Hate Your Job? Move to Denmark

denmark_small.jpgIf you type “happy at work” into Google, you’ll get roughly 32 million results. Why? Because over half of all Americans are unhappy at their jobs. Alexander Kjerulf, CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) has made finding happiness at work his life’s mission. He lives in Denmark but spends lots of his time traveling through the U.S. and Europe which gives him an interesting perspective on why Americans are so unhappy at work.

In a recent editorial, Kjerulf says this about workers in America:

“You get paid to do your job, not to like it,” seems to be the attitude of most US managers and workplaces. What’s worse, American employees seem to be willing participants in this arrangement. When I ask Americans what makes them happy at work, they rarely talk about the work itself – many tend to see it as a means to an end, rather than as something to enjoy.

The result is that US workplaces are dominated by status-seeking career climbers, where the paycheck is the only motivator, where employee turnover is shockingly high, where bad management is never challenged, where burnout and cynicism are the order of the day, and only Dilbert comic strips provide relief.”

I’ve worked in the environment described above. It left me depressed, drained and 10 lbs heavier. It also motivated me to search for answers. Why do people hate their jobs? And why do they continue to stay? I knew that there had to be something better out there, a place where employers are good to their workers and everyone is happy and productive all the time.

The name of that place is Denmark.

According to Kjerulf,

“In Denmark, employees fully expect to like their jobs. Few Danes put up with bad management, stress, overwork, bullying, or anything else that makes us unhappy at work. What’s more, in Scandinavia in general, companies have a genuine commitment to their employees’ well-being.

This is why Scandinavians have the world’s highest job satisfaction ratings – and one of the reasons why the Scandinavian nations regularly top the lists of the world’s happiest countries, both in life and at work…The equation isn’t complicated: Workers who love their jobs = more efficiency and innovation = more money.”

What is it exactly about Scandinavian countries that allow them to be so much happier at work? Are they born with the courage to stand up to bad bosses? Is there something in the water that makes them have a more positive attitude than Americans? The answer may lie in the differences in government and social policy between the U.S. and Scandinavia.

Healthy People Make Happy Employees

According to the Danish Ministry of the Interior and Health, 85% of a Danish citizen’s health care costs are paid by taxes. In contrast, the majority of American health care costs, for those lucky enough to have health insurance in the first place, are paid for by the individual’s employer. The link between employment and health insurance put Americans in a tough position. Stay in a job they hate and have access to affordable and quality medical care for themselves and their family, or pursue a more fulfilling job and risk becoming bankrupt when serious illness strikes. Over 50% of bankruptcies in the United States are at least partly a result of medical expenses.

By making the decision to separate health from business, the Danish government effectively allows their citizens more opportunities to change jobs without fear, discover their true talents and reach their full potential. The country sees benefits in increased productivity and economic prosperity. Is it no wonder then that the unemployment rate in Scandinavia is less than 1%?

A Ray of Hope

Until the United States reforms its health care system and other social policies such as parental leave, most American workers fight an uphill battle to discover happiness at work. But it can be done. Corporations such as Google or Best Buy are re-imaging the way Americans do business. Flexible hours, generous benefits, putting workers first—these are all characteristics of the new American workplace.

Happiness is slowly finding its way back into American offices, you might just have to look a little harder, negotiate a little better and spend some time defining your own “happy at work” place in order to find it.


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33 responses »

  1. Thanks for your great comments and additions to my editorial. You make some great points here, especially around the effect on employer-payed health insurance and how that makes people more dependent on their jobs.

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  3. I lived in Denmark for a short while and indeed found the social systems and culture so refreshingly different than the US. I also have a vivid memory of my Danish host family visiting with my family in the US and, when they came to see my mother’s windowless office at the university where she taught, they were shocked. My Danish host dad then said it was illegal to have a windowless office in Denmark. Can you even imagine this kind of law in the US?

  4. Hey,
    I lived in Copenhagen for a while…3 years…went to school and later worked there…I truly concur with your post…its really an amazing place to work…..
    Can I link you post from my blog….want to direct my readers to read this…..

    Rupa.

  5. Great article! I’m going to forward it to my husband. I quit my teaching job to pursue a freelance writing life. I’m happy, but broke! now he has all the pressure to provide. I sure wish I could move to Europe.

  6. I believe Denmark has a great concept when it comes to keeping the working citizens of its country happy! They can be less stressed when it comes to the more important issues of their health, finances, and quaility time with their families. Denmark probably also has a much lower dependency of anxiety and anti-depressent prescription medications that Americans can’t seem to get enough of. This is definately an issue that our current presidential candidates need to speak on in their debates. And our future president needs to implement a solution for.

  7. Although I agree with the idea of health as a factor, I cannot help but to think that our misuse of some of our current technology is a culprit as well. With so many ways to stay connected, there are firms that may believe employees should have personal time, yet they are calling or e-mailing or name your favorite mode of communication their employees at all hours any day. Although firms may recognize it as wrong, there is an expectation of doing more for your job, and pushing you will accomplish that aim, which leaves employees feeling disillusioned.

  8. I’m very tired of hearing “no one likes their job…deal with it!” I don’t intend to…that’s why I’m getting an education. (Yes, I _realize_ the majority of college grads are not working in their chosen fields…take my comment with a grain of salt, please!)

    Even if it renders me broke and homeless, I refuse to “settle” for a job I hate. That’s just not my style (I’d consider moving to Denmark, but since my entire family is in the U.S., I’d probably have issues.)

    ~*~

    I’ve seen pictures of the inside of Google…it looks fantastic!

    Must be a blessing to work there…

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  11. As a young American with interest in returning to her Danish roots, this article really appeals on many levels. I would like to truly thank the author.

    The American mentality of working solely for a paycheck is ingrained while most of us are still young. Towards the later years in high school and throughout college most students have a part time job, and because most of us do not have specialty skills, we endure menial work in order to cover expenses. In my case one job was high stress and demanding, but paid little. The second job came with an intolerable boss who called late at night for regular griping. The third and current is the best by far, working for a corporation with a team of great bosses and team spirit.

    I was fortunate to have gotten such a wonderful job, but unfortunately the work conditions I now have aren’t standard. As such teens will grow to expect that work is rarely enjoyable, and pursue lifelong careers without belief they will be happy with it. Oftentimes the salary will be a deciding factor in a student’s job selection, rather than any genuine interest in the field itself.

    So thank you for giving me hope that this vicious cycle can be broken, and further inspiring me to consider making that migration across the pond.

  12. Seriously what the hell is wrong with you people? You have all the freedom you can ever have in the US and you sit here talking about how wonderful Denmark is? Let me tell you I live in this place and it is nowhere NEAR the fairytale that you people are describing.. It’s basically a socialist hellhole, you get up, go to work and do the same shit day in day out.. you know there’s a reason why they call the danes one of the happiest nations on earth..Basically people have no expectations whatsoever.. Everything is already mediocre today so why should it be any different tomorrow? As a wise man once said..
    “you would have to be cortically challenged to want to live in Denmark, unless you are a spineless and unproductive welfare leech”

    Yes you can make alot of money but have any of you people ever tried seeing 50-60% of your monthly salary cut away while some socialist politician tell you “Those high taxes are for the common good, you now have access to free healthcare blah blah blah”

    Let me tell you free healthcare is BULL and you will basically die waiting for treatment… Hell I almost did, but luckily I got treatment at a private hospital and It was worth it!

    I’m telling you, leave this glorified idea it’s a fairytale. The list of negative things is basically too long to mention here but the day one of you unfortunate fools move here and tries to buy a car please call me! I really want to hear the trembling in your voice when you find out that a small factory new eco car will cost you $70.000 and upwards, or that the real estate broker is trying to charge you $600.000 for a half decent hundred year old apartment.. (they are literally 100+ year old most places) You know there i a reason why denmark is having so much trouble holding on to a decent educated workforce.. because the youth of this country immedietly leaves after they finish up the university. They move to america, germany, italy spain etc.. Completely debt free. This is really one of the only true good benefits, a free education system that you can exploit and then move to a better country.

    Please have a look at this file written buy a Dane before you consider moving here and PLEASE take the information seriously because it will come back and haunt you the day you are living on this forsaken soil.
    http://haxor.dk/articles/dksucks.html

    Let me just give you Americans a little piece of advice and I hope that you take it seriously.
    If you really must insist that this place is ‘OHHhh Soo! heavenly!!’ Consider moving to southeren Sweden and drive to Denmark to work across the bridge connecting the two countries.. Just As many other danes are already doing, sweden is a MUCH cleaner country, the streets are dirtless unlike Danish streets. Everything isn’t taxed to death.. I mean even toilet paper and toothpaste is taxed in Denmark for god sake!! In sweden cars are tax free so you will be able to buy a really decent car at very cheap prices.. Believe me, you will thank me when the harsh winter kicks in.. It’s no fun riding your bicycle in pouring rain and snow,
    houses and apartments are alot more high standard and affordable, Swedes are more financially liberal and the goverment won’t try to snake out hundreds of different rules and regualtions to try taxing you for something you don’t really need or want. And ofcourse sweden is also a socialist country so there will be “free-healthcare” for you people that apparently crave this fairytale “public service”. Basically you can have the best of both worlds.. The Wonderful finacial freedom and cleanliness of sweden.. Not to mention the beautiful nature but you can also recieve the high salary in Denmark.

    to sum this up.. DENMARK IS NOT EQUAL HAPPINESS! DON’T BE STUPID PEOPLE.

    Living in sweden while driving to work in Denmark is probably the ultimate luxury for the average welfare leeching underachiever of socialist scandinavia and this is the ultimate truth that I have concluded after living here for 25 years so wether or not you choose to believe this is entirely up to you.

    As for me? I’ll be moving to the US for a great job as soon as I finish up school med school 🙂

    by the way.. my email is open to be contacted.

    • good luck, I think you need to learn a lot and to travel and work in different places to learn and apprechiate what you got….it may take you until you have to pay the sky rocket high university and college fees for your kids in other countries until you realize what you got. Or you may get a taste of it early enough, because it is not always brighter on the other side:)

      I have lived all over, worked all over and studies all over and I done it with kids…I have done a full on and I’m sorry but happyness doesn’t come from low taxes etc. I believe people can be happy everywhere as long as they are happy with themselves but I can certainly tell you one thing: some “other” countries may have lower tax but that is it….live can be quite exhausting and blant when you don’t have neighbours that you really know soley for the reason they have the concept of a house as and investment and constantly move or just simply only know superficial friendship and that want high fences and sign in books at school because of all the bad things that could happen to your child….in my opinion these people grow up with a crazy amount of fear litteraly about everything that they actually have lost any normal behaviour……

      ….and if it is not this normal stuff then you may get fed up one day that your nice solid education is great but work is frustrating because your collegues just had a 6 weeks part time course and don’t have clue but yours took years…..you fix the problems all day….and on top of that you have to constantly deal with people that don’t know a bit..

      ..do I sound frustrated? Yeah a bit, I’m teaching at uni….the students pay horendous fees and think they know what it needs to do the job…on top of that they can’t solve a simple equation…I could go on and on…..The subject I’m teaching would at home been considered as secondary school material….here it is uni level and actually only scraping the topic ……

      good luck in the states or any other countries but I strongly advise getting off the pink spectacles …. you need to take the challenge but be open to maybe like your homeland too.

      all the best

  13. And yes I do know the grammar is messed up but I really don’t have time to read the whole thing and correct it. Please exuse me.

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  15. ohhh my god!!
    You reallt think America is a heaven to work and live…. you have no idea.

    This place is a shit hole when it comes to life, very little socialisam around people. People live house to house for decades and they do not know who their neighbor are to much criminalism and way to little done about. So little to enjoy you spend mojarity of your life working and at the end you have nothing. Here in america is work-sleep work-sleep routine for the rest of your life.

    I was born and raised in Europe and the life style overthere is smooth and slowpaced you enojoy and appreciate evreything you have, here nothing to appreciate evreything is in such a hurry .
    I graduate this year and I am sooo soo looking forward moving over seas and enjoying life like its meant to be.. and for you who are running over here thiking America world of oppertunity “OPEN YOUR EYESS”. there is no oppertunity its just a place to put you down and pull you into a financial world that if you are naive enough to fall for you will never get out..

  16. I cannot think of a worse place to work than Denmark, and I tried for 3 years for my Danish partner’s sake.

    Can anyone enjoy knowing that over 50% of your pay doesn’t even make it as far as your pocket, but goes to fund the benefits of the lazy majority, so they can continue living in the employment-free style to which they’ve become accustomed. Conversely, this makes it a fantastic place for those to live who are not interested in working, although the Danish state has a myriad of rules to ensure non-Danes cannot claim any benefits or even come to live in Denmark unless they have a load of cash in the bank. This does not fit in with the supposed EU free movement regulations, but since Denmark is so small and irrelevant, the EU doesn’t really care.

    In Denmark, what is the point in trying harder? Everyone just tries to drag you back down to their own mediocre standards of starting at 8.30 and leaving around 3pm. People were honestly stunned I stayed until 5pm. If anyone is in any doubt about the Danish workplace, look up “Jantelov”.

    Woe betide anyone completely qualified in their chosen profession, but not actually having Danish qualifications. This little known xenophobic attitude pervades most of the heavily-unionised professions such as teaching and healthcare.

    As for the much quoted “Denmark – happiest nation in the world…” waffle, you need to understand that the place is so extreme, anyone motivated and with a bit of “get up and go”, does exactly that and gets up and goes to a different country. With over 50% of the remainder on some form of welfare payment or other, who wouldn’t be happy about getting something for nothing?

    Unsurprisingly, they have major shortfalls in skilled workers in IT, doctors, engineers, etc. I wonder why. I’d recommend anyone gives it a try though. It’s a bit like that film Mr destiny, where you think the grass could be greener but then you realise how much worse life can get!

    • Hi Alan….well I have to disagree with you. At least for saying they don’t have skilled workers…or why do you think so many overseas companies actually seek exclusively danish educated engineers?
      My partner happens to be one of those guys and I’m sorry…..but during his numerous years abroad he really hasn’t found a match at his level or better lets say someone that could do his job at all. On top of that I have to say a common disease is that people, outside Denmark, seem not to able or willing to take responsibility within their workplace, ie. you made a mistake you admit it and learn from it.

      and on top of that I have to say I am fed up with people saying things like: I’m not really responsible to do that and your handed around until in the end you do it yourself…..because it hasn’t been written down for them somewhere….

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  18. But this is insane. You can’t move to Denmark and expect to enjoy full benefits that Danish citizens claim. You can’t move without a job and a certain amount of assets. The normal waiting time for a resident to become a citizen is 9 years.

    “The Danish Green Card allows skilled individuals to obtain a residence permit visa based solely on their qualifications for the purpose of finding work in Denmark. The residence permit is granted after a successful evaluation based on a points based system, which scores applicants on factors such as age, educational level, language skills, and work experience.”

    and
    “To qualify for a work and residence permit in Denmark under the Pay Limit scheme, you must be offered a job by a Danish employer for no less than DKK 375,000 (approximately USD 80,000) a year.”

    Healthcare and IT professionals do get special consideration. Unemployment is low because over 50% of workers work for the government. In the US, it’s under 15%. You’re rather irresponsible by not doing more research and posting about it.

  19. People who are thinking of moving to Denmark because it is the land of happy people should think twice!
    Happiness is really relative. And in Denmark, it is only for Danes and very few foreigners. How happy you will be as a foreigner in Denmark can be predicted by the following:-
    1. Your skin colour. The more you physically resemble the average white Dane, the better they treat you hence the happier you could be.
    2. If you work for Maersk. People who work for this company is protected in its bubble. You get to work in an international environment and speaking English is good enough.
    3. How willing you are to drop your identity and upbringing, to become Danish. The more your spine disappears, the more the Danes will accept you.
    4. How much money you have. Denmark is one of the world’s most expensive countries. If you have money, you can buy your way through many difficult situations plus vacations outside of Denmark, to get stimulation and retain your sanity.

    I am an Asian woman living and working here. Although educated and classified as a skilled worker, the bulk of the Danish society cannot tell me apart from others from Asia. Thai, Chinese, Singaporean, Laos, Philippines…in the Danish eyes, we are all the same. We are all poor women who married Danes to live in this glorious country called Denmark. And since we have this golden opportunity to not live on tree houses, we should worship everything Danish. The following are what I have encountered in my few years here. Thank goodness I will be leaving soon.

    1. After being in Denmark for 5 months, and having just received my permit to stay, I went for my first doctor’s appointment. The doctor refused to speak English to me and insisted I speak Danish. Unreasonable enough? Danes argue that if you live in Denmark, you should learn their language. Many Danes who live in my country do not utter a word of my language. We speak English. Here, even some of the most educated people do not.
    They argue that France, Germany and Italy are also like this. I guess they forgot how much bigger the French, German and Italian economies are. All over the world, there are people who go for language schools to learn French, German and Italian. Who goes to learn Danish??
    2. My ex-boss once introduced me to our American colleagues as the girl who speaks five languages but none is useful in Denmark. Good working environment??
    3. I used to pass drunks on my way to work. These Danish men who drink all day and whose alcohol I pay through my 60% income tax every month.
    4. Once, I changed jobs and had to reapply for my work permit. If you think that three years of paying taxes, no criminal record and learning the Danish language can help the process, then you are wrong. I received a letter saying that I should leave within a month. In other words, foreigners pay taxes like a Dane but are not entitled to the same rights.
    5. I worked in a project at an internationally renowned Danish company. In the project budget presented to the BOD, the Indian consultants are grouped in an item called “The Indians”.
    6. I get harassed by school boys on my way home from work because of my race. I get called slanted eyes and rice chewer in Danish. These kids’ education is where some of my taxes go to every month.
    7. In many mixed families, kids who grow up in Denmark will not be mixed kids. They will be Danish kids. I have friends whose kids start to look down on their mother’s background (Thai , Turk and Chinese). This is because Danes are brought up to believe that Denmark is the best and better than everyone else in all aspects. Sometimes, Danes will interfere in a foreigner’s conversation with their Danish spouse if they are not speaking Danish. Why should they determine what language we speak to our spouse and kids?

    Danes are the happiest people because most of them do not care about others. They grow up in a protective bubble and do not need anyone else. If they lose their jobs, the system pays for it. If they get cut off from their families, they go to an old folks’ home. The interdependency is low. The average foreigner will know a lot of Danes but will have very few Danish friends. I have only a few and they are either not living in Denmark or have a much more grounded view of their own country.

    The racist Danish People’s Party is gaining power in Denmark. Are white people a lot happier? Read these links and you will see I am not the only foreigner who is living this non- fairytale life.
    Just recently, at a lunch, a relative of my Danish partner said blatantly “Bodyshop should test their products on Pakistani kids. There are too many of them”. Fairytale land?

    http://lbstadler.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/the-cold-danish-shoulder/
    http://www.american-pictures.com/video/obama-letter/index.htm
    http://alex-l.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html
    http://www.cphpost.dk/welcome-home/178-expat-in-denmark/45024-home-sweet-home.html

  20. Oh and for those who think they’re qualified, in Denmark, danish universities and schools are the best in the world. As with all other things, because of the danes’ ignorance, your certificate from Hull or RMIT or Berkeley will be inferior to someone with a diploma from Arhus university. Noble danes will give you a chance to show them the Forbes world listing. But mostly, none will hear about what they already know – Danish universities are the best in the world.

    • Hi,

      you seem very frustrated. I can understand and agree with you about racist behaviour and that this should not be tolerated. However I have to say I do agree on things such as: if you move to a country and you intend to live there that you should learn the language…I moved and learned and I’m moving at the moment and learning more….I do speak a few languages and well now we learn yet another one. It is ones free will to move but everybody is crying for integration and if you want to be part of a new country then learning the language is a very cruitial thing. Second I have to say I left my homecountry for various reasons so I do not to refer back as this is the great way because I left….otherwise if it would have been so great I would still be there. And education wise….well I’m part of uni education I am teaching at uni…and sorry, great rankings, how many people actually look beyond this. I have the possibility to see it and I got to tell you 100% mark in denmark is 100%…..in some other countries you get a nice degree (what is considered fist class for having 70%)…sorry that is not first class and having passed with only 40% or less…..they do have uni education but you can not put them on the same level unless you know exactly the background of how this mark is comming about.
      Universitys are little businesses especially when they rely on students fees…..they do keep students because they pay their fee….even though the student is not capable enough..and I strongly disagree as this is not good for the individual and not good for the whole education system.

      since you said you are leaving denmark and I can feel there is a strong “dislike” to this country I can only hope that you find true happiness elsewhere but I would also strongly hope that you leave with an open mind about that maybe one day there are a few things that you will have changed your view about

  21. Denmark is terribly overrated. All that famous happiness? Well it only applies to locals – foreigners from all over, including the USA seem to hate it here. Studying in Denmark or working for a year or less doesn’t give you a real impression of the place because you will often run in a closed circle of fiends or colleagues, and dismiss you inability to make in-roads into the broader society as a symptom of not speaking the language or knowing the culture well enough. Well, you will never know the language or culture well enough – it just doesn’t happen. You can live here for ten years like me, see dozens of wonderful other foreigners come and go, and still find yourself unable to make an meaningful connection with the locals.

    One of the cruelest things about Denmark is that all of the glowing accounts, all the great stats and numbers that make it out to be the best place in the world, they are all based on accounts by native Danes, people who were born and raised here. Foreigners seem to experience an altogether different kind of Denmark.

  22. Well I did not know any of these things about Denmark. Very interesting piece of information.

    I hope happiness returns in the heart of most American workers soon !!

    But I think after spending some time in one job profile, each one of us start “hating” our job profile as we want to do something Bigger & Better and in a sense it is good too as this helps us move up the ladder.

  23. What this article forgets to mention is that people in Denmark have to pay 40-60% of their paycheck on taxes. That would never work or be accepted in America. I visited some family in Denmark recently and was shocked by this statistic!

  24. Being a Dane,I would know how “outsiders” are treated.I now live in the U.S. and I’m very happy here.Outsiders in Denmark are just that,outsiders,never to be trusted,never to be let “in” on the true meaning of being Danish.They are treated like black people in America back in the 1950’s.Second class,never to your face,because they don’t like confrontations.Always whispers behind your back in our language.They are nice to you if your buying something or staying in their pensiones.And if your thinking on living there,your in for a nightmare.Be prepared to be all alone,you will be shunned.

  25. Hi

    I’m very surprised at what I have read here. I am an Australian who is considering moving to Denmark shortly for a job with an international company (not based in Copenhagen). All of the people on here from the USA seem to be dismayed by the high amount of tax, which or course is quite high, but if you choose to go and live/work in another country, then perhaps you need to come to terms with the “when in Rome” statement. Why should everyone have to do things like you do in the USA? You’re certainly not the best country in the world by any standard from the number of times I’ve visited there, yet you are all willing to put down another country’s system, probably because it’s not American! I met some lovely people while in Denmark and found people to be quite willing to speak English to me if I simply asked them in Danish first could they speak English “Snakker du englesk?”. Nobody had a problem and maybe that’s because I actually tried and didn’t just expect them to speak my language.

    My attitude is going to be that I will go to Denmark and see if I like it. If I do, I will stay, if not, I have choice to come home as do all of you I presume.

  26. Hi, I just wanted to give you people some more insight.. The article is a lie. As some of the more thinking people have noticed the danes are extremely dependent on the state, everything here is state owned, railroads, schools, colleges, universities, transportation system, many stores and the food that’s sold inside of them. The state either completely ownes these things or owns large amount of stock in these companies, therefore the state has very high control in alot of the economy.

    I’ve lived here for 20 years as a foreigner, born and raised. it’s completely true that we pay over 60% income tax.. Try to put that in perspective. If you make 20 dollars an hours it’s going to take you 10 hours to make 200 dollars, the danish government then takes 120 dollars of that amount and you’re left with 80 bucks.. That’s 80 bucks for 10 hours of work.. which is 8 dollars an hours… NOT GOOD.. And that’s only for people over 18. People under 18 have a much over minimum wage which is set at 60 dollars, which means that teenagers have to work their ass of for pocketchange.. When I was 13 and working as a paperboy I made 5 bucks an hours in one of the most expensive countries on the planet… Denmark. See what I mean? yeah 20$/hour sounds like a great minimum wage as long as it’s not taxed to DEATH.

    And that’s only the income tax.. The SALES TAX is also INSANE!! there is a 25% sales tax on EVERYTHING. Real life example would be if you walk into a danish Apple store and buy the MacbookPro base model it’s gonna cost you 1500 dollars, If you walked into an american apple store in New York that exact same laptop would cost you 1200 dollars.. That’s 300 dollars straight into the danish governments pocket, This applies to everything.. milk, bread, bacon toothpaste and even toiletpaper! taxed taxed taxed.

    The sales taxation on cars is different there’s a wooping 210% salestax on cars. This is mainly done so that danish people won’t be able to afford cars, they have to either ride their bikes(hence the millions of bikes in denmark) or take public transportation which works no better than public transportation in soviet russia along time ago. Let me give you an example.. a 50.000 dollar family SUV like the Chevy Tahoe is sold for over 170.000 dollars at a danish cardealer. Then you have to add a yearly “weight tax” because god forbid the car actually tearing on the roads. weight tax for an SUV will run you over 2000 dollars YEARLY!! that means you gotta cough up 2 grand every year just to drive your friggin family car. Which is just plain insane. Also remember to add the 8-10 dollar per gallon gas price.. and yes.. You guessed it! Gas is TAXED TAXED TAXED.. hence the 8-10 bucks per gallon.

    Now these are just numbers to you and you people might actually be dumb enough to move here.. But just remember the average american makes more than the average dane. Now I know you might say, yeah well healthcare is free!, school is free!, college is free! but just look at the numbers people.. It’s not free.. it’s more expensive. The money I’ve dropped with taxes into this shithole would have bought be several Harvard degrees and a private health insurance on the side.

    All I’m saying is that talking about how awesome it as to work and live in denmark doesn’t make up for the fact that people are miserable, rude and inconsiderate here. I’ve been called a nigger by a former employer, I’ve been mocked for being an overachiever at work, I’ve been forced to walk half naked through my entire school for dry cloth in the 3th grade because I accidentally got drenched in water.. Now in what country is it socially acceptable to undress a child and make such mockery out of them just to teach them a lesson….? I’ve been assaulted just for being colored by grown danish men when I was 12, I’ve been stabbed with a broken beer bottle by a danish alcoholic, and I’ve had my teeth knocked out by other danish kids. These were all unprovoked situations. If this was the U.S I could have sued them into oblivion.. Here in Denmark they just tell you “if you don’t like it then leave!”

    Sure the U.S has it’s flaws but they are NOTHING compaired to what you’ll run into here, discrimination, racism and xenophobia towards EVERYTHING foreign is off the charts. Yeah sure gun crime is higher in the U.S but knife crimes are many times more frequent here in denmark than over there. In the end what would you rather want, get shot to death and die fast? Or stabbed to death and die a more painful but slower death?

    Overall Denmark is not what you think it is.. And no it’s not true that it’s illegal not to have an office without windows here in denmark.. Who the hell makes this stuff up? Grow up people.. specially you americans.. Enjoy your Liberty Freedom and the pursuit of happiness because living in a nanny state is NOT as fun as it sounds.

  27. I am an American who has always fantasized about moving to Denmark. I doubt that I will ever really do it, since it would require a substantial expense and a long-term commitment to learning Danish. It is not something that you can just try with no investment.

    I find the above discussion fascinating and a little shocking. I can’t really speak to the allegations that the Danes are unfriendly, racist, and insular. I have never heard that said about them. I though that Danes are extremely liberal and would frown on expressions of racism or xenophobia. In fact, Denmark has let in a huge number of foreigners at great expense. These foreigners have no skills, no money, and commit a disproportionate number of crimes. But Denmark has yet to stop allowing immigrants coming in. That doesn’t sound racist to me.

    On the tax issue, the high level of tax in Denmark is well known. However, it might surprise you to learn that in some states in the US, such as New York and California, taxes on upper income people can approach or exceed 50%. Federal tax is less, but when you add in state and local taxes, you are not that far off from Danish levels. And unlike the Danes, Americans don’t get very much back for their burden. The folks with little income and no assets get lots of benefits, but if you are middle class or above, you basically get nothing. No free university. No free health care. No subsidized housing. So would you rather pay 50% and get nothing or, as in Denmark, pay 60% and have access to a host of benefits?

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