[Featured] Netizens Discuss the 'Reality' of Denmark

While MLB Park is a website for Korean baseball fans, its 'Bullpen' forum is popular for general discussions. In this article, we present you a snapshot of Bullpen netizens discussing the 'reality' of Denmark due to a recent post about how bad it is to live in Denmark. It seems the original rant was posted on City-data.com in 2008. [Link]

[MLB Park: Bullpen] Welfare nation Denmark's reality
Date: August 14, 2016


You can view more photo cards on the source webpage. [Link]

Netizen Comments:

If those are the worst things about Denmark, it must be truly a good place to live.
The fact that many of them see psychiatrists means they have a good health care system. Mass murderer Cho Seung-hui received many suggestions for psychiatrist help but his family couldn't afford it. We know what happened afterwards.
All systems have pros and cons. Sometimes you have no choice. We have too much population and too little natural resources to emulate the welfare system of a country with 5 million people and oil. If we try to follow the Northern European welfare systems, I think our GDP growth will stop. We are a nation where engineers have to be milked to create products to export. If you impose 50% taxes and equalize incomes, wouldn't our engineers lose their motivation? They slept for 4 hours to study to get in a good company and make good money. What if they end up earning similar money compared to high school dropouts who became farmers or mechanics???
잉여도스: [In response to tjeoansrh]
It would be hard to keep the extremely talented people in the country because they may feel unfair. But it is Norway that produces a lot of oil. Denmark also has some oil but they don't produce that much. Only about 1/10 of the oil produced by Norway. In fact, we are also an oil-producing country because we have natural gas. Half of the natural gas produced by Denmark.
MVP 유한준:
People above average would hate it while people below average would like it. We can't have homogeneous opinions about something like this. I also oppose expansion of welfare in our country.
If a country is a good place to live for the middle and lower class people rather than the upper class people, it is a good place to live for the majority. Of course, the high income people will have complaints but their number isn't so high.
After the IMF crisis, our country embraced the neoliberalism to focus on growth. How are we doing now? Is our life good? It is clear that we need redistribution of wealth rather than blind growth at this point.
tjeoansrh: [In response to 스폰지밥]
Denmark and Norway experience a serious brain drain. Because they cannot motivate people to strive for better standards of living within the country. What if we cannot motivate our engineers who lead our export-oriented industries? What if they leave our country? Also, we don't have any natural resources to sell. Then we may end up like Southeast Asia. We still need to grow more.
Let's talk about a few important things about Korea.

Competition for university entrance exams starts from elementary school. We have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. University tuition fees are high. Even if you get into a large company, you have to do overtime and go to work during weekends sometimes. Even if you work so hard, you get laid off soon. If you can't get another job at a smaller company, you are most likely going to open your own business with your severance pay. This has abnormally increased our country's ratio of self-employment. Of course, their businesses fail more than succeed. Our divorce rate is high, too. Even if you resort to an expedient for profits, you don't get criticized as long as you keep a low profile. Extremely wealthy people are above the laws. People like Samsung's Gun-hee, corrupt former prosecutors and Lee Myung-bak.

FYI, engineers are not well compensated in Korea, too. Talented scientists and engineers want to move to Japan or the US. The Kim Dae-jung administration's BK21 and alternative military duty systems such as the KAIST special law were in place to prevent this to a degree. However, the Ministry of Defense announced that they will abolish such systems by 2019. Are experienced researchers treated better at least? Nope. National research centers got an order from the Park Geun-hye government to reduce the number of irregular employees. So they dismissed all interns. They go through so much trouble just to hire one intern. You cannot get regular positions with average research journals. Even if you have a PhD, you have to make good contributions as an irregular employee to get a regular position later. Our brain drain is enormous already. Those who remain in the country do so because they cannot go abroad.

Korea is not a heaven for engineers at all. Living as a researcher in the US, Germany or Japan is considerably different from that in Korea. Their scale of research funds is very different and their social recognition or support is good, too. Our researchers remain in Korea because of money, personal ties or occasionally good offers. Most Koreans who are able to get a job abroad go abroad.
It seems the OP is quite delusional. It is our country that has one of the most serious brain drain problems. We are not in a position to pity Denmark's brain drain. Do you know that recently our government officials went abroad to scout Korean PhDs but they came back with empty hands? Not even a single person wanted to come back to Korea even though the government says they will treat researchers well. If you have any slight talent in science or engineering, you wouldn't want to come to Korea. How can a Korean worry about Denmark's brain drain ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
He supposedly collected the worst things about Denmark but it's all about taxation issues.
Honestly, it is cringey to say "it is a good place to live if those are the worst things." Usually, people have some fantasies about Northern Europe. It is meaningful that the post attempts to make us stop and think about them more objectively, even though it might be somewhat exaggerated. By the same token, don't Koreans exaggerate bad things about Korea? ㅋ The dominant opposing view to the OP is either that it is a good place to live if those are the worst things or that we have it worse in Korea. I don't find it so convincing. Especially those who refuse to acknowledge any bad things about Northern Europe while praising them like they are heaven. They tell you not to praise Korea in comparison to other countries like North Korea but they are quick to praise Denmark while putting down Korea. I'm quite of a naysayer in general but some comments read like elementary school student's scribbles ㅋ
In real life, I've never heard of Hell Korea or Hell blah blah. But if you read these internet comments, it looks like Korea is the worst hell hole of the world that is about to collapse.
1. In Korea, income tax can go up to 38%, but it's not like you only pay 38 million won tax if you make 100 million won due to the progressive taxation. It is not that different from Denmark's 52% income tax in the end.

2. If our housing problem is solved, we would have no problem even if prices double suddenly. Our population density issue is much bigger than our lack of natural resources.

3. Engineers? Why do you think Denmark lacks engineers? In a country like Denmark, high school students learn common humanities first and they are encouraged to become engineers. Their engineers also make a lot more money than arts majors. There is no brain drain problem at all. Korea is much more hellish when it comes to brain drain.

4. I know a group that creates something like the OP. The FEE is like an American version of our mindless Center for Free Enterprise who praises Rhee Syngman. They try to make people talk down Northern Europe and suck up to the US.
Redistribution-oriented democracy breeds the epitome of unpaid labor.

I don't know why people think Denmark represents social democracy. In Denmark, enterprises pay very little taxes compared to common citizens. In a way, it is one of the most enterprise-friendly nations. Sweden embodies social democracy better. Maybe we can even say Denmark has a conservative government that can comply with the Confucian benevolent politics for commoners.

It is all propaganda to claim Denmark experiences a severe brain drain. The OP can try to back it up with facts. There was someone who claimed many Norwegian doctors emigrate due to high taxes but the truth was that Norway has much more doctors per capita than the US. With such a serious brain drain, the country cannot be so well off in the first place. Emigration is not that easy. Koreans complain about Korea calling it 'Hell Joseon', but how many of them actually leave the country? It is not that easy to leave behind everything you grew up with. Also, tax rates aren't everything. Would you go to Somalia just because they have lower tax rates? We consider work hours, politics, culture, safety, environment, welfare, etc. comprehensively.

The OP may be shocked to know many American middle class people support Bernie Sanders for presidency. They basically envision changing the US to be more like Northern Europe. Can you understand why many high income IT professionals in San Francisco support him? Meanwhile, some mollusk-like people support Trump.

So GDP growth was brought up. In fact, for the last three decades, Northern Europe's real GDP per capita growth hasn't been that far from that of America. If you consider the fact that Northern Europeans work less than Americans, we can even say Northern Europe is more efficiently growing their economy. People keep saying taxes are so high in Denmark but it is less than what it used to be in the 80s. It was truly murderous at that time, but their economy still grew well. Now Demark's GDP per capita is about $60,000.
The Dane who wrote the original rant should try doing overtime work as an irregular employee in Korea and then suffer from diseases with the poor health care system in the US.
Denmark has many depression patients because they are located in high latitudes with less sunlight. In winter, the sun already sets around 4 pm so their daytime is very short. Don't post bullshit garbage that omits facts like this for their agenda.
Many Koreans envy Northern Europe but they refuse to support the social democratic party in our country. "I don't want to pay more tax and don't like leftist parties. But I don't like too much competition, either, and want to receive welfare benefits like in Northern Europe." How does this make sense? If you don't want the current state, isn't it normal for you to support the social democratic party to change it? I don't understand why they complain so much about welfare while supporting the conservative party.
Many Koreans made a fuss because they had to pay a little more for the national pension plan. I wonder how many people will agree to pay half of their income as tax. I personally don't like the idea. I want to make as much money as I work and I want to be better off than those who don't work as hard. Korea transformed from one of the poorest countries to about 10th biggest economy, following the American model. I wonder how many Koreans would agree with Northern European style policies at this point.......
슈뢰딩거: [In response to tjeoansrh]
I have no complaint if all that additional tax money is well utilized for our social safety net and welfare. It is a matter of how the government spends the money.
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1 comment :

  1. Hey a dane here. People here are usually motivated by a fair living wage, but most just want to be able to a place to live with their family and the ability to travel once or twice er year. Taxes on production are moderate and while there are alot of unnecessary bureaucracy in the welfare system, people would rather fix the problem then removing the safety-net.



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