This meme about Denmark has been virally making its way around the interwebs. It paints a rosy picture of a country where everything is free and people are remarkably happy but that isn’t quite true.
Denmark has some of the highest, if not THE highest, taxes in the world. On top of having extremely high income taxes they also have a 25% sales tax. So all the ‘free stuff’ they are talking about in the meme, isn’t actually free. The people who actually work (it’s a huge welfare state as well) are the ones paying for everything. Imagine working most of the week to pay for government programs, getting your pay check to realize they took more than HALF of YOUR hard-earned income to redistribute elsewhere?
And that ‘free college education?’ It’s not really working out how the Danish envisioned. From Business Insider:
No tuition fees and generous grants give young Danes an opportunity that would make most green with envy — a university education without a massive debt yoke. But many, in both industry and politics, feel it’s become a free lunch that’s giving indigestion to Scandinavia’s already weakest economy. Too many pursue “fulfilment” and too few the science and engineering degrees needed in well-paid growth sectors critical for the nation’s future, they say.With one of the highest tax rates in the world — at 56 percent for top earners — big salaries mean mostly bigger taxes to sustain the welfare state. Many young Danes just don’t see the point of putting in years of effort into studying for a bigger salary eaten up by taxes.