"Yes...but let's remember that Denmark has a population that is about 285 million less than that of the United States', and the average annual income in the United States is only about $3000 to $4000 more than Denmark's, which, in my humble opinion, is pretty impressive for a country of only 5 million people [not to mention they don't have the largest gap of wealth in the world]. "
First of all, when you think about the fact that former some former communist European countries (such as Poland, Czech Repulic) have, in a little over a decade, been able to achieve national GDPs as large or larger than that of Denmark's (while is has taken Denmark the better part of a century) hardly makes it seem remarkable. Additionaly, the per capita GDP of Denmark is actually $8000-$9000 less in 2002 (www.cia.gov). A hefty sum if you ask me...? Oh yeah, and just because our rich are richer than Demark's rich, doesn't nessarilly make our poor, poorer. Read me?
"As far as my knowledge goes, Denmark, or any of the Nordic nations for that matter, do not come close to the political corruption that the United States has [assinations aside....], and the fact that political figures are so accessible I think makes this "ultra-civilized" region just that. And more democratic as well."
You know, I really question your knowledge of the Nordic nations, because before you heap "ungarnished" praise this "ideally" democratic nation, read of some of these excerpts relating to Denmark's recent xenophobic, and might I add, RACIST, political trends that are rocking Europe by storm (if you read even ONE of these, make it the L.A. times quote):
»The Danes have far fewer immigrants and refugees than Germany, but even so, the Danes react hysterically and vote for an extreme right-wing, racist party. (...) Denmark, which was formerly known for its tolerance, now has racists taking part in a government which pursues a policy that is hostile to foreigners.« (August 30, 2002, the Danish newspaper 'Information').
Neue Zürcher Zeitung:
»By court order, the head of the DPP, Pia Kjaersgaard, may not be labeled "racist," but she keeps things humming in her own party's ranks with frequent xenophobic utterances. Late this past May, referring to Sweden's relatively open policy toward foreigners, Kjaersgaard remarked that the Stockholm regime was perfectly free to let Swedish cities become Scandinavian Beiruts, replete with mass rapes, revenge killings and clan wars.« (June 19, 2002).
»While most Danes would be loath to admit it, there are some uncomfortable parallels between the new measures [den danske udlændingelov] and some of Mr. Le Pen’s stated policies.« (May 3, 2002).
The New York Times:
»The news from Europe sounds grim. (…) The ultranationalist, xenophobic right is manifestly on the rise.« (April 28, 2002).
»A wave of anti-Muslim sentiment has bolstered far-right parties in some European countries since Sept. 11 and left the continent's large communities of foreigners wondering how long their welcome will last. The changing mood has found its fullest political expression here in Denmark, where an anti-immigrant party won 12 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections in November, nearly doubling its showing from the previous election. Its campaign posters featured a picture of a young blond girl and the slogan: "When she retires, Denmark will have a Muslim majority.« (March 29, 2002).
»Nowhere else in Europe has the anti-immigration rhetoric ascended to such heights. A small organization preaching multicultural tolerance mocked Danes' prejudices this year by erecting billboards that showed a black youth saying, 'When I become white, I'll be a schoolteacher.' Activists in the Danish People's Party responded with a parody showing a homeless white man saying, 'When I become a Muslim, I'll have a house,' echoing the party's refrain that immigrants are edging out Danes for housing and social services.« (April 28, 2000).
»This brutal xenophobia is all the much more striking because it appears in a place where you would not expect it. In a kingdom which stands as a severe judge of human rights … and where scarcely 4,4 percent of the population are foreigners.« (Translated from the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende, November 20, 1997).
If you see her, give my regards to the queen....
[Edited 2003-09-18 06:24:52]
Backhanding the left into submission, one activist judge at a time.