If you have a liberal friend, you’ve probably heard their praise for the utopia of Denmark. It’s the shining socialist example of “free stuff” and “happy people,” or so they’d have you believe. However, there’s 5 quick facts you need to make sure that your leftist friend knows before they successfully perpetuate their political and economic ideology on the rest of us with their vote and we end up damned like Denmark.
Perhaps you’ve seen the meme below floating around social media? Today’s younger generations seem to eat it up and immediately demand we “be like Denmark” with free healthcare, free college, a $25 per hour wage, and a 35 hour work week. Then, we can join Denmark as one of the happiest countries in the world, but there’s just a few problems with that.
1. The Personal Income Tax Rate ranges from 55% to 65% in Denmark.
Yes, you read that right. According to Trading Economics, the Personal Income Tax Rate in Denmark is currently 55.60 percent, while it “averaged 61.40 percent from 1995 until 2014, reaching an all time high of 65.90 percent in 1997 and a record low of 55.40 percent in 2010.”
So, that wonderful wage of $25 just went to $8.75 to $11.25. While your liberal friend might be quick to say that’s still higher than the United States’ minimum wage, they haven’t factored in a few more of those pesky facts, which leads me to my next point.
2. The Sales Tax is 25%.
Denmark’s sales tax is25%. In the United States, sales tax varies by state, with 5 states having no sales tax at all, while California has the highest sales tax rate of 7.5%. So, with the worst case scenario being California, you’d still only be paying less than a third of the sales tax you’d pay in Denmark.
That $25 wage that looked so good until it was cut in more than half with the income tax, just got you even less. But Denmark isn’t done there.
3. Things cost more in Denmark.
Consumer Prices in Denmark are 15.88% higher than in United States, while consumer prices including rent are 4.78% higher. But the real hurt on you wallet is in restaurant prices, which are 43.93% higher than the United States. Don’t think you’ll save money eating at home either, because grocery prices are also higher. To top it off, clothing prices are four times that of the price in the U.S.
If you are in the market for a new car, you are in for quite the shocker since Denmark has a 180% car tax, meaning that $20,000 sedan will cost you $50,000 right off the bat. I hope you like riding bicycles.
Average monthly disposable salary for Danes is about the same as the United States. Once you factor in the increased cost for goods, necessities, and entertainment, the average American is more “well off” than the average Dane.
5. Danes are “happy” because they are medicated, but their suicide rate shows they aren’t more happy than Americans at all.
While Iceland has the highest level of consumption of antidepressants, it is followed by Portugal and, yep, you guessed it, Denmark. As a matter of fact, it’s been found that the “happiest” countries take the most antidepressants. Hey, but at least their “happy pills” are given to them free from their government… and that wouldn’t be to keep them complacent or anything, would it?
Unfortunately, even with all the medications and reports of “happiness,” the suicide rate in Denmark has been about twice that of the United States for the last five decades. So, these people who are so much happier than Americans are killing themselves twice as often. While “happy” can only be subjectively reported, statics are an objective measurement, and with this suicide rate, it doesn’t support they claim of being “happier.”
These are the facts, but if you still think Denmark sounds like a fine place to live or a system we should try to emulate, let me throw in one more mind-boggling bit of information. In Denmark, if you use pepper spray on an attacker to avoid being raped, you can be fined about $70. This recently happened to a teenage girl who thwarted her own rape. Her rapist got away and is a free man, meanwhile, she’s facing charges and fines for defending herself. Still sound like the utopia you imagined?