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  #1  
Old 04-20-2010, 11:01 AM
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Default Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business...

I was doing some research on Denmark, and it turned up a couple of interesting articles.

Quote:
Denmark a unique mix of welfare, economic growth

By Jeffrey Stinson, USA TODAY

COPENHAGEN — Across Europe, nations such as France, Italy and Germany struggle with lackluster economic growth, high unemployment and high taxes that often fall far short of paying for their welfare states.

Then there is Denmark.

As most in Europe, the Danes have high taxes, which take an average of 50% of income.

They have a big welfare state, which provides free public health care, education, child care and job training on top of generous unemployment benefits.

Wages are high, with 87% of the workforce belonging to unions. Prices are high, too.

But the Danes enjoy steady economic growth, the lowest jobless rate on the continent, a budget surplus and shrinking government debt. And they work 37 hours a week.

Denmark defies much conventional wisdom that you cannot have jobs, growth and sound government finances while imposing high taxes and running a big welfare state.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/world/...ark-usat_N.htm

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The Best Countries For Business, 2009

Jack Gage, 03.18.09, 06:00 PM EST Everyone's in a downturn. A look at who's best equipped to bounce back.


In Pictures: The Best Countries For Business


The economic downturn that's swept the globe has crushed financial markets, exploded unemployment and shaken confidence in the banking system.



The disaster isn't shared equally, though. Some countries are in a much better position than others to rebound from the current malaise by attracting entrepreneurs, investors and workers.



Who are they? Our fourth annual Best Countries for Business ranking looks at business conditions in 127 economies. Topping the list for 2009:

Denmark, for a second straight year, takes the No. 1 spot. The U.S. is up two spots to No. 2, Canada is up four spots to No. 3, Singapore is up four to No. 4 and New Zealand
http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/18/bes...countries.html
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

NO NO it cant be, they are SOCIALIST, even got that Universal Health Care. Lies, lies all lies.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

Do you really want to pay 50% of your income in taxes? The example you posted also states the countries that are struggling and one success is justification for your position?
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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Originally Posted by Tractors4u View Post
Do you really want to pay 50% of your income in taxes? The example you posted also states the countries that are struggling and one success is justification for your position?
I'm not jumping to any conclusions, but just pointing out that there is another side to the argument. I don't think being ranked as the "Best Country for Business" by Forbes Magazine is inconsequential.

Besides, I think Americans are smarter than the French, Italians, and Germans, and at least as smart as the Danes. I think we could have a system that works even better, if we came together and tried.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

So you think it is possible to ensure healtcare for all the citizens of a country without the complete collapse of the said country? From what I have heard that is impossible. Poor people getting healthcare is the downfall of society. Just saying.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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Originally Posted by RobsanX View Post
I think we could have a system that works even better, if we came together and tried.
I agree, or we could just keep letting our politicians divide us and rob us blind, while we bicker among ourselves.

Interesting post by the way.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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Originally Posted by mak2 View Post
So you think it is possible to ensure healtcare for all the citizens of a country without the complete collapse of the said country? From what I have heard that is impossible. Poor people getting healthcare is the downfall of society. Just saying.
Who ever said that Americans were like every other people? Why should we have to be shoe-horned into a model that strips the working person of half or more of their income to create a system in which everyone is the same? My guess is that the people supporting UHC are either living on government assistance, or have sheltered their money in some fashion so as to make it nearly impossible for the government to steal it from them. I would like to know how many working people on this forum are willing to accept 50% of their working income (plus all the other taxes levied on us) being stripped from them to pay for all these social programs? Make $1000, give $500 to the gubmit. Count me as a "Nay," as if that's any surprise.

You can keep your European social programs. Oh, and anyone can write an article selling anything. Doesn't mean it all the truth or even a portion of the truth. Are the Danes accepting immigration? Sounds like Nirvana according to the article. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see a mass exodus from here to there.
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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Originally Posted by mak2 View Post
So you think it is possible to ensure healtcare for all the citizens of a country without the complete collapse of the said country? From what I have heard that is impossible. Poor people getting healthcare is the downfall of society. Just saying.
You're sure stretching it again. Folks won't argue what you want so you try to put words in their mouths. I saw complaints that the health care plan that was proposed was not the best way to take care of those in our society without healthcare, and that the plan in question could very well bankrupt our nation.

There were other solutions out there, but why bother looking around? Let the party in power put the plan together behind closed doors and pass it without even reading it. That is what you heard plenty of complaints about.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

If you add my taxes to my heatlh insurace premiums and the rest of the health care I paid for this year I am well over %50. Denmark does not have Obama care, I said UHC. OK, I was not trying to stretch it or put words in peoples mouth.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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If you add my taxes to my heatlh insurace premiums and the rest of the health care I paid for this year I am well over %50.
Exactly, it's not just about taxes.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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Exactly, it's not just about taxes.
They refuse to "get" it.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

Denmark a unique mix of welfare, economic growth

EnlargeBy Klavs Bo Christensen, WPN, for USA TODAYThe area around the Nyhavn (Newharbour) in Copenhagen, Denmark, bustles with pedestrians.


By Jeffrey Stinson, USA TODAY

COPENHAGEN — Across Europe, nations such as France, Italy and Germany struggle with lackluster economic growth, high unemployment and high taxes that often fall far short of paying for their welfare states.
Then there is Denmark.

As most in Europe, the Danes have high taxes, which take an average of 50% of income.

They have a big welfare state, which provides free public health care, education, child care and job training on top of generous unemployment benefits.

Wages are high, with 87% of the workforce belonging to unions. Prices are high, too.

But the Danes enjoy steady economic growth, the lowest jobless rate on the continent, a budget surplus and shrinking government debt. And they work 37 hours a week.

Denmark defies much conventional wisdom that you cannot have jobs, growth and sound government finances while imposing high taxes and running a big welfare state.

It's done it through what the Danes call "flexicurity," a hybrid of free labor markets, unfettered business and adjusting welfare to give incentives for people to work so they can pay taxes to finance the benefits they get.
Flexicurity has become an economic eye catcher of Europe, where global competition is widely feared as eroding jobs and undermining the social safety net.

Western government officials are trekking here dying to copy it. Even the low-tax, small-government, free-marketeers at the USA's libertarian Cato Institute say the Italians and the French could learn from the Danes.

"People in other European countries are wondering: 'What is happening in Denmark?' " says Anita Vium, chief economist of the Economic Council of the Labour Movement, a labor think tank here. "We have people coming to study it. The European Union has looked at it. They want to know what we are doing."

They often leave disappointed, say Vium and other Danish economists, bankers and government and industry leaders, who acknowledge that their model is not easy for other European nations, or the USA, to replicate.
Many European nations are not willing to pay the political price to free their labor markets, privatize some companies and build work incentives into their welfare benefits, they say.

In the USA, Americans may not want to pay the taxes the Danes do for health care, education and other social programs, though some Danes, such as Tine Aurvig-Huggenberger, vice president of the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions, say Americans may be paying as much in other ways.

"This is not something that is easy to export," says Danish Employment Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen. "We have an advantage over some other countries. We are small country. We are homogenous. We've always had to adapt to change. I don't know that this would work in the United States."

Flexible labor market

The "flex" part of flexicurity is a flexible labor market. Workers can be fired with little notice. Roughly 800,000 Danes, or about 30% of the labor force, switch jobs each year, government statistics show. Only 10,000 of the turnover is attributed to layoffs. Most move on to what they see as better jobs.

That contrasts with many European nations, such as France, where employers pay a penalty for firing people. The penalties, which are written into law, make employers reluctant to hire. When the French government last year tried to relax penalties for young workers, students took to the street in protest; the change was revoked.

Instead of giving job security, Denmark gives government unemployment benefits at roughly 90% of pay if a person is laid off. The benefits are not limitless; Danes can collect a lifetime equivalent of four years' worth of benefits before they run out. That provides incentive to find a job.

"You can reduce your workforce when you want," says Klaus Rasmussen of the Confederation of Danish Industries. "That means you can hire people because you know you can reduce your workface if you need to. It's the same in Britain and the United States. You are willing to take risks in hiring. In France and Italy, they want assurances before they hire."
To collect unemployment benefits, Danes must be available to work and take jobs that government job centers find. The government provides free training and education to equip workers for new jobs. Business and trade unions also coordinate on what new skills and education are needed for emerging jobs in the economy.

"The strength of the Danish system is Danes do not cling to the job they have today," Frederiksen says. "They are willing to do something else."
Unemployment was 4.1% in December, a 32-year low. The Finance Ministry predicts it will be 3.9% this year. In comparison, the U.S. jobless rate was 4.6% in January.

Many Danes see the system as one that encourages them to constantly move up the economic ladder.

Dennis Kjaer, 34, is one. After being a math teacher for seven years, Kjaer went back to college last summer to get an anthropology degree — for free, along with a $720-a-month living stipend from the state. Two weeks ago, he was offered a job placing American exchange students with Danish families. He's going to put more college on hold, knowing that he can always go back and the state will pay for it.

"I got a job that gives me administrative experience, so I took it," Kjaer says. "I can go back at any time for my degree. We talk a lot about life-long learning here. You have to evolve all the time."

Kjaer is a divorced father with a 7-year-old son to help support. He says his son can get a free education, too, and other help as he grows up, if he needs it. "If you fall here, someone along the way will catch you and help you," he says. "I pay my 50% taxes with a smile because they're worth it."

At the same time, Denmark embraces free trade, competition and little government ownership or involvement in business.

Denmark has the least amount of government red tape and the shortest start-up time for new businesses in the EU, according to measurements by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based confederation of the 30 largest industrial democracies that is a watchdog against economic and governmental corruption.

Denmark keeps business taxes competitive, about 28%, or comparable to most in Europe. Personal income taxes and a high sales, or value-added tax of 24%, pay for the unemployment benefits, job retraining, child care and education.

The government leaves business and unions to settle almost every aspect of employment. There is no government-set minimum wage, but Danes earn livable wages. They also negotiate pension contributions that go into a national fund that is privately administered, but whose earnings the government taxes. That way, workers can carry their pensions with them from job to job.

The government provides a bare-bones pension. Danes retire on an average of about 87% of their income, depending on their wage level. And those are taxed.

No working poor

If this sounds like lots of taxes to Americans, says Aurvig-Huggenberger of the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions, then Americans should calculate how much they pay for college, day care, what they and their employers pay for health insurance, and add-on taxes for Social Security and Medicare.

"The big difference between the United States and Denmark is you put an emphasis on individualism vs. the collective," she says. "We have no working poor. There are no kids living in cars with no child care. We pay high taxes for it. But in the end, how much money do you need?"

The Danes have a word for their collectivism. It's "jantelov," (pronounced YAN-tee-loav), or Jante Law. It roughly means that nobody is better than anyone else. Hence, there is a greater desire for people to help each other.

In Denmark, the unions and business have a working relationship rather than an adversarial one, with shop stewards sitting on company boards. If the economy takes a downturn or cannot compete globally, Danes and their unions know pay can be affected.

But they also know that there are no jobs if companies go under.
As a result, says Rasmussen of the Confederation of Danish Industries, business and labor willingly work together. "It's a healthy relationship," he says.

Economic, government and labor leaders say the model is the only way Denmark can survive in an increasingly competitive global economy: Business must be flexible, markets must stay free and workers' skills and education must always be upgraded to provide a knowledge-based or value-added economy.

"We cannot compete with China or Vietnam on wages," Employment Minister Frederiksen says. "If we do not compete in salaries, how do we compensate for that? This system has proved to work very well in our accelerated globalized world."

Not for everyone

The Cato Institute based in Washington rates Denmark as one of the freest nations in the world in its 2006 rankings of countries' economic freedom. Denmark ranks 17th, along with Germany, of 130 nations. Hong Kong is first, the USA third, Great Britain sixth, France 24th along with Sweden, and Italy, 45th.

And, says Cato global policy analyst Marian Tupy, France, Italy and other European nations can learn from Denmark: "Leave the economy alone."
But while Tupy applauds Denmark's free-trade and free-enterprise policies, he gives low marks to the big state-provided health, education and child care programs, wondering whether they could be offered less expensively by the private sector. And he questions whether the high taxes are a disincentive for some people to work.

Some Danes, such as Christina Moeller, think so and say the Danish workers paradise isn't for them.

Moeller, 30, who is in the oil shipping business in London, says taxes are a big reason she's unlikely to ever return to Denmark. She earns more and pays less in taxes in Britain. And she says her prospects of moving up the economic ladder are greater than at home.

She also says Denmark's social-welfare system has an insidious effect on her countrymen and women: It saps individual motivation.

"The mindset of most Danes is: How can I get more out of the system?" she says. "The system doesn't make you competitive. You cannot always do what (job) you want to do. It's not going to bring you a high life. It's a security system."

Would Moeller, who is single, consider returning if she got married and had children? Yes, she says, free child care and a free education are tempting.
"But if I did, I would be thinking only about myself," she says. "I'd have to ask: Do I want my children growing up in the same competitive environment that I am in now or without motivation?"
http://www.usatoday.com/money/world/...ark-usat_N.htm
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

You can have freedom or security, but not both. I'd rather be free. Even if that means free to starve.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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You can have freedom or security, but not both. I'd rather be free. Even if that means free to starve.
You know, I hear a lot of people repeat that phrase, but I doubt any of them realize what it means to really starve.

I mean, come on....who here has ever experienced anything even remotely resembling starvation?

And what exactly is the definition of this "freedom" these repeated cliches are referring to?

And why exactly can't we have freedom AND security? Why does one have to be exclusive of the other in the "greatest" nation on the planet?
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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You know, I hear a lot of people repeat that phrase, but I doubt any of them realize what it means to really starve.

I mean, come on....who here has ever experienced anything even remotely resembling starvation?

And what exactly is the definition of this "freedom" these repeated cliches are referring to?

And why exactly can't we have freedom AND security? Why does one have to be exclusive of the other in the "greatest" nation on the planet?

I have

And it IS about Taxes, this Nation wasn't founded on social programs
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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You know, I hear a lot of people repeat that phrase, but I doubt any of them realize what it means to really starve.

I mean, come on....who here has ever experienced anything even remotely resembling starvation?

And what exactly is the definition of this "freedom" these repeated cliches are referring to?

And why exactly can't we have freedom AND security? Why does one have to be exclusive of the other in the "greatest" nation on the planet?
Been as close to starving as any I guess. A better word might be liberty. How about the right do do what you want as long as it does not hurt another? The freedom to associate with whom you wish without a government mandate? The freedoms guaranteed and slowly being eroded in the constitution?
Those to start.

Because a government cannot ensure your security without entailing your freedoms. This is and has been a basic understanding of limits to government. Ex: You cannot be free to worship as you wish if your government has a state established religion, nor are you free to worship where a state restricts religion.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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Been as close to starving as any I guess..
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I have
OK guys. Tell us what you know of starvation.






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Old 04-20-2010, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

Not citing specific area, but went in and came out three months late having lost 80 lbs. Was declared unfit for duty until I regained most of it.
Been to places like where those photos were taken. Pitiful.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

Denmark has been a member of NATO since 1949. Yet another nation enjoying the benefits of the US presence\protection provided in Europe since WWII.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3167.htm

But for the US presence in continental Europe since 1943, how many countries would have German or Russian as an official language?
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: Despite being a welfare state, Denmark thrives and is ranked as best for business

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OK guys. Tell us what you know of starvation.
honestly, I don't need or have the inclination to tell you or to have to justify my statement. I've probably posted too much personal info here from my life as it is.
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