Not all that rotten in the state of Denmark..

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According to numerous reports, Denmark is the happiest, – or, if you prefer, – the least un-happy.., – nation on earth. Evil tongues have suggested, however, that this prestigious status should be viewed rather as an expression of  low expectations, – the gap between expectations and actual achievements is narrower than elsewhere, – the consequence of which is less frustration and disappointment, – i.e. “happiness”..

Now, – it is not my aim here to discuss this. I would say there is some truth in  asserting that Danes in general prefer a cozy and secure life with coffee and cakes in front of the TV, but whether or not this tendency is stronger than in other nations.., – who knows..

Our “happiness” is of course a product of many factors, and I don’t mean to get into this either, but one important factor is clear to everyone: Our highly developed Welfare System.
This, however, is increasingly being attacked. The huge budget deficits in many European countries are perceived as a stumbling block on the road to the liberal Utopia, which, according to a host of economic analysts, is our only salvation in a globalized world. We are warned, plainly, that if we fail to drastically reform our Scandinavian Model, – reduce taxes, – especially for the rich.., – cut down on welfare, work harder, and longer, we will end up as a nation of loosers.

In the US it is of course the same scenario: Republicans warn their countrymen, that economic doom is just around the corner, if expensive welfare systems are introduced, – public health care, better education opportunities, etc.

In light of these warnings, and the mounting pressure from ultra-liberal, anti-government groups, I’ve done a little “surfey” of the state of our nation, and my conclusion is clear:
There ain’t all that rotten in the state of Denmark !

Now, – in case evil tongues should suggest, that we Danes are also a bunch of smug, complacent, nationalistic, racist, islamophobic, pork-eating and beer-drinking bigots, you should know that we are also the worlds least gelotophobic: (fear of being laughed at) :

“Researchers at Aarhus Universitet have investigated the degree of gelotophobia  in 72 countries. Their research shows that the danes are the least gelotaphobic people in the world. Only 1.67 % of the danes are gelotophobic. In contrast, people from the Orient, – read: Muslims, –  are the most gelotophobic people in the world. 33 % of them suffer from gelotophobia”.

Apart from being the least unhappy nation on earth then, we are also:

The most democraticDemocracy index

 Not all that rotten in the state of Denmark..

The least corrupt:         Corruption Perception Index (CPI)

 Not all that rotten in the state of Denmark..

Have the highest degree of  freedom of speech:   Press Freedom Index (2009 ranking: 1. ; 2010 ranking: 11 )

press freedom index Not all that rotten in the state of Denmark..

Are Best at technologcial research and engineering

 Not all that rotten in the state of Denmark..

In addition, we are the:

Best country for doing business
Best country for Entrepreneurs

We are  also the “best” meat-eaters: Meat consumption per capita

The biggest (European) pigs *

 Not all that rotten in the state of Denmark..

* The majority of US trash – 54% – ends up in landfills, compared to only 4% in Denmark, where approximately half of all waste is recycled.

Ok, – I could probably add to the list, but let me finish by mentioning also, that we have the third fewest prisoners per capita in the Western World. Only Faroe Islands, – autonomous part of Denmark, – and Island, have fewer prisoners per capita.

It appears to me then, that the Scandinavian Model has not been such a bad idea, and that we should take the gloomy outlook and warnings of the ultra-liberals with a grain of salt..


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