Are Danes Really That Happy? The Myth Of The Scandinavian Utopia

Hahahaha – told you so. Check out courtesy of NPR this interview with Michael Booth, the author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia.


On Denmark’s high taxes and what Danes get for it

Let’s take Denmark for example. We do have literally the highest taxes in the world. The income tax is about — top measures are just over 50 percent. But there’s all sorts of other very heavy taxes. … Most people reckon about three quarters of your income ends up in the state’s coffers if you include all the various taxes. You know, if you want to buy a car, there’s a 180 percent tax on the car. [Value-added tax] is 25 percent. They have the highest energy taxes. … So basically I’m working until Thursday lunch time for the government, and the rest of the week for myself. …

What you get is free education, very cheap pre-school care, functioning public transports, a free health service — all the things that many Americans dream of. Now the big question is: You’re paying the highest taxes in the world, is the education system the best in the world? Are the hospitals the best in the world? No, they’re not.

Here’s the link to the article and the interview.