Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Friend just back from a month in Denmark with family. His observations:

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:19 AM
Original message
Friend just back from a month in Denmark with family. His observations:
One of the most common questions he got was whether Americans really think that socialism is bad. According to him that was the one thing about Americans' thinking that amazed them the most. Our friend is not particularly political, but he said that Danes seem most concerned with achieving the appropriate balance between capitalism and socialism and don't consider them mutually exclusive.

He said there is a 200% tax on the purchase of a car and gas is $10 a gallon (after converting). As a result the rural roads near the small town he stayed in have very few cars and are used mostly by bicycles and pedestrians. His cousin walks 40 minutes to work and back in all kinds of weather. People commute and shop using bicycles when they're not walking.

Danes pay 50% of their income in taxes but accept that as the price of having a government that takes care of you. A couple of members in his extended family are unemployed but not particularly worried because the Danish safety net is so good.

When people talk about health issues it is strictly on medical/personal issues, not financial implications, since medical care is provided by the government. (He didn't know whether the government ran the health system or provided the coverage for people to see private doctors and hospitals.)

It's interesting to hear about a developed country where people walk to work and bike to the grocery store, pay high taxes and get progressive government in return, and live modest lives that are not geared to buying the biggest house and fanciest car.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Crazy Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. People here are just plain stupid when it comes to taxes
They think it's better to pay lower taxes but they spend $800 plus a month on health insurance for the family.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. IKR?! It is colossally stupid!! Health-care should be out of taxes just as "defense" is.
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 07:36 AM by WinkyDink
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. UK's aggregate figure is pretty much the same.
NHS IS funded from taxes paid. Don't expect to get socialised health paid from current levels of taxation over there.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. Stupid when it comes to how the private sector manages healthcare too.
They get freaked out about not being able to see the doctor they want, or having to wait for an appointment, or "rationing" and "death panels" when that is EXACTLY what is going on with HMOs. We already have this, people! Arrrgh.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
whathehell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. No..Conservatives and those they've successfully brainwashed are stupid when it comes to taxes
Democrats and progressives, not so much.

That being said, I wouldn't be too happy about a 40 minute walk in a Danish winter.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Johonny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #15
39. IDK
A lot of elected democrats have run away from the tax issue ever since Walter Mondale. Even when polls show Americans, particularly Americans highly likely to vote for them, want tax inequality addressed, many Democrats have no interest in getting into this subject. This is particularly true in the very timid senate. Many still fear the Mondale squash and the Clinton mid-term anger over raising taxes.

It feels like every since Reagan no one has had the guts to talk about intelligent tax policy on the national presidential level. I give credit that Obama did talk about it but did not actual do it... yet at least. Since most voters go to the polls assuming Democrats want to/did raise their taxes (even when they actual got a tax cut thanks to democrats), you would think they'd just do it. As long as Americans assume you are going to do it, do it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
28. Agree. That 50% figure is on their salary PLUS BENEFITS. Our 30% is salary without benefits.
It ends up that we pay over 50% in taxes, we're just too stupid to admit it.

Especially stupid since what we get for paying up 80% in taxes is a mess of insurances that are not transportable from job to job while they pay less and get better coverage.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dd2003 Donating Member (198 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
53. 800 a month??
more like 100
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #53
56. We paid $1200 for one month of COBRA for health insurance for a husband, wife, 2 kids. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Crazy Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #56
60. I haven't paid less than $200 a month even for myself alone since 2009
And that's with the employer contribution.

Another example of: "Things are going great for me so therefore it's like that for everyone else"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #53
67. That sounds like your premium co-payment.
The real cost is that plus what your employer pays. Remember that without that cost, your employer could offer you higher wages.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. It gets tough to do comparisons like this:
"His cousin walks 40 minutes to work and back in all kinds of weather."

Denmark does not experience "all kinds of weather." I live in Minnesota - we hit 100 degrees with a dewpoint in the high 80s this summer, and we will undoubtedly plunge to -20F with -30F windchill this winter. I would not expect anyone to walk more than a block or two in either of those extremes.

Cheap, reliable, frequent public transportation is going to be preferable for most of the US. Walking/biking just isn't an option.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Crazy Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. I hear New York City does it right
My step-son lived there two years and never owned or needed a car. He said every type of mom & pop shop was down the block from his apartment and the subway was just around the corner. I lived in Germany two years and only used public transportation. Just guessing I'd say that I spent less than $20 a month going to work every day and going out almost every other night and the weekends.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TheDebbieDee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. I lived in Germany for two years as well. There's no place
to park when you get where you're going so one might as well take public transportation.

I have fond memories of Germany. Beautiful country.......
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. +1000 +++ n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
45. That reminds me of a line from my German textbook
"Ich fahre nicht mit dem Auto nach der Stadt, weil ich kann kein Parkplatz finden."

I don't drive to the city, because I can't find a place to park.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #45
52. Pssst.. throw that textbook in the trash.
That's worse than Google German. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #52
54. Hey, the class was taught by a native German-speaker
Edited on Fri Oct-28-11 02:53 AM by Art_from_Ark
from Switzerland.

The thing about foreign language textbooks is, even if they are written by native speakers, there will always be someone who doesn't like some parts of them :) For that matter, I don't like a lot of the English sentences in the textbooks that I use in some of the classes I teach, and they were all supposedly written by native English speakers. And don't even ask me about the so-called American English textbooks that have come out since that No Child Left Behind crap was instituted.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #54
57. Well, when a serious textbook teaches me to say,
"I don't drive with the car after the city, because I can no parking place find."*,
it's not so much a question of like or dislike but of keeping a straight face as a native German. :hug:


* A literally accurate translation of, "Ich fahre nicht mit dem Auto nach der Stadt, weil ich kann kein Parkplatz finden."

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
20. In New York, public transit is very good if you're going north or south in Manhattan.....

....... much less so in the outer boroughs.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
firehorse Donating Member (547 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
33. I live in NYC - haven't owned a car since 1992. Walking, bikes, skateboards are the norm.
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 02:22 PM by firehorse
I'm a grown woman and rode a skateboard for a long time, plenty of adults even ride those scooters that have handle bars to work. I walk 30 minutes to work rolling a suitcase. It's good exercise.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Crazy Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. 30 minutes of walking vs. the 30 min. bumper to bumper, stop and go...
...that I drive almost daily would be a welcome change for me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. "Cheap, reliable, frequent public transportation"
They've got that too in Denmark......



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Yes, I am aware of that.
They've got it in Germany, too, where I lived for several months.

I was specifically commenting on the option of walking/biking. Might work for residents of southern California most days. Much of the US though has significantly larger weather swings than Denmark, and we have to take this into consideration.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
37. I spent a few weeks in Amsterdam...
and never got in a car.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
27. And 40 minutes is what, 2 - 3 miles tops?
I know 1 person where I work who lives within 3 miles. Most live more than 20 miles away, and to get to the nearest public transportation from work is about 7 miles. It's a lot easier to implement mass transit in a country that's about twice the size of Massachusetts.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
35. How do you offer cheap reliable and frequent public transport to people ...
who live in the rural areas of our nation? Not everybody lives near a town or a city.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. It used to exist
I live 35 miles outside of Pittsburgh, miles away from any public transportation. When our house was built in the 1930s, there was a train stop not 100 yards from here. 80 years ago, I wouldn't have needed a car. Rural America used to have decent transportation.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waynesburg_and_Washington_...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. Railroads sucked at providing emergency services.
The homeowner and his/her neighbors were the fire department. It might take the police 2-3 days to show up and most people either survived or died from an illness or injury at home.

While there was very good train service in my area decades ago, I am unaware of any women who rode the train to the town where the hospital was located when they went into labor.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #38
44. You remind me that my mother talked about riding a bus to and from work ...
back in the 1920s and she lived in a very rural area. At the time she lived near Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sisaruus Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. I spent some time in Lapland, Finland a couple of years ago.
Population density is 2 people per square kilometer yet I saw bus stops all over the place.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Interesting. Maybe it can be done! (n/t)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
68. I know people who commute year round in ME by walking or biking.
Slightly shorter commutes (20 to 30 minute walks unless there's fresh snow.) Heck, when I lived in Boston I walked to work in all seasons when I had the time. I even had coworkers with nearly identical commute lengths and conditions who insisted it was possible to take the T or walk to work. Bicycling on the other hand was tough because of the narrow roads crowded with cars.

I'm a big fan of public transit but that needn't be the only alternative to cars in cities. Walking and biking would be options for a great many if we had transportation master plans designed with those activities in mind.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. I was only in Copenhagen for a few days, but you can definitely tell the difference.....

..... the different priorities, the people in work clothes commuting by bike (I believe it's a third of commuters), the human scale of everything in the city, the numerous public spaces, the way environmentalism is just ingrained in everyday life, the "honor system" for fare-paying on the S-Tog trains.....Quite frankly, I was jealous.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
58. yes - I was very impressed, as well
I took trains to some of the out lying areas - Helsingor, Randers, stopped at Roskilde. It was very easy to get around. At every train stop there were dozens or hundreds of bikes.

I biked around Copenhagen as well.

Also - there was more of a sense of equality in how people treated each other - men / women.

I wish more would see that we have a lot to learn.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IndyPragmatist Donating Member (556 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
4. The auto tax is for the city of Copenhagen
I love Denmark. I have many friends there and would love to go back to visit soon.

The one thing I always heard from the Danes is how efficient their government is compared to the United States. We pass legislation and create programs without fully understanding how they will work in reality and then are forced to create new legislation to correct the errors of the past legislation (or we just ignore it and allow it to collapse our economy).

I also cannot imagine gas is around $10 a gallon. When I was last there, we were at the peak of gas prices and it was only about 31-35Kr, or about $5-6. Much more than in the USA, but not quite $10.

I honestly think that the reason the Danes trust their government so much is because the nation is so small and responsive. They are the size of a moderate state in the USA and it's always easier to represent the constituency in a small nation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
7.  "His cousin walks 40 minutes to work"= a couple miles, maybe four. I had 15, and that's close!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #7
24. I've only lived within 2 miles of my job once for about 3 years. In the US
we almost always have a commute that necessitates the use of a car. We are a "spread-out" society whether it pertains to work, entertainment, shopping, or recreation. (I'm sure the car/oil industries love to see distant subdivisions and shopping malls. Kind of ensures a guaranteed market for their products. ;) )

I embarrassed to say that during the 3 years that I lived about a mile from my work, I actually walked to work maybe 10 times. Few people I know ever (including me :) ) walk a mile or two to visit a friend or go to a restaurant, much less bike to a grocery store (which is fairly close in the town where I live) even in nice weather.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. Health care is covered by both the private and public sectors
Doctors in the private sector give back time to the public sector as payback for free training. It's a great system.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:40 AM
Response to Original message
12. Denmark is a good model to follow


Though they are not as racially diverse a country as the US, and they are of course much smaller population-wise.

I've been wondering if certain states couldn't become "Denmark" States. Vermont, for example.

Rather than dividing the country, certain states follow a saner model. People from other states with supply side economies have to stay and deal with the consequences. Those who live in a more sane state become vested after a few years living and participating in that system, with maybe an interim single payer system for transitions.

Just got this funny visual in my head of teabaggers ilegally immigrating into Blue states under cover of darkness, desperate for healthcare they will never see in their Teabag Paradise.....


Morning daydreaming.......ahhhhhh.....




Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
16. Citizens in the US fall for all of the propaganda, and also the gov. has a death ear
to what many citizens do want, so the net/net of it is people in the US go around jobless, bankrupt, homeless, sick and on the edge shelling out more to survive with this ripoff capitalistic system, than if they paid more in taxes and had gov. services. It's a ridiculous place propagandized by the few to enslave the many.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. "Death ear"? I kinda like it! ;-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
17. Here's the problem with the gas and transportation comparison;

We have more space. LOTS more. A typical commute here in the US is at least several miles, unless one lives and works in a city. Even then, it can be miles to get to work.

Start talking 20-30 mile commutes and it's a whole different world.

The fixes for these are either personal; moving closer to work and paying the vast expense or governmental; building infrastructure and mass transit.

Neither of those is feasible right now, so neither is $10/gal gas or 200% car tax.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Crazy Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. We have a major river that splits the city and only two bridges
Except for and in downtown there's a couple more. For the rest of the county if you have to get across the river, most of us have to drive 6 - 10 miles out of our way just to get to the bridge then drive another 6 - 10 miles out of the way again to get to where we were going on the other side. Our traffic lights are also designed to only turn red when there's lots of cars to stop.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #17
59. In some areas we could make serious investments in mass transit
but in some areas we would almost have to bulldoze entire sections of cities and rebuild.

For example, in Redding they *just* built a pedestrian walkway across the river from downtown to the mall/shopping area. Before it would have literally been three miles out of one's way to walk or bike from one area to the other. It's a huge improvement, but it doesn't solve the fact that there are neighborhoods that are still 3+ miles from basic stuff like the grocery store. When it's 100+ out, NOBODY is going to walk to the grocery store every day, and you'd pretty much have to go every day 'cause you couldn't carry more than a few bags.

The city was built around the automobile, and changing that would be very, very difficult.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #59
69. And yet, there is one pedestrian walkway now. Where there's a will, there's a way.
What's lacking in this country is the will to reform our urban areas into areas conducive to commuting by means other than individual cars. Redding doesn't have 100 degree days every day. Most of the year your climate is perfect for walking or bicycling but people need to be able to choose those modes. That requires bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, etc. Better mass transit is important.

We're probably never going to have the Euro mix of commuting modes but we could reduce auto trips significantly if we rethought transportation planning. After all, older cities in the East weren't built with cars in mind and yet they were adapted for that mode. The same adaption could be done with cities designed for cars. One of the usual criticisms is that people have long commutes between residential centers and job centers. Part of the reason for that is exclusionary zoning which created miles of residential housing with no commercial zones. Similarly, suburban office parks are islands of single use separated from residences. Zoning can be changed to encourage more natural pairing of places to live and places to work and shop and go to school. That said, it would take several decades to accomplish such a transformation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
19. The Danes Do A Lot Of Things Right, But
A direct comparison of Denmark and the US is about as apples and oranges an argument as one can create.

Denmark has a population of about 5.5 million people with almost 20% of the population located in Copenhagen. The US has about 330 million.

Geographically, Denmark would fit inside many US states. The US has a geographically diverse population spread out over almost 10 million square miles. Denmark has a very compact population spread out over about 40,000 square miles.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IndyPragmatist Donating Member (556 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Exactly right...size is a major factor here
There is also a bit of tension between Copenhagen residents and Jutlanders. The Jutlanders always feel that Copenhagen gets all the attention and the countryside is ignored. Saying they are ignored is misleading, but they do not get all the services that Copenhagen residents receive. That's expected though.

Think about it, all of our major cities have decent transit systems. New York, Boston, Chicago, DC. They all have great systems. That's because it's much easier to build these on a small scale with a high population density.

I have always wanted to see more power in the United States given to local and state governments. We have such a diverse nation, but we accept a single government in Washington to make most of our decisions. We would be much better off shifting the tax revenue to local and state governments so they could spend that money on public transit, schools, and whatever the people in that area deem necessary. Many Republicans push this, but they do so as a way of reducing government. That's not what I want; I want to transfer power. I truly believe that more people would accept higher taxes if they could see where the money is going (much easier with local governments) and had more of an impact on changing the direction of the government (much easier with local and state governments than national).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #21
25. Virginia is a similar example of the Copenhagen/Jutlander problem
Most of the population in Virginia is concentrated in the northern section of the state, near D.C. and a huge majority of the state's wealth comes from that area. It's long been a problem in Virginia that the area that produces the most money doesn't always get back it's share of the money, since the state capitol is in Richmond and population density in almost all of the state doesn't come close to the area around D.C.

It would be a good area to conduct an experiment along the lines of what you suggest (even if it isn't going to happen).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TNDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
26. It's actually a 400 percent tax on cars.
At least that is what numerous Danes told me. I was there this time last year. Very interesting and gracious place.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #26
42. Are you sure that number is right?
You buy a $20,000 car and pay $100,000?

Seems like no one would be able to afford it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. Pay $40k tax on $20k car
Lots of old cars kept in great shape last time I eas there.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #50
64. That's a lot. But that's still 200%, not 400%.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #26
61. My bro moved there from the UK...if he had taken his car with him the taxes would have been...
...the equivalent of buying it all over again...he got a bike instead...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
29. 200% tax on cars!!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Yup, not unheard off
Just not in the us.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Amonester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
31. k & r Denmark's stats (Education, prosperity, entrepreneurship #1)
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 02:14 PM by Amonester
http://www.prosperity.com/country.aspx?id=DA

Denmark: The Happiest Place on Earth (from ABC's1%!)
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=4086092&page=1

SOSCHIALISM!! SCARY!SCARY!SCARY! SOOSCHIALISM!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
32. I had a friend who worked in Finland for a few months.....
upon arriving in the country, he received a healthcare card. While there, anytime he needed medical care it was free. Upon leaving the country, he turned in the card.

Amazing to me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
belcffub Donating Member (69 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #32
66. how do they deal with tourists
my boss went on a ski trip to Canada and was injured pretty badly... she broke her leg and smashed her face into some rocks knocking out several teeth... when the ambulance showed up and found out she was American they would would not load her up until she got out her insurance card and the contacted the insurance company to make sure she was covered... not sure what they would have done if she did not have insurance...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
36. I have no issues with Socialism..
.seeing that I am a Democratic Socialist. I will GLADLY pay more i taxes so I can goto the doctor without financial concerns, or have infrastructure that is not degraded. I envy those countries that have their shit together and their priorities straight.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kievan Rus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
46. I wish I lived in Denmark
Heck, I wish I lived in any developed Western country other than this one. The United States is an embarassment to the developed world.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
emmadoggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 10:15 PM
Response to Original message
47. I have relatives in Denmark. Maybe I should show up on their doorstep.....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
48. along with all the social benefits in most European coutures workers have direct representation in
management decisions. This is mandated by law in most of Western Europe. I went to Germany when I was only 19 way back in 1974. I quickly observed that along with the absence of practically any real poverty by - that is poverty by American standards - they simply had a more rational and balanced way of doing things on that side of the Atlantic.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
49. Denmark sounds like a nice country
and I really think universal health care is a necessity if you want to call yourself a developed nation. A more civilized country wouldn't let a person go bankrupt because they're ill or believe it's OK to let someone die because they couldn't afford a treatment that was available to relieve them.

But...I don't see how Denmark could be a model for the US in many ways. Maybe you could implement somethings in a small city, like say San Francisco. But a 200% tax on new cars? Ha, that would just kill our auto industry right there. And I'm sorry, that may not matter to many, but that's a lot of jobs. $10/g gasoline? Never would happen, considering people's commute times here in the states. Besides, while I would certainly prefer to have some form of mass transit available, the car culture in this country is very strong. I don't see local municipalities spending much money to operate buses that carry very few passengers from sparsely populated towns.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
51. Time to move to Denmark, I guess...
The people here are too stupid, ignorant and amped up on Glenn Beck to
think rationally.

But that's why we will never be like Denmark. The corporatists and the neocons
have funded right-wing bullshit radio for years--because they use it to distort
what they're doing and totally lie about Progressive ideals.

I fear that we are caught in a web of neocon/corporatist funded lies--and the
problem is that a certain percentage of the population believes those lies.

It's ridiculous.

We're the only westernized country on the planet without national healthcare. The only one!!!

The reason we don't have it is because big health-insurance companies own our politicians--and
our politicians will not change the failed system because they've been bribed by greedy
health-insurance executives. That's the ONLY reason that we have the healthcare system that
we do. BECAUSE of GREED. And those bastard corrupt politicians and the charlatans in right
wing radio convince ignorant people that they don't need a good healthcare system. And they
happily scream, "No socialized medicine!!" and argue aggressively for a profit-centric healthcare
model that would rather kill them than lose a nickle off of covering them.

It's INSANE!!

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 04:44 AM
Response to Original message
55. So glad to hear there are reasonable people in other parts of the world.
Too bad it would be impossible to ever get the majority in America to think more like the people your friend met in Denmark. America is now THAT country; the country that is full of citizens who are not smart enough to vote for their own best interests and the best interests of their fellow citizens. I feel ashamed to see America turn into the backasswards right wing country that is has turned into in the last few decades.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Celefin Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
62. The view from Denmark on your friend's observations
First of all, it's nice to see that people still have such a nice impression of my country.

The 200% tax on cars is real and only in place because we don't have an automotive industry to protect, but it's not such a big deal since you can survive quite well without a car in most places except for the really rural regions in the west and northwest of the country. Gas is about 10$ per gallon, just like in the rest of Scandinavia and central Europe which is annoying, but thanks to the generally high mileage of most cars here not really a problem. Also, for most Danes, commuting distances are not that big, although 50 miles is quite common. But you get to deduct your commuting expenses from tax, so again it's not much of a problem.

where I live, near a medium size town in central Jutland, almost every family has a car, usually two cars. And Danes LOVE their cars, the bigger and shinier the better. They also love huge houses, patio heaters, lawn mowers (oh yes, the lawn mowers. I think there must be a law somewhere here that you can't be a full citizen if you don't spend 10% of your income on fuel for lawn mowers large enough to compete with combine harvesters, but that is taking a bit to far I guess :b )
I really wouldn't call the Danish lifestyle 'modest'. It really isn't. It is 'greener' than most consumer societies, but it is still based on excessive consumption. A 'modest' Danish life is much more comfortable than 'modest' lives in other parts of Europe though.

People on low income pay about 35% in tax, progressing up to 50% with a surtax added on very high incomes (the latter is about to be scrapped). Healthcare is provided by an NHS-like system free at the point of use although you pay a percentage of the price of any medicine you require, also, dental health is completely private and you have to pay it in full, no exemptions for adults. For anybody under the age of 18 though, seeing a dentist is free, no matter how complicated the treatment. This of course saves people a ton of money in their later years, as they will grow up to be adults with healthy teeth.

If you want to go to a private specialist doctor or hospital, you will have to pay yourself, although you can get partly refunded if the treatment wasn't available at a public facility. There is no such thing as a private, for profit health insurance to date.

Other things you get for your taxes include the right to have you child in highly subsidized daycare (up to 48 hours/week) as soon as it is 6 months old. The standard rate is about 400$ per month for your first child, 200$ per month for your second child, any additional children are free. The result is the highest birthrate in Europe (leading to fairly healthy demographics) and most families having two more or less equal incomes.

Mind you, the centre-right government of the last 10 years (that would probably be centre-left compared to the Democratic party in most aspects) has cut a lot of it down, given tax breaks to the wealthy, involved us in three wars, wasted billions on establishing a 'market' for private healthcare, privatized large chunks of public transport while underfunding and mismanaging the public hospitals, state railways and childcare system. They've also bailed out some of our banks three times despite us having enough healthy banks that could have taken over from those going to the wall. But then they would have lost their biggest donors.

Courtesy of the fringe-right 'Danish People's Party', coalition member of the last ten years, we also have the toughest immigration policies in the world. So unless you can prove you have a job when arriving from the US, you're not allowed to stay, sorry.
If you are going to marry a Danish national and the Danish person chooses to live with you in the US for a while, he or she will loose the right to return to Denmark with his/her family as "your combined attachment to the US is larger than to Denmark". I'm not making this up, Denmark is the only country in the world where a citizen can loose their right to return by living somewhere else for an extended period of time. Madness.
Ah yes, and if you choose to follow your Danish love to Denmark right away, you can't do so if you're under 24. This has had the bizarre consequence, that 15000 Danes currently live in southern Sweden, commuting to Copenhagen, while they wait for their spouse to reach the magical 24. another 10000 liver in this 'marriage-exile' in northern Germany. A few of them will be exiled permanently that way, as, again, their "combined attachment" to Denmark will have fallen below what is required.

So yes, Denmark is great for many things.
It DOES have its drawbacks, though.
At least we got rid of the government a few weeks ago ans replaced with a social democrat - socialist - liberal coalition supported by the communists. Pretty weak, but better than centre-right.

Congrats if you've read this far without being bored to tears :)
Just felt the urge to offer some perspective.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
63. How am I supposed to become a multibillionaire paying all those taxes?
:sarcasm:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
65. They have a cheap labor underclass in Denmark? If not, we can't get to there from here. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Sep 02nd 2014, 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC