By: Teresa Mull
The Danish people have been expressing their frustrations with Denmark’s famous welfare state and plan to make their dissatisfaction known during the June 5 election.
It seems the glorified free-stuff-for-everybody model Europeans have embraced, and which many progressive American politicians so often laud, is finally catching up to the Nordic countries. The consequences of this failed system will likely be reflected at the ballot box.
“The erosion of the welfare state has now become a defining issue in the June 5 general election in a country where people hand over an average 36% of their personal income to the state each month,” Reuters reports.
Denmark and its neighboring countries pay some of the highest taxes in the world in exchange for universal healthcare, education, and other services. But now, government spending cuts have begun to deteriorate the availability and quality of these services.
According to Reuters:
“Cuts to healthcare services, which include everything from free doctor appointments to cancer treatment, have led to the closure of a quarter of state hospitals in the past decade alone.
“A recent survey showed that more than half of Danes don’t trust the public health service to offer the right treatment. As a consequence, the proportion of the 5.7 million Danish population taking out private health insurance has jumped to 33% from 4% in 2003, according to trade organization Insurance & Pension Denmark.
“Aging populations have led to politicians across the region chipping away at the generous cradle-to-grave welfare state for years. In Denmark, next week’s election could prove a turning point as frustrated voters say: No more.”
“The problem is that there’s not enough people. There is not much politicians can do at the moment. You can say you want a thousand new nurses in the hospitals, but they are nowhere to be found.”
Teresa Mull is editor of GunpowderMagazine.com. Contact her at [email protected]