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Welfare In Denmark

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The discussion of the Danish welfare system has reached its absolute boiling point. In Denmark, we have what is referred to as the “Scandinavian welfare model” which is a welfare system designed to provide the unproductive with unlimited funding. To do so, the Danish government expects the productive individuals of Denmark to bare the wait of the weak, no questions asked :ninja: . The Social Democrats have used the Scandinavian welfare system to gain power amongst the working class, depriving the productive of their money. Taxes are set upon how much one makes per year. The more you make, the higher your taxes are :dough: . The maximum one can pay in taxes in Denmark is 67%, to reach the maximum; one has to make approximately 300.000 DKR (approximately $47,000 per year). This has created a huge problem for Denmark and its private sector. People have lost the will to work, the productive do not have the money needed to invest in development and the “Danish elite” have begun to leave the country in pursuit of freedom/wealth.

On top of all of this, our welfare system provides immigrants with a welfare check the moment they enter the country. After seven years in Denmark, still on welfare, they are entitled to even more money. Denmark is the highest paying country to their unproductive immigrants. Our society faces the problem of gangs, mobs, narcotic wars and a whole list of other things.

The Scandinavian welfare model has proven that welfare creates problems that will only contribute to the destruction of its inhibitors.

Will Denmark ever rid itself of its destructive welfare system while Denmark rots from the inside out? ;) Will Denmark ever be able to understand Objectivism?

For me, this Atlas has shrugged! Farewell Denmark!!!!

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Will Denmark ever rid itself of its destructive welfare system while Denmark rots from the inside out? :ninja: Will Denmark ever be able to understand Objectivism?

For me, this Atlas has shrugged! Farewell Denmark!!!!

Any socialist paradise will eventually get exactly what it deserves: national collapse. Especially when there are better alternatives that can hasten its demise.

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...This has created a huge problem for Denmark and its private sector. People have lost the will to work, the productive do not have the money needed to invest in development and the “Danish elite” have begun to leave the country in pursuit of freedom/wealth.

Will Denmark ever rid itself of its destructive welfare system while Denmark rots from the inside out? :ninja: Will Denmark ever be able to understand Objectivism?

For me, this Atlas has shrugged! Farewell Denmark!!!!

This reminds me of something my father said recently. When he was younger he thanked his father, my grandfather, for emigrating from Ireland to the US (I believe this was in the 1920s). His reasoning was, if my grandfather had not left Ireland, which at the time was economically backward and in constant political turmoil, for the freedom and opportunity that the US offered, my father would have had to do it when he became old enough. So here's hoping if you ever have kids, they thank you properly for getting out from under such an oppressive and irrational system.

As far as Denmark and other European countries getting wise in the near future, I think it's only a matter of time before they realize they are poisoning their own economies with all this altruism. While they have staved off certain disaster for a bit by "pooling their misery" within the EU, ultimately this unholy union will just lead to more bureaucracy, hyperregulation and unearned wealth. The more they hedge their bets, the greater their ultimate downfall will be. Let's hope they are able to figure it out at some point. Unlike a lot of objectivists, I appreciate that there are some amazing things about Europe, Scandanavia, etc. and some amazing people as well. Unfortunately they are eclipsed by a dominating irrational culture that brings everyone and everything down.

BTW, Great Dane, did you move to the states? I've heard countries like Estonia and Ireland are getting a clue with limited social programs, business-friendly tax systems etc.

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A Romanian businessman and associate of mine once did a detailed spreadsheet in the late 1980s which demonstrated that the average American citizen pays up to 92% of his income in taxes.

Ungureaneau's spreadsheet took into account the taxes that are passed down to consumers in the form of higher prices, as well as the hidden tax known as monetary depreciation through the printing of paper. He also took into account requirements, such as auto registration, property taxes, inheritance taxes, mandatory regulatory fees that individuals are likely to pay (emissions testing to name one), etc.

His detailed Lotus 123 spread sheet's bottom line was that each productive American is likely to pay 92% of his gross income to taxation in some form or another.

Makes Europe look pretty good, if you ask my associate. Who came from Eastern Europe and has done nothing but complain about how heavily we are taxed here in the US.

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Even assuming 90% was right, percentages are deceptive. They do not measure how much a government lets its citizens produce. If a government has so many laws that its citizen are hardly producing much, then a low tax rate is little comfort. The best way to measure this in economic terms is to look at wealth and income.

According to the CIA fact book, Romania's per capita income was about $9,000, adjusted for purchasing power. In the US, for the same year (2005), it was about $40,000.

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A Romanian businessman and associate of mine once did a detailed spreadsheet in the late 1980s which demonstrated that the average American citizen pays up to 92% of his income in taxes.

I tend to doubt the conclusions of that analysis. My recollection is that Federal Govt. spending has usually been somewhere between 18% to over 30% of GDP, depending on what year you look at. Even if you add in State and Local spending as well as other charges, user fees, etc..., I don't think that gets you anywhere near 90% of the average citizen's income. I don't doubt that some people may pay amounts approaching 90% or more, but not the average taxpayer.

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  • 2 weeks later...
You've never met John Q. Public? He's everywhere.

Indeed he is, he's made of straw, he exists primarily in the minds of those whom can't figure out the contradictory nature of robbing Peter to pay Paul, unfortunately he never seems to go away no matter how much we wish him to (despite that wishes are what created him) and even more unfortunately his handiwork is to be found all over the place. :D

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Will Denmark ever rid itself of its destructive welfare system while Denmark rots from the inside out? :P Will Denmark ever be able to understand Objectivism?

For me, this Atlas has shrugged! Farewell Denmark!!!!

I have a question for Great Dane and other Europeans who are on the board: Is there anything in Europe that is comparable to what is known here in the USA as the "alternative media?"

Basically, here in the USA, the dominant media enterprises - known as the Mainstream Media or MSM - have been solidly left leaning for decades and not very subtle about it either. Starting in the late 1980s, when a large measure of free speech was, for the first time, permitted in the broadcast media, talk radio programs, led by Rush Limbaugh, sprung up where one could hear news which the MSM deliberately overlooked and an alternative take on the stories that it did report. With the advent of widespread Internet use, the "alternative" media began to really take off. It was Matt Drudge's website that made Monica Lewinski a household name. It was a posting on a Free Republic message board and picked up by a bunch of other websites that exposed an effort by a major television network to use badly forged documents in an attempt to discredit George Bush and throw the election to Kerry. The result was the network was forced to send its long time Leftist anchor into early retirement and had the exact opposite of the intended effect to help Kerry.

While the momentum in the USA away from the welfare state in the USA arguably began prior to the advent of the alternative media, I think one can make the case that without it, the country would be far more left leaning and hostile to capitalism than it is today and the John Kerry/Ted Kennedy/Cindy Sheehan type fifth columnists would have been far more effective than they have.

Is there anything at all similar in Europe? Is freedom of expression permitted over the airwaves in the form of talk radio programs and such? I know that some countries over there have state owned media outlets. Do they also have private ones? And, if so, are they allowed to express viewpoints without having to worry about the government taking away their "licenses" as was the case here in the USA for decades? Do Europeans get much of their news from the Internet? Or are they still very much into what, here in the United States is called the "old media" such as newspapers, television networks etc? Are there European websites which large numbers of people turn to in order to get an alternative take on current events? Or do they pretty much have to access American websites in order to do so?

Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge may have their philosophical shortcomings - but I think the man on the street in Europe would stand to learn a great deal and benefit enourmously if both had similar counterparts over there.

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The rise of conservative talk radio was also connected with Reagan's refusal to renew the "Fairness Doctrine" (which was anything but "fair")around 1987. The possibility of renewing the Fairness Doctrine is occasionally revived by the statists in Congress, but they haven't been able to succeed with it yet.

I too am curious as to whether there is anything over in Europe that is similar to our relatively free talk radio.

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The rise of conservative talk radio was also connected with Reagan's refusal to renew the "Fairness Doctrine" (which was anything but "fair")around 1987. The possibility of renewing the Fairness Doctrine is occasionally revived by the statists in Congress, but they haven't been able to succeed with it yet.

I too am curious as to whether there is anything over in Europe that is similar to our relatively free talk radio.

I actually remember Al Gore going on a rant about the fairness doctrine a few weeks ago during one of his "hellfire and brimstone" speeches where he sounded more like a southern-baptist preacher than a politician. He basically eqivocated the fairness doctrine expiring with democrats being run out of power. Naturally the fact that Al Gore's home state of Tennesse is now very hostile to his ideology has probably gotten him a little angry too.

The day that the fairness doctrine gets re-established is the day that free speech in America takes the backseat to government tyranny.

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The day that the fairness doctrine gets re-established is the day that free speech in America takes the backseat to government tyranny.
That day could be coming sooner than we think. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has sponsored a bill to restore the Fairness Doctrine.

His bill, H.R. 3302: Media Ownership Reform Act of 2005, requires that A broadcast licensee shall afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance. The enforcement and application of the requirement imposed by this subsection shall be consistent with the rules and policies of the Commission in effect on January 1, 1987.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-3302

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  • 4 weeks later...
I have a question for Great Dane and other Europeans who are on the board: Is there anything in Europe that is comparable to what is known here in the USA as the "alternative media?"

Bruce Bawer, an American living in Norway, mentions the lack of diversity in Norwegian medias in his article, Hating America. It is my impression that the same goes for most other European countries:

[...] to suggest that American journalism, taken as a whole, offers a narrower range of information and debate than its foreign counterparts is absurd. America’s major political magazines range from National Review and The Weekly Standard on the right to The Nation and Mother Jones on the left; its all-news networks, from conservative Fox to liberal CNN; its leading newspapers, from the New York Post and Washington Times to the New York Times and Washington Post. Scores of TV programs and radio call-in shows are devoted to fiery polemic by, or vigorous exchanges between, true believers at both ends of the political spectrum. Nothing remotely approaching this breadth of news and opinion is available in a country like Norway. Purportedly to strengthen journalistic diversity (which, in the ludicrous words of a recent prime minister, “is too important to be left up to the marketplace”), Norway’s social-democratic government actually subsidizes several of the country’s major newspapers (in addition to running two of its three broadcast channels and most of its radio); yet the Norwegian media are (guess what?) almost uniformly social-democratic—a fact reflected not only in their explicit editorial positions but also in the slant and selectivity of their international coverage.3 Reading the opinion pieces in Norwegian newspapers, one has the distinct impression that the professors and bureaucrats who write most of them view it as their paramount function not to introduce or debate fresh ideas but to remind the masses what they’re supposed to think. The same is true of most of the journalists, who routinely spin the news from the perspective of social-democratic orthodoxy, systematically omitting or misrepresenting any challenge to that orthodoxy—and almost invariably presenting the U.S. in a negative light. Most Norwegians are so accustomed to being presented with only one position on certain events and issues (such as the Iraq War) that they don’t even realize that there exists an intelligent alternative position.

In Norway the only alternative to the main-stream social-democratic media is newspapers that are even more to the left, for instance Klassekampen («class warfare»), which is a Norwegian communist newspaper. There are commercial alternatives to the public, state-owned, leftist television channels, but these are not much better. As to radio channels, they are to a great degree state-owned and run by the same company that runs the largest TV network—Norsk Rikskringkasting (Norwegian Broadcasting).

For both TV and radio networks, you need a license to go on air. These licenses come are often quite restrictive, and in the end, it is up to the Minister of Culture to decide whether a license is to be renewed or not. A few years ago, the country's leading commercial nationwide radio station, P4, was refused a new licence, meaning that they had to change to a network that covers a smaller geographic area.

Interestingly enough, polls show that more than tho thirds of Norwegian journalists vote for socialist parties, while the allegedly liberalist (in the European meaning) Fremskrittspartiet (The Progress Party), which got over 22 per cent of the votes in the election in 2005, got only 3 per cent of the votes from the journalists.

I do not have extensive knowledge about the media in other European countries, but I have no reason to believe that things are different there.

That being said, I do not believe there is any reason to describe the Scandinavian welfare states as socialist dictatorships. Despite the Scandinavian countries' flaws, their citizens are among the most well-off in the world, and their economies are among the freest. See for instance the Index of Economic, where for instance Denmark is listed as the eighth freest economy in the world. The degree of personal freedom is also relatively high compared with many other countries.

Edited by PelsJakob
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That being said, I do not believe there is any reason to describe the Scandinavian welfare states as socialist dictatorships. Despite the Scandinavian countries' flaws, their citizens are among the most well-off in the world, and their economies are among the freest.
The primary objection that I have to Norway's economy is the tax rate. Setting that aside (which is hard to do), the impression that I get is that there is relatively little other government prohibition of free economy. I don't understand what the regulations relating to labor are, though I get the impression that labor is more tightly regulated than in the US.
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Most of our media is also quite leftist, here in the Netherlands. There are a bunch of weblogs and things like that are pretty popular, but I am not actually sure how much better they are. It's been a while since I read any of them, and I have known about Objectivism for less than that time (so I don't know how much in agreement I am with them). There are certainly no prominent Objectivist-like weblogs here, or anything even remotely like it as far as I know. Well, there probably are a few of them out there, but I don't think they get many attention.

Most of my friends, for example, seem to think that our system is fine as it is. No matter what I try to point out about how it is totally unjust (among other things), I can't get a lot more than a cynical shrug out of them. I think the biggest downfall of our political system is that it's rule by consensus, and almost everyone I know regards compromising about things the most important value in politics (and the only practical one).

I think a lot of the false views on these subjects come from both an intrinsicist view of values (in the sense that how you get the value doesn't really matter, i.e. the end justifies the means) and people trying to justify capitalism on the grounds of the public good.

I still get a laugh every time some guy on the economic news channel starts talking about how "our economy is doing well because people are consuming more" :lol: I guess no one over there has ever heard of the concept of production that necessarily preceeds consumption.

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  • 5 months later...

Is there anything at all similar in Europe? Is freedom of expression permitted over the airwaves in the form of talk radio programs and such? I know that some countries over there have state owned media outlets. Do they also have private ones? And, if so, are they allowed to express viewpoints without having to worry about the government taking away their "licenses" as was the case here in the USA for decades? Do Europeans get much of their news from the Internet? Or are they still very much into what, here in the United States is called the "old media" such as newspapers, television networks etc? Are there European websites which large numbers of people turn to in order to get an alternative take on current events? Or do they pretty much have to access American websites in order to do so?

Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge may have their philosophical shortcomings - but I think the man on the street in Europe would stand to learn a great deal and benefit enourmously if both had similar counterparts over there.

The Swedes (as well as the Danes), often claim that American news channels (mainly Fox) are one-sided and not objective at all. They usually attack Fox news network and claim that they demonize any opposition to Bush. (This might be the case in some instances but what do I know I don’t have the Fox news network in my cable package.)

I often see this as a very bold statement knowing that all major news networks in Scandinavia are state owned and subsidized with tax payers’ money. Most of the alternative media outlets are even more leftist then the news channels.

DR (Danish Radio) is known to be the most leftist radio/tv network in Denmark. They usually demonize America. (most of the people working for them have probably never been in America.)

It’s funny because you never hear the Swedish news channels debate their own problems in Sweden. For example here’s something they don’t want the Americans to hear: Sweden has a higher murder rate then America! Why don’t they ever discuss this problem?

As Bruce Bawer wrote in his book While Europe Slept, the biggest difference between the Swedes and the Danes, is the fact that 5,000 copies of stupid white men by Michael Moore were sold in Denmark and 500,000 copies sold in Sweden.

I don’t know if this answers your question or gives you some sort of insight as to what to expect in the Scandinavian media.

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In denmark, if you add everything together most people probably pay 100% in taxes. When one goes to the super market you have to pay taxes with money you have already paid taxes with. and so on and so on. Does this make any sense?

We get to enjoy this in America too. Depending on the state you live in, you can pay federal tax on income, state tax on income, and possibly county tax on income, then when you shop you pay sales tax to any combination of federal, state, county and city tax. Ours is just lower than most, and some states have less.

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  • 2 weeks later...
We get to enjoy this in America too. Depending on the state you live in, you can pay federal tax on income, state tax on income, and possibly county tax on income, then when you shop you pay sales tax to any combination of federal, state, county and city tax. Ours is just lower than most, and some states have less.
And then when you die, they re-tax all of the wealth you have already been taxed on previously. The estate tax is truly an abomination.
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And then when you die, they re-tax all of the wealth you have already been taxed on previously. The estate tax is truly an abomination.

And lets not forget the omnipresent inflation 'tax' that errodes any money you manage to create after paying all of the other taxes.

And of course, there's property tax and capital gains tax on any wealth which you saved that was taxed as income but which manages to earn a profit. And, to add insult to injury, the percent of your profit which you must pay tax on does not discount for inflation.

And just in case they miss any of your money the first several go arounds, there are fees and permit costs. (The DMV got me for $500 this year for my plate renewel). Fines for businesses by organizations that shouldn't exist.(OSHA, FDA, etc)

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