What is the Tunnel Wall?

.........................A timely collection of conservative articles about liberal influences on politics and culture in America ......................

Monday, May 2, 2016

Why would the U.S. want to be like Denmark? Point and counterpoint

Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate In Milwaukee

Background: 5 Simple Office Policies That Make Danish Workers Way More Happy Than Americans
. . . "I'm not trying to paint Danish companies as utopias for workers and their American counterparts as tyrannical hellholes. There are bad Danish workplaces and stellar American ones—Zappos and Google are two that I've personally visited and studied.
"But studies have uncovered a number of systemic and cultural differences between the two nations that serve to explain why Danish workers are on average so much happier than American ones." . . .
Sierra Rayne   "Writing in New York magazine, Jonathan Chait asks, "If we want to be like Denmark, whom do we tax?"
Turning into Denmark would be sheer folly for the United States, or almost any other OECD nation.
"We'll start with real per capita GDP.  It is 22% higher in the U.S., meaning that being like Denmark would involve giving up a substantial portion of the average individual national wealth.  That doesn't seem wise.
"Denmark's real per capita GDP is lower now than it was in 2004.  A decade of darkness.  Make that a decade and a half: since 2000, its real per capita GDP has increased – in total – only 2.6%.  As anemic as the American growth rate is, it is fivefold faster than Denmark's.
"Denmark has a far higher rate of assault than the U.S. (i.e., the Danes are very violent), and its violent crime rate is headed through the roof.
. . . 
"The U.S. wins by a long shot on housing, income, and health, and it's a tie on jobs – all the objectively measurable points that matter.
"And to achieve this victory, the all-in average personal income tax rates at average wage in the U.S. are upwards of half the rate the Danes are suffering under.
"Want to pay much more to be much poorer?  Move to Denmark."

On Denmark:  
Denmark considers tax on beef, other red meats to combat climate change

. . . dean of the London Business School, first raised the possibility that Denmark might be a model for the United States

Nordic Countries Do Actually Soak The Rich   . . . "The upshot of this is that, unlike the US, there isn't a sizeable reservoir of taxable income being grabbed down at tops of the wage distribution. This means that they necessarily have to "tax the middle class" more because that's where the money is. This is less true in the US. To eventually get to Nordic tax levels, you certainly have to bring in the VATs and bring in higher tax wedges in the middle-income zones. But in the short-term, you could up the US tax level quite a bit by only tapping the excess taxing capacity at the top of the wage distribution."

Sanders calls Denmark a model  . . . " The most generous tax-and-transfer systems in the world — such as in Denmark, a country Sanders has cited as a model — do not tax the rich all that much more heavily than the United States does. The main difference is that they also tax the middle class heavily, and redistribute the proceeds further down the income scale."  (Emphasis mine, TD)

U.S. Household Net Worth Hits Record High   . . . "But the rebound, while powerful, has been tilted in a way that limits the upside for the broader U.S. economy and is increasingly leaving behind many middle- and lower-income Americans."   This is after eight years of Obama's Democrat rule.

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