Much earlier by Steve Sailer: Scandinavia Fails To Collapse—Yet, March 2, 2003
From the New York Times opinion page:
McDonald’s Workers in Denmark Pity Us
Danes haven’t built a “socialist” country. Just one that works.
By Nicholas Kristof, Opinion Columnist, May 8, 2020
… How scary is Denmark? How horrifying would it be if the United States took a step or two in the direction of Denmark? Would America lose its edge, productivity and innovation, or would it gain well-being, fairness and happiness?
So, here, grab a Danish, and we’ll chat about how a [expletive] progressive country performs under stress. The pandemic interrupted my reporting, but I’d be safer if I still were in Denmark: It has had almost twice as much testing per capita as the United States and fewer than half as many deaths per capita.
Put it this way: More than 35,000 Americans have already died in part because the United States could not manage the pandemic as deftly as Denmark.
Denmark lowered new infections so successfully that last month it reopened elementary schools and day care centers as well as barber shops and physical therapy centers. Malls and shops will be allowed to reopen on Monday, and restaurants and cafes a week later.
Moreover, Danes kept their jobs….
As a share of G.D.P., Denmark’s coronavirus relief spending is a bit less than America’s, but it seems more effective at protecting the population. …
Some Americans cite Sweden as a model for coronavirus response because it has not imposed a major lockdown. But, in fact, Denmark, separated from Sweden by a bridge, has been far more successful: Denmark’s death rate from Covid-19 per million people is less than one-third of Sweden’s, and forecasters predict that Denmark’s economy will do better than Sweden’s this year.
I’ve also heard to the contrary. This seems like an important question.
… Americans assume that Danish wages must be high because of regulations, but Denmark has no national minimum wage, and it would be perfectly legal for a construction company or a corner pizzeria to hire workers at $5 an hour. Yet that doesn’t happen. The typical bottom market wage seems to be about $15 — about twice the federal minimum wage in the United States, a country with a roughly similar standard of living. Why is that?
One reason is Denmark’s strong unions. More than 80 percent of Danish employees work under collective bargaining contracts, although strikes are rare. There is also “sectoral bargaining,” in which contracts are negotiated across an entire business sector — so in Denmark, McDonald’s and Burger King pay exactly the same — something that Joe Biden suggests the United States consider as well.
Yet there’s another, more important reason for high wages in Denmark.
“Workers are more productive” in Denmark, Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard, noted bluntly. “They have had access to more and higher-quality human capital investment opportunities starting at birth.”
Think of it this way. Workers at McDonald’s outlets all over the world tend to be at the lower end of the labor force, say the 20th percentile. But Danish workers at the 20th percentile are high school graduates who are literate and numerate.
In contrast, after half a century of underinvestment in the United States, many 20th-percentile American workers haven’t graduated from high school, can’t read well, aren’t very numerate, struggle with drugs or alcohol, or have impairments that reduce productivity.
From the CIA World Factbook:
Danish (includes Greenlandic (who are predominantly Inuit) and Faroese) 86.3%, Turkish 1.1%, other 12.6% (largest groups are Polish, Syrian, German, Iraqi, and Romanian) (2018 est.)
note: data represent population by ancestry
Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority)
note: English is the predominant second language
Evangelical Lutheran (official) 74.7%, Muslim 5.5%, other/none/unspecified (denominations of less than 1% each in descending order of size include Roman Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Serbian Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Baptist, Buddhist, Mormon, Pentecostal, and nondenominational Christian) 19.8% (2019 est.)
Back to Kristof:
… For all of Denmark’s successes, its model faces challenges. A central one is that the Danish system emerged from a homogeneous society with strong social trust, and some experts wonder whether Denmark can indefinitely sustain its high-wage, high-productivity economy as less-skilled immigrants stream in from poorer countries. Denmark compiled a heroic record resisting the Nazis to save most of its Jewish population in World War II, so it surprised me to encounter strong anti-immigrant feelings, even xenophobia.
It’s striking how much a gentile pundit like Kristof (of Armenian-Polish and Old American background from college town Oregon) uncritically absorbs the usually not-quite articulated Conventional Wisdom that immigration policy in 2020 is about being against Hitler.
Kristof doesn’t mention that Denmark has been the world leader since 2001 in implementing intelligent restrictions on mass immigration, including the current left of center government:
From the Associated Press via the Daily Mail:
Denmark’s immigration ministry declares it ‘wonderful’ that more migrants left the country than entered in 2019
It was the first time since 2011 that net migration was negative in the country
The main groups of people who left last year were Somalis, Syrians and Iraqis
The Danish Refugee Council says less people have been able to reach Denmark
PUBLISHED: 11:04 EDT, 4 May 2020
Denmark’s immigration ministry says more migrants left Denmark in 2019 than entered, with the minister in charge of the matter calling the official figures ‘wonderful’.
It was the first time since 2011 that net migration – the difference between immigration and emigration – was negative.
Mattias Tesfaye said: ‘Whenever possible, it is only natural for refugees to travel back to their homeland. I am glad that we can give people protection while it is needed. But I’m also happy every time a refugee can return home’.
Net immigration to Denmark has been falling since 2015. Last year, a net 730 people left the Scandinavian country of 5.8 million. …
Denmark in recent times has grabbed international attention for its strict stand toward immigrants.
The current Social Democratic minority government has taken a softer, albeit tough stance than the previous centre-right government that had the parliamentary support of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party.
It’s almost as if Socialism Welfarism In One Nation is a viable policy, especially if it’s a nation of Danes. But Immigrationism Uber Alles is not.