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FROM MY CORNER: Danish & American Politics

Howell Hurst American News, Corporate Avarice, Economy & Finance, Europe, People Politics

Lately some readers wrote to me about “Socialism.” The gist of what they said is that Socialism steals people’s personal initiative from them. And, that Capitalism preserves it.  This is a long-asserted conservative belief.  I don’t disagree with it – IF we are talking about government owning ALL business assets of a country.

However, if we are discussing the type of government that Denmark has, I DO disagree with the conservative argument against “Socialism.”  Denmark does not own all of the country’s business assets.

It is capitalistic. But its form of capitalism is not that of America. Distinct differences exist. Mainly, it is designed to combine private capitalism with selected nationally-managed social support systems. Selectively, it owns a part of some companies and has a representative on the corporation’s board of directors.

This creates a vital difference. It does so because its nationally-managed social support systems are specifically then used to help all citizens, not just the owners and managers of individual corporations.

Conservatives frequently reject Denmark as a rational model for America with a curious objection. They say America is not as “Homogenous” as Denmark.  And that, therefore, our considering a similar system is impossible.

What does Homogenous mean? Webster’s Dictionary says it means sharing “a similar structure because of a common descent.”  What does that mean? I assume it means that all Danes are of the same bloodline, while Americans are not.

That argument is highly questionable. The Danish model is not built on bloodlines; it is built on a political vision: that there is a valid place for government to be involved in its capitalistic economic system.

That place is to insure capitalism cannot become so big that it endangers the security of its citizens. Denmark’s system strives to insure that neither capitalism nor government can co-opt citizens’ right to define what they want politically and financially.

I detect no rational basis for the conservative argument that American should not consider a political financial system similar to Denmark’s.  Why? Because Denmark’s social support component of government is based essentially on a mathematically sound economic model.

Denmark’s system authorizes government to insure all Danes have medical care and unemployment financial recovery funding whenever capitalism’s periodic and inevitable competitive disruptions temporarily discard them from its economy.

That is essentially a social algorism, much as is commonly used mathematically in digitally-based systems such as Facebook, Amazon, and other programs. It quite simply means Denmark’s allocates a specifically-limited portion of its national wealth to the good of everyone.

The weakness of the conservative argument shows up in a very practical example in the Denmark’s McDonald’s current employee payment model. Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times, visited Denmark just before the erupton of Corona Virus, and reported the following.

He found that in America, a McDonald employee can presently anticipate a top pay of a minimum wage of $15 per hour. In Denmark, a McDonald’s employee already receives $22 per hour, plus full medical, six weeks of annual paid vacation, mothers’ after-birthing recovery assistance.

I have owned private American corporations. I always assumed that if my business could not afford to pay at least America’s minimum wage, I would not be running a business. Rather, I would be running a scam.

That remains my belief today. I believe, for instance, America should enhance our stillfragile social support medical system until it insures a sufficient percentage of our gross domestic product-produced taxes provide 100% medical coverage for everyone.

Any American business that cannot afford to pay its employees $15 per hour on at least a 35 hour work week, and insure medical coverage for all citizens, is not conducting a business. It is conducting a scam.

Penalizing workers with inadequate life-supporting pay is an all-too-frequent deceitful practice in many American industries. Restaurants are a good example. It deserves to be against the law. It should not be allowed in America.

I welcome my readers’ comments on the subject.

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