A Scandinavian-style social welfare state, the nation routinely ranks ahead of the United States in terms of Human Development, Health and Healthcare, Education and Take-home pay (even after their ~55% tax rate!) With such high taxes, you may think that the people are impoverished and miserable. But no – Denmark is routinely considered the Happiest Nation in the World. Of course, that could be due to their 6 weeks of paid vacation per year or due to the fact that low-income groups receive 120% of their pre-retirement incomes for their pensions. This country with few natural resources has invested heavily in its own citizens. As a result, Denmark holds the most Nobel Prizes per capita of any nation. It also has one of the most uniform distributions of wealth in the world, coupled with a standard of living that is higher than that of the U.S. (a seemingly good mix). Yet with all of that social spending, in fact because of it and because everyone is on board, the nation has been able to create a national budget surplus, its unemployment is at an all-time low, and the Great Recession (now long gone) barely left a mark due to a strong regulatory environment in finance. In fact, there is currently a shortage of skilled labor. As you can see, Sarah Palin has been right all along – who in the U.S. would want any of those problems that are the scourge of the Danish state?
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