Thursday, October 15, 2015

The DIfference between Denmark and The United States

Bernie Sanders said we ought to look at the Nordic countries, naming Denmark first, as models for what social democracy looks like. Hillary Clinton says that we are not like Denmark.

When you look at charts about the social conditions of Denmark, you have to ask why we shouldn't want to be like Denmark.


In Denmark, it appears that the lives of all their citizens matter; in the USA, not so much.  In the US, black lives have not mattered and do not matter now.

If Black Lives Mattered in the United States, we would not accept the rates of childhood poverty that we have. We would not want to punish single mothers. If Black Lives Mattered, we would not think that all proposed social welfare policies are plots and scams. We would not be obsessed with the distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor.

The difference between Denmark and the United States is not that we are an "entrepreneurial" nation and they are not. The difference is that the USA is paralyzed by institutional racism and all its rationalizations and ideological requirements.


2 comments:

KJR said...

I lived in Scandinavia as a teen in the early 60's. What struck me at that time even more than the social supports was the egalitarian attitude toward women. Women had roles there in every part of society at a time when back home we were restricted from entry to anything other than nursing, teaching children, and the secretarial pool. Great childcare was easily available to all. I don't think it is an accident that the lifting up of women created a more caring society all around. The U.S. Is not today as far along in the position of women and children as Scandinavia was when I lived there 50 years ago.

Sandy Eyl said...

I've been reading the fiction of Henning Mankell set in southern Sweden (near Denmark) in the 90s. In some of his stories he touches on issues of socisl class, poverty, and anti-immingrant sentiment. And I think based on other topics I know he took from history and transferred to fiction I assume that this was going on in his experience at that time. I think the US suffers from such divisive beliefs having been held by men of power for generations, and as you say the institutional racism that has grown from that power being exercised over time.