The White House recently released a report titled “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism.” In the report, the report criticized Denmark for its living conditions saying that standards in Nordic countries are “at least 15 percent lower than in the United States.”
Now, Denmark is hitting back at the White House. According to CBS News:
‘Grouping Scandinavian countries with economically devastated Venezuela, the 72-page document asserts that living standards in Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden — to be “at least 15 percent lower than in the United States.”‘
Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen wrote on Facebook:
‘Yes, we pay a lot in tax… but we get so much again. Our children can get an education — no matter who you are and where you come from. We can get to the hospital and get help if we get sick. Whether we have a special insurance or a lot of money in the bank. And if you become unemployed, run into problems or otherwise need a helping hand, then the community is ready to seize and help one back on the right track.’
‘A foreign policy spokesman for Denmark’s opposition party, the Social Democrats, called the White House report a “scare tactic” ahead of the U.S. midterms, telling state broadcaster DR that the report should be filed under “fake news.”‘
Paul Krugman, an economist, also made the case that once Denmark’s universal healthcare, education and paid parental leave are factored in:
‘It’s likely that at least half the Nordic population are better off materially than their U.S. counterparts.’
In 2016, the average life expectancy in Denmark was 81 compared with 79 in the U.S. Denmark has universal healthcare and all Danes have access to healthcare.
According to The Copenhagen Post:
‘The report, which seems to do its best to bring up the failures and hardships endured in communist China, the Soviet Union and Venezuela, claims that embracing socialism would cripple the US economy and negatively impact the average American. High taxes is just one avenue of attack that was implemented.’
The White House reported:
‘Even after accounting for transfers, a one-income couple earning the average wage with two children faces an all-in average personal income tax rate of 22 percent in the Nordic countries (counting government transfers as a negative tax), as compared with a rate of 14.2 percent in the United States. This comparison for the various family types suggests that American families earning the average wage would be taxed $2,000 to $5,000 more per year net of transfers if the United States had current Nordic policies.’
The U.S. report even questioned whether or not a free university education was worth it. The White House claimed that Americans were more likely to attain higher education anyway. However, what the report did not mention is that 32 million adults in the U.S. are illiterate, millions are in student loan debt, and millions cannot afford a college education.
The report said:
‘In comparison with the tertiary schooling returns in the Nordic countries, American college graduates get their tuition back with interest, and also a lot more. To put it another way, the rates of return for a college education in the Nordic countries are low, and propensities to invest are not high, despite the fact that such an investment requires no tuition payments out of pocket.’
Of course, it isn’t a coincidence that this report coincides with the midterm elections.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube