Jan Grarup for The New York Times || Robert Nielsen, 45, said proudly last year that he had basically been on welfare since 2001.
Danes Rethink a Welfare State Ample to a Fault
By SUZANNE DALEY
Published: April 20, 2013
I’ve always found the NYT generally more nuanced than it rock ribbed critics make it out to be.
And you could say that this article supports welfare reform, tax reasonableness, fairness etc … Until you think a bit more deeply.
“Denmark is what progressive New Yorkers want to be even if they don’t know it,” the ‘Smithsonian’ liberal in me jeers. The Danes start from such incredible heights of social redistribution it would take huge changes to get it down to the fondest dream of leftish US liberals. In regards to this article, a progressive could comfortingly say “yes welfare can go to far” and then finish with “but we ain’t even close yet.”
This is a tiny, densely populated and historically rich and educate European nation. The Danish welfare state, the Danish tax regime, the Danish government, the country of Denmark…are simply impossible to compare to the US equivalents. It has no real international borders, a proportionally huge and productive coast (the US would count the whole country as a coastal region) it’s comparable to New York City and environs in size and population, it’s highly educated, pretty homogeneous and highly protected from outside threat. Things that work in Denmark simply cannot work in the US because of scale…and even in Denmark the Danish system is tottering.