Denmark – Paradise of Fools

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Denmark – a happy Paradise

I have noticed a lot of well-meaning Americans praising Denmark for our happiness and our welfare system. We’re praised for our free education, free healthcare, free childcare, short workweek and all the other things that the goodness-industry is proclaiming to define us Danes.

Well, think again, please. We are no more happy than Germans, Turks, Americans or any other country in the world. We might just be a little more complacent and have probably fallen prey to the comfort of our concept of ‘Hygge’. We’re not happy; we’re comfortable in our complacency.

Unlike the United States, which is a very young country with a very short history, Denmark is one of the oldest existing nations in the world. You would think the young nation would be full of great, new ideas, but no; some americans look to an old, stagnant nation such as Denmark for guidance.

Nothing is free

“Child- and healthcare is free and students are paid to study in Denmark!”. That’s a line I’ve heard a lot. It’s a truth that needs a lot of modification. A lot!

If by ‘free’ you mean ‘paid for by someone else’ you are right in the assumption that healthcare, childcare and education are almost free of charge.

In order to pay for all this ‘goodness’ the Danes pay a lot of taxes. Not just income tax but tax on everything! In some cases even tax on the taxes, and we have what we call a ‘Nanny-state’. Indeed, the very reason we danes are so happy is because we are constantly under the watchful eye of Mother State. I’ll get back to that later.

You need to understand something about Danes. We were Vikings once. We spend our sparetime seeing the world, making our mark on it and inviting people to come home and live with us. Yeah, we sailed forth, ravaged the world and brought back slaves, but the first version sounds better.

We became rich. Filthy rich. Which is the base of the wealth we have today. We were never conquered by other nations – except for 5 years of World War II – and therefore have had about a thousand years to amass wealth and become complacent in our ways of life.

The people of the United States have a very different history. You are from a lot of different places and your nation of little more than 200 years old. You had a massive Civil War and you act as if you are the “police of the world”. You are constantly at war somewhere in the world – never at home – but you spend an awful lot of money on ‘defending’ yourselves.

Also, there is a lot more Americans in the world than there are Danes. Danes are few in number and the kingdom is very small compared to the United States (if we subtract the vast emptiness of Greenland).

You, as americans, can never be like us Danes; mainly because you’re not even one people. You identify as African-American, Hispanic-American, German-American, Native-American and all sorts of blank-American. In order to have a welfare state, you need to be one people and identify as such.

And you shouldn’t have the welfare state to begin with…

What money can buy

If you want free healthcare, free childcare and free education someone else needs to pay for it. Nothing in the world is free and these things are very expensive. Free stuff never comes cheap and least of all when it comes from the state.

Imagine being an ordinary working class Dane with a monthly salary of 25,000 DKK. That’s about 4,000 USD, but there is a vast difference between our two nations and it is impossible to compare USD as used in Denmark.

First you pay your income tax. This is done automatically because in Denmark we have SKAT (TAX) which handles these things for us. The company you work for registers you with SKAT and by magic this huge part of danish government handles your tax-payment.

Arbejdsmarkedsbidrag – which is impossible for me to translate – is set at 8% – and it’s the first tax you have to pay. 8% of 25,000 DKK is 2,000 DKK, which means you have 23,000 left of your income, and still have taxes to pay. But first, some good news!

We all have our ‘bundfradrag’, which translates into ‘bottom deduction’. It’s a deduction of non-taxed money! You simply don’t pay taxes of this amount! Yay, free money!

In 2015 this Bundfradrag is 41,400 annually. Divided by 12 to get a monthly Bundfradrag makes it 3,433 DKK. Take that away from the amount we had left after the statetax makes it 23,000 minus 3,433.

19.567 DKK left and now we move on to the big taxes. Kommuneskat, or county tax – is different from county to county. In this example I will use the average county-tax which is 24.9%.

So, we’re left with 14,694.81. No rounding up! We still have taxes to pay!

If we in this example made more than 37,000 DKK per month there would be ‘Topskat’ now. Yes, indeed, the more money you make the more taxes you have to pay. Not just percentage-wise, but all the money you make more than 449,100 annually is taxed with yet another 15%!

Luckily we don’t make that much money in this example.

We have yet another tax to pay and they named it Sundhedsskat – or Health-tax! It’s an odd little tax that is lowered by 1% each year while Bottom Tax is raised 1% per year. This year Sundhedsskat is at 4%. We need to pay that too.

We take our income of 19,567 and take 4% off that. Say goodbye to another 782.68. We take that amount from what we are left with which make our entire income of the 25,000 DKK new 13,784.32.

We have paid 11,215.68 or about 44% in income taxes but are we done yet? By no means!

Taxes, taxes, taxes everywhere!

Let’s take our 13,784.32 DKK out of the bank. Let’s pay some bills, shall we?

Every time we pay a bill we must pay the government sales tax. It’s at a staggering 25%! Yes, indeed, everytime you buy anything from your local vendor 20% goes to the government. If something would have cost 20 DKK, like an ice cream or a soda, the government puts on an extra 5 (25% of the price) and takes that money from the vendor, who is nice enough to price it at 25 DKK for us.

He has the hassle of collecting the sales tax on the behalf of the government. He gives it to them quarterly and subtracts what he has paid for things that are sales tax-deductible for companies. Companies are given back the money they spend on stuff they need to run their business once every quarter.

This is of course very confusing, but all the sales taxes end up with the government. So, we pay yet another 25% of our income in indirect sales taxes!

Taxation on Tax

Let’s give that money to the government from our disposable income. That makes our money 10.338 (now we can round up)

There are much more expensive bills to pay, and ‘Afgift’, which is just another word for tax, is used instead of Skat, which means the same.

When you pay your utility bill, you pay a lot in Afgift. I have my most recent eletrical bill on hand. Let’s use that one. It’s says 994.64 DKK for a three month period. Eletricity-Afgift – yes, there is such a thing – is where you pay for the privilege of being able to use electricity in your home.

The Electricity-company charges 111.06 for my use of 358 kiloWatt/Hour and 30 DKK for membership. With sales tax imposed on this it comes to 176.33 dkk.

The eletricity-company charges 0.37 DKK per KiloWatt/Hour, and the state imposes an ‘electricity transportation Afgift’ of 0.21 DKK. According to the eletricity-company I used 358 kWh last period which makes this Afgift 80.89 DKK for the period.

No, we’re not done with the taxation yet. Calm yourself down.

EL-Afgift is the main portion of taxation here. It’s a staggering 0.88 DKK per kWh! That makes it 331.88 DKK in EL-Afgift!

All combined the state takes 412.77, but hey, those numbers don’t add up, now do they? Of course not. There’s more!

When all combined the company gets 241.88 from me every quarter, but this still doesn’t add up. 241.88 plus 412.77 only makes 654.65 DKK and even with the company’s charges (with sales tax) of 176.33 it still only makes 830.98 DKK, doesn’t it?

It would if the government didn’t have the gall to tax the Afgift. The Afgift-ridden amount of 654.65 of course needs a sales tax! Sales tax is different from Afgift and of course no money can change hands unless the state get’s it 20%!

The final bill for three months of electricity lookes like this:

Company charges 141.06 DKK and with sales tax that’s 176.33. The state gets 35.27 DKK from this part of the process.

Now Afgift on transport and use of the state-owned network, Afgift on electricity because it is something we need and want comes to 654.65 and slam! Here comes sales tax on the Afgifts which comes to 163.66.

Confused? Well, I am, so here comes everything a little more simplfied. Out of the 994.64 I paid for electricity the company get’s 141.06 DKK – and the rest, a staggering 853.58 goes to the government. Some of it is Afgift and some of it is even sales tax on Afgift!

I can’t afford to watch TV

Wanna buy a TV in Denmark? Maybe a phone? Maybe a computer for internet access? Want to own a radio? You can, and buying it will, of course, cost you 20% extra in sales tax, but that’s not all.

If you own any device that can pick up a TV- or radio signal or have internet access you have to pay for ‘Licens’! Yes sir, you have to pay a license-fee to own one such device because you have the opportunity to watch or listen to something aired by Danmarks Radio, or DR as it is known.

I know you’re confused here, but DR is a huge government mediacompany that doesn’t operate on market-terms. If you own anything that can pick up DR you have to pay.

As a matter of fact, a representative of Licens-kontoret – The License Office – will come to your door if you’re not registered with them because everyone owns something that can pick up that damn TV-channel, go on the internet or pick up a radiosignal.

The cost for such a license is 205 DKK per month. Yeah, that’s right, you own something and have to pay a fee for it. That’s state logic for you.

I have personally chosen not to own a TV or a radio. My computer actually belongs to my mother and my phone belongs to a close friend of mine. Therefore I do not own anything that needs to be licensed, because I fully reject the notion that I have to pay this license-fee.

When all is said and paid for

Tell me again how everything is free in Denmark? Tell me again, that we are so lucky to have free education, free healthcare, free childcare and free whatnot.

We are paying for it. We pay a lot for it. More than you can ever imagine as an American. I have no idea how much you pay in taxes or what you can deduct from them, but in Denmark – where the people are happy and comfortable – we pay dearly for that.

Not only do you pay in terms of money but also as individuals. The state has taken over our lives by making us believe that we are so well off, that we are free and that we are ever so happy.

This is my advice to Americans who wants ‘free’ this and that, and who are willing to raise taxes to such an extent as we have in Denmark.

Stop. Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you that much better than everyone else? Are you so self-centered that you think taking from others to give to others and yourself is right? Are you the kind of person who is willing to make someone else pay for your life?

If so, I suggest you create a community of your own. It doesn’t have to be somewhere but someone. Find likeminded people who are willing to give up their freedom for this community. Make your own government and impose taxation on that membership.

Just don’t use force to make others pay for your ideal society. You don’t have that right. You don’t have the right to impose your moral values upon others for ‘the greater good’. You, as a people born of the desire for freedom, should understand this.

Your ancestors left their homes to find freedom. Your ancestors fought the War of Indepence to assure that freedom. You had a civil war that was all about freedom. You helped, albeit reluctantly, when freedom was threatened in Europe and Asia during World War II. You still fight for freedom, but rather perversely I might add, but some of you still believe it’s about freedom.

Why would you go back on the very essence of America by taking away freedom from others and forcing them to pay for ‘free’ things? You are going in the direction of Denmark and as shown above that is an expensive route to take. You should go back to freedom, not away from it!

I see The United States as sort of a grandchild of older nations, such as Denmark, who have ‘been there, done that and made the mistakes’. This is of course my very personal view, which is not shared by many danes, but as a true Viking I can only give you one advice.

Don’t give up your freedom for ‘free stuff’. There is no such thing as ‘free’ when it comes to governments. Everything comes at a price and you should never be willing to pay a price that includes your fellow man paying the same price against his will.

About Author

H. Roland J.

Danish Libertarian and adult film producer. Being fed up with living in the 'nanny-state' that is Denmark and hearing it constantly being praised by liberal americans I have decided to speak out against what should be the scariest nightmare for all; the nanny-state governed through parliamentary democracy.

  • Matt Lobb

    But we could never run out of other peoples money!

    • M Allen Prepper

      not as long as the govt can keep printing more…

      • sylverdrag

        Oh, if only the government would print it instead of borrowing it at interest from people have none of their own!

    • Shane McParland

      “Other people’s money”, so you mean the billionaire classes that built their wealth on the slave wages of desperate immigrants and poor people in general? I think you have your ethical wires crossed. It’s ok to exploit people to make money but not to take some of that money back from those same people to make sure someone’s grandparents don’t starve or freeze to death.

      • Matt Lobb

        I mean any person that has their money taken from them with threat of violence and confinement. There is no such thing as a “slave wage” since slaves are held against their will and paid nothing. What you refer to as exploitation has done more to raise more people out of poverty than any government could ever hope to do. Your argument is both based in a notion that market prices for labor are bad, so no one should ever work, and robbing people of the profit of their work is a good thing. You choose to ignore the fact that the more socialistic a society is the more regulation it imposes and the harder it is for small businesses to operate thereby creating a culture of corporations that can afford to navigate the governmental red tape. You want a world without poor people? Then quit demonizing the only thing that has ever been proven to eliminate poverty.

        • 1eye2see

          I just cannot let a post so foolish to go without acknowledging it’s low standard.
          You rely on assumptions that you think everyone agrees with. They do not, so take the time to think before posting.

          • Angel Cas Van Atta

            Says the person with all the grammar errors.

          • frank stevy

            Is that you best argument , just spellin …. U Got Nothin !

          • Angel Cas Van Atta

            *brings palm to face

      • frank stevy

        I do understand the principal of your Idea , when I was young and though the world could be Utopia and perfect . Then Life happened and I found out that the same power hungry , greedy people in charge of corporations also found there way into government as to never get rid of the Human greed / power element for they will find there way into everything sadly . Your Choice is whether you want a chance , as little as it seems of no chance being defeated by boot jack government ? Our country has found a way to change the History books and teachings , and we all know that old saying about repeating such behavior !

      • IbFreeAmerican

        “It’s ok to exploit people to make money but not to take some of that money back from those same” ALREADY EXPLOITED people THUS EXPLOITING THEM AGAIN. Is not that insult added to injury of the EXPLOITED ONES?

  • peter43

    Did I miss FOOD?

  • ExpatZ

    What a load of bollocks.
    Perhaps you should go live in the US for about 5 years then come back and see what you think because you really don’t know anything about what it’s like to live hand to mouth with no safety nets, no educational system and no healthcare until you do.

    • Gratis Banks

      There is no educational system and no healthcare in America? I wonder how I went to college and got my leg repaired after I broke it….

      • Matt Lobb

        Denmark international refugee medical camps and universities?

      • ExpatZ

        In comparison no, the education systems in the US fall far behind even moderately rated Uni’s in the EU and elsewhere. Unless of course you use the ranking systems currently in vogue (such as QS) that determine ranking by outside funding of private research done at the schools andf the resulting papers p[roducedf. IN that skewed world the US ranks number one while most of it’s alumni “graduate” with marginal educations.

        As for healthcare, the US ranks well behind the other nations in almost every measure of performance. You currently sit at #32 there for actual care, quality of care (where costs are considered as well) you fall even further. Unless of course you have the money to pay for platinum health insurance and live very close to one of maybe 5 top hospitals in the US (mostly centered in Boston) in which case you will get world class health care. But the other 99% of the population? Not so much.
        Going to “college” is no big deal, you can do that in Jamaica and get a similar education. And setting a broken leg can be done in pretty much any country you care to name. Not that you’d know that being an American and all.

  • LindaLR24

    Very inspiring article and thank you for writing it. As an American, I have often had the same fears of where we are going here. I have read some articles about your country and You do have some blessings and some scourge of govt… unfortunate to have such intrusion. I dont like the level we have here, but the masses and asses keep clamoring for more free STUFF, if you push back you are an evil greedy selfish meanie that wants to see children dying in the streets…. Oy.. that doesnt happen here, despite the claims they indeed do.. often and only in front of the progressive pickpockets who worship their rich clintons and academics, yet hate on a rich conservative citizen. Funny, considering they have a problem with conservative women as well, and dont you DARE be black and conservative, because you will not be enough of a woman, nor will you ever be black enough to suit the lost proggy mind. Anyhooo i enjoyed the article thanks.

    • ExpatZ

      Yes, please. Stay in America. Please.

    • Sara Woods

      No one is clamoring for ‘more free stuff’….my gad. You LIVE here!! People want a fair shot….people need their basic needs met. Thing is, at our rate of taxation now, we could do better, but we do not. It’s ok to give billions of tax dollars to huge billion dollar companies in corporate welfare, to make war, but to give the working class a leg up is ‘wanting free stuff’. That comparison is hyperbolic and full of a contrast that simply does not exist. Much of this pushback is b/c people believe the lies they are told: the poor are lazy and people want free stuff!!! Let’s talk about children dying on the streets shall we? Are you serious? Again with the false contrast, ask yourself, how is it, in such rich country, there could possibly be children who are hungry…..who do die b/c of lack of healthcare? Who do not have a home??? In front of a progressive pickpocket? What are you babbling about? That is another thing underrated, EDUCATION and critical thinking.

      • alteredz

        You need your needs met? Why is that my responsibility or anyone but yours or the people in your family or circle of friends, or those of us that hear of you and voluntarily help? You have no RIGHT to demand that the government, through forced taxation of citizens meet your needs or those of anyone else. NO RIGHT.

        • 1eye2see

          No right? I doubt that you ever help anyone that you don’t live with or work with.
          There a many troubles in this country that need something the size of government to deal with.

          • LindaLR24

            why is it up to someone else to help ? Americans are the most charitable but here you are saying it’s not enough and someone should be shamed… plain words that’s a jerk attitude

          • alteredz

            Typical liberal. Instead of debating my point you make judgements about me – which happen to be incorrect. I help perfect strangers when I feel I can help and they need it. I’ve done it many times, even when I couldn’t really afford to.
            And your second sentence goes against my point exactly. There is some perceived need, so you think the government should act as the strong arm to force everyone to pay for the need you perceive. Welcome to slavery.

          • alteredz

            You of course are quite incorrect about my giving. I gave fifty bucks ti a stranger in need today and I do this often. Government is inefficient in doing this. And you have no right to insist government take from some to give to others. That is like hiring a henchman to steal from one neighbor to give to another. That is morally corrupt.

      • LindaLR24

        up to each of us to provide for our needs…oh wait until want free stuff to meet your needs because you are to lame to meet your own basics?? lol sad. Americans have become the nation of “do it for me”. pretty disgusting in my view.

    • 1eye2see

      Lindal, you have a great imagination. I suggest that you just set it free and write novels.
      But please try to be sensible when posting here.

  • jack

    Libertarian, nuff said…….

  • retired actress

    I’m so glad someone told the truth. I lived in Sweden and the taxes were so depressing. Taxes on the taxes–double, triple taxation. And there is no love for freeloaders.

    • Actress? I see the author of this article is an adult film producer. Were you in one of his films?

  • Excellent article, thank you! The trouble is, the American left will just dismiss it, because facts never seem to get in their way.

    • Sara Woods

      Actually, to say the left ignores facts is ludicrous……the left tends to be far more intelligent than most other political groups. I read this article, and I see the point and I am a ‘lefty’. I also see where capitalism does NOT care for the real needs of the people and you have to have more and more money to get ahead in this country (the USA). We do not have to be JUST like Denmark, but we can use their model….not exactly, but in part. We are bigger and richer and CAN do this and make the economy work for ALL, not just a few. I think people are kidding themselves if they think a pure capitalistic state OR a pure ‘nanny’ state as the author calls it, will work…To have basic needs met is HUGE and in this writer’s perspective, he lives IN it so it makes perfect sense that there are those that will rail against it……what system is perfect? I can tell you…..none. There is a balance in this somewhere. No one….NO ONE, not even Bernie thinks we should be ‘just like Denmark’.

      • Patski762

        THANK YOU!! I had a REALLY bad day today and your comment, “..the left tends to be far more intelligent than most other political groups.”, gave me a much needed laugh!

        • Travis Porter

          Sara is the stereotypical poster child for the arrogance of the left in this nation.

          • Shane McParland

            Maybe criticize her ideas instead of making an ad hominem attack

          • Alain DeWitt

            Her “idea” (if you want to call it that) is that anyone who doesn’t agree with her is dumb. It’s obviously false and so no real need to engage the idea (such as it is).

          • Sara Woods

            No…that is not at all what I am saying.

          • Sara Woods

            You are an asshole…sorry, but your blatant disregard to fact is holding you back and limiting your ability to see the big picture. The ‘paradise of fools’ is actually creating a society in which people are happier and healthier and MORE prosperous, but yeah, they are fools. They need to work harder.

        • Shane McParland

          Another ad hominem instead of discussing the actual issues

          • David Barkin

            Apparently the “real issue” is that eliminating poverty and misery is bad. That we should Man Up, and if you have cancer, and can’t afford to treat it, just put on a stiff upper lip, and do what every good American does – Die!

          • Sara Woods

            Pretty much. The capitalistic model creates poverty, but we are all just supposed to ‘get a job’ and work harder. Incomes have gone down in the past few decades and the american people cannot keep up. This is what happens when capitalism isn’t kept in check….the greedy take more for themselves, so we either pay into the safety net with welfare or people get paid a living wage. Can’t have both.

          • Alphaenemy

            No. The capitalistic model doesn’t creat poverty.
            You don’t have to ask yourself what causes poverty because we are all born naked and poor.
            You have to think about how do people become rich.
            And they become rich working, buying and selling stuff in a free market.
            There is no pure free market society, for the moment.
            Even the US has crony capitalism, which is another thing.
            Look at Chile and Venezuela. While Chile adopted an almost free-market system, Venezuela had a socialist regime. Look at them, LOL.
            Listen, i am a 23 yo guy from Italy.
            We have a social-democratic crappy system.
            High taxes.
            Many regulations.
            High corruption.
            11% unemployment and almost 40% YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT.
            Then I look at the stats of the USA.
            Fuck.
            You earn at least 30% more than we do.
            5% unemployment.
            I then look on google maps. While there are no-go zones and slums…majority of cities are clean, roads are 2 times larger than ours(that’s because of the geography), some houses are so big they look like castels, and some cars are big like trucks.
            I watched Las Vegas. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
            At 25 here in Italy is almost impossible to live alone and make a family.
            You can do it and you complain?
            ps: read 2 books that will explain free market and free society to you: “omnipotent government by mises and the road to serfdom by hayek

          • haneyps

            You nailed it. Bravo! You should also tell them about your “free college education” and how that works out. Essentially the student teaches themselves.

        • Sara Woods

          And I am glad I could make your day…..think of all those ignorant trump supporters….these are the pope I am speaking about. Voting against their own best interest. Education is highly underrated.

      • Drema Drake Paugh

        Ha, ha, ha lol.

      • alteredz

        Maybe the balance is already found in the US, sans Obamacare.
        This is the only part of the above article I need to debate you “Just don’t use force to make others pay for your ideal society. You don’t have that right. You don’t have the right to impose your moral values upon others for ‘the greater good.'”
        Right there is the moral hazard in socialistic systems. The more socialized you get the more the above moral rule is broken. Most would probably agree that the socialist method of having taxes to pay for defense, police, some infrastructure, courts, patent office, maybe even public school are acceptable to them. After all, all of society benefits from these if they are done well – even public school since that would mean that society in general is educated to a certain level and that helps everyone, even those that never have children.
        But to insist, through ultimately the threat of force, that people pay taxes so that PROVISIONS (food, child care, housing assistance, health insurance) are given to individuals by paying for it for them, is where the moral hazard really comes through. As John Galt said “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” What he and Ayn meant was that it is morally wrong to say that one must pay against their will for the provisions of another. Because it is a loss of freedom, since it would ultimately be enforced through the use of force. That’s where the morality of provisional socialism breaks down. We can see others in need and help them voluntarily. We have the internet. We have easily set up gofundme sites if there isn’t a charity already in place to help others. The do-gooder attitude of the Leftist is lost on me – if you are so good, then give to those in need voluntarily. What RIGHT do you have to enforce your choices of who and by how much I should help others? The answer is that your are a controlling lot and you have no right.

        • 1eye2see

          Sounds wonderful. But we live in a highly competitive society. One that scams the naive and the poor. One that treats black people like they are escaped prisoners so they stop the black person and waste their time, question their integrity and abuse them as well. Likely as not that black person will go to jail, be arraigned and fined and let go with time served because there was no crime involved. If they happen to be poor, they won’t have the money to pay their fine. In that event, there will be an arrest warrant will be issued, at which point that person becomes a fugitive. This is just day to day life for a poor black person. Do you think that he/she will have any possible job prospects? No and hell no.

          We have a country where anyone can start his/her own business. Usually this is done by a person who puts ALL their assets into opening a store, or a service business with all the tools and equipment that they will need and then with all the optimism in the world the launch, open their doors having put out advertising and soliciting their friends and family to be the first customers. This may work and maybe not. A few of these new businesses survive and far more fail. A small number grow and prosper. But for each business that makes it past one year there are many more that fail to the point that they end up in poverty. When general unemployment is high, new business startups are far more numerous.
          So those people who’s business’ didn’t make it, they usually represent a family.
          They can be criticized for being poor, being unemployed, for wearing shabby clothing.

          Of this multitude of families who find themselves impoverished, still have the needs of every family. They need to get their kids to school, they need to provide shelter… perhaps renting or imposing on friends… or camping out. And they will need to provide food for themselves, maintain sanitation and all that is implied by that, and need to do their laundry. Bottom line, they need help. And hopefully they will find help that does not make them sacrifice their dignity. Paying for health care is clearly out of the question. Should not the government have programs to rehabilitate these people? Or at least care for their most basic needs?

          I think that they should. That does not mean a Nanny State. It simply means that the government has a little compassion. A government that provides food and jobs or job preparation. That provides a health safety net. Something like the VA health care or Medicare for all. Not something that sells drugs to poor people. By that I mean charging people who are truly poor “co-pays” that drain away the money they need for rent or food or heat.

          I am glad that in the US we do for the most part manage to take care of ourselves. It is a great country and has a great deal to offer. But not everyone is suited to the free enterprise system. Especially those who are the product of really terrible schools who are unable to teach the basics needed for employment. I bet they don’t have schools like that in the Scandinavian countries.

          • alteredz

            Thanks for giving us all of the reasons that you think you should be able to have the government make others pay for what you see as social justice. Social justice is the responsibility of each of us, individually, voluntarily to do what we should for others. Saying you have the right to have your henchmen (the IRS) make others give for provisions for others is where you are morally corrupt.

          • Sara Woods

            That attitude is so off base. When in at the history of humans did living on your own ever make you prosperous and happy? think about it….every single culture, from time immemorial has grouped together to form a society and everyone helps everyone else. It’s called division of labor….it’s called pooling resources. This is inherent in society. Only modern man has become so greedy…..setting up a system where many will ultimately be left out….this is not a system that works. Plain and simple. Why wouldn’t you want to pool money to make things MORE AFFORDABLE for yourself? You do realize this, right? That the the gov’t provides certain things, like healthcare (the ACA does not count IMO) it becomes CHEAPER for everyone. This whole idea of ‘making people pay’ is ludicrous. this is not morally corrupt….this is SOCIETY!!! My gawd. The only reason why our system is breaking down….THE most important reason why, is money in politics and capitalism. IF corporations didn’t have a strangle-hold on our politicians and our system, it would work better for us…..but no. the ideology YOU speak of has let this happen. Sorry, but those are the facts. Capitalism has become the new religion…..and it’s must worse that Christianity ever was.

          • alteredz

            Yes, we DO get together and help others. Voluntarily. Until the advent of Marxism, it was done voluntarily. But you and others like you think that the government should be in charge of it, enslaving us all to the game, under the threat of the use of force. YOU and your kind are the ones with no morals. We’ll never agree. ACE didn’t make it cheaper for everyone. You obviously haven’t been keeping track. Even the insurance companies are falling out. You are simply one who believes in the forced “charity” of the welfare state. You are despicable. I give plenty and I do it voluntarily.

          • IbFreeAmerican

            “If they happen to be poor, they won’t have the money to pay their fine.
            In that event, there will be an arrest warrant will be issued, at which
            point that person becomes a fugitive. This is just day to day life for
            a poor black person” —- And for me, a poor WHITE Man, however, I still can walk down the street and trade my daily labor for daily subsistence. The government and all those “for the common good” thinkers then demand through taxation on income, taxation on the remaining in sales tax be taken from me leaving me with HALF of my income. I loose the ability to provide for my daily subsistence and any chance to be “charitable” to anybody I have vetted as truly needier than I.

        • grumpygramps

          Well stated. You are obviously intelligent and well educated. You have expressed very precisely what many are thinking. Thank you.

        • David Barkin

          Apparently being “forced” to pay welfare for Big Corporations like Walmart or Exxon doesn’t really count as an infringement on Liberty.

          • alteredz

            Let me play by the same dishonest leftist debate tactics:
            Apparently, you are a liberal that can only debate by changing the subject or putting words in my mouth that I never uttered.
            One of the most disrespectful non-violent things one can do to another in a debate is put words in the other persons mouth. I take offense at this.
            No, David, I don’t agree with corporate welfare, subsidies, or any other non-free-market setups like you are ascribing to my believes.
            Go fuck yourself.

          • Sara Woods

            Well…sheesh. So divisive too. ‘You leftists’….like it some disease you can catch. get real. There is a whole bunch of gray area out there….you are buying into the propaganda being shoved down your throat in terms of liberal…..

          • alteredz

            Actually, I’m not. I’ve studied the progressive movement for over a decade. I know exactly what the progressives, leftists, whatever are doing to the US. Unlike many, I use my brain, logic, rational thought to make decisions

          • Jimmy

            See, here is where terms are important. You say you have “studied the progressive movement for over a decade.”

            Which progressive movement? Studied in what capacity? Doctoral research (for whom?), or the University of the Internet?

            I think it would be probable that you have studied in the latter capacity and the reason why is quite simple. You vitriolically vilify the Left as someone who has read about it, but actually understands very little of what they have read. If you actually understand Leftism (not just progressivism, which you seem to equate it with), you would have, at the very least, a healthy amount of respect and appreciation for it. This is NOT to say you couldn’t ardently disagree with it. But you wouldn’t use phrases like “dishonest leftist debate tactics.” Specifically, to use this language when you know, or at least should know, that it is impossible to say that changing the subject and making strawman arguments are inherently Leftist. I see these tactics employed quite often by SJW’s, true, but actually more often by Trump supporters.

            Do you really know what progressives and leftists are doing to the US? You think everything Obama has done is in the name of progressivism? Here’s a thought, I consider myself a progressive, and have never voted for Obama. Given the chance again, I still would not. Instead, I voted third party because I knew he did not represent my interests. Do you understand that leftists have had almost no voice in American politics for the past couple of decades (at least), except for the rhetoric Democrats have to say on the campaign trail? Take a look at politicalcompass.org. Look at the US presidential elections and see how much choice we have. Though, I’m sure with your decade of hard thought research, you have already spelled that out.

          • Sara Woods

            Exactly.

        • IbFreeAmerican

          Five people hanging desperately from a rope that will only support four. In liberty any one of the five can be the hero and let go of the rope to save his fellow man. Somebody is always willing to tell you (order or demand) that YOU must let go of the rope In the claim of “for the common good”

          • Sara Woods

            omg…a little mellow dramatic, don;t ya think?

      • frank stevy

        ” .NO ONE, not even Bernie thinks we should be ‘just like Denmark’. ‘ but sadly History tells a different tale .. I see you did not take or get World ‘ Human ‘ History either ?

        • Sara Woods

          I never said we should be just like denmark, in fact I said the opposite. What I DID say is that we could stand to learn what works for them and adapt it to our model. It’s never all about one thing.

      • arealpatriot

        BS Sara Woods. The fact is that the left hates facts and ignores facts. That is exactly how the left operates and wins elections. Liberals tend to be far LESS intelligent then Conservatives. Denmark is a socialist country and we are a Constitutional Republic. Socialism has never worked but Capitalism always has. That is history and a fact. But don’t let any pesky little facts get in your way!

        • Sara Woods

          Hahaha….quite the contrary. Like the left is some group of people walking around ignoring facts and raising taxes. You do realize that there is no ‘liberl’ agenda except to be sure everyone is treated fairly, not discriminated against, and stuff like that. To make a better life for everyone is really being ‘liberal’. “Socialism has never worked out” oh, ok. i suppose Demark, Sweden and all those other countries are just destitute and being happier and healthier and more prosperous is just a bad side-effect. Ahh….

          Capitalism always has…….another news flash for you, Sweden and denmark are very much using capitalism as an economic model….they just have a better hold on it than us.

          • alteredz

            By what you say in your second sentence, I’ve decided that your mind is addled and I just won’t listen anymore. I feel sorry for you and your children.

      • alteredz

        Capitalism may not always take care of those in need but those of us that believe in capitalism DO take care of others, voluntarily and would more if the government safety net was gone.

      • Scout

        Some people are never going to get it.

        • Sara Woods

          I know…I am wasting my energy, but it is interesting!

      • Alain DeWitt

        “…the left tends to be far more intelligent than most other political groups.”

        Modest, too!

        • Sara Woods

          I can’t help it if the facts are the facts….there are a few studies out there if you want to take a peek. I tis all a little subjective, depending upon the definition of conservative and liberal….but overall, those people that claim to be ‘liberal’ have higher IQ’s. Just saying.

      • Joe

        In the United States of America nobody, I repeat nobody is holding anyone back from earning a solid 6 figure annual income. Unless someone has a severe mental or learning condition, in this country, they can become wealthy. People do not become financially free in a Socialist economy. Anyone can become financially free in the United States under our current Capitalist economy.

        • Maja

          So, what’s your income, then??
          Is it in the 6 figures, or do you maybe have a “severe mental or learning condition”?

          • IbFreeAmerican

            Christ payed no taxes (nor owned any possessions to be taxed) was crucified for sedition and treason against the standing government (Romans) and defied the courts (law) by telling the woman convicted and sentenced to death to go and sin no more while telling the court you have no authority to judge (he who is without sin…).

            Christ was anti government, or if you will, an ANARCHIST. this was the truth about love and liberty. All else is neither a work of love (violence inherent in all forms of government) or liberty.

            I wish to be free (at liberty) to do anything my mind or dreams can
            conceive in discovering what my Creator has put me here to be,
            unregulated, unrestricted or governed.With such sovereignty also comes
            the responsibility to “make whole again” any property or person I
            accidentally damage inherent in right of self defense of said property
            or person. The rest can vote for your leader, IbFreeAmerican.

      • Chloe Rowles

        Well, yeah, Bernie DOES. The message is: if you tax people too much, they lose incentive to earn more. They will stop working or move to another country. As Thatcher said…the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples’ money. A few European countries have tried this and their rich people moved to another country.
        AND when you start this high tax program to fund all of this free ‘stuff’, it continues to grow. Income tax was supposed to be temporary and at 10%, SS was not supposed to be over !%. The government never gives up income, it only escalates…. We should learn from OUR mistakes as well as those of other countries. Problem is: today’s young people can’t even define socialism, but will vote for it….THAT is insane!

        • Sara Woods

          I think many people know exactly what socialism is…a counter-part to a capitalist state. Here in the US we are already a quasi-socialist country…..but we could do better. Outsourcing only costs us more. yes, we all know that taxes in countries like denmark and sweden are higher, but have you looked at how much higher? We pay the, 10% or 15% less taxes (not sure of the exactly numbers and comparisons differ depending upon the country) but we get so much less. We get perpetual war, we get corporate welfare etc etc. that is the real ‘Nanny state’. And personally, thatchers words do not strike me at all…..instead of looking to quote phrases to try to make your point, you can look to real word models and how they are working well…like Denmark. This article is ONE PERSON”S view…..No system is perfect, but here in the US, we need change and we need it fast b/c our middle class is disappearing and it has nothing to do with laziness.

        • haneyps

          Exactly!!! I live in Belgium and to prove your point about constantly raising taxes, the Belgian government just recently raised the tax on electricity from 6% to 21%…like electricity wasn’t already expensive enough.

      • Sam Stak

        Lefty socialists blame capitalism for the problems in the U.S. But that isn’t the problem at all. Its goverment corruption! But are to blind or naive to see it. (So much for the lefty intelligence statement). Now, from the great wisdom of the left, they want socialism. So that the same corrupt goverment can now fully be in contol of all aspects of American life. Socialism dosent work! It won’t fix ANYTHING, it can only compound the problems hampering the U.S.
        Corruption is the problem NOT, capitalism!

        • Sara Woods

          No…it;s corporations corrupting the govt. Gov;t inherently is not corrupt, people are….and people with lots of money are. And, omg….if I here someone else say socialism doesn’t work, omg!!! If I hold up a banana to your face, and you tell me it’s an apple, how can I convince you…..if you choose to consistently see an apple, I can’t help you. Just read up about it….please.

          • alteredz

            The politicians are taking the money and selling us out. You blame capitalism when you should blame the crooked politicians, like the Clintons.

  • delores_in_wa_state

    I appreciate your very wordy attempt to explain how horrible Denmark is, but I’d have preferred to hear what you get on you take home pay and a list of what you can depend on once its paid.

    Let me show you what I a mean with my own income here in America to survive:

    My income each month is: $1912.00

    WHAT I PAY OUT OF IT WAGES:

    When working one pays Federal Tax, Social Security and Medicare tax for when one retires, as well as, workman’s compensation tax and unemployment
    tax should you get hurt, or lose your job. Corporations used to pay this for you but
    it is now shifting more toward the individual wager earner.

    State income tax on sales is 8.8-10.2% of all sales (except food) depending on
    city in Washington state.

    Rent -‘safe’ area (lower end) – $1170.00

    Water, sewer, rubbish removal – $ 70.00

    Lights, heat, cooking utility – $ 70.00 avg.month caculated years

    Telephone .$ 60.00 month

    Internet connection – $ 51.00 month

    Health Insurance (basic) – $ 152.00 month (medical & dental)
    And I must pay $10 – 40 copay to see the doctor, and at least $10.00 each for
    every prescription drug above the cost of the monthly premium) I take 5 diff.
    pills.

    Dental copay, or Diagnostics is another co-pay from 20 – 50%
    – $ 60.00 mo extra

    Auto/renter Insurance ` $84.00 mo (can’t license your car in WA without this

    Gasoline/Petrol – huge tax calculated in. $ 3.79 per 128 oz/ 3.8L currently cheap.
    Two tanks of gasoline is about $80.00/month

    So far, of the $1912/mo income I owe: $1797 and I haven’t even eaten yet, let along pay income tax on my retirement money that I saved in a government account that they drew interest on for 40 years,

    Luckily I still have a child at home who helps with food and extras.
    We don’t pay for cable or satellite tv – that would be another $100-$200.00 month depending on how may decent channels you’d get in the midst of all the spanish speaking channels, music channels, shopping channels and other rubbish they pile on first, before any channels that are entertaining to intelligent people.

    My Federal Income tax is estimated at $ 250.00 to $300.00/month (15% of my Pensioner wages) unless you can deduct charity, medical co-pay, or child care or other dependents credit.

    Below are other forms of taxes you pay in America:

    If you own a home there is a high property tax.
    Buy a car there is sales, and luxury excise tax
    Get license plate tab renewed yearly: tax on that
    Utility bills? Tax on that. Cigarettes, alcohol? Hefty taxes on those ‘harmful’ things.
    Now they sell “legal’ marijuana, so they tax that at 30% I think they said. It is doing
    so well since last the voting in Nov. 2013 they are discussing raising the tax on it.

    Do you see?
    America is not all its cracked up to be unless you are one of the few who has been able to retain your decent wage job. Most have felt Corporate America stab stab them in the back to ship jobs overseas to China. The 2% of greedy billionaires who owned the corporations that built this country were not satisfied with a NET profit in the 1960’s of 200%; they had to have more. In 2010 it was a whopping 758% and still rising.

    So out of your monthly start pay – after all necessities are taken out … how much do you have left over for food, clothing and recreation? Just give us the before and after then we can make an informed choice as to where we’d be better off. As for me, I think I’d be less likely to starve or die from lack of medical care in Denmark.

    • Henrik Jørgensen

      So, you agree that government is evil (they take your income and doesn’t give a fuck about you) and the Danish government lies to the world when it says everything is ‘free’?

      Or were you just whining that your government is just as bad, if not worse?

      • Asaf

        He says he also pays a lot of taxes but doesn’t get “free” healthcare or education.
        You pay a lot of taxes so that everyone could study in Denmark, not just the rich, then get a higher paying job and contribute to the next generation of students getting their free education.

      • HumbleGardener

        If he lives in Seattle, he is living in “Denmark Lite” because they are among the the more socialistic parts of the country. He pays nearly 2/3 of his take home pay for rent. Therein lies the problem. Freedom is difficult sometimes. Zoo animals never have to worry about food, safety, disease or injury. Their only duty is to remain calm and be an example to onlookers. The same animal in the wild is free, but must cope with hunger, pecking orders, disease, injury and predators. Given the choice, would any of us choose a life sentence in the zoo? My guess is many would indeed.

        • Shane McParland

          Actually, poor people are trapped in a “Zoo”, but one that neglects them and doesn’t make sure they are well fed, clothed, etc. That “Zoo” is called retail wage slavery and involves making barely enough (or not enough) to survive. You see my metaphor makes more sense because we interact with these people everyday and they are often observed behind glass or counters across the US.

          • haneyps

            How about trying to tell that to Chris Gardner and see what his response would be.

      • Exactly as what Asaf said. At least the Danish government(which supposedly take your income and doesn’t give a fuck) actually provides decent public education, medical services, and retirement plans. With the given amount of tax most of Americans pay, although the total sum is way lower, it is the general consensus that Americans are not proportionately benefiting from social welfare (which is not even that much compared to the european nanny states) they actually PAID FOR. As much as you are tired of libertarian americans wrongfully praising Danish nanny state, it is a little misguided of you too to think that America is liberal and efficient country– it’s actually pretty dysfunctional, but in a completely different way than Denmark!

      • Shane McParland

        They are arguing that our country is in fact worse for people that make less money, the “working class” also known as the working poor don’t qualify for our social safety nets and still pay taxes and usually don’t get health insurance, vacation days, etc

    • rebs

      $1912/month take home and you’re living somewhere that costs $1700/month? You don’t have a tax problem, you have a math problem. You can’t afford to live where you live. So either get your income up, or move to a place that you can afford.

      • Sara Woods

        Of course…..this person should just MOVE!! Right, that solves the problem.

      • Shane McParland

        Not everyone can move so easily considering your need financial resources to do so, a job lined up ahead of time, cash saved up for expenses, etc

      • 1eye2see

        This is a retired person with no extra cash. Maybe an accountant could help them with finding new deductions. But they can’t raise the cash to move themselves and their belongings. You are not only nasty but you are unrealistic.

    • haneyps

      44% of $4000 (which is the equivalent of his Danish income) is $1760. Subtract that from $4000 and what is left over is $2240. Multiply that by the 25% sales tax and he has $1680 left over. Simple math with all of the information that he provided. I live in Belgium and I can tell you that housing, whether purchasing or renting is VERY expensive throughout Europe. I pay at least $200 more per month than what this man clears per month. I pay around $1850 per month for rent, NOT including utilities. Concerning healthcare…don’t believe all of the liberal BS that those such as Michael Moore like to spit out. Healthcare in Europe sucks compared to healthcare in the U.S. Availability is the biggest issue. I know people who’ve gone to the emergency room and were sent home because the doctors said they couldn’t do anything for them. You just don’t know what in the hell you have.

      • Sara Woods

        Sales tax is only what is purchased, not a flat tax on your income…..just saying. And you think people in the US don’t get sent home from the emergency room??? C’mon, thousands die each year from LACK of medical care. This issue with europe’s healthcare is based upon what? Do you live there? Or is this just a good story you got from Fox News. I hear they are the only honest news outlet. Do you not see? You pay the govt LESS money for those things that are provided here in the US by huge corps that have a profit motive…..and the biggest industry is healthcare. So you WANT to pay more? b/c you do….we all do. We pay about 30%+ more than these other countries. But no, this is just liberals BS.

        Moreover, people either make a living wage for their WORK or they get assistance from the govt’, who would you like to see pay? YOU in tax dollars or the companies people work for? Doesn’t it make more sense, and help people become more self-suffiecient to actually get a living wage? And with our tax rate here in the US, we could already be putting money toward things that matter….not war (bloated defense budget that goes to rich defense contractors, of which most of congress and those that work in these gov’t jobs have an interest in) or corporate welfare. Taxing the rich more, setting a livable min wage, pooling our money in the gov’t to provide healthcare using our existing medical infrastructure will make everyone’s life better, why is that so hard to understand? Why is that such a horrible thing? Sometimes I think people do not understand why they are complaining about!

        • Billca

          “Sometimes I think people do not understand why they are complaining about!”
          Nor apparently do you.

          Do you have a reading comprehension problem? @haneyps:disqus says he lives in Europe, Belgium to be precise. That gives him the bona fides to describe health care there. Do you have any idea how the health systems work in Belgium? In the EU or UK? In some of these nationalized systems where you get service depends on which county or zone you live in. You can live 3 Km from an excellent hospital with empty beds. But because it’s across an invisible jurisdictional boundary, you can’t use it without prior approval. You must use your county/zone’s hospital, the one that’s 20 Km away, perhaps over a mountain pass.

          When you talk of a “living wage” you’re talking about many jobs that were created as entry-level positions. These are low-skill kinds of jobs, the kind of jobs you can train any 16 year old to do. When the government mandates these people be paid a specified “minimum” amount that far exceeds their true value do you think there won’t be consequences? To top it off, you demand the business provides healthcare benefits if they work these overpaid employees more than 3.5 – 4 days a week. In most cases you’re doubling labor expenses with no added value to the business and perhaps doubling it again with the healthcare costs. If they have to raise prices to remain profitable they risk going out of business. So what’s the solution?

          They do what McDonalds and other companies are beginning to do. You automate those positions. At $15/hr each employee consumes over $31,000 in pay and some extra amount in benefits per year. If a modest sized McDonalds has a pool of 15 cashiers to cover 3 shifts 7 days a week working 5.5 hours/day that’s over $300,000/yr in expense. The owner can now afford to spend $150k-$200k to put automated kiosks at the counter to do the job cheaper. Plus the owner saves time because he doesn’t have to deal with scheduling issues, no-shows, sick days, etc. Once automation goes in, it’s more cost effective to keep it even if wages retreat. Those jobs are lost, probably forever. Along with their taxes and HC contributions. As that technology gets used more its capabilities improve and the cost goes down. That threatens those with a $10-$12 minimum wage. Now where will those people get their income and work experience?

          • haneyps

            Yes I do have the “bona fides” to describe healthcare here…and I never said anything on the subject of “a living wage”. You must be confused again.

          • Billca

            @haneyps:disqus – Sorry my comment wasn’t clear. I was addressing Sara Woods’ comments about a “living wage.”

          • haneyps

            Not a problem at all.

        • haneyps

          Uh…would you like to read my comment again? You can then answer your own stupid questions.

        • haneyps

          How about completely reading what people write before you respond. What did I say? I said I LIVE in Belgium!!!!! I KNOW what I am talking about where you simply listen to the ones who would have the U.S. become no more than Europe 2.0…the mainstream media and the likes of Michael Moore, etc. For the most part, every European country has at LEAST a 49-52% tax rate NOT INCLUDING 20+% sales taxes across the board as well as high road taxes, high fuel taxes, high cost of utilities, etc., etc., etc. Their governments are even more crooked than that of the U.S. Until you’ve lived in someone else’s shoes, shut up.

      • Katherine Heicksen

        Have you used the US healthcare system? Its one of the most expensive in the world and reasonably priced health insurance isn’t available for most of the working middle class. Even if you are lucky enough to have insurance that your employer helps pay for, you still pay hundreds every month for it and then it often doesn’t kick in and help cover medical expenses until you have paid thousands of dollars out of pocket. Basic maintenance medications for things like asthma can cost hundreds of dollars out of pocket for the consumer. And then there are wait times. Doctors that accept insurance are often booked for months ahead of time. Emergency rooms will kick you out here too, or make you wait for hours in the lobby before seeing you. The wealthy have access to decent healthcare here, but most Americans really don’t. We also are exposed to all kinds of toxins in our food and environment that make us sick but which are illegal in the EU, because you have governments protecting you from corporate greed. Here, we have a shadow government running the show which is owned by our corporations and a few top dogs. They are who benefit from our taxes. Our schools are wanting, our infrastructure is disintegrating, we are being poisoned, we have horrible social safety nets, we work really long hours for unlivable wages and don’t get paid vacations or family leave and our justice system is completely broken with a for profit prison industry locking up more people than anywhere else in the world. Trade you.

        • Gabriel

          So because the current health care system is broken and you personally cannot afford health care we should now replace our health care system with another broken unfair system. Please tell me what is your fair share of what someone else has worked for.

          • Katherine Heicksen

            You assume far too much. I am currently one of the fortunate ones. I have employer sponsored health insurance thanks to my husband’s job and its better than most. It is crazy expensive though and we still get into financial trouble when serious illness or injury happens. I work quite hard myself (for very little money because I love what I do) but I am self employed and would not have access to health insurance as a self employed small business owner if it were not for my husband’s job. I personally don’t want to take someone else’s fair share of anything. However I DO want our taxes to be put back into our people and communities in the form of universal healthcare, education and well planned infrastructure, rather than being used for war, prisons and corporate subsidies. We already pay the taxes. However, the taxes are not being reinvested into our communities. THAT is the problem. Those that are afraid of moochers shouldn’t veto social welfare programs outright but rather should support programs that, while guaranteed to all citizens, require some form of contribution by recipients if not in the form of money than in the form of a moderate amount of work benefiting the community. I don’t like handouts as they are demoralizing. I DO believe in the power of the people to create a more equitable society with reassuring and stress reducing safety nets though.

        • grumpygramps

          Good bye! Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

      • Seattle_bound

        And you think all Socialism is the same throughout the Continent there? There are different kinds of Socialism – just as there are different types of performing services in the same titled religions.

        The Scandinavial style of Socialism is where Bernie is basing his ideas on – that of a Democratic Capitalist country with a Social minded government who thinks of the well being of ALL citizens and according the following study it must work very well. We have don’t it the purelyCapitalist way and it is NO longer working, and trickling down has barely gotten anyone damp.

        from ‘The Happiest Countries in the World Study’
        as ranked:.

        #1 Denmark
        #2 Finland
        #3 Switzerland
        #4 Norway
        #5 Sweden
        #6 Netherlands

        The U.S. didn’t even make the top 26

        Page 41 – Figure 2.8 titled: “Average Happiness (with Life as A Whole) by Country”.
        Learn about it from the entire study here: http://worldhappiness.report/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2012/04/World_Happiness_Report_2012.pdf

        • Disgruntled Amoeba

          I point you to Switzerland on that list. A liberal democracy with direct participatory systems. It offers the amenities of social democracies whilst retaining the liberal value of hard work over handouts. They can offer healthcare and more with some of the lowest taxes in the world. In fact, the Swiss economy remains the most robust and efficient economy in the world.

        • Billca

          I wonder if it’s any coincidence that Denmark ranks 7th on the list of countries that consume the most antidepressants (80 per 1,000 people) and that their use of these drugs is up 45% since the turn of the century?

          No wonder they’re so happy. Better living through modern chemistry.

    • Sara Woods

      Corps have no accountability to people……they provide jobs at slave wages (many of them) and give back to their workers less and less….but this is ok in many peoples eyes and if we aren’t ok with this, we are disingenuous, want ‘free stuff’, and hate rich people. thank you for your post. this is exactly how the majority of Americans live…..check to check and one or two paychecks away from living on the street…..but no, those that want the system to work FOR us, not just the rich, went free stuff. smh.

      • Travis Porter

        You are not forced to work for corporations. Corporations are only accountable to their shareholders and such. The biggest problem in this country is crony capitalism. That’s a direct effect of corrupt government officials that cuts deals through lobbyist that pad their pockets. Increasing the size of government will only increase the corruption in this country.

        • Sara Woods

          Crony capitalism is the fault of gov’t….yeah, ok. It’s called the HUMAn factor, and corps are a hello of a lot more motivated to be corrupt. Just look at our gov’t now….b/c of corporate interests, we have corruption. Would corruption in gov’t happen if there weren’t big monied interests involved? Probably not. Do I think gov’t can slave all of our problems? NO! But corps certainly will not.

      • Billca

        Shareholders in companies are not people? What an idiotic statement. People buy stocks to invest in companies and to get a return (dividend) on their money. When you or i do it, we’re able to voice our opinions at shareholder meetings, even with just one share. Financial funds invest in companies too. Most times they’re using other people’s money – e.g. retirement money, 401k funds, etc – to buy large blocks of shares and returning the dividends to them, less corporate fees. People are behind every public corporation. Even private corporations have their investors to please, even if it’s just the bank that gave them seed money.

        Here’s a thought… people who are living paycheck to paycheck are either living beyond their means and/or have not developed the skills necessary to increase their earning potential.

        • Shane McParland

          How exactly are they supposed to develop new skills if they have no money to invest in education?

          Most people living paycheck to paycheck are not living beyond their means by choice. Sure maybe they could move somewhere with a lower cost of living (like the country) but there are also less jobs in rural areas. And then they would need their own transportation (which requires money, a stockpile of it for a downpayment) and then you add other expenses like insurance. Then you also have the challenge of saving up for moving costs. So again if you are living paycheck to paycheck in the first place, you can’t save anything and are stuck in the trap of the working lower middle class.

          • Billca

            Not every person is capable, in their present state, to do those things. It’s a slow progression that takes real effort and determination. If you’re earning minimum wage flipping burgers or stocking shelves at Marshall’s you’re unlikely to make a living at those jobs unless you’re working 16 hours a day (even then that’s thin). Those jobs are used to introduce people to working for an employer, being prompt, proper appearance, following directions and all those other “good work habits”. Turnover in these jobs is usually high with people working for 4-10 months before moving on. Some change jobs for slightly higher pay, a job closer to home or for their preferred hours. Others do it to broaden their experience or find somewhere they can get an opportunity do learn better skills. But how you spend your free time plays a big part too. Days off spent in a library reading up on a career you want can help. So can reading up on skills to get you to the next step, like skills supervising or managing other people. Or how to manage your own time better.

            A young neighbor woman of ours was only 19 and had an infant girl but no husband/father around. Lived with her mother. Almost zero opportunities. But she’d learned a little bit at her only job – building network cables – that she looked for anyone who would give her a job. A small contractor gave her that first break. He’d pay her to make custom cables for his business (computer room/facility cabling), but it was piece work at $1 per cable regardless of length. For her it allowed her to work at home while watching her daughter. After two months she asked if she could do more. He brought her into a job on the weekend when “grandma” could babysit for her. At $8/hr she wouldn’t get rich. But she learned. She established a reputation for doing a good job, learning and being capable. In three months he gave her small weekend jobs to do herself and did them well. In her circumstances, with an infant too young for pre-school, she had to hold that work for 4 years, progressing to earning $17/hr. Her mother was not rich and it was a burden for them to meet their expenses. But a few times she had to work with client I/T networking people to troubleshoot. She went the extra mile to learn the basics of how computers networked. That led to part-time weekend jobs helping several small companies reconfigure PCs on new networks. She learned more. She read (devoured) everything about networking. After two more years she took a class about networking and aced it. She applied for any job she could get to and landed one a week before her daughter turned six. Since then she’s built that into a nice career she likes. Before I retired I saw her (her daughter was almost 16) and she was pulling down $88k/yr as a network manager in a modest size company.

          • haneyps

            Keep in mind who you are communicating with…most likely melinials who were spoiled by mommy and daddy.

        • Sara Woods

          What a judgmental thing to say….do you even realize how many people live this way and do N OT live behind their means? omg.

          • Billca

            Yes, I’m very aware. I’ve seen people who got “underwater” due to unfortunate circumstances like illnesses, unfair lawsuits against them, layoffs, etc. I have a family member who counsels people on how to manage their expenses and finances. Sometimes their choices don’t give them any “good” options, but sometimes they’re surprised at what they can manage to do.

            Sometimes clients refuse to compromise or amend their lifestyle in order to build up their finances. Some won’t cut back on alcohol or tobacco consumption which can be expensive habits. Others won’t give up their HBO/premium channels to save money.

            Fortunately most people aren’t stubborn and take the advice and work their way out of the hole.

    • dearpru

      Tea party libertarians forget that most people are at the mercy of landlords, for-profit healthcare providers, for-profit insurance agencies, for-profit universities, etc. Everyone in the U.S. except for the top 10% is one paycheck away from living in a cardboard box. People in the U.S. without an education, cognitive abilities and connections are always in danger of being taken into the “system” via our out-of-control police state. Denmark has a much more humane approach to handling its disenfranchised citizens. The safety net here in the U.S. is non-existent. I would much rather have a safety net in place and a humane govt than a govt that is only for those who can buy influence and security.

    • frank stevy

      Is someone stopping you from working a second or third jobs ( like our parents ? ) Of taking classed to educate to another level ?
      Making excuses for your misfortunes is the easiest part , expecting others to pay is Criminal !
      Stop inviting your misfortune in voting for Liberals whom have great words and bad actions , or just finally read world History , with an IQ of over 88 you should understand the old saying about repeating the same behavior and expecting different results !

  • Jane Jensen

    The guy who wrote this is an ungrateful idiot that does not know anything about what he is talking about or how comfortable of a life he has knowing he will always have a rich government to fall back on. And Denmark takes care of its people!

    • Sara Woods

      It just proves that the grass IS always greener….over the pond or the septic tank!

  • “Danish Libertarian and adult film producer.”

    Nice…

  • cj10

    What is your homeless population? Do people avoid seeking medical care because of the cost and potential cost of hospitalization which is in the thousands of dollars a day?

  • Kay Washko

    “I have personally chosen not to
    own a TV or a radio. My computer actually belongs to my mother and my
    phone belongs to a close friend of mine. Therefore I do not own anything
    that needs to be licensed, because I fully reject the notion that I
    have to pay this license-fee.” So you are living off of someone else’s dime. Hypocrtical, no?

  • Maggotpunk

    The author writes as if we’re children, naive to the fact that taxes pay for governmental services. Thanks for the condescending insults, but does the naive author think that if affordable health care goes away that magically we’ll all be prosperous? Does he think that if education is privatized that society will be better off because people can’t afford an education or have to go into debt in order to get one? Time to grow the fuck up.

  • Steve Quinney

    You should move to America H. Rolland and see how much of your 40K is left after the healthcare industry , the education system, just to name two things leave you with.

  • UseOfFarce

    A ridiculous, ludicrous, idiotic editorial – H. Roland J. is completely ignorant of America not to mention American political-economics. If he came to live in the U$A for any length of time, without substantial amounts of capital, and with any experience of how predatory and punitive a $ociety that exists here, he’d go scurrying back to Denmark and its “Nanny” state begging for mercy, glad to be a Dane complaining about taxes and licenses on “devices.” Not too bright, HRJ.

  • Krystina Bair

    This should be a MUST READ for all Bernie Sanders fans.

  • jack roberts

    those 5 years during ww2, americans saved your ass, people look for the american dream, which is alive and well, not the dane dream, stick to your business, not americas

  • Johnny Alexandersson

    oh yeah! take your guidance from a porn producer. Idiots

  • Laurie64

    Yes you do pay high taxes. So do we. But in return, you get benefits. Here if you get any benefits, you are looked down upon. Our taxes go to pay for tax breaks for the rich, for corporations to move our jobs overseas, and for subsides to already profitable oil companies. We have a current political party that is working to destroy unions and workers benefits. They basically are trying to get rid of minimum wages and overtime pay. They want people so desperate that they will work for next to nothing as many hours as told to in fear of losing what little income they are making. These are the Koch Bros. and the secret group ALEC. And believe me, if you ever had a sick child, no money and no insurance paid by your employer, you would realize very quickly that something is wrong in our country. Ever since the 1980s, the rich have gotten richer and the the middle class poorer. The tax rate on the rich and corporations used to be much higher. This was in the 1950s and 1960s when our country exploded in infrastructure and the middle class. Now everything is going to the rich and the middle class is disappearing. I wouldn’t complain about your taxes if you have a chance for education and medical help.

  • Eric Riley

    I notice the electric bill _after_ taxes is about the same as what I am paying… Hmmm – our taxes are lower, so that means a private company is pocketing the difference.

    Yeah – it’s easy to whine about taxes, especially while enjoying the civilization they are paying for.

  • Kevin Calahan

    Lower taxes are meaningless if a person can’t afford health insurance or to send their children to college. If you are underinsured or have no health insurance in America, you lose everything and when you’re out on the street, you are on your own. I wonder how many Danes live in their car with their family or under a bridge? Half of American workers get no vacation time or sick pay. How many Danes get at least 4 weeks of paid vacation or sick days? So, in America you go to work sick or your family goes hungry, how many Danes would like that? Do you have any idea what it cost for child care in America? Obviously not and if you want to have two members of your family working you have to have child care or a family member to take care of your child, if possible. Today grandma and grandpa must work till they’re in their 70’s or drop dead. Nothing in life is free, we all know that, but to not worry about paying for college, affordable healthcare for all citizens, childcare, sick pay, affordable drugs and a minimum wage of what? $20.00 in Denmark instead of $8.00, yes $8.00, would be worth 60% in taxes. In no country should getting sick mean you go broke and are left homeless. In no country should people have to work 50 or 60 hours a week and still not afford to feed their family or pay for heat or rent. Do you how much health insurance costs in America, do you have any idea what it costs to see a dentist or buy eyeglasses? My mother was from Copenhagen, when her relatives came to visit, they were shocked at what we had to pay for and how expensive medical care and school was in this country. When they learned that going to college is about $32,000 per year and a in state univerity is about $10,000 they were shocked. And that doesn’t include a couple of thousand dollars for books. I have no problem paying more taxes as long as they are not spent on anymore military expenditures.

  • Shane McParland

    Yes, Denmark taxes are so annoying, they’d rather have around 20% child poverty like the US because ya know, freedom! Meanwhile Denmark has basically solved homelessness, child poverty, extreme income inequality, etc. Their tax rate range is from 0 to 50%, our tax rate is also from 0 to 50%. Both are based on your income. Look up the tax rates of all countries on wikipedia. The bottom line is they pay slightly more in tax, sure, but they get a lot more and have a considerably higher quality of life. They have standard maternity and paternity leave. An average of over a month of vacation time (we have under 2 weeks), working an average of 37 hours per week vs our 40-60. The tax brackets are not comparable unless you specifically account for things you don’t have to pay out of pocket. Healthcare costs are easily $9600/yr for a family, it’s free there. College is now one of the biggest burdens on young people in America – free in Denmark. The essentials for survival exist as a cushion which enables you to do things like start new businesses. Imagine if you could create a small business today with considerably less risk. I’m in favor of becoming more like Denmark and walking the line between their democratic socialism and keeping our American entrepreneurial spirit.

  • Scott Albert Johnson

    “This is of course my very personal view, ***which is not shared by many danes***”

    Maybe you should have put that part up at the top. Seems like it’s pretty important.

  • Eddie Besketti

    “I have no idea how much you pay in taxes or what you can deduct from them” – well there you go H. Roland J. You really haven’t done your homework and just feel the need to whine and cry that you don’t get to keep it all for yourself. But I bet you still want to keep all the benefits that you get from the Danish tax. As an American who has now lived here in Denmark for 25 years. I can tell you that Denmark – even with all of the high taxes – is a waaaaaaaay more affordable place to live than in America. I made better money per hour in Los Angeles than I do in Denmark. In Los Angeles I (we) pay a high state tax and a high federal tax, Not as high as in Denmark but it is not all that different, My tax on my paycheck was right around 40%. And then of course there was tax on everything else -surprise – just like in Denlmark. But what you get for your taxes in America is very little compared to what you get for your taxes in Denmark. I feel it is a hugh and exteme benefit to pay the small portion more to the Danish State than the lesser to the American state. So maybe you should do yourself a favor and get a little better understanding of what American is lacking at a huge cost and so that you can better understand what those Danish taxes you pay actually do for you and your country so that you can be one of those happy Danes instead of crying on the internet

  • Gradivus

    Would you have to pay tax on, or get a license for, a television set manufactured so that it is impossible for it to receive Danmarks Radio (DR) broadcasts? If so, would it be legal in Denmark for an entrepreneur to make and sell such television sets?

  • Katherine Heicksen

    This author clearly has no understanding of taxes and economics in the USA. Neither do most Americans. We have federal income tax, state income tax, sales tax, social security tax, property tax, transportation taxes, luxury taxes, energy taxes, and more (including taxes the average consumer never sees that contribute to the price of goods and services before they arrive on our shelves). When you add it all up, its not that much lower than Denmark’s taxes. BUT, here in America, we still have to pay a ton of money for medical care, higher education and child care, and social security doesn’t even begin to cover the expenses of life after retirement. If you calculate the total taxes (including the hidden ones and those we don’t call taxes) Americans actually pay quite a bit of tax. Then, if you add all those extra expenses that the Danes don’t have because their taxes pay for them or subsidize them, US citizens pay WAY more and work much harder for it. And we live with the constant stress of knowing that the loss of job or an accident or major illness can plunge us and our families into extreme poverty. We pay plenty of taxes, the difference is that our taxes go toward the military industrial complex, the largest and most congested privately owned prison industry and corporate subsidies (CEO pockets) rather than being reinvested into our communities. Danes pay for their welfare state sure, but we Americans? We pay too, we just don’t get worthwhile returns.

  • alteredz

    Here is the truth that the liberals don’t want to hear. From the article:
    “You don’t have the right to impose your moral values upon others for ‘the greater good.”

    All of the examples about how bad it is in the US, how people need help are really secondary to the above moral statement. We have free will to give VOLUNTARILY to those in need. Forcing others to pay for those that claim need has 3 problems, other than the moral issue this quoted statement above points to. IF you could convince me (you can’t) that you have a RIGHT to insist that others be “o.k.” with part of the tax dollars, which we have no choice to pay (unless we want to invite the use of FORCE against us if we don’t pay), go towards provisions to INDIVIDUALS (food, health care, housing, free college, etc.) you still have these facts to deal with:

    1) The government is inefficient in redistributing wealth stolen from others through taxes to individuals. https://www.theadvocates.org/effective-government-welfare-compared-private-charity/
    2) Moving from individual, voluntary to local to state to federally run “welfare” invites the moral hazard of people trying to game the system. That is, people who could work but won’t because it’s easier to stick their hand out for their free rid. The larger the organization, the more faceless it becomes, and the easier it is for individuals to see it as a “thing” they are defrauding, than an individual, even though the “thing’s” money is taken from individuals.
    3) Once you create a large system that people can easily tap money from, even if they are not looters who just want to steal, the incentive to work and work hard diminishes.
    4) Taken separately, or together, what the above 3 points invite is a growing class of people that feel entitles to government welfare.

    This, along with the moraly corrupt view that it is o.k. to enforce your belief that others MUST give money to the government to help those claiming need, there are the problems stated above.

    With the advent of the internet and social media, we can know where people who really in need are and give to them as we are able VOLUNTARILY. I have given anonymously to those I’ve met (strangers) who showed need and didn’t even ask for help, to those in my community through reputable charities, to those in my community that I found out about needing help, through gofundme sites. We don’t NEED the government to solve this problem, just generosity (that most liberals claim to have as a basis for their desire for welfare programs) and the desire to use technology and word of mouth to find those in need.

    And again, You have NO RIGHT to enforce your desire for a welfare system on others when it means you are sicking the forceful dogs of government (IRS) on those that disagree.

    • haneyps

      Amen! The defrauding in the European countries by individuals simply trying to get over on the system happens in epic proportions. Everyone is in a union here in the European countries. Unemployment and disability benefits are the easiest to defraud and boy are they taking advantage of it.

  • Kisang

    Thank you so much, H. ROLAND J., for explaining to us, naive Americans, that government services are paid for by our taxes, that was a revelation. I have a suggestion: why don’t you, as a true Viking, move to the US with your $40 gross and see how that works out.

  • AKcharle

    I agree with you completely, however, how do you reconcile the fact that you use other peoples communication devices that they have to pay taxes on? What is that called?

  • heynorm48

    The road to liberal he11 is paved with good intentions.

  • Dean Carr

    Denmark is completely besides the real point, which is that America is broken, and that radical action is needed to fix it. Those who refuse to acknowledge the glaring social issues are part of the problem. America was the world’s fortunate son, the country that had everything, but inevitably a small handful of exploiters have found ways to divert an inordinately large portion of the nation’s productivity into their own bank accounts, and will fight tooth and nail to protect it. Inequality is headed towards saturation point, just as it did in France a couple of centuries ago. An explosion of violence is surely coming in the future, perhaps sooner than anyone thinks, and when it does it will make the French revolution look like the Teddy Bears picnic. After all, most of the population are armed to the teeth. America, save yourself while you still can!

  • exfl

    Interesting, but does the author think that we Americans do not pay multiple taxes? We pay 20% or so as federal income tax. Then we pay the feds another 8% for Social Security and another 3% for Medicare. In most states we pay another 5% or more as state income tax. For nearly every dollar that we spend we pay 7% or 8% in state and local sales taxes. We pay utility taxes and various fees of 10% on our lights and phone and cable bills. We pay thousands each year in property taxes (or if we rent our landlord pays them), and we pay huge health insurance premiums (if lucky enough to be insured) which are also essentially a tax. All of this adds up to nearly half of a typical family’s income. So what do we get for this? We get mediocre schools with oversized classes taught by teachers who may have to have a second job to survive. We get higher education paid for out-of-pocket or with loans at exorbitant interest rates. We get a health care system where, after spending a huge proportion of our income for premiums, we still have to pay huge deductibles and co-payments, a system that produces a life expectancy that is 45th in the world. We get crumbling roads and bridges that fall apart under us. Oh yeah, and we get the world’s largest and most bloated military that runs around assuring that Americans intervene in every local squabble around the world. Our system is far from the Nirvana that this naive author sees from a distance.

  • Seattle_bound

    Don’t be tricked into thinking all Socialism is the same throughout the World. There are different kinds of Socialism – just as there are different types of performing services in the same titled religions. In Christianity the services for Catholics, Methodist, Evangelical, and Churches of Christ are all vastly different. Same with Socialism.

    The Scandinavial style of Socialism is what Bernie bases his ideals on – Democratic Capitalist country with a Social-minded government that thinks of the well-being of every citizen, not just some. According to the following study (2012) this style must work pretty well.

    We have done the solely Capitalist way – until greed infected the country – and it is no longer working. The trickling down (from Reagan 40 years ago) has barely gotten anyone damp, and we are worse off now than we were then, so . . . from

    ‘The Happiest Country in the World Study’

    as ranked:.

    #1 Denmark
    #2 Finland
    #3 Switzerland
    #4 Norway
    #5 Sweden
    #6 Netherlands

    The U.S. didn’t even make the top 26 !

    Page 41 – Figure 2.8 titled: “Average Happiness (with Life as A Whole) by Country”.

    Learn about it from the entire study here: http://worldhappiness.report/wpcontent/uploads/sites/2/2012/04/World_Happiness_Report_2012.pdf

  • Josh Allen

    Good god, talk about viewing the world thru radical right wing glasses. I have never read an article filled with such bullshit in my entire life. Of course services aren’t free. Of course people have to pay taxes for such services. But any dumbass should know that if you pool resources, something libertarians are firmly against, services become better, more efficient and cheaper….far cheaper.

  • John Hand w/gunpermit

    It’s a wonder they have any money left for the girl behind the window. Or maybe that is the only thing they can afford for enjoyment. Trips? Too expensive. A nicer house? Forget it. A girl for an hour, well….

  • Debbie G

    I noticed he doesn’t have a phone, TV, radio or computer. He lets his mother and friend pay for those.
    It’s free for him.

  • Chris Frederickson

    I am genetically Danish and NorwegIan, and I lived in Denmark first 2 years. I was offered a lifetime job as a lector/scientist. I came home iinstead.Freedom and opportunity were the deciding factors. Vikings rocked.no doubt about it. But even my Scandinavian friends are looking at America now as the last best hope.

  • Alicia Foy

    One of the things this country is so sorely lacking is healthcare coverage for our people. The writer of this article doesn’t talk much about the healthcare system in his country, other than to say that there is a tax that goes up. I feel that people in other countries with nationalized healthcare have a hard time understanding what it’s like. I have a really horrible chest cold, pretty sure I bruised a rib from coughing this week. Went to an urgent care clinic $99, the prescriptions totaled to over $100….can’t afford them, filled the cough medicine but couldnt afford the other 3 medications prescribed. Was supposed to have a return visit friday, can’t justify another $99 out of pocket. This is a mild illness, if I were to get something worse, It might very well ruin my family. Not having to worry about that, to me, justifies a small tax increase.

  • Revolutionary

    I have to say that this writer and all his complaints about Denmark ring kinda false to me. He actually had the time to sit and write this article rather than getting up at 5 AM to travel to work and work from 7 am till 6 pm and then travel home getting there around 9 pm and then working from home till 12 pm where you then sleep till 4 am to start it over again.

    Just read such an example yesterday about the life of a young middle lvl manager with AT&T. What kind of life is that?

    This writer has the time to sit back and reflect on just how horrible his life is in the safe, comfortable Denmark….and the time to bash that safety and comfort that so many enjoy. He has the time and energy to be disaffected.

    Many Americans don’t even have the time to get a decent night’s sleep because of the social Darwinism experiment the rich are performing on the population here.

    I don’t want to hear it. When this writer has to work so damn hard and so much that he is too tired to write this bullsh|t then I want to hear what he has to say….until then….he has no real idea.

    Enough said.

    This socialist has businesses to run and employees to manage…laters

  • Nancy Jacobsen

    The same system is utilized in Norway. I find it so difficult for people to understand. We lived in Norway and I chose to return to America and now see America trying to duplicate the Socialistic system. UNreal. They do not know how foolish they are.

  • David Barkin

    First he says everything is free, and then he points out that the Democratic Danes VOTED to pay taxes. And what do THEY get for this exorbitant taxes? Free Education, Free Health Care. Real Retirement. Now, I’m just a working man, but when my Federal, State and Local taxes are added up, I wind up paying 40 percent in taxes, and I get NOTHING in return.

    But maybe he’s means those lucky Americans who pay little or no taxes on millions of dollars in income. They pay LESS proportionally then I do, and the Government bends over backwards giving them everything.

    Yeah, sure we Commie Leftists just don’t appreciate the benefits of of helping the poor oppressed Corporations…

  • Ralph_Novy

    Bitter, whining, incoherent drivel.

  • Marc Herlands

    It is clear that corruption and greed can turn any system into oligarchies which give most to the few rich and much less to the rest of the population. All systems require work. When people become lazy and look for easy money, all systems break down. Having said that, the Nordic Models provide longer life, better health, and more comfort for most people with less work and more vacation time than found in the US. It is clear that trickle down, free market capitalism, has not helped but hurt most people in the US and the UK. It is never good for societies where only 5% own everything and the 95% are serfs. Nor is it good for the world. If you want to know why Global Warming persists, the simple answer is that carbon benefits the top 5%. Ad they make the decisions which are based on their self-interest.

  • Puk

    I am a top earner, and I don’t mind paying more taxes, I can easily afford it! Earnings in Denmark even with taxes leave more than enough room for a good life – and you don’t ever have to be afraid of bankruptcy or not being able to pay for the healthcare of family and friends. I lived in America for almost a decade, and when you have to pay for education, healthcare etc etc and while the money you get for the same work is generally lower, you have less money AND less security as a whole.

    Luckily we have democracy, and if people, like you, don’t appreciate the way things are run, you are free to leave – and go live in a place with likeminded people.

  • Kenny Heggem

    Let’s see. We pay $1500 to insure our family per month for subpar high deductible healthcare. We have subpar transit, often requiring ownership of a money sucking polluting car in many parts of the U.S. We send BILLIONS to oil companies in subsidies to make people “think” they pay less to drive a car. Instead of taxing and putting that money toward improving road conditions for cyclists and other vulnerable road users. We have subpar to non existent cycling facilities adding to our obesity (there’s that auto dependence again), traffic, and unhappy non communal spirit. Daycare is average $1200 (cheap side) to $1800 a month. Pre School is even a fee! Can be $100 a month for 4 hrs a week, which does little to help working parents, or $500-1000 for FT pre school. College is $15,000 a year at an average state college. 5 years of debt equals over $75,000 in debt. Our top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 40%. We have folks making 5 million dollars a year paying less per capita than someone making $50k a year. I agree, you pay high taxes. But.. keep in mind what it is like to budget for all these needs. Many, like health care, can just POOF be gone. Get laid off? Pay Cobra $700+ a month until you hopefully find another job with health care benefits or go without it entirely risking losing everything you worked for if you get ill or injured. Now even our public education is under risk with the current nutty administration. I can see why people value “Hyge” so much.
    The grass is always Greener, and I am not in anyway indicating your system is perfection. But we have people dieing here without health care. Prior to our watered down half assed version of what many civilizes countries have in terms of health care, many just died. Or got sick and went bankrupt. Some things should be a part of every civilized society.
    We work long hours. Our wealthy skate around taxes. We do not tax unhealthy food items and non food such as soda (which, due to how poverty stricken much of the USA is, end up being a majority of calorie intake). Cheap calories, they are influenced to just have more chips and Coca Cola. Our vacations tend be a mere 1 week a year average (IF you get it). We don’t have it all that great. Some things, but not all.

  • Hope

    Facts are facts…We must choose which type of goverment fits us and live there.