[Editor’s Note: The following is from TDV Manager, Michael Bach]
Here are some fun facts about Denmark. Or, facts about Denmark you would find outrageous if you have ever been in a free country.
Being born and raised in Denmark, I recently returned there after 8 years of enjoying the freedom of Mexico. It was very strange to go back and see how what had once been normal for me now baffled me. And when asking other Danes about these things I found their reactions to seem very unusual. To them, that is just the way it is.
HOW I GOT INDOCTRINATED INTO LIBERTARIANISM
As background, until I met Jeff Berwick by chance in an Acapulco cafe about seven months ago I was just happily living my life in Acapulco. I knew it felt a lot freer but I never really had given it much thought as to why… or the philosophy of freedom. I just knew that I was born in Denmark and I enjoyed living more in Mexico. That’s it.
Jeff mentioned to me that he needed some help… and I needed some work so we quickly began to work together. Little did I know that just by reading the writings at TDV it would awaken me as to what is really going on in the world… and in a way, ruin my life. The life I used to have. Once you begin to become aware of the truth it is hard to live how you used to anymore.
And so, after eight years of living away from Denmark upon returning the conclusion I quickly came to was that the Danish people have been well and truly enslaved by the State.
Denmark, as with all “social-democratic welfare states” of Northern Europe is heralded as some sort of ideal society to be mimicked by the world. As with all socialist societies, what you are actually witnessing is a sort of Potemkin Village on a national scale.
As Per Henrik Hansen points out:
“We can conclude from this that of the people in the working age of 18 to 66, more than one quarter live passively on government transfers (full time). For every 100 persons employed full time in 1999, there were 33 working-age people receiving support. Adding pensioners, the total number was 61 people on full time transfer income for each 100 full time employed persons. (The pensioners are financed by a pay-as-you-go pension scheme). And out of those who are employed, 31.5 percent work for the government.”
Given that employees of the state do not pay taxes, what you have in reality is a nation where 30% of the population is productive and supports the other 70%. Clearly not a situation that can be kept up for very long, and the demographics of Denmark indicate that the state is destroying the will to continue on.
Denmark has an entire population of 5,350,000 people. Of them, 1,150,000 are below 18 years old. Of the remaining 4,200,000 people, 2,214,000 people receive government transfer payments (not counting 260,000 students that receive public scholarships of $550 per month).
From taxing their citizens into poverty to forcing them to endure the highest electricity rates in the world due to the cult like obsession with lowering carbon emissions (god forbid it actually warms up a bit in Denmark!), the Danish State takes top marks for keeping the prisoners down.
I thought I might share with you a few of the observations and thoughts I had on the worker’s paradise of Denmark.
TOO EXPENSIVE TO HAVE FUN
The first thing that really caught my attention, especially coming from one of the most active party capitals of the world in Acapulco was how quiet the nightlife is. On most nights things shut down by 8pm. The young people who do want to go out never go out until they’ve gotten drunk at home. Why? The tax on alcohol in bars and restaurants is so high that hardly anyone can afford it. So, people who do want to go out huddle in their dark homes and drink as much as they can before they go out.
The government owned tv/radio station, DR (Danmarks Radio), demands payment whether you care to catch it’s propaganda or not. Even if you subscribe to a private cable or satellite service, if you own any device that can display a TV signal or pickup a radio signal (It can be a cellphone with a radio feature, car stereo, TV, computer monitor etc.) then by law, you have to pay a “DR License” every month. In order to enforce this law the government has specially equipped vans with huge antennas to detect TV’s and devices (see photo below) that drives around all day looking for “criminals” that have the capability to pickup the propaganda but are not paying the license.
Denmark has the highest tax rate in the world at around 50% unless you earn over 65,000 USD a year in which case you are forced to hand over around 60% to the government. Speaking of taxes, if you want to buy a new car worth say 150,000 Danish Kroner (Around $26,700 USD), then after putting the initial taxes on top the car will cost you 360,750 Danish Kroner (Around $64,200 USD). That’s $37,500 USD taxes on a $26,700 USD car. You can go to the Danish tax page and calculate how much tax you must pay (See pic below).
Not content with simply “protecting” the homo sapiens that reside within it’s territorial monopoly on the use of force, the Danish state has seen fit to “protect” the rights of animals by legislating the terms of human-canine relationships. I went for a trip with my parents and was surprised to see my mother placing a harness on their dog and attaching it to the seat belt. They own a small Yorkshire terrier so I asked why she just didn’t sit with it on the front seat like we would do in Mexico, or most sane places. She told me that now by law your dog has to wear a seat belt via a special harness and sit in the back when in a car. The fine for not doing so is $200 USD.
I was inquiring about buying some property in Denmark. If you are considering buying a property in Denmark, make sure to inquire with the state, for make no mistake, it is their belief that you are simply borrowing it from them. Is your property next to a road? If so you have to build your house at least five meters from the road. You cannot build anything on those five meters even it’s yours. If you have a property on the corner of the road you will have a lot of restrictions on what you can build. Is there a sidewalk next to your property? Then please note that you are responsible if anyone slips in snow or ice there, so you better shovel the snow and put out salt on the sidewalk. Never mind it’s not actually your sidewalk but the governments.
There aren’t smokers either anymore in Denmark. This is quite sad, given the long proud tradition of Danish tobacco production. Much like the USSA, smoking is pretty much banned everywhere, the only place you are allowed to smoke is where you live. That is if you are not renting a place. The Danish Parliament, the “peoples representatives” are about to vote on a law that will make it illegal to smoke in apartments and houses that are rented. Also in the new set of laws pending approval smoking will be banned inside and OUTSIDE of schools and workplaces unless they have a special smoking cabinet.
You’d think with this socialist nanny state taking care of everyone they’d all be happy. But, Denmark is in the upper tier of suicide rates per country. It’s no wonder to me after having been free for the last eight years and returning to what for all intents and purposes felt like a dark, cold prison.
As I got off the plane in Acapulco, felt the humid, warm air and realized the worst problem I had was that I had stupidly left my car parked under a mango tree for the last 6 weeks and it was covered in tropical fruit, I realized for the first time why exactly I enjoy living here so much… and why I can never see myself ever going back to Denmark to live.
Denmark is one of the last highly socialist states that communists keep pointing to as proof of the success of massive socialism. If that is success, they can have it. I love and miss my family but will never miss what I now see so clearly as being pure oppression and a life of monotonous misery.
Michael Bach is COO and Manager of TDV Media and Services LLC, the parent company of The Dollar Vigilante where he is heavily involved in many of the product lines for TDV including Passport and Subscriber Services. He also manages AcaCondos and Las Torres Gemelas Private Suites boutique hotel in Acapulco. Born and raised in Denmark he has lived in Acapulco, Mexico for the last 11 years and is happily married to his beautiful Mexican wife, drinks lots of coffee and enjoys many facets of his adopted culture.