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Denmark - Happiest and most prosperous country in the world
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olePigeon
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Oct 25, 2011, 01:28 PM
 
Since the dipping point of the recession, Forbes has been tracking the happiness and prosperity of various countries.

Denmark has routinely been ranked #1 as the happiest country in the world, and #2 as the most prosperous. Finland (the most prosperous) and Sweden are also routinely in the top 10. United States did not make either list.

Denmark, Finland, and Sweden all have very high tax rates, but Denmark takes the cake at about 70%. However, with that 70% they get health care, child day care, paternity leave, retirement, free education all the way through University (actually, you even draw a salary when attending college), and many, many other top notch services.

Seems to me like it's a pretty good economic policy.
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Big Mac
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Oct 25, 2011, 01:31 PM
 
Good for a small, homogeneous population that loves getting anally raped tax-wise to provide a boatload of Socialistic services. Not so good for anyone else. Not so good for people who value liberty over material comfort that they themselves likely didn't earn.

Personally, I would never trust a government to take so much in resources and give so much back fairly without enormous levels of corruption. I certainly wouldn't trust any US government with that level of power. I guess those Socialist Democracies have very trustworthy governments. But as those countries prosper because they've apparently found an equation that works well for them (one heavily titled to government control and wealth redistribution), other European Socialist countries are failing and threatening to take down the entire continent.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Oct 25, 2011 at 02:07 PM. )

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Eug
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Oct 25, 2011, 02:06 PM
 
I don't like Denmark's social-economic structure either, but Denmark definitely doesn't have a reputation for having a corrupt government.
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 25, 2011, 02:11 PM
 
I wonder if they do a similar break down on a state by state basis in the US.
     
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Oct 25, 2011, 02:41 PM
 
The land of the Brooding Dane has come a long way, I guess.
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Oct 25, 2011, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Good for a small, homogeneous population that loves getting anally raped tax-wise to provide a boatload of Socialistic services.
Even when it works and makes people happy, you paint Denmark as if it where the scum of the world.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I guess those Socialist Democracies have very trustworthy governments.
That appears to be the key issue.
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Oct 25, 2011, 03:23 PM
 
I would imagine that for small countries like Denmark, where you have very little in the way of national diversity, Socialism would work better.
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Jens Peter
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Oct 25, 2011, 03:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Good for a small, homogeneous population that loves getting anally raped tax-wise to provide a boatload of Socialistic services.
It's never nice to be raped - not even when it's only in taxes I think 70% is wrong and I don't know anyone who pays that much - I pay around 45%.

But think of it this way; If I get ill, I can go to the hospital and they will treat me (no need for insurance), when studying I got payed by the government so I could focus on the studies (no need to work at night, or borrow from the bank), I don't have to worry about saving for school for my kids (or healthcare for them), my parents can live in a place where they are taken care of when they retire (thats included too).

Of course it would be nice only to pay 10% or so in tax, but then I would have a lot of other expenses that - in my view - probably would end up the same.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Personally, I would never trust a government to take so much in resources and give so much back fairly without enormous levels of corruption.
Belive it or not, Denmark is actually #1 on Transparency Internationals corruption list from 2010: Transparency International - the global coalition against corruption

But Denmark is a nice place, you should come and visit us!
     
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Oct 25, 2011, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I would imagine that for small countries like Denmark, where you have very little in the way of national diversity, Socialism would work better.
Why would the level of diversity have anything to do with whether or not "socialism" works better?

OAW
     
Big Mac
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Oct 25, 2011, 04:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Even when it works and makes people happy, you paint Denmark as if it where the scum of the world.
No, that's not my intention. For me a 70% top rate is rape, but it clearly works for Denmark. I admire the successes of the Scandinavian countries. I just think it's naive to believe it can work in larger, heterogeneous countries. and aside from that I prefer greater liberty and personal responsibility.

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Shaddim
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Oct 25, 2011, 04:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Why would the level of diversity have anything to do with whether or not "socialism" works better?

OAW
Wide-open, rural spaces demand more individual freedoms with regards to taxation. Utility and transportation systems don't work well when you live a mile from your nearest neighbor. Living in those areas requires a person to think differently and be more self-reliant.
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Oct 25, 2011, 04:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Wide-open, rural spaces demand more individual freedoms with regards to taxation. Utility and transportation systems don't work well when you live a mile from your nearest neighbor. Living in those areas requires a person to think differently and be more self-reliant.
I can see where you are coming from with this. More urbanized countries with higher population densities could naturally be more open to a larger public sector role in daily life than countries with a primarily rural population. Even in the context of US politics the "red" vs. "blue" divide seems to fall along "rural" vs. "urban" lines more than any other factor.



OAW
     
lpkmckenna
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Oct 25, 2011, 07:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Good for a small, homogeneous population
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I would imagine that for small countries like Denmark, where you have very little in the way of national diversity, Socialism would work better.
I hear this refrain from conservatives all the time. Stop for a moment and think about how racist it sounds.
     
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Oct 25, 2011, 07:26 PM
 
It's not racist, lpk. Damn you're really fond of jumping to wrongheaded conclusions lately. It's just a fact that smaller, mostly homogeneous countries have different socio-political and economic dynamics than larger, more ethnically diverse countries. They're more close knit because they share common language, common culture, common sensibilities, shared history (and yes shared ethnicity but that's only one part). And because they're very similar, if they're into having large Social Welfare states, they likely rationalize that the high taxes help support not only themselves but their very similar, like-minded, like-type neighbors.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Oct 25, 2011 at 07:59 PM. )

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Eug
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Oct 25, 2011, 08:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
It's not racist, lpk. Damn you're really fond of jumping to wrongheaded conclusions lately. It's just a fact that smaller, mostly homogeneous countries have different socio-political and economic dynamics than larger, more ethnically diverse countries. They're more close knit because they share common language, common culture, common sensibilities, shared history (and yes shared ethnicity but that's only one part). And because they're very similar, if they're into having large Social Welfare states, they likely rationalize that the high taxes help support not only themselves but their very similar, like-minded, like-type neighbors.
That argument doesn't hold up. Canada and US are likely comparably diverse, but taxation to generate revenues to be spent on social programs and health care are much higher in Canada than the US. I live in Canada, and happen to prefer the setup here than the US, for various reasons. And no, I'm not at the bottom tax bracket either. I pay more taxes than the average Canadian, and I'm OK with that.
     
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Oct 25, 2011, 08:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Canada and US are likely comparably diverse
Uh, I don't think so, Eug. Your country is 96% Caucasian according to Wikipedia (although I do recognize the French Canadian divide), and I've heard it's hard to immigrate and gain citizenship there. The US is considerably more ethnically diverse.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Oct 25, 2011 at 08:45 PM. )

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Eug
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Oct 25, 2011, 09:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Uh, I don't think so, Eug. Your country is 96% Caucasian according to Wikipedia (although I do recognize the French Canadian divide), and I've heard it's hard to immigrate and gain citizenship there. The US is considerably more ethnically diverse.
Not sure where you got that 96% number from, but the page you linked states that 16.2% of Canadians are visible minorities. You might get closer if you include South Asians (4%) in the definition of "Caucasian", but most people don't usually include South Asian in the Caucasian category. White Canadians are roughly 86% of Canada. White Americans are roughly 80% of the US.
     
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Oct 25, 2011, 09:08 PM
 
So it appears that Big Mac's position is that white people tend to be more in favor of a "Social Welfare State" when it's an overwhelmingly white population in the country. So the hostility to it is more rooted in who benefits (i.e. ethnic minorities) than it is the policy itself. Interesting.

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Big Mac
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Oct 25, 2011, 09:09 PM
 
Eug, the top 8 ethnic groups in your country are Caucasian, according to that Wikipedia article, and they account for around 96% of the population based on my rounded quick addition. Err, wait, adding up those percentages add up to much more than 100%. Whatever, the point is your largest non-Caucasian ethnic group, Chinese, is less than 5% of the population. Your country is much more homogeneous.

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Big Mac
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Oct 25, 2011, 09:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
So it appears that Big Mac's position is that white people tend to be more in favor of a "Social Welfare State" when it's an overwhelmingly white population in the country. So the hostility to it is more rooted in who benefits (i.e. ethnic minorities) than it is the policy itself. Interesting.
Way to miss-read, OAW. Try again.

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Eug
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Oct 25, 2011, 09:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Eug, the top 8 ethnic groups in your country are Caucasian, according to that Wikipedia article, and they account for around 96% of the population based on my rounded quick addition.
If you count all 25 categories listed, you get 150%:

Counting both single and multiple responses, the most commonly identified ethnic origins were (2006):

Canadian 32.22%
English 21.03%
French 15.82%
Scottish 15.11%
Irish 13.94%
German 10.18%
Italian 4.63%
Chinese 4.31%
North American Indian 4.01%
Ukrainian 3.87%
Dutch (Netherlands) 3.32%
Polish 3.15%
East Indian 3.08%
Russian 1.60%
Welsh 1.41%
Filipino 1.40%
Norwegian 1.38%
Portuguese 1.32%
Métis 1.31%
British, not included elsewhere 1.29%
Swedish 1.07%
Spanish 1.04%
American 1.01%
Hungarian (Magyar) 1.01%
Jewish 1.01%


BTW, "Canadian" is a grab-bag of everything obviously, as it's sometimes the default for those who don't want to categorize themselves into a specific ethnic group. My Japanese language teacher who was of Japanese descent used to use "Canadian" as she was 3rd generation and for some reason didn't like to refer to herself as being of Japanese origin.
     
OAW
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Oct 25, 2011, 09:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Way to miss-read, OAW. Try again.
I'm only taking what you said to its logical conclusion. You can sugar coat it all you want. Let the euphemisms abound. But at the end of the day your post earlier basically said that "homogenous" societies are more likely to favor or at a minimum be less hostile to a "Social Welfare State" than those that are more "ethnically diverse". In other words … cultural affinity is a factor. And the thing is … you're absolutely correct. The majority ethnic group often takes issue with such things when their perception is that minority ethnic groups are benefitting. Why else would the image of the so-called black "welfare queen" in the projects rile up a lot of whites in the US way more than single parent white females in a trailer park? Especially when there are considerably more of the latter in the "professional mailbox watcher" crowd?

OAW
     
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Oct 27, 2011, 01:00 AM
 
Eesh. Figures you can't have a rational discussion about this without the predictable race card being played.

The fact is, you simply cannot transplant Denmark style socialism to the US, unless you're also going to transplant Denmark style culture, social values, work ethic, and education levels to go with it. You can blather all day long about how the ethic makeup of the countries play into the above factors, but fact is fact: Denmark the US ain't. What we'd get in the US would be the results of Greece, on an even grander scale of suck.

By the way, what is this 'happiness' index actually measuring?

I just told my wife that supposedly Finland is at the top of the list of happiest places on earth (I'm guessing behind Disneyland and Denmark) and she laughed for a solid two minutes. (She's biased- I have no idea- it seems a pretty pleasant place to me. ) Of course, it does have the highest rate of suicide in the industrialized world, so that's not exactly a check mark in the happiness column.
     
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Oct 27, 2011, 03:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Eesh. Figures you can't have a rational discussion about this without the predictable race card being played.
It was Big Mac and Shaddim who played it, and everyone else noticed.
     
ebuddy
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Oct 27, 2011, 07:18 AM
 
Well, you can fit 7 Denmarks in California alone. When people make these kinds of comparisons between tiny "socialist" systems and the US system, it only affirms for me the argument of American conservatives for State's rights. Nebraska being the happiest State in the US. Resource distribution through public or private resources at the smaller, local scale is always simpler and more effective. Likely one of the reasons Denmark avoids the euro. Imagine States in the US using their own currency, under their own, sovereign systems; that'd be a more appropriate comparison. Denmark to US is certainly not.
ebuddy
     
turtle777
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Oct 27, 2011, 08:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
It was Big Mac and Shaddim who played it, and everyone else noticed.
Bullshit. What race(s) where they targeting ?

*crickets*

-t
     
Shaddim
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Oct 27, 2011, 12:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Bullshit. What race(s) where they targeting ?

*crickets*

-t
Good question. I dropped out of this when they pulled the race card. I figured, "What's the point? They'll just do the same damned thing they always do when a subject like this comes up, hide behind race issues and cry like 3 year-olds". I have better things to do, like watch the Knoxville OWS crowd get wet and bored. Most of them have already gone home.
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OAW
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Oct 27, 2011, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
It was Big Mac and Shaddim who played it, and everyone else noticed.
Indeed. Though I wouldn't put that on Shaddim in this instance. I can understand why one would presume he was going there when he said "... very little in the way of national diversity". So I asked him for clarification on what he meant by that and he gave it. I had no reason not to take him at his word with respect to his reply ... and that's reflected in my subsequent response to him.

Now Big Mac OTOH clearly stated that "shared ethnicity" was a factor in how "they likely rationalize that the high taxes help support not only themselves but their very similar, like-minded, like-type neighbors. It's right there in black and white! Eug challenges this notion. And then Big Mac doubles down and proceeds to try to argue him down on just how "Caucasian" Canada is! The clear implication being that since Canada is supposedly "96% Caucasian" ... a point where he got his ass handed to him in a most amusing fashion when Eug simply said "but the page you linked states that 16.2% of Canadians are visible minorities" ... it is much more ethnically "homogenous" and thus, more likely to support a "large Social Welfare state" than the US which he falsely claimed was more "ethnically diverse".

So I submit that anyone around here with a shred of intellectual honesty can clearly, undoubtedly see that I'm not misrepresenting the man. Again, it's right there in black and white! That's what he said .... committed to the record of the thread before I said a single word to him.

Nevertheless, in the minds of some of our good friends on the right when I said ...

Originally Posted by OAW
So it appears that Big Mac's position is that white people tend to be more in favor of a "Social Welfare State" when it's an overwhelmingly white population in the country. So the hostility to it is more rooted in who benefits (i.e. ethnic minorities) than it is the policy itself. Interesting.
.... I was the one tripping! Wooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE
Eesh. Figures you can't have a rational discussion about this without the predictable race card being played.
Since you said this right after my post I'm going to assume it was directed at me. Partially at least. The last thing I'm going to do is debate this point with you. After all, we've both been around here for over a decade and it's a demonstrable fact that your denial runs deeper than the mind of Minolta when it comes to such matters. I'll just pose a simple question to you:

Did Big Mac comment about "shared ethnicity" and "96% Caucasian" and "The US is considerably more ethnically diverse" before I commented about "white people" and "ethnic minorities"? Yes or No?

And no ... the question isn't rhetorical. I'm simply curious as to whether you literally don't see these things when they are said by your ideological cohorts .... or if this is merely a manifestation of right-wing double-standards on the issue?

Originally Posted by turtle777
Bullshit. What race(s) where they targeting ?

*crickets*
Who said they had to be "targeting" any group in particular? The fundamental point that Big Mac made was that "shared ethnicity" ... as one factor among several ... actually matters with respect to the support level of a given majority ethnic group for a "large Social Welfare state" ... and that the support level diminishes the more "ethnically diverse" the society is. There is absolutely nothing in that position which necessitates that the support level is materially impacted if that ethnic diversification is due to one particular minority ethnic group versus another.

It seriously appears that the meaning of "playing the race card" varies for you guys depending on who's doing the talking. If someone on the left, especially if they are a minority, mentions race or ethnicity AT ALL ... even in response to someone else who raised the topic first ... facts and evidenced be damned that's "playing the race card" to many of our good friends on the right. But if someone on the right mentions race or ethnicity ... then it's only "playing the race card" if they are specifically "targeting" a particular group. In other words, if one took the position that a Caucasian majority's support level for a "large Social Welfare state" diminishes the more non-Caucasian the society is ... that's cool. It would only be "playing the race card" if one took the position that a Caucasian majority's support level for a "large Social Welfare state" diminishes the more Black or Chinese or South Asian the society is. In any event, many would argue that that's a distinction without a difference. Because at the end of the day ... regardless of if the position was stated in a "generic" or "targeted" fashion ... it's tribalism just the same.

OAW
( Last edited by OAW; Oct 27, 2011 at 04:34 PM. )
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Oct 27, 2011, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
By the way, what is this 'happiness' index actually measuring?
  1. Economic Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution
  2. Environmental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic
  3. Physical Wellness: Indicated via statistical measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses
  4. Mental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients
  5. Workplace Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits
  6. Social Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates
  7. Political Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts.
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mduell
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Oct 27, 2011, 04:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Since the dipping point of the recession, Forbes has been tracking the happiness and prosperity of various countries.

Denmark has routinely been ranked #1 as the happiest country in the world, and #2 as the most prosperous. Finland (the most prosperous) and Sweden are also routinely in the top 10. United States did not make either list.

Denmark, Finland, and Sweden all have very high tax rates, but Denmark takes the cake at about 70%. However, with that 70% they get health care, child day care, paternity leave, retirement, free education all the way through University (actually, you even draw a salary when attending college), and many, many other top notch services.

Seems to me like it's a pretty good economic policy.
Notably all 3 countries are small, ranking in population somewhere between Minnesota and North Carolina. Perhaps we could try such a scheme on a state level, like Massachusetts (which falls in the same population range), and see if people and economic activity migrate toward or away from the state.
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 27, 2011, 04:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Notably all 3 countries are small, ranking in population somewhere between Minnesota and North Carolina. Perhaps we could try such a scheme on a state level, like Massachusetts (which falls in the same population range), and see if people and economic activity migrate toward or away from the state.
It certainly seems like a strong component. I imagine in the future it may be easier to administrate their array of services on a larger scale, but I just don't see it working for us here at the moment. (And yeah, we're a bunch of corrupt ****s)
     
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Oct 27, 2011, 04:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Notably all 3 countries are small, ranking in population somewhere between Minnesota and North Carolina. Perhaps we could try such a scheme on a state level, like Massachusetts (which falls in the same population range), and see if people and economic activity migrate toward or away from the state.
That's what I was thinking. Oregon might be a decent candidate. I don't know about the extend of Denmark, though, because it'd be difficult to have 70% income tax while having to deal with Federal taxes as well. And as Dakar pointed out, we have a serious problem with corruption. You'd somehow have to be business friendly without caving into all the lobbying for special interest jobs that would make the whole plan useless.
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Oct 27, 2011, 05:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Well, you can fit 7 Denmarks in California alone. When people make these kinds of comparisons between tiny "socialist" systems and the US system, it only affirms for me the argument of American conservatives for State's rights. Nebraska being the happiest State in the US. Resource distribution through public or private resources at the smaller, local scale is always simpler and more effective. Likely one of the reasons Denmark avoids the euro. Imagine States in the US using their own currency, under their own, sovereign systems; that'd be a more appropriate comparison. Denmark to US is certainly not.
I'm going to have to agree and disagree with you my friend. Imagine that right?

I agree with you that population and territorial size plays a role. Just perhaps not for the reasons you've stated. I don't think this necessarily affirms "the argument of American conservatives for State's rights". I think the smaller scale just happens to work for Denmark for very different reasons that are also at play. Reasons that perhaps in conjunction with government at the "smaller, local scale" lead to the societal success they are experiencing. I will grant you that the smaller the political entity the more likely it is to have a government that reflects the political will of the people. But this is not necessarily the case in all situations. There are metropolitan areas in the Midwest that are smaller in size than Denmark but the political polarization is off the charts ... and therefore the local/county governments don't necessarily reflect the political will of the people. The conservative argument overlooks the role that the political framework itself plays in all of this due to its obsession focus on limiting the size and scope of the federal government and relegating that power to the state and local governments. The US political system is rooted in a two-party political framework that inevitably leads to political polarization and gridlock IMO ... because it's organized around a winner-take-all model. The Danish political system OTOH is rooted in a multi-party political framework that is more likely to lead to cooperation IMO ... because it's organized around a proportional representation model that virtually ensures that Parliament consists of MPs who represent the broadest cross-section of society. Since no one party is able to obtain an absolute majority, the only way to get things done is by building coalitions and cooperating.

I would argue that even in a large country like the US we would be more likely to have a federal government that reflected the political will of the people under a multi-party, proportional representation political framework ... than a state government that reflected the political will of the people under a two-party, winner-take-all political framework.

OAW
( Last edited by OAW; Oct 27, 2011 at 07:11 PM. )
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 27, 2011, 06:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
And as Dakar pointed out, we have a serious problem with corruption. You'd somehow have to be business friendly without caving into all the lobbying for special interest jobs that would make the whole plan useless.
Here's a thought: How does Denmark's government handle lobbying?
     
CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Oct 28, 2011, 12:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW;4123448
Did Big Mac comment about [I
"shared ethnicity"[/I] and "96% Caucasian" and "The US is considerably more ethnically diverse" before I commented about "white people" and "ethnic minorities"? Yes or No?
This from the guy who more than anyone else around here literally makes EVERYTHING- every subject, every debate about race.

Talk about an obsession. You are just about the poster child of 'playing the race card' OAW.

Once more, one has to waste time rehashing what you failed to understand, even when it's right there for anyone to read.

Big Mac merely made a statement of fact- that Denmark isn't anywhere near as diverse as the US. It has a small, homogeneous population. FACT.

The idea that Canada is as ethnically diverse as the US is pretty laughable- I don't know know about 98% white, but let's be honest- it's pretty much "The Great White North." One can try and get cute and break that down into Irish and Scottish and Welsh and Dutch etc. etc. but gee, let's all just pretend that most of those 'ethnic origins' aren't also more often than not, caucasian.

As you usually do, you get things twisted up in your brain, and spout the race card like the natural first response it generally is for you- Big Mac was merely answering the notion that Canada was as ethnically diverse as the US. Your race-obsessed brain took that as: "Big Mac's position is that white people tend to be more in favor of a "Social Welfare State" when it's an overwhelmingly white population in the country."

Which is a typical misread from you. He even called you on it, and you just did your usual "I'll continue to tell you what your position is, even though you've told me it's not... and if you disagree, it must be because you're racist"

We've seen it all from you a million times before. And yes, a large part why, as I stated that it's impossible to have a rational discussion about any of this with you and some others of the same mindset around- any uncomfortable fact that's ever brought up relating to ethnicity will instantly get twisted by you into a race-card play. I can set my watch to the absolute certainty of it.

Respond with your usual multi-paragraph 'wipe the spit off your screen' rantings, play more race cards, accuse me of being racist IE: your usual M.O., but I'm done. Most of the valid points about how Denmark's system doesn't translate to the United States have already been made by more rational people, so as far as I'm concerned, thread over.
     
turtle777
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Oct 28, 2011, 01:15 AM
 
Very well said

Of course, criticizing OAW itself is racist.
But he will point this out soon

-t
     
Athens
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Oct 28, 2011, 01:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Good for a small, homogeneous population that loves getting anally raped tax-wise to provide a boatload of Socialistic services. Not so good for anyone else. Not so good for people who value liberty over material comfort that they themselves likely didn't earn.
What Liberty do you speak of? The ones Americans used to have or the ones American corporations have robbed the people of? The funny thing about socialistic services is that they benefit the hard working class the most and society as a whole. I will never understand why there is such opposition to it from Americans beyond the brain washing that has occurred over the decades saying its bad.

Personally, I would never trust a government to take so much in resources and give so much back fairly without enormous levels of corruption. I certainly wouldn't trust any US government with that level of power. I guess those Socialist Democracies have very trustworthy governments. But as those countries prosper because they've apparently found an equation that works well for them (one heavily titled to government control and wealth redistribution), other European Socialist countries are failing and threatening to take down the entire continent.
A government does not need to be trust worthy. It only need to be free of corporate influence. With that said the US Government is the most untrustworthy government on the planet due to the corporate influence that has ruined I do mean absolutely ruined a great nation.
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Oct 28, 2011, 01:56 AM
 
OAW: I just assumed Big Mac's comment was either a misinterpretation or his right-wing bias, or both.

P.S. I really like black people, and also Asians. I also find Jewish people entertaining, although I don't understand why they wear those funny hats and all have long curly hair. I'm not crazy about the Portuguese though...
     
Athens
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Oct 28, 2011, 01:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
No, that's not my intention. For me a 70% top rate is rape, but it clearly works for Denmark. I admire the successes of the Scandinavian countries. I just think it's naive to believe it can work in larger, heterogeneous countries. and aside from that I prefer greater liberty and personal responsibility.
Should have seen how prosperous the United States was in the 60's and 70s when the top tax rate was 70% and 90%. Americans where much better off. Single income supported families. One parent could stay home to raise the kids. Money was not a concern. Businesses still made nice profits. Jobs where plentiful.
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besson3c
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:01 AM
 
Big Mac: try to put yourself in the shoes of somebody who didn't grow up and have years and years of reinforcement like many Americans do in adamantly distrusting their government. Maybe you would still like to maximize your freedom™, but you probably wouldn't be as vehement about it and lose your shit at times.

This is how many Canadians and others feel about their government and programs such as their health care. Whether it is socialistic or not is an academic matter to them, because they are by and large happy with the results, they are comfortable with their government, like their health care, life is good (why wouldn't it be?) Some Canadians right now are not happy with Harper and haven't been happy off and on with other prime ministers and majority/minority parties, but I don't think it has been as intense as the anti-Bush or Obama feelings here.

Wouldn't it be great if Americans had government they could trust enough that some of these sorts of programs are discussable options with more than half of the ideological population without people losing their shit? I'm not even saying attractive options, but merely discussable?
     
CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:02 AM
 
..streets were paved with gold.

Yeah. Yeah. And people walked to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways, and they liked it that way. Please do tell us more about the "Good Ol' Days" gramps, we can never get enough.

Oh say, was government debt sky-high too?
     
Athens
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Oct 28, 2011, 02:14 AM
 
I hate Harper more then Bush.... That man is going to turn Canada into the 51st State.

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
..streets were paved with gold.

Yeah. Yeah. And people walked to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways, and they liked it that way. Please do tell us more about the "Good Ol' Days" gramps, we can never get enough.

Oh say, was government debt sky-high too?
Nope and government was smaller too.
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CRASH HARDDRIVE
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Nope and government was smaller too.
So let's get started on resurrecting the Good Ol' Days by returning to this. I'm all for it.

Then maybe we can talk about bringing back the rest of it- white picket fences, money never being a concern, streets paved with gold, broads barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen not the workplace, drafts, riots, civil unrest, double-digit inflation, energy crisis... oops, sorry went off track there with some of the not quite so rose-colored glasses stuff from the past.
     
Athens
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Oct 28, 2011, 03:24 AM
 
ya double incomes required to just make it pay check to pay check, fast food, raising costs, lack of jobs. Times are great.
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ebuddy
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Oct 28, 2011, 07:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
I'm going to have to agree and disagree with you my friend. Imagine that right?
It's all good. After all, you have the right to be wrong.

The conservative argument overlooks the role that the political framework itself plays in all of this due to its obsession focus on limiting the size and scope of the federal government and relegating that power to the state and local governments. The US political system is rooted in a two-party political framework that inevitably leads to political polarization and gridlock IMO ... because it's organized around a winner-take-all model. The Danish political system OTOH is rooted in a multi-party political framework that is more likely to lead to cooperation IMO ... because it's organized around a proportional representation model that virtually ensures that Parliament consists of MPs who represent the broadest cross-section of society. Since no one party is able to obtain an absolute majority, the only way to get things done is by building coalitions and cooperating.
I don't believe it has this much to do with the multiple party system. It's pretty much trade union representatives or employer representatives anyway. If I were to propose a tax rate of anywhere from 49.1% to 51.5% on you and I and a 25% corporate tax rate you'd laugh me out of the place. Now imagine a chunk of that going to the Evangelical Church. I'd be the one with the obsessive focus on __________.

It's a lot easier to look at it from this vantage point and say; "I could live with that", but unless there's some massive paradigm shift where the 99%'ers all of a sudden disappear and dogs and cats move in together, I don't see you or most others voting for this model. I like that about us and I don't think a system that is as representative as you say could ever look like the Danish system. Plus, I think they're less happy than they are comfortable and that comes at a cost. While much simpler a system, it is almost entirely dependent on the wealth of others, (a full 5% of their economy is dependent upon US consumption) produces next to nothing, they face all of the same problems we do for obvious reasons, and in light of a labor shortage their model cannot address are cutting back the size of their centralized authority and subsequently, taxes.

Others' points about their homogeneity with an 80.7% membership in a state-supported Evangelical Lutheran Church should not be marginalized and it is for this reason, you cannot compare systems. Think of the US as not unlike the UN in this regard; near full-on paralysis with strong-willed blocs of competing interests. It's entirely about the size of the system and State-by-State models crafted in much the same way could easily be as successful as the exaggerated claims by advocates of the Danish model.

If any of them thought like you and I, they'd be disappointed at the lack of their representation in the system as illustrated above.

I would argue that even in a large country like the US we would be more likely to have a federal government that reflected the political will of the people under a multi-party, proportional representation political framework ... than a state government that reflected the political will of the people under a two-party, winner-take-all political framework.
You can have 100 parties under the Danish model and it'd still boil down to two, primary competing interests; those of the Trade Unions and those of the Employer representatives. They are insulated from a great deal of the global problems faced by others in much the same way Nebraska is in the US with 4.8% unemployment, but this is a temporary condition that complacency will not resolve. They're only now figuring out that growing their government will not and have begun reforming their model.
ebuddy
     
Eug
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Oct 28, 2011, 07:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
The idea that Canada is as ethnically diverse as the US is pretty laughable- I don't know know about 98% white, but let's be honest- it's pretty much "The Great White North." One can try and get cute and break that down into Irish and Scottish and Welsh and Dutch etc. etc. but gee, let's all just pretend that most of those 'ethnic origins' aren't also more often than not, caucasian.
I already provided the numbers, in a post previous to my ethnicity list post. Nationwide, the US is more diverse, but the difference is in the single-digit percent range.

And of course, it depends on region and city, in both countries. For example, Toronto is likely the most ethnically diverse city in the world, not just North America. 49-50% of the population is born outside Canada, and it is more diverse than New York or LA.Toronto

Furthermore, Toronto votes centre to centre-left in general, as opposed to the more predominantly Caucasian rural areas which vote conservative. Furthermore, by US standards, even the Canadian political centre would be considered left.

So again, Big Mac's contention doesn't hold water.
( Last edited by Eug; Oct 28, 2011 at 07:54 AM. )
     
Athens
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Oct 28, 2011, 06:37 PM
 
*Caugh* Vancouver has over 65% of the population that is born out side of Canada

Don't go making Toronto the center of the universe
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OAW
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Oct 28, 2011, 08:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
This from the guy who more than anyone else around here literally makes EVERYTHING- every subject, every debate about race.

Talk about an obsession. You are just about the poster child of 'playing the race card' OAW.
You surprise me Crash. Really ... you do.

Not because you refuse to muster up a shred of intellectual honesty so tat you could simply man up and acknowledge the obvious. That's just not how you roll ... especially when doing so would undermine your bullsh*t narrative that consists of this mindless drivel. I mean ... we both know that this is how you think. After all, it's your standard "go to" statement. Regardless of the thread topic ... regardless of the context ... and most assuredly regardless of these little things we call facts and evidence. It's like no matter what the lyrics of the verse actually say ... you always respond by singing the same old chorus. Which ought to be a massive clue in and of itself that this debate thing really isn't your strong suit.

We also both know that I couldn't care less about your personal opinion of me. My only concern here is the debate. And I judge people around here solely on how well they can articulate their position and back it up with facts and a logical argument. Whether we agree or disagree is immaterial. Well perhaps that's not 100% accurate since you routinely demonstrate yourself to be unnecessarily belligerent, hostile, and at times downright rude. I mean if you ever crossed my mind outside of the PWL I'd probably feel sorry for you because you appear to have some fairly significant anger issues. But that's beside the point.

You surprise me Crash because I figured you'd simply make your typical "race card" statement and leave it at that. Because even a blindfolded man with his eyes gouged out in a pitch black room could see that my reply to your comment was designed as a simple Yes/No question in order to make a pretty straightforward, undeniable point. The purpose being to avoid going down this retarded rabbit hole with you of all people ... by fairly obviously giving you enough rope to hang yourself with. I mean ... surely you'd have sense enough to peep game and keep it moving right? But I'll be damned if you didn't wrap that rope right around your neck and kick the chair over!

They say a "picture" is worth a thousand words. So I want to thank you Crash. Because quite unexpectedly ... in three little sentences .... your above response to that simple Yes/No question "illustrates" my point about the blatant double-standard those of your mindset have when it comes to this "playing the race card" accusation better than I could have done with an entire post.

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Once more, one has to waste time rehashing what you failed to understand, even when it's right there for anyone to read.

Big Mac merely made a statement of fact- that Denmark isn't anywhere near as diverse as the US. It has a small, homogeneous population. FACT.
Nahhh son. You are wasting time because as is your usual M.O. ... you argue a point that is not in dispute. At no time in this entire thread have I stated that what Big Mac said WRT Denmark was NOT a "statement of fact". A brief reminder is in order ...

Originally Posted by OAW
But at the end of the day your post earlier basically said that "homogenous" societies are more likely to favor or at a minimum be less hostile to a "Social Welfare State" than those that are more "ethnically diverse". In other words … cultural affinity is a factor. And the thing is … you're absolutely correct. The majority ethnic group often takes issue with such things when their perception is that minority ethnic groups are benefitting.
Now I'm going to pause for a moment and let that marinate for a bit .....

.
.
.
.
.
.

I realize you've been having reading comprehension issues lately. Which isn't all that unusual for you. But please ... do tell how I "failed to understand" when I agreed with what he said.

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
The idea that Canada is as ethnically diverse as the US is pretty laughable- I don't know know about 98% white, but let's be honest- it's pretty much "The Great White North." One can try and get cute and break that down into Irish and Scottish and Welsh and Dutch etc. etc. but gee, let's all just pretend that most of those 'ethnic origins' aren't also more often than not, caucasian.
And this is pertinent to our discussion how? Did you see me make any of these claims? Uhhh ..... no! The only thing I mentioned was Big Mac's "Canada is 96% Caucasian" assertion ... the purpose of which was to further illustrate that he "basically said that "homogenous" societies are more likely to favor or at a minimum be less hostile to a "Social Welfare State" than those that are more "ethnically diverse". Now Eug was the one who disputed this contention with the claim that the US and Canada were "comparably diverse" yet the latter had higher spending on social welfare programs ... as was his prerogative. So the million dollar question I have for you is ....

Did you see me co-sign on that?

You want to talk about what's "right there for anyone to read." So please ... go ahead and produce the quote!

Now of course we both know that it would be hazardous to one's health to wait on you to man up and simply say .... "My bad OAW ... I confused your position with Eug's." I mean ... that would be too much like right. And here's a prime example of why I say that. Above you said "I don't know about 96% white ...". WTF do you mean you don't know??!! A whole 15 seconds of Google-fu and 8th grade reading level skills would reveal the answer. But you just can't bring yourself to acknowledge the obvious and state that your ideological comrade Big Mac was factually incorrect on this point. It would have made more sense for you not to even mention that little aside.

And for the record ... when Eug said that the US consisted of roughly "80% White Americans" the reason why I didn't co-sign on that was not because he was pulling that figure out of his ass. It was because that figure is reached only with a very "legalistic" definition of "White" or "Caucasian" that is used by the Census Bureau. Not one that is rooted in the commonly used social definition of the term. Per the Census bureau Qaddafi was "Caucasian". Saddam Hussein was "Caucasian". George Lopez would be considered "Caucasian". Even Obama would be counted as "Caucasian" if he chose to check the "Some other race" box instead of "Black or African-American". The point being that there are people who are quite obviously "persons of color" who are counted as "White" or "Caucasian" under these legal definitions. Whereas in daily life in America they would not be referred to as such. Take out those that check the "Some other race" box and you're down to roughly "72% White Americans". Take out those that are Hispanic and you're down to roughly "64% White Americans". The commonly used social definition of the term would put this figure somewhere between the latter two. So yeah, relatively speaking to the US ... Canada is "The Great White North". Happy now?

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
As you usually do, you get things twisted up in your brain, and spout the race card like the natural first response it generally is for you- Big Mac was merely answering the notion that Canada was as ethnically diverse as the US. Your race-obsessed brain took that as: "Big Mac's position is that white people tend to be more in favor of a "Social Welfare State" when it's an overwhelmingly white population in the country."
Bullsh*t. Let me repeat that. Bullsh*t!

Are you seriously trying to argue that this ....

Originally Posted by Big Mac
They're more close knit because they share common language, common culture, common sensibilities, shared history (and yes shared ethnicity but that's only one part). And because they're very similar, if they're into having large Social Welfare states, they likely rationalize that the high taxes help support not only themselves but their very similar, like-minded, like-type neighbors.
Followed by this ....

Originally Posted by Eug
That argument doesn't hold up. Canada and US are likely comparably diverse, but taxation to generate revenues to be spent on social programs and health care are much higher in Canada than the US.
Followed by this ....

Originally Posted by Big Mac
Uh, I don't think so, Eug. Your country is 96% Caucasian according to Wikipedia (although I do recognize the French Canadian divide), and I've heard it's hard to immigrate and gain citizenship there. The US is considerably more ethnically diverse.
.... are totally disconnected? That they aren't the point, counterpoint, and rebuttal of the same conversation? Big Mac was "was merely answering the notion that Canada was as ethnically diverse as the US" ... as if his reply to Eug was some standalone conversation completely unrelated to his initial argument ... even though Eug's comments in blue clearly and unequivocally link the two? GTFOOH!!!

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Which is a typical misread from you. He even called you on it, and you just did your usual "I'll continue to tell you what your position is, even though you've told me it's not... and if you disagree, it must be because you're racist"
This coming from the one who obviously needs a remedial course in Hooked On Phonics.

First of all I never said anything about Big Mac being racist. How would it make any sense for me to even be thinking that when I put it in black and white that I agreed with the man's observation?

Again ... let me pause and let that marinate for a bit.

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The fact that you resort to putting words in my mouth speaks volumes. And no .... Big Mac didn't "call me" on anything. He made an assertion .... one completely devoid of any semblance of an argument to back it up. It appears that Big Mac at least had sense enough not to try to show where I misrepresented his initial argument. He just issued a blanket dismissal and kept it moving. Weak for sure .. because if my characterization of what he said was completely off base then it really shouldn't be all that difficult to "show and prove" that to be the case. This is a debate forum after all. But at least he didn't make himself look foolish by trying to argue that his initial argument was completely separate and distinct from his subsequent "96% Caucasian" comments. You on the other hand ....

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
We've seen it all from you a million times before. And yes, a large part why, as I stated that it's impossible to have a rational discussion about any of this with you and some others of the same mindset around- any uncomfortable fact that's ever brought up relating to ethnicity will instantly get twisted by you into a race-card play. I can set my watch to the absolute certainty of it.
Well as we've already established ... this whole "race card play" thing is rooted in right-wing double-standards. Thanks again for so shamelessly illustrating that for all to see.

Now here's the deal. And this really is the bottom line so if it doesn't register with you after this then we'll just have to write you off as a lost cause. Big Mac made the argument that societal homogeneity ... including shared ethnicity .... was determinative of the support level for high taxes for social welfare programs. When this was challenged by Eug how did he respond? Did he cite statistics about ethnicity in terms of "English", "French", or "Irish"? You know .... ethnicity in terms of things like national origin? Or even ethnicity in terms of things like "common language", "common culture", or "common history" as he had stated in his initial argument that started us all down this tangent? Absolutely not! The first place he went ... the only place he went ... was ethnicity in terms of "race" with his "96% Caucasian" comment. To the degree of trying to argue Eug down about the veracity of a clearly inflated figure to try to prove his point for God's sake! So it is disingenuous at best .... and a laughably, blatant lie at worst for him, you, or anyone else to now try to "flip the script" and pretend like "societal homogeneity" in his mind had nothing whatsoever to do with Caucasian vs. non-Caucasian. Period. But when I respond by accurately characterizing his own words in less "politically correct" terminology ....

Originally Posted by OAW
So it appears that Big Mac's position is that white people tend to be more in favor of a "Social Welfare State" when it's an overwhelmingly white population in the country. So the hostility to it is more rooted in who benefits (i.e. ethnic minorities) than it is the policy itself. Interesting.
... now all of a sudden I'm tripping? I'm the one playing the so-called "race card"? As if the terms "White" and "Caucasian" aren't commonly used interchangeably! Rrrriiiiiiggggghhhhhhttttt!!!!!!

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Respond with your usual multi-paragraph 'wipe the spit off your screen' rantings, play more race cards, accuse me of being racist IE: your usual M.O., but I'm done. Most of the valid points about how Denmark's system doesn't translate to the United States have already been made by more rational people, so as far as I'm concerned, thread over.
Is the little Craashy Waashy having trouble reading more than a few sentences at a time? Maybe next time I'll write you a nice little picture book instead. Or maybe one of those really cool popup books so it will be easier for you to follow!

The most amusing thing about all of this is that you typically relish in "political incorrectness" Crash. At least when you are dishing it out. But when it comes time for you or any of your ideological cohorts to take it you whine about people "playing the race card" like a little b*tch. So I agree. Be done. That would be the most intelligent thing for you to do at this stage in the game. Because this BS you are talking is so not working out for you.

And on that note ... I'm off to watch my Cards pull off Game 7. Rally Squirrel b*tches!!

OAW
( Last edited by OAW; Oct 29, 2011 at 01:45 AM. )
     
turtle777
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Oct 29, 2011, 04:34 AM
 
tldr;

Crash is still right. You can hardly find a single OAW post in the PWL that does not in some sort or way bring race into play.

-t
     
OAW
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Oct 29, 2011, 12:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
tldr;
Well if this is beyond your capabilities …

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Crash is still right.
... then you certainly aren't in a position to comment one way or the other.

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
You can hardly find a single OAW post in the PWL that does not in some sort or way bring race into play.

-t
This is a bald-faced lie on its face. A simple search of my posts would reveal that this is overwhelmingly not the case. Being a detail oriented person I could take the time to produce an actual "race related" post count vs. a total post count. But why bother? Individuals such as yourself and Crash routinely demonstrate that you simply aren't interested in facts when they don't fit into your "narrative". Denial and dismissal are the order of the day. And since my Cards just won the World Series last night I'm feeling way too good to even consider getting caught up in this type of stupidity.

So let's just say that you are "right" about that simply for the sake of discussion. It still doesn't change the issue at hand now does it? The bottom line here is whether my characterization of Big Mac's argument was accurate … or not? So if and when the day ever comes that you are feeling a bit optimistic and you decide to step up to the plate and challenge me on that … go right ahead. We'll see how that turns out for you.

OAW
     
 
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