Is Denmark Socialist?



I am a citizen of Denmark, the Disneyland
of socialism, where everybody is happy and healthy. Forget the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela and
all those power-mad Marxists who got it wrong. Denmark is the model to follow. There’s just one problem. It’s a fantasy. For it to be true, Denmark would have to be
a socialist country. But it’s not. If it were, it would have gone “Venezuela”
a long time ago. Sorry to bring all the new fans of socialism
the bad news. But that’s the reality. Yes, it’s true that Denmark has high taxes
and a high level of government spending —key features of a socialist mentality. But in almost every other respect, Denmark
is a full-on free market capitalist country. And it has some of the strongest protections
of individual property rights in the world. And it’s a particularly easy place to open
a business. According to the World Bank, there is less
bureaucratic red tape in Denmark than in any other country, except for New Zealand and
Singapore. And the labor market is less regulated than
in most countries. Here’s something you probably didn’t know:
there are no minimum wage laws in Denmark. It’s not surprising then—or maybe it is
surprising, given all the misinformation out there—that Denmark ranks consistently as
one of the top-ranked free market economies in the world by The Fraser Institute in Canada
and The Heritage Foundation. So, if Denmark is not a socialist country,
what is it? The answer is pretty straightforward: it’s
a small capitalist country (about the size and population of Maryland) whose citizens
pay oodles in taxes in exchange for oodles in benefits. Well, what’s wrong with that? you might
ask. Only this: for the government to pay out such
benefits, you need citizens to make enough money to pay the necessary taxes. And that’s only possible through a free
market economy. Let me explain—with some Danish history. Denmark, like its Scandinavian neighbors,
Sweden and Norway, made a remarkable economic recovery after the Second World War. The combination of a highly productive work
force and—get this—low taxes created a lot of wealth. So like every other wealthy welfare state,
Denmark became wealthy before it created the welfare state. Relative to Europe, Denmark’s economic high-water
mark was in the 1950s; relative to the US, it was the early ‘70s. It was then, in the late ’60s and early
’70s, that the country’s ruling elite became preoccupied with wealth redistribution. But the price paid for this social experiment
was steep and swift. The expansion of public spending led to a
severe economic crisis. The national debt skyrocketed. It took decades of consolidation, structural
reforms and curtailing of welfare schemes to straighten out this mess. This is the stuff you never hear about from
the “Danish model” crowd. The sharp tax hikes and spending also sparked
a widespread popular revolt and led to the emergence of the “tax protestors” party,
Fremskridtspartiet. Even though the party no longer exists, the
widespread desire to cut taxes remains. It’s worth noting that the welfare state
originally began with government pension payments to the elderly. These social security-like payments are now
in the process of being overtaken by private pension savings plans—the Danish equivalent
to a 401K. That’s right—in reality, Denmark is gradually
moving away from US-style social security. It can’t afford it. Denmark, the so-called socialist model, is
returning the responsibility for retirement savings back to its citizens. And what about health care…free—right? Nothing is free. Danes pay for their health care through high
taxes. Private health insurance is available, however. It’s becoming more and more popular as long
wait times associated with government-run medical care becomes less and less popular. But in a welfare state, education is free—right? Well, that’s another thing about “free”:
it doesn’t mean ideal. Almost one in five parents in Denmark chooses
to send his or her children to private schools, paying part of the bill themselves. Yes, college is free, and even includes a
living allowance, but there is a growing problem of getting students to graduate. Many wish to stay students and be supported
by the state—one of those welfare-state problems socialists don’t like to talk about. And, again, all this “free stuff” comes
with a price. The average Dane pays 50% of his income in
consumption and income taxes—that’s right, I said 50%—while earning 15% less than the
average American. After taxes, an average American has a 27%
higher disposable income than a Dane. Don’t get me wrong—grey winters aside,
Denmark has much to recommend it. It’s just that being a socialist paradise
isn’t one of them. I’m Otto Brons-Petersen, economist for The
Center of Political Studies in Copenhagen, Denmark, for Prager University.




Comments
  1. socialism – i am not responsible for my education, work ethic, health, community… so you the government should take care of me, you go and figure out how to make me happy, you pay for my education, healthcare, security, you give me a job, you build roads and houses and i still end unhappy, lazy, unemployed, uneducated and hate the government for that.

    capitalism – i am responsible for my education, work ethic, health, community… so i will not expect the government to help me, better go out meet some people, develop some skills, find a job, be useful for my boss and community, save some money get educated, learn about investing and capital building, take care of my health, start saving for a retirement fund early, live on a budget, develop more skills, find a better paid job, start a small businees, become a community leadear and come with ideas how to improve the community, find a purpose that makes you happy.

  2. Capitalism allows (pays) for some socialist policies. However, the socialist policies are a burden and cannot be allowed to grow endlessly else the system collapses.

  3. You seem very confused about what we're talking about when we talk about modern socialism. Nobody is asking for an entirely socialist economy. We're not talking about public ownership of the means of production. We're talking about socializing certain aspects of the economy. Like they have done in Denmark. Denmark is not a strictly socialist country but it is a good example of a country where socialist programs are working. So you're either being disingenuous or you're a moron.

  4. What's ironic is that The US is not a capitalist state, not entirely anyway. Every year that passes America becomes more socialist. And that is the cause, and the source, of many current problems.

  5. Capitalism is cancer. It oppresses thousands of people. The idea of there being no regulations on the market makes there be MILLIONS OF MILLIONAIRES. Millinares are the biggest problem in society. For every millionare how many homeless people are there? You never think about balance in people's imcome you just think about having a lot of money. Communism is the only sustainable form of government. It stops there from being super rich and super poor people. I Know you think I am just a stupid communist but people need to understand what capitalism really is and what it does to people. #Communism

  6. People keep misinterpreting the terms "socialism" (as an economic system) with "social programs". A social program could be the construction of a highway. Or a subsidized transit system. It could be universal health care, or a national pension. Socialism as an economic system has proven to be an abject failure.

  7. Turns out steep income taxes aren't the solution, but instead VAT taxes that actually manage to extract wealth from wealthy economic actors is a better solution. If you raise taxes on corporate actions, the burden of taxation doesn't fall on workers. It seems blindingly apparent that any model (whether what this video actually states is true or not) that taxes the middle-class and lower classes at a disproportionately higher rate than the wealthy is a system devised by the wealthy to placate the working/middle classes with wellfare nets by making them pay for it and largely exempting themselves from the expense. Denmark is a relatively small economy compared to the US and our corporate actors wouldn't lose steam, or even change, if they were made to pay for universal programs a dissolving american middle and working class desperately needs to help pivot and recover.

  8. Irrelevant point to argue the semantics like this. What's important to gleam from denmark of the value of investing in one's citizens. Yes, ease of doing business good in Denmark – which is certainly a good thing. Healthcare for all, childcare, good public schooling and all these other state run programs for the people (paid for by the high taxes mentioned) do not equal 'more red tape'. They have no effect, or in the case of a single-payer healthcare system – less red tape. (Look it up yourselves, it's true.) The problem is when you have large economic actors, like a corporation or a foreign countries lobby, who do not want others entering the markets and lobby for less easy of doing business. Corporations and Small Buisinesses are at odds and the less enriched your people are the less small entrepreneurship can undercut, or circumvent, corporations. Denmark has such ease of doing business simply because it has such strong consumer protection laws. The aim of this video is to discredit self-described socialists who point at the successes of the Norwegian states by twisting the narrative to say, "NO these are actually capitalist countries, so they make a poor example." No they are the prime of example of what we ought to be doing.

  9. Im from Finland, its supposed to be a socialist country, but its not socialist at all. Finland is right wing in multiple ways

  10. Here's what you do, define "Socialism" in a way that:
    A) Anyone you are debating with has even suggested.

    B) Isn't present in EVERY successful, thriving society in the modern world.

    "Democracy" is when a society collectively decides governmental issues, either directly, or through elected representatives.

    "Socialism" is when all or part of an economy is operated collectively, on behalf of a society, through the government. Anytime the government owns, controls, manages, regulates, or funds an economic exchange, that is "Socialism".

    Anarcho Capitalist, following the preference for Anarcho-Capitalism, an economy in which the government takes absolutely no part what so ever. . In the history of our species, this has not once, ever, produced or maintained a thriving economy. Not one single time. Not one person running as a "Democratic Socialist" is proposing the complete removal of the concepts of private economic exchange.

    I am SICK TO DEATH of this conversation being controlled by stupid people who do not even have a fundamental understanding of basic economic theory, using fallacious logic.

    The An-Caps DESPERATELY want this to be a competition between "More Government" and "Less Government", but it is a competition between "Less Government" and "Let's think about this logically, and apply the scientific method to as cogent a look at all available evidence as possible, and come up with the most egalitarian, functional, practical society possible, and continually update and monitor the data for ways we can improve on what we have at any given moment”.

    I am truly impressed at how many different ways people have found to say "I have absolutely zero comprehension of this subject, whatsoever." It really doesn't even matter how you define "Socialism" as long as you do define it, and use that definition in a way that is consistent. Here's a clue, most of you aren't doing that. "Socialism" has a number of different meanings. Most of them are related, but you can not apply evidence from one version, to the predictions of another. More importantly, there seems to be an ASTOUNDING lack of comprehension concerning logical causality. Most of these repugnant replies REEK of "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc". Sorry morons, but the rooster crowing does not cause the sun to come up.

    I know of no real movement to move to/institute anything remotely like "Full National Socialism". None. ON THE OTHER HAND, I find no shortage of people and representatives throwing around rhetoric of the "Socialism doesn't work" nature, and even using it as the sole basis for any and all arguments to prevent/remove all manner of government involvement in our national economy, from regulations, to social programs.

    Again, you look at what has and has not consistently worked. Is it POSSIBLE for "Socialism" to fail to provide a stable, egalitarian economy? Absolutely. Is it POSSIBLE for Anarcho-Capitalism to provide one? There is no evidence to support that assertion. But again, it isn't ABOUT "Socialism" versus "Capitalism". It is ABOUT an oversimplified and fallacious approach to economics, versus a Cogent, logically valid approach to economics.

  11. Denmark spends $4,363.00 US Tax Dollars/capita on Healthcare
    The US spends $8,047.00 US Tax Dollars/capita on Healthcare

  12. Me: maybe we should have socialism, it works in Denmark
    Republicans: ackschully, denmark isn’t socialist
    Me: okay, then let’s do whatever they do there
    Republicans: NOOOO!!!! That’s socialism!!!

  13. Direct Democracy We The People vote on issues that effect us and our country . Representative government is out dated ( with technology ) and no longer works when it cost millions to run for congress tens of millions for senate and 1 billion to run for president ? and the people think they are being represented ?

  14. It's funny that you agree this isn't Socialism, yet when people say they want a Nordic model system, they're still called Socialists. THIS is what is needed in America.

  15. Great! So it sounds like you'd be fine with us following Denmark's example! I think 98% of "left-wingers" would agree. I'm not sure that Dennis Prager would, though…

  16. I do love the way the complete inability of people to think any terms other than bipolar opposites turns any would-be constructive discussion on the actual effectiveness of policies into a fruitless debate on semantics.

  17. I don’t think people actually think it’s a socialist country, it’s obviously going to be a lot more complicated. People normally mean a social democratic country, which it kinda is, although of course to be able to function efficiently it requires a strong element of capitalism

  18. The Danish accent is seriously my most favorite accent of all. It just sounds so nice to listen to. Also, when I'm in Denmark, I feel right at home since it looks so much like my own country, the Netherlands.

  19. Leftists: "Denmark is a Democratic Socialist Country and they're doing pretty well, we should copy their policies."

    Rightists: "Checkmate gommie, that's just free-market capitalism with extensive social programs."

    Leftists: "Then let's adopt our own versions of those programs."

    Rightists: "No that's Socialism and we'll end up like Vuvuzula."

    God damn, the level of ideological inconsistency from PragerU just goes to show how disingenuous their movement is.

  20. A couple of missing point. Reasons for the high tax include social security for the unemployed and ill. And saying that all private schools and hospitals are generally better than public is a hoax. The private school I was studying in where at times really lacking compared to some of the public schools. And in gymnasium (high school) there where no real difference between the students coming from private or public

  21. That's what we mean when we say Socialist. Free universal health care, free university education and wealth distribution. You are a Socialist to an American like Canada.

  22. Socialism is such a loaded word and it’s meaning varies greatly in different places. When American politicians talk about building “socialism” what they mean is establishing the basic social safety nets that most European coutures have had for a while. I don’t think any mainstream American politician is using the word socialism to describe a Soviet style government with mass nationalization of industry, just a more generous welfare state like in countries like Sweden, Denmark, etc.

  23. Cool, now that we established that Denmark isn't Socialist now the U.S. can get on the fast track of getting Universal healthcare and tuition free education without some opposing party screaming that those are Socialist programs.

  24. I mean some of the things he says is correct, but he is definitely an idiot. Denmark is not 100% socialist but he is not at all telling the entire truth, most of the facts he told was angled so they favored an economical right wing viewer instead of a left wing viewer.

    And YES! I am from Denmark 🇩🇰

  25. Me and my children not comfortable with our religion islam I want change my muslim religion how I do? I live in Pakistan

  26. Partially we are. I’ve been on welfare here for seven years and can verify that the leftwingers loath the marginalized so much, they will do anything to tear your self-esteem down and then coming smiling with the help in form of cash. I’ve lost tons of respect for Denmark because once you hit rock bottom here, you’re done for, they will not let you get back up. Now I’m working secretly on a business idea that will get me out of this country and to somewhere more optimistic. Currently aiming for the US, because they have a leader that encourages entrepreneurship, which is a major challenge to do over here on welfare, as they keep reminding me that I am afterall, just on welfare and must remain realistic. It has been months since I realized that I have a choice between eventual suicide or personal success. Maybe it’s a good thing socialism increases chances for suicide, as us who can’t fight the hardest, can be deleted as the burden we are in Denmark. This is NOT a place for people below the middle class, even if they claim to be all happy and generous.

  27. Thank you for being a voice for Venezuelans! As of now, April the 26th 2019, it’s been almost 3 days with no water except for 15-minute intervals twice a day; there has been no gas for a week since there has been a problem with the mixing thereof (by the companies owned by the dictatorship). I have been lucky to have had electricity and Internet since the last national blackout but others have not been so lucky. I could list a plethora of our penuries but time wouldn’t suffice. I may solely say that Socialism does make everyone equal: equally miserable.

  28. Why does a state need to be wealthy to become a welfare state? I'm sincerely asking as I don't see the link between the two. Welfare is about redistribution, not about the size of the pie.

  29. Leftists be like: let's adopt socialist policies, look at Denmark!
    Republicans: socialism equals poverty and economic crisis, look at Venezuela, plus, Denmark isn't socialist
    Leftists: then let's adopt Denmark policies
    Republicans: b-but that's literally socialism REEEEEEEEEEEEE

  30. If it not a socialt country why do you not adopt those values to your own citizens ?
    EDIT: and no it's only a very small part of the country that wan't lower taxes you are so wrong on every point it's bad.

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