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(France 24)   Denmark remains the happiest country in the world, despite having the highest personal debt. No wonder they're happy, what can be better than living off someone else's money?   (france24.com) divider line 25
    More: Followup, personal debt, Fogh Rasmussen, spillover effect, Nordic countries, social relations  
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516 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 Nov 2013 at 8:54 AM (44 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



25 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-13 08:47:53 AM
Denmark has the highest taxes in the world as a percentage of the overall economy, but many Danes value the social security net they get in return, including subsidised childcare and unemployment insurance that guarantees 80-percent wages for two years if they lose their jobs.

The centre-left government has had to cut back on some benefits -- including student grants and unemployment insurance, which used to last four years -- but it still presides over one of the most generous welfare states in the world.

The second pillar of happiness is a high level of trust between people, even for a stranger on the street, according to Wiking.

This could be a spillover effect from people's high level of trust in the government, which is underpinned by a low level of corruption.


Protip for American progressives: you don't get the nice stuff in the first paragraph without the nice stuff in the last paragraph.
 
2013-11-13 09:31:10 AM
I've been visiting Denmark (and Sweden & Norway) for nearly 40 years, and can attest to the truth of most of the article's main points...tho I did not know they carried such high personal debt. In any case, it's true that there are clubs for nearly any interest. The local schools open in the evenings to make meeting rooms, shops and gymnasiums available for activities. Nobody worries about liability because you can't sue the school if you slip on the ice in the parking lot, or if you cut your finger off in wood shop. The cops are taught to smile and engage the people they meet instead of scowling and a "have a plan to kill everyone you meet" mentality. A largely homogenous population and near-constant no-threat interaction with one's neighbors makes for a contented people.

It also helps that the Danes don't seem to have the puritan streak in them. You just don't see people getting all fired up about what the other guy is doing. Queer? No problem. Wanna sit around drinking beer all evening while watching the kids doing gymnastics or making model airplanes at school? Here, have a cold one...then let's go outside and smoke something.
 
2013-11-13 10:04:33 AM
Don't worry subby.  There's still a brown person getting a raw deal out there somewhere.
 
2013-11-13 10:18:33 AM

Thank You Black Jesus!: Don't worry subby.  There's still a brown person getting a raw deal out there somewhere.


denmarks brown equivalent is greenlanders, who by and large are allowed to subsist as an underclass on the social welfare net.
 
2013-11-13 10:22:50 AM
Read that as Duloc for some reason...

i49.tinypic.com
 
2013-11-13 10:53:13 AM
what can be better than living off someone else's money?

static5.businessinsider.com

Americans must be getting happier and happier and happier, then.
 
2013-11-13 11:41:54 AM
Curse you, Danish ancestors! Why did you have to leave before the party started?

Well, too late now. Besides, I wouldn't have been born in Denmark any way. Time doesn't work like that except in sit coms where a cast member has to learn a lesson about how important they are in the lives of others like that Jimmy Stewart movie where the angel gets his wings by showing Jimmy Stewart that his little town would have become a den of iniquity without him.

It's amazing how little it takes to change the course of history. A dog barks and whompf! there you aren't. Just like in that Philip K. Dick story which was Christianized as The Adjustment Bureau.

My Danish ancestors thought they had good reason to leave for North America. The Germans had just annexed Schesweig-Holstein and they were afraid that they would come back for the rest of Denmark later. They were right, in fact, as Hitler proved in WW II.

But still, it makes you wonder if immigration is always a good idea. After all, Mexicans arrive in America all of the time and they end up getting sickly and fat once they start eating like Americans. And the pay and benefits suck. Well, not as much as the pay and benefits in the foreign plants of Mexico, but still pretty lousy.

But who could have foreseen what a wonderful place Scandinavia would become thanks to social democracy. When my ancestors left, the Scandinavian countries were cold, dark, miserable, poor and prone to famines and despair. Now they have plenty to eat. And for some odd reason, they seem to be happy and rich and healthy and sane for the most part. Apart from racist Islamophobic loonies and skinheads.

Oh, well. I can't blame my ancestors. Apparently my great-great grandfather knocked up the housekeeper's daughter like in that novel by Kafka, Amerika.

It could have been worse. He could have turned into a cockroach like in that novel by Kafka. Or else been accused of some crime without anybody at the Castle telling him what he was charged with, like in that novel by Kafka.

My ancestors came to North America to escape novelists and directors, especially Kafka and Bergman.
 
2013-11-13 11:46:24 AM

cryinoutloud: what can be better than living off someone else's money?

[static5.businessinsider.com image 410x237]

Americans must be getting happier and happier and happier, then.


Notice where the problem starts: the year that Ronald W. Reagan was elected President on a platform of eating your cake and having it too, aka Reaganomics. It was also about that time that the 1% started to claw back all the gains made by the Middle Classes since World War I. And the "silent majority" morphed into the moral majority, which is odd seeing as they were anything but silent, moral or a majority, even within the Republican Party.
 
2013-11-13 11:50:25 AM
"Living off someone else's money" has been one of their cultural traditions for centuries.
 
2013-11-13 12:19:27 PM

brantgoose: cryinoutloud: what can be better than living off someone else's money?

[static5.businessinsider.com image 410x237]

Americans must be getting happier and happier and happier, then.

Notice where the problem starts: the year that Ronald W. Reagan was elected President on a platform of eating your cake and having it too, aka Reaganomics. It was also about that time that the 1% started to claw back all the gains made by the Middle Classes since World War I. And the "silent majority" morphed into the moral majority, which is odd seeing as they were anything but silent, moral or a majority, even within the Republican Party.


Actually the trend started around 74, 6 years before Reagan.
 
2013-11-13 12:57:18 PM

Stone Meadow: A largely homogenous population

....

Celebrate diversitylessness.
 
2013-11-13 01:17:48 PM
brantgoose:
My Danish ancestors thought they had good reason to leave for North America. The Germans had just annexed Schesweig-Holstein and they were afraid that they would come back for the rest of Denmark later. They were right, in fact, as Hitler proved in WW II.

No, Hitler made no territorial claims against Denmark, and largely didn't interfer with Denmarks institutions or democracy.
 
2013-11-13 03:10:58 PM

spawn73: brantgoose:
My Danish ancestors thought they had good reason to leave for North America. The Germans had just annexed Schesweig-Holstein and they were afraid that they would come back for the rest of Denmark later. They were right, in fact, as Hitler proved in WW II.

No, Hitler made no territorial claims against Denmark, and largely didn't interfer with Denmarks institutions or democracy.


 - right until August 1943, where Hanneken, Best & Pancke (spit) assumed basically dictatorial powers.
 
2013-11-13 03:20:15 PM

Ivo Shandor: "Living off someone else's money" has been one of their cultural traditions for centuries.


Danegeld is for amateurs. Sound Dues was the moneymaker for centuries. Every ship that passed from the North Sea to the Baltic had to pay up, and the enforcement mechanism was batteries of well-manned, well-laid cannon.

Sneaky detail: The dues were calculated as a percentage of the value of the ships' cargo. Now, this sometimes led to captains declaring their cargo to be worth less (Dishonesty everywhere, it's to despair!), so the King instituted a new royal prerogative: That of purchasing any cargo at a price equal to the declared value. Which really cut down on the cheating.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Dues
 
2013-11-13 03:21:13 PM
I'm supposed to feel sorry for banks that knowingly lend money to high risk borrowers?
 
2013-11-13 03:42:26 PM

Gulper Eel: Denmark has the highest taxes in the world as a percentage of the overall economy, but many Danes value the social security net they get in return, including subsidised childcare and unemployment insurance that guarantees 80-percent wages for two years if they lose their jobs.

The centre-left government has had to cut back on some benefits -- including student grants and unemployment insurance, which used to last four years -- but it still presides over one of the most generous welfare states in the world.

The second pillar of happiness is a high level of trust between people, even for a stranger on the street, according to Wiking.

This could be a spillover effect from people's high level of trust in the government, which is underpinned by a low level of corruption.

Protip for American progressives: you don't get the nice stuff in the first paragraph without the nice stuff in the last paragraph.


Because as we all know, progressive politicians are creating all the corruption in our government.
 
2013-11-13 04:04:52 PM

Erik_Emune: spawn73: brantgoose:
My Danish ancestors thought they had good reason to leave for North America. The Germans had just annexed Schesweig-Holstein and they were afraid that they would come back for the rest of Denmark later. They were right, in fact, as Hitler proved in WW II.

No, Hitler made no territorial claims against Denmark, and largely didn't interfer with Denmarks institutions or democracy.

 - right until August 1943, where Hanneken, Best & Pancke (spit) assumed basically dictatorial powers.


You're either rewriting history willingly, or misunderstanding it. The Danish government stepped down, because the Germans demanded that they instituted the deathsentence by law.

Following that, the civil servants ran the country as if nothing had happened. Though the Danish police was arrested, and spend the remainder of the war in the Frøslev camp, probably not enjoying themselves in particular, but nothing special either.

The dictatorial powers you allude to is basicly meaningless, in that Best felt that the best way to keep Denmark calm was to keep the status quo. It is fairly likely that the German army actively warned the Jewish community about their impending arrest, leading to the resistance to evacuate them to Sweden. Like the German navy had articles printed in Danish newspapers telling at which dates they would not be patrolling because of "exercises". Though I have no knowledge of Best or the Germany army/navy acting like Shindler, or just being pragmatic about not pissing of their model country, as Best reffered to it.


But addressing OPs original postulation, it's a fact that the Danish/German border was redrawn in 1919, in a manner that basicly everyone thought was fair. Germany got to retain the parts that was largely German, and the Danish parts were returned to Denmark.

Hitler apparently also thought the division of the borders were fair, as he never made any issue out of it. Unlike towards France, Poland and Chezchoslovakia.
 
2013-11-13 05:14:50 PM
No wonder they're happy, what can be better than living off someone else's money?


yea, the richest 2% of Amerians who own 80% of this fading democratic republic's wealth wouldn't know anything about living off someone else's labor. especially when they whine to their stockbroker that their dividends aren't high enough.
 
2013-11-13 05:15:53 PM

Ivo Shandor: "Living off someone else's money" has been one of their cultural traditions for centuries.


see above, Sherlock.
 
2013-11-13 05:17:58 PM

whither_apophis: I'm supposed to feel sorry for banks that knowingly lend money to high risk borrowers?



no you shouldn't.  in America, said banks know the government will bail their sorry worthless greedy asses out of a jam.


but said government will let the houseowner fry.


now you know who owns your government!
 
2013-11-13 06:40:44 PM
odd. most of the danish immigrant descendants I know tend to be mopey blonde drunks with hamlet issues
 
2013-11-13 06:54:35 PM

brantgoose: cryinoutloud: what can be better than living off someone else's money?

[static5.businessinsider.com image 410x237]

Americans must be getting happier and happier and happier, then.

Notice where the problem starts: the year that Ronald W. Reagan was elected President on a platform of eating your cake and having it too, aka Reaganomics. It was also about that time that the 1% started to claw back all the gains made by the Middle Classes since World War I. And the "silent majority" morphed into the moral majority, which is odd seeing as they were anything but silent, moral or a majority, even within the Republican Party.


I think we found Robert Reich's alt. ;-)

BTW, LOVED your new movie!
 
2013-11-13 06:57:09 PM

Erik_Emune: Ivo Shandor: "Living off someone else's money" has been one of their cultural traditions for centuries.

Danegeld is for amateurs. Sound Dues was the moneymaker for centuries. Every ship that passed from the North Sea to the Baltic had to pay up, and the enforcement mechanism was batteries of well-manned, well-laid cannon.

Sneaky detail: The dues were calculated as a percentage of the value of the ships' cargo. Now, this sometimes led to captains declaring their cargo to be worth less (Dishonesty everywhere, it's to despair!), so the King instituted a new royal prerogative: That of purchasing any cargo at a price equal to the declared value. Which really cut down on the cheating.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Dues


Cool! Tak for det!
 
2013-11-13 09:19:47 PM
Perhaps the final solution should be given another chance.
 
2013-11-13 10:03:25 PM

brantgoose: Curse you, Danish ancestors! Why did you have to leave before the party started?

Well, too late now. Besides, I wouldn't have been born in Denmark any way. Time doesn't work like that except in sit coms where a cast member has to learn a lesson about how important they are in the lives of others like that Jimmy Stewart movie where the angel gets his wings by showing Jimmy Stewart that his little town would have become a den of iniquity without him.

It's amazing how little it takes to change the course of history. A dog barks and whompf! there you aren't. Just like in that Philip K. Dick story which was Christianized as The Adjustment Bureau.

My Danish ancestors thought they had good reason to leave for North America. The Germans had just annexed Schesweig-Holstein and they were afraid that they would come back for the rest of Denmark later. They were right, in fact, as Hitler proved in WW II.

But still, it makes you wonder if immigration is always a good idea. After all, Mexicans arrive in America all of the time and they end up getting sickly and fat once they start eating like Americans. And the pay and benefits suck. Well, not as much as the pay and benefits in the foreign plants of Mexico, but still pretty lousy.

But who could have foreseen what a wonderful place Scandinavia would become thanks to social democracy. When my ancestors left, the Scandinavian countries were cold, dark, miserable, poor and prone to famines and despair. Now they have plenty to eat. And for some odd reason, they seem to be happy and rich and healthy and sane for the most part. Apart from racist Islamophobic loonies and skinheads.

Oh, well. I can't blame my ancestors. Apparently my great-great grandfather knocked up the housekeeper's daughter like in that novel by Kafka, Amerika.

It could have been worse. He could have turned into a cockroach like in that novel by Kafka. Or else been accused of some crime without anybody at the Castle telling him what he was charged with, like in ...


1870s for my Family too.  Tight asses too.
 
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