German middle class would be considered poor in the US.

          Who “lives better” depends on your definition of “better” and how people spend their money. The lower middle class in Germany aspires to conformity and moving up into the upper middle class, so they spend their money accordingly. The poor in the US (just like the poor in Germany) often make very different choices, choices that you may not like. But that’s not an economic issue.

  18. Back in 2009, another Times columnist admirer of Denmark, Tom [“The Village Idiot”] Friedman, couldn’t say enough about how wonderful he thought the Danish energy frugality was. What he didn’t tell Times readers is that Danes are “encouraged” to conserve energy by paying nearly the world’s highest rate for electricity: 41 cents per kilowatt-hour compared to 12 cents in the U.S.

    You can always tout being able to achieve the lowest rate of hunger in your own country after you “encourage” people not to eat.

    Basically, American liberals love Denmark because its government confiscates half of its citizens money and makes them pay high prices for energy.

    Well… yeah. I mean, why is that a huge surprise? American Marxians want to take your money and pay through the nose for everything, all in the name of equality. You have to wonder no more about what they mean by that.

    1. You can always tout being able to achieve the lowest rate of hunger in your own country after you “encourage” people not to eat.

      … Why would that make people less hungry?

      1. Re: Careless,

        Why would that make people less hungry?

        Why would paying more for electricity make you better off?

        Get the point now?

    2. Dude, once and for all, “Marxian” is an adjective.

        1. Do you know what an adjective is?

      1. Actually, you’re completely wrong: “Marxian” can be used as a noun or an adjective:

        A. adjective: Of or belonging to the political and economic theories of Karl Marx; influenced by Marx’s theories and methods.
        B. noun: Marxist

        Maybe you should read more, Tony.

  19. All I want to know is: Why is this woman laughing? I keep seeing these pictures of Bernie and Hillary together and she’s always laughing, like the only time she’s happy is when she’s listening to Bernie. It doesn’t seem to be her usual “laugh-response-initiated as if I’m a normal Earth-type human creature” either, or a “laughing at Bernie because he’s such a putz” laugh, it seems like she really enjoys being around Bernie.

    1. She has been informed by her handlers that humans are often seen laughing.

    2. You should have seen them at the debate – they probably got a room right after.

      1. I was under the impression that she wasn’t the one in that relationship who cheats.

    3. I think this SNL video explains it: http://tinyurl.com/nkhgc7f

  20. the 60 percent rate kicks in when Danish incomes reach just $55,000 per year.

    Fuck. No.

    I don’t think any president that pushes that rate would be long for this world.

    1. Sanders is pushing for a 90% TAX RATE!

  21. I thoroughly enjoyed Borgen.

  22. Here is the really depressing thing about all of this. Cato did a study a while back that concluded that the regulatory state costs the economy something like a trillion dollars a year and has been doing so for decades. As higher as the standard of living in the US is compared to places like Denmark and Sweden is now, imagine what it would be if the Progs had not tied the regulatory state around the economy’s throat. It is just depressing to think how wealthy we could be if not for this madness.

    1. Cato has an ideological mission. The gaping hole in such a study is the cost to society of not having those regulations in place.

      1. What cost to society might those be?

        1. Who can say?

          1. What is the cost?

      2. Re: Tony,

        The gaping hole in such a study is the cost to society of not having those regulations in place.

        Society faces opportunity costs?

        Idiot.

      3. OK. Let’s do an honest cost/benefit analysis.

        Working for a publicly traded company has shown me a lot. An incredible amount of time and effort are consumed simply by complying with all the regulations and disclosures that add no value whatsoever.

        1. Re: Zeb,

          No, no, no! You don’t understand! The Marxian does not mean the costs to a business or a regular person! Come on! Those are insignificant!

          No, he means the cost to society: that squishy, pliable, non-focused, subjective concept meant to justify all sorts of immoral acts by the state. Not unlike using “Good Manners” as justification for hitting the back of your hands with a ruler.

          1. By society I mean individuals in a society, as you well know. The cost of not regulating mercury in food is more people dead than would be otherwise. I’m not saying anything that isn’t obvious, even to CATO.

            1. Why would you buy and eat food with mercury in it? Do you need government to inform you to not do these things?

              1. What he’s saying is that unless the FDA inspects every morsel of food that goes out for sale, which they certainly do (right?), then people would sell you mercury-laden food all day. And then where would you be? Dead that’s where.

                1. GRAS foods aren’t inspected.

              2. Why would you buy and eat food with mercury in it?

                I don’t know why Tony would, but it is clear that he has been eating something with heavy metals in it that has been rotting his brains.

        2. ditto for police dept.s

      4. What “think tank” doesn’t have an “ideological mission”. What matters are the underlying presuppositions and methodology of the study.

        1. That’s why you should ignore them all and pay attention to real science.

          1. Lol

            And of course which science you consider ‘real’ is of course WHOLLY UNAFFECTED by political concerns I am certain

      5. People are cheap. It’s unfortunate but true. Every “developing” economy presently and in the past has just burned through people. The “society” survived because the replacement rate was much greater than the depletion rate. Fucking ain’t exactly a high-skill job.

        The “cost to society” of regulation is the elevation of simply being alive over living with a purpose. It’s a salve to moralistic woes paid on the backs of the people it claims to save. People used to worry about dying without ever having accomplished something; now people just worry about dying.

        Any such equilibrium is unstable. As long as enough people continue to live with a purpose, the rest can sustain themselves on the “largesse” (read: stolen wealth). But once the balance tips, the whole system will fall apart.

    2. Denmark also has less regulation than the US.

      The progs never want to copy that part.

  23. Competitive cyclist here.

    What Liberals never understand about euro countries, they are small. Denmark is the size of a postage stamp. Of course you can ride your bike to work and whatnot, it’s only a few kilometers away. I ride a ridiculous amount (according to my friends and family) and I’ve commuted to work on bike 1 time in my life and only because my car was in the shop.

    The other thing they don’t remember is the difference in weather. I grew up in Northern Minnesota. Good luck riding to work when it’s been -10 F for the past week. Or imagine riding to work in Southern Texas in July …most people would die before they got there.

    1. All of that and more. And don’t forget, the very same liberals who think everyone should ride their bike to work, also think the entire society should be redesigned to be “handicapped accessible”. I will just leave that thought there.

      1. I prefer trains.

        1. We don’t need to know about your sex life.

        2. The ones that pull boxcars, right?

    2. Yeah, even Germany is the size of, what, Colorado? With 80+ million people in it.

      1. Germany has 137,847 sq. miles, which places it between Colorado at 104,094 and Montana at 147,040. Germany’s population is estimated at 81,083,600.

        1. Which puts Germany right around 590 people per sq mile. Or near Maryland’s 610 people/sq. mile.

          I would’ve guessed Germany was more crowded than that, albeit there were a lot of forests and green space in Germany when I visited in the early 2000s.

    3. If you live in a city with few hills, good roads for it, nice weather and lived conveniently close to work, biking to work would be great. Otherwise it’s a lot of time and effort and you get to work all sweaty and/or dead.

  24. Look at Denmark on a map, and you can guess why Democrats obsess over it.

    1. Yeah it looks pretty gay from orbit.

  25. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.buzznews99.com

  26. I don’t know what the correct amount of government should be but could someone please pull their finger out of my butthole?

  27. What’s the Percentage of Danish NOT PAYING ANY INCOME TAX?

  28. I think you’d be amazed how winning it is. Bernie is telling people openly that his payroll taxes will hurt everyone and his cheering throngs are in love with that. The other point which MAY work against Bernienomics is that in Denmark taxes ALL income down to ZERO at at least 8%. Above USD$7600 all state local and national income taxes kick in. National property taxes are 1.5-3.5% but oddly, proceeds of property sales are not taxed IF there is equity. I don’t see Bernie advocating that. In fact Bernienomics is predicated on near criminal levels of taxation of property sales. But the Danish example may only mean that no one actually has any equity. It’s all debt and taxes.

    On the other hand liberals will love their extra tax on Church members up to 1.5% which is excluded from the top marginal tax limit of 59%.

    And then there’s a 25% VAT on everything. When you bottomline it all the government takes about 3/4ths of the total GDP and hands it out as it sees fit.

    1. The 8% is not exactly income tax, it’s technically a mandatory payment into the national pension system. But obviously the outcome is the same and the money ends up in the same budget, and has been spent way before it’s your time to reclaim it.

      The church tax you can at least get out of by terminating your (automatic) membership in the Church of Denmark.

  29. How about this fun little thing from Danish law: ? 121, which states that those who denigrate, curse at, or use other offensive speech against a government official who is “just doing their job” can be fined or jailed for up to 6 months.

    1. So much social liberty..

      1. France has a similar law. A famous Starlet was convicted for ‘insulting a ‘ police officer.

        Insert stock Reasonoid anti-cop Bigot reply: yea, in the U.S. the cops just beat you up for that. Derp

  30. Of course the Progressive utopia that is Denmark has immigration policies that should make Mark Krikorian, Micket Kaus, and Steve Saylor pant.

    This is a country that regularly denies spousal visas to long term partners of native born ethnic Danes if they are too swarthy.

  31. Well, you know, we could try to exploit this. Sit down, work out exactly what Danish policies we like, package them together in a single paper, and try to get people to endorse “The Danish Program”. Denmark’s low corporate income tax rate and its territorial nature, for example.

    1. The fact that Denmark doesn’t have a minimum wage?

      Danish labor laws are pretty sparse in general, almost everything is negotiated between (admittedly extremely politically powerful) unions and employers.

  32. Denmark had the best porn, back in the 70’s.

  33. Don’t forget one big difference between the US and Denmark? Denmark is full of Danes.

  34. I’m not sure it’s a Denmark fetish as much as a fetish to try some different proven policies that all industrialized nations have found successful and have utilized to have better results that the US. National health comes to mind since our insistence on using corporate middlemen to inflate our medical costs is giving us the 37th best health outcomes in the world. Don’t let your understandable pride in being American blind you to new, better ideas.

    1. What is a “health outcome”, and how is it measured?

      Americans live longer than Danes, and have better cancer survival rates. While single payer health-care certainly increases access for people on the margins, it’s also much more expensive per unit of treatment, and is perpetually behind when it comes to technological advances. It’s also really slow to treat patients, because it’s rationed.

      If your illness isn’t life threatening, you’re made to wait; sometimes until your illness is life threatening. Like my friend’s dad who almost died from a serious infection because he was made to wait, and because the Danish health-care system did not want to waste expensive tests on him to find out what was wrong.

      Since you’re forced to pay the cost through your taxes, you cannot just opt out and go to a private hospital if you want/need quick access to scientifically current medical treatment. And in a place like Denmark, where upward financial mobility is extremely difficult, you will basically never be in a situation where you can afford it.

      Take it from a Dane, Americans have technologically advanced, expedient health-care, at a fantastic price.

      New ideas aren’t always better, and I suspect it has nothing to do with pride, and everything to do with agency and control over your own life. If you want to be cared for and have no responsibility, there are ways you could get around that: Join a cult, go to jail, or move to Denmark.

    2. ACA is a copy of Switzerland. Let me know when we get Swiss costs.

    3. as much as a fetish to try some different proven policies that all industrialized nations have found successful and have utilized to have better results that the US

      Danish/European policies “successful”? Are you kidding? Europe is doing far worse than the US already, and it’s falling further and further behind. That’s not even counting all the social and demographic problems.

      Don’t let your understandable pride in being American blind you to new, better ideas.

      Those ideas aren’t “new”, they are old. And they don’t work well for the people. They do work well for a political and economic governing elite in Europe, of course.

  35. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Ease_of_doing_business_index#Ranking

    (take out the space)

    I notice that Denmark and Norway are actually ranked above the United States by this metric. I’m not sure how accurate that thing is, though.

    Is it possible that in spite of high taxes, it’s actually easier to start a business in Denmark? There’s a difference between the tax burden and the regulatory burden. It’s possible that if a country had a high tax burden, they could make up for it by having a low regulatory burden.

    Just a thought. Sorry I haven’t used the almighty Google, but I should go back to doing my schoolwork… I shouldn’t even be wasting time on this site right now.

    1. The regulatory burden on businesses is lighter in Denmark, it’s the result of a deal between the left and the right in the 1930’s. Basically the left had to give up control of businesses in return for a welfare state.

      Unfortunately it doesn’t mean that starting or running a business is easy. Labor costs are prohibitively high in Denmark, because workers are being relieved of 50%+ of their earnings. Also you will have to charge 25% sales tax on everything, which cuts into your profits.

      But it is one of the main reasons that Denmark didn’t go down the typical route of most socialist utopias. It’s slowly catching up though.

  36. I bought brand new BMW by working ONline work. Six month ago i hear from my friend that she is working some online job and making more then 98$/hr i can’t beleive. But when i start this job i have to beleived her
    Now i am also making 98$/hr if you want to try just check this out

    ————– http://www.HomeJobs90.Com

  37. Denmark is still mostly homogeneous ethnically. Muslim and African immigration will soon unbalance their redistribution schemes. It will be too late when the stuff hits the fan, they will find that they can not get rid of these parasites, religious fanatics, and social disrupters.

  38. I bought brand new BMW by working ONline work. Six month ago i hear from my friend that she is working some online job and making more then 98$/hr i can’t beleive. But when i start this job i have to beleived her
    Now i am also making 98$/hr if you want to try just check this out

    ————– http://www.HomeJobs90.Com

  39. You could also argue that the complexity of a nation of nearly a third of a billion, in comparison with a country like Denmark that has the approximate population and heterogeneity of Kansas, must require more market-based and locally controlled policies to avoid the Grand Clusterfuck of all Clusterfucks.

    1. 1. If it’s a clusterfuck, it just means that the government didn’t have enough funding and authority to regulate everything.

      2. If it’s still a clusterfuck after giving the government more funding and authority, refer back to Step 1.

      /statist

  40. If they like Denmark, why not just move there?

  41. Fascinating thing about this article: it said nothing about what kind of society you get. Better everything that matters, that’s all. Highest quality medical care… for everyone. 5 weeks of vacation, paid medical leave, supergenerous maternity/paternity leave, extraordinary and (whoa) beautiful infrastructure. Public security and comfort where ever you go and hard core privacy at home.
    And, if you only cared about measuring incomes and kronors and not looking what what you get, then: Denmark has less than half the gross public debt as a % of GDP as the US and a national budget that has spent most of the last 20+ years in surplus.
    We liberals don’t really care about taxes. It’s just that we understand that in the developed world, it is nearly perfectly correlated to a society that is… well, as described about. Not one with crumbling infrastructure, ugly and dirty and insecure public spaces and a country that is and faces only backwards like the American “conservative/libber” prefer.

    1. Fascinating thing about this article: it said nothing about what kind of society you get.

      The kind of society where people are children for life, are thrown in jail and fined for saying unpopular things and criticizing officials, and where you don’t have the right to properly protect your own life.

      Highest quality medical care

      I can assure you this is not true.

      5 weeks of vacation, paid medical leave, supergenerous maternity/paternity leave

      This is not a result of Danish government, it’s voluntarily agreed upon between unions and employers. Same with minimum wage.

      hard core privacy at home.

      Americans have better privacy protections than Danes. The Danish constitution’s equivalent of the 4th Amendment allows for unlimited infringement “where necessary”.

      1. Denmark has less than half the gross public debt as a % of GDP as the US and a national budget that has spent most of the last 20+ years in surplus.

        Denmark has spent most of the last 20 years with a conservative/neoliberal government (by euro standards), the last time the left took over the Danish parliament, the debt went from being in the black to going back in the red. This is the norm historically; every time the left is in power the debt and expenditure balloons out of control, when the right takes over again it’s brought back under control.

        The safety you so desire is just as illusory in Denmark as it is in America. People are still being beaten up, raped, or even shot there. The relative safety in Denmark is because of a culturally homogenous society, not because of laws or what the streets look like.

    2. “ugly and dirty and insecure public spaces”

      is that code for too many brown people?

  42. From a friend in reply to having forwarded the link to this page…

    I encourage to also read these two articles about Denmark:

    The first is the fallacy of the Scandinavian “miracle” of Denmark, Sweden and Norway –

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014
    /jan/27/scandinavian-miracle-brutal-truth-
    denmark-norway-sweden ………… make this one line; thanks Reason… it’s ‘too long of a word for you’… ?!

    The second is about janteloven, the Danish version of anti-exceptionalism, and a perfect description of flawed Progressive intents –

    https://ourhouseinaarhus.wordpress.com/2014
    /05/15/standing-out-in-denmark-discovering-
    the-jante-law/

    Slanted? of course. Perspective? Interesting.

    Decades ago, on a business trip to Stockholm, I asked a sales person what he thought of the tax rates in Sweden… “They’re quite high, but if my boss offers me a raise for good work, I try to negotiate a trade… Give me more vacation time, instead…”

    Great way to provide negative incentive for productivity and ‘hard work.’ Hopefully, it works for them.

  43. The article could not in such brevity explain all. Some items missing: Danes do not have to pay for health insurance or save for their children’s university expenses, which gives them additional (and considerable) post-tax disposable income. On the flip side, I don’t believe Danish governments ever contribute to its military or to NATO the percent of GDP the US has over the past 60 years. This makes more revenue available for social programs

    1. Your arguments don’t really work. A college education costs less than a small car; it simply isn’t a big expense. And health care in the US is paid for by employers, so it doesn’t show up in post tax disposable income either.

  44. The article could not in such brevity explain all. Some items missing: Danes do not have to pay for health insurance or save for their children’s university expenses, which gives them additional (and considerable) post-tax disposable income. On the flip side, I don’t believe Danish governments ever contribute to its military or to NATO the percent of GDP the US has over the past 60 years. This makes more revenue available for social programs

    1. They do not have to pay for health insurance or college and thus have more disposable income after tax???? Not sure if serious…..

      Why do you think their tax rates are so high and after tax income and purchasing power so low? High tax rates to pay for that stuff.

      Please think critically

      1. Frankjasper1, you can’t argue with a true believer.

        I’m a real Dane, born and raised in Denmark, I went to school there and spent a reasonable amount of my working career there. I debunked a bunch of this crap over and over in this thread with my experience and knowledge of Danish society.

        In the meantime, you and others used extremely simple logic to do the same.

        My experience match the logical outcome predicted by you and others, yet Jim here (and a bunch of others upthread) completely ignore logic and reality because they are so vested in the outcome they believe in.

        1. I’m also an immigrant from Europe.

          I think the reason Americans have such a unrealistic view of Europe has to do with several things:

          (1) European media like to tell Europeans how great Europe is doing and how awful America is. They are a bit like the propaganda machinery of communist states, in part because government has so much control over them and government has an interest in pretending that everything is going really well.

          (2) When Americans visit Europe as tourists, they usually end up in the nicest and prettiest parts of Europe because Europe heavily invests in making its cities look nice. (Conversely, when Europeans come to the US, they end up in the shittiest parts of the US, namely the inner cities.)

          (3) Americans have a long-standing inferiority complex relative to Europe; unfounded, if you look at European history, but nevertheless existent.

          (4) American politicians like to cherry-pick examples for their arguments: business regulations from Germany, tax rates from Denmark, health care from the UK, etc.

          (5) Likewise, in statistics, people tend to compare the US as a nation with individual EU member states, when the proper comparison is US states to EU states, or the US as a whole against the EU as a whole.

          1. I agree with all of your points.

            Did you change a lot of your views, or fully come into some of your views after having experienced living in America?

            For the most part I was a pretty average Dane when it came to these kinds of things. I only questioned something when it had plainly unequal outcomes, like hate-speech laws. The rest of the time I would have agreed with Tony or AmSoc on most things. In fact I did for the first couple of years I lived here.

            If you’ve thoroughly experienced both (vacations to Tuscany don’t count), there is just no denying that Americans are more free and have more opportunity. An American street bum has more liberty than a Danish CEO.

            Americans live more, and that’s the part you can’t explain. And I’m no adrenaline junkie, in fact I’m the opposite.

            This perceived safety at someone else’s hands (and expense) these people seek is highly overrated, it robs you of your freedom of agency. And what’s worse, you probably won’t realize where the train is headed, until all the doors are locked and it’s rolling down the rails.

            1. To use a different travel metaphor: Living in Denmark is like flying coach to an unknown destination.

              It’s cramped, full of idiots, and the toilets are occupied the whole time. The only reason you deal with it is because you think the destination is worth it. Unfortunately once you arrive, that promised balcony view of the beach is obstructed by a brick wall a few feet from the railing, it smells like someone hid a body in your room, and the bed is infested with fleas :p

            2. Oh, it took me quite a while to figure it out. After immigrating to the US, I was still convinced that Europe had the better system and was a dyed-in-the-wool progressive. It was only years later when I returned to Europe for a few years that I really saw how economically and socially impoverished and limited European life actually is in comparison to the US. And I think this is only the beginning of a long and painful slide for Europe, and it may well end again in mass violence.

              I do understand why this is hard for both Americans and Europeans to grasp. But I also think it is vitally important for the US not to fall into the same trap as Europe, because there really aren’t any other places to move to. That’s why it’s important to speak up when American politicians misrepresent Europe.

  45. Forbes loves Denmark.
    One can hardly describe the editors of Forbes as liberals !
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ku…..-business/

    1. Cool story. Still do not want to pay high taxes in order to take care of you for your entire life.

  46. And yet the average house in Copenhagen sells for well over $1 million and a large segment of the population have substantial financial assets. The difference is wealth passed down for generations and the much lower tax on this transfer (15%) than in the US (at least for larger estates). This is true for much of Old Europe where middle and upper classes have built and passed down wealth for centuries (much in land and property) if it survived the numerous wars.

    1. I’m not sure where you get the “a large segment of the population have substantial financial assets” claptrap from. Denmark had a tax on wealth, not just income, until 1997. No-one in Denmark have “old money” unless they’re royalty or related to only a handful of old-time successful business owners. Danes do have to save much more diligently than the average American, but most of that money is untouchable in pension accounts. The moment you unfreeze those “assets” if you’re under a certain age, you get an instant 60% tax hit on them.

      No-one among my Danish family or friends can afford to buy a house in Copenhagen. In fact, good luck buying any house any-where in Denmark if you’re single, and a blue collar worker. Something not out of reach of the same in the US.

      15 year mortgages are not uncommon in the US, they are practically unheard of in Denmark.

      1. I do exactly the same for a living here in the US as I did in Denmark, and I moved here when I already had a lot of work experience in my field. My current gross income is less than it was in Denmark 15 years ago.

        Yet once I’ve paid my taxes, medical insurance (which gets me expedient, advanced, and cheap medical care), and mortgage, I still have more disposable income here. And my purchasing power is something like 2-3x what it was per $$.

        In Denmark I could not afford to own a home. Here I own a home in a pretty expensive suburb of a major city.

        In Denmark I drove a very tiny hatchback that cost over $20k when new, and I had to drive it until it was literally too unsafe to continue driving because I couldn’t afford a new one. Here I drive a car that you don’t even see on Danish roads because it costs the equivalent of $60k there, yet here it cost about the same as my old hatchback in Denmark.

        You can’t compare income levels, or even financial assets between Denmark and the US. It’s a dishonest comparison.

  47. A socialist, idiot, blowhard lives with my mom (sorry I refuse to even call him a “step dad”) and always shoots off his mouth about how much better Denmark is than the mean, greedy USA. To which I bring up the points made in this article, all he does is stick his fingers in his ears and chant “la la la”. Yep thats a leftist for you, won’t listen to anybody else but the spider that resides within his empty head where a brain should be. Which is why I don’t go over to my mom’s often and don’t even call. I don’t want to talk to a guy who calls socialized healthcare “free medicine” when I bring up inefficiency, long waiting lists etc. his fingers go back to his ears and he mumbles through his mouth “Thats just Republican propaganda”. God I hate fucking socialists, I wish they’d all choke and die on the pages of their “Das Kapital” copies.

    1. Show him the comments I, and other Europeans wrote on this article.

      It’s not Republican propaganda, it’s a reality that some of us have literally experienced on our own bodies.

  48. Leftists call it income inequality. People risking their lives to get here call it the American Dream.

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