Tag Archives: Denmark

Unlike the U.S., the Danes are blissful, successful and highly taxed

18 Jul

There’s a happy little country in Europe that is so successful, foreigners pay to put money in its banks.

That’s called negative interest. Denmark, population 5.5 million, asks for it and gets it. Mounds and mounds of Euros from the troubled European nations are flowing into Denmark as a safe haven. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the negative interest is low, with two-year debt yielding between minus .05 percent and minus .08 percent, but it shows the strength of that economy.

Unlike the U.S., Denmark has a positive trade balance, relatively low government debt and an unemployment rate of about 6 percent. (compared to about 9 in the U.S.) The Danes are said to be some of the most contented people in the world.

Oddly, or perhaps not, Denmark has the highest rate of taxes in the world.

Isn’t that ironic?

We in the United States are, for the most part, miserable and worried about our jobs, the economy and taxes. Our total taxes, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, are 24 percent of GDP. In Denmark, people are completely satisfied with paying taxes equal to 48 percent of GDP.

“We have a luxury problem,” said Jacob Graven, chief economist at Denmark’s fourth largest bank.

Sometimes, solutions to seemingly unshakable problems can be found in the most unlikely, 180-degree alternatives. To often, however, the ether of the American culture has convinced us they are off-limits, extremely dangerous and will erode and ultimately destroy our way of life.

Why are we Americans, known for innovation, so averse to opening our minds? Who is responsible for closing them, and how did they manage to do such a great job of it?

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