What fun

One of the side benefits of a well-watched national political debate is the exposure it brings to something obscure and forgotten — like Denmark. Who doesn’t love a country that gave us a dish of frikadeller and rugbrod to go with paid parental leave and universal health care?

“I love Denmark,” said Hillary Clinton during Tuesday’s debate, by way of dismissing a quasi-socialist nation of 5.7 million mostly white people as not the best place to look for solving the problems of a multiethnic democracy of 322 million.

But in fact, the United States may be closer to Denmark than many think.

Libraries and fire departments are socialist institutions.

Denmark, where most of the fire brigades are run by a private company….

35 thoughts on “What fun”

  1. Oh, yes. A nice concerted effort by the Demstream Media to simultaneously promote a fantasy unicorn version of Scandawegia, and to detoxify the brand of Socialism since one of their favourites is not afraid to use the word.

  2. The U.S., where airport security used to be run by a private company, then the government nationalized it, and made a total mess of it.

    “Unsafe at Any Altitude” – Trento

  3. I’m always amused when people talk about Denmark despite fairly obviously having never been there or looked at a map. Denmark is wealthy because it’s essentially a bit of Germany with less onerous restrictions on doing business.

  4. ” it’s essentially a bit of Germany with less onerous restrictions on doing business.”

    And far fitter women.

  5. Hmmm…

    According to the OECD:

    In the United States, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is $41,355 a year

    In Denmark, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is $26,491 a year

    Now, I’m no mathmagician, but it seems to me that $41,355 of disposable income is considerably more than $26,491. Think pf how much frikadeller and rugbrod you could buy with the extra 15 G’s!

    But, hey – paid parental leave, right?

  6. Steve,

    Presumably the Americans spend their extra $14,864 per household on health insurance, whereas the Danes get theirs free?

  7. I love the way Americans often explain away anything they do badly by referring to the size, or population, of their country, without making any effort at all to explain why they matter for the problem in hand.

  8. @Andrew M,

    most people in the US get their health insurance paid for by their employer. Or at least used to, pre-Obamacare. So that wouldn’t make the difference.

    I wonder what else the US left would like about DK if they knew about it? 180% tax on buying new cars, for instance? Massive social conformity?

  9. Andrew – could be, I don’t know if they took off healthcare costs to reach the disposable income figure.

    A quick Google suggests the average employed USanian spends about $4k a year on health insurance. Their employers cover most of the cost.

    OTOH, it’s worth noting most consumer goods and services cost less in the USA (food, housing, petrol, electricity) than they do in the EU. So even “poor” Americans – the supposed beneficiaries of Bernie Sanders style socialism – tend to be more affluent than their Euro counterparts.

  10. Andrew M
    October 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Steve,

    Presumably the Americans spend their extra $14,864 per household on health insurance, whereas the Danes get theirs free?

    Naw, we just get to see that extra 15k in our paychecks before shopping for our own health care – the Danes get it stolen automatically and get what the government feels like giving them.

  11. Bloke in Costa Rica

    The US is enjoying the benefits of electing Barack Obama despite all the predictions that he would be a disaster (although, in fairness, I don’t think most of those people initially ill-disposed towards him realised just how bad he would be) and now they look set fair to elect one flavour of socialist or another, or perhaps a frontman for the Chamber of Commerce at the outside. Serves ’em right. Let it burn. Denmark is a best-case scenario.

  12. Note that the American number doesn’t include the value of employer provided health care insurance…..it’s “disposable” income.

  13. Libraries and fire brigades are socialist – YMBJ!
    Libraries were originally luxury possessions of wealthy men, later monasteries and seats of learning – there isn’t a socialist library to match the Bodleian or Cambridge University Library (the Library of Congress isn’t too bad but q

  14. but quite juvenile, lacking any decent books more than three or four hundred years old).
    The first fire brigade turned Crassus from being fairly rich to by far the richest man in Rome. In England the Fire Brigades were set up by insurance companies. When I was young kids wrre encouraged to look at fire marks to tell the fire brigades which houses were insured by their employer – Sun Insurance, now part of Royal Sun Alliance had the best badge (a smiling sun with wavy rays).
    Is he totally ignorant or just a bare-faced liar?

  15. “Is he totally ignorant or just a bare-faced liar?”

    If someone says something they believe is true when it actually isn’t, is it still a lie?

  16. But why are these people so obsessed with the colour of people’s skins? (as opposed to the contentsof their souls)

    Cunts.

  17. This is the US I’d be impressed if they could even point to Denmark on a map let alone know real facts about it

  18. John77>

    “When I was young kids wrre encouraged to look at fire marks to tell the fire brigades which houses were insured by their employer”

    Are you a Methuselah type? I was under the impression that all local authorities in the country had a public fire brigade by around 1900 or so.

  19. Philip Scott Thomas

    Once you label something socialist, it brings to mind dour Soviet types trotting out dreary worker clothing for the spring fashion line.

    Ha. Guess who gets his understanding of foreign from 1980s TV adverts.

  20. “the Library of Congress isn’t too bad but quite juvenile, lacking any decent books more than three or four hundred years old”

    Sorry John, but that’s nothing more than Oxbridge snobbishness. Books more than 300 years old don’t belong in a library. They belong in a museum. They’re just curiosities.
    Libraries are supposed to be repositories of knowledge, not shrines to the past.

  21. @ BiS
    “Books more than 300 years old don’t belong in a library. They belong in a museum. They’re just curiosities.”
    Including the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, Don Quixote, Pepys, ..,; “Robinson Crusoe” is 296 years old.
    “The Wealth of Nations” pre-dates the US Congress, let alone its library. I don’t reckon that Tim thinks it should be stuck in a MUSEUM.

  22. So Much For Subtlety

    dearieme – “I love the way Americans often explain away anything they do badly by referring to the size, or population, of their country, without making any effort at all to explain why they matter for the problem in hand.”

    Well size makes a difference because it means the resulting bureaucracy has to be so much larger. It also means that drawing up the rules is so much more complex. What do health and safety regulations for hospitals look like in a country that stretches from the North Pole to Mexico? You have to specify how often the air conditioning is cleaned in Fairbanks Alaska?

    It also means appeals are so much harder. In Denmark, if you don’t like something, you tell your neighbour and he turns out to be the Minister of Health. In the US you have to do the equivalent of going to Moscow to petition.

    And of course it is also a code word for race. Danes are Danes. They behave in sensible ways. Not all Americans behave like Danes. Some of them behave like they are in Mogadishu. It is hard to make a system work when that system relies on everyone bucking up, playing the game and abiding by the rule *and* a large chunk of the population flatly refuses to do so.

  23. “If someone says something they believe is true when it actually isn’t, is it still a lie?”

    It becomes more interesting when people convince themselves that something they know to be false is true. To be able to argue with the genuine fervour of the True Believer despite known reality is formidable. That’s who we are up against.

  24. So Much For Subtlety

    abacab – “If someone says something they believe is true when it actually isn’t, is it still a lie?”

    You have to make the Catholic distinction between someone who believes something is true, but isn’t, *and* who has the ability to discover the truth, but they have been too lazy or willful to do so, and someone who believes something that isn’t true, but is unable to reasonable find out the truth. Culpable and non-culpable ignorance.

    So George W Bush and Blair both seem to have believed what they said about the Iraq War and WMD. But Bush did not make his case based entirely on WMD and would have supported the war even if they did not exist. He is in a mildly grey area. But Blair insisted that it was all about WMD and he seems to have gone to some trouble to make sure no one ever gave him a document that said they did not exist. That displays a guilty state of mind so it is worse than culpable ignorance.

  25. John77>

    Oh, I see, you meant as kids you were looking at marks left from the days when etc.

    That makes much more sense, thanks 🙂

  26. SMFS>

    Really? You think anyone had to try to be convinced by the evidence? Saddam was deliberately trying to pretend he had WOMBATS, playing games he thought would protect him from invasion rather than precipitate it.

    Frankly, the idea Blair cooked up a successful conspiracy is somewhat less likely than the idea that Saddam co-operated with the Russians to have his WOMBATS removed so the US would look bad. And that’s a batshit insane theory.

    The reality is that Blair was convinced by what was – leaving hindsight alone for now – actually fairly convincing evidence.

  27. A quick Google suggests the average employed USanian spends about $4k a year on health insurance. Their employers cover most of the cost.

    Can’t be true. That’s about what my employer pays for health insurance in Glorious Socialized Medicine Canada.

  28. The reality is that Blair was convinced by what was – leaving hindsight alone for now – actually fairly convincing evidence.

    Bollocks. Anyone with two brain cells could tell the ‘evidence’ was garbage.

    Particularly when the actual UN weapons inspectors who’d actually been on the ground in Iraq looking for them were saying so.

    Besides which, so what if he did? If Blair thought he had nukes or bioweapons that could be dangerous to Britain, they wouldn’t have gone anywhere near Saddam, because that would just have convinced him to use them.

  29. I was in favour of the Iraq War for reasons of getting rid of dictators, with the caveat that they should have carried out a dress rehearsal in Zimbabwe first.

  30. ” it’s essentially a bit of Germany with less onerous restrictions on doing business.”

    And far fitter women.

    I disprove your assertion thus:

    Sandi Toksvig

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *