Djcnor’s Weblog

More on Denmark

Posted on: February 12, 2009

The discussions that led to my first post on Denmark (about Denmark having the happiest people in the world and the best business climate in the world):

has continued with other comparisons, so I thought I’d create a new post containing a lot of the other information gathered.

Let’s start with freedom. The person with whom I was debating linked a site that showed that Denmark had less economic freedom than the US. Well, strictly and temporarily and talking tiny little bits, yes. Denmark was rated 79.6 (and rising), while the US was rated 80.4 (and falling). So, truthfully,……not so much.

But there are other types of freedom. For example freedom of the press. I know it;s going to surprise a lot of Americans, but Denmark ranks 1st, the US  44th.

And then there’s the extent to which countries are democratic and lack corruption. Again, Americans are going to be surprised. Denmark ranks 1st in both. The US ranks 15th in democracy, 14th in lack of corruption.

As an American, it’s even rather upsetting to me, but I believe a problem can’t be fixed until you acknowledge it. (I bet he’s sorry he brought it up.)

He posted information on the respective GDP’s of the US and Denmark and the UK, inluding the GDP in terms of  “purchasing-power parity”, a term the International Monetary Fund uses to compare GDP’s taking into account what a currency will buy in its own country versus how that currency exchanges. For example, the amount of “minkyboos” that you would need to exchange for $100 might buy more or less in “Minkyland” than $100 would buy in the US.

He didn’t give a reference, but Wiki has the info dated Jan 1, 2009:

The nominal GDP per capita of Denmark ranks above that of the US ($57,137 vs $45,725), and Denmark ranked overal, the US but when you take that factor into account, the IMF put Denmark at  $38,207 and ranked it 14th overall and put the US at $45,725 and ranked it 6th. Other organizations differed, as you will see from the table.


However, I pointed out that folks in Denmark didn’t need to fit things like healthcare or insurance for it, owning and operating a car, and saving for the kids to go to college into their budgets but Americans did.

We discussed unemployment, considering it both in the usual way and as figured by subtracting the percentage of 16- to 64-year-olds working. The first way, Denmark had unemployment numbers of 1.8% to 3.5% depending on the reference:

The IMF figures were within that, though he didn’t give a link. It shouldn’t be that hard to find.

The IMF figures for the US were 5.3 to 6.4% according to his source.

Figuring the unemployment the other way, the subtraction way, the US had 74.1% of its working age people in work:

and Denmark had 75.9%

This came from his source, Eurostat, which he didn’t link, but perhaps this is it.

Whew! I think that will do it for now. Don’t know exactly who’s paying attention but the two of us, but in my opinion, Denmark’s looking pretty darned good. Doesn’t surprise me in the least, but it sure challenges American notions about socialism, don’t you think?


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Djcnor’s Weblog

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