Laurens Rademakers


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Is the superior Northern European social model applicable to all societies?

It is well known that the Northern European way of organising a society leads to the highest levels of wealth, health, happiness, and even biological strength ever achieved in mankind.

Hundreds of social, economic, medical, and biological parameters point that way.

Typical for the Northern European model is: free world-class health care (socialised medicine), free world-leading education, a very generous social security net, very low inequality (egalitarianism), high taxes - to name but a few of the dominant traits.

Now there's a debate about whether this model can be applied to different cultures. The question is important, because it may inform choices to be made by leaders in developing countries - who now have the choice between the Anglosaxon model of development (which leads to misery), or the Northern European model (which leads to prosperity).

Is the miracle model applicable to other cultures? Or does culture impose strong barriers to its adoption?

  • Oct 27 2011: I do not think the model is applicable to the US. I am an American citizen who has spent the last 30 years
    living and working in Denmark. I was born in the US (Oakland Calif.) and moved to Europe in 1980 at the age of 35.
    The reason I do not believe that the Northern model would work in the US is that this model depends on social
    solidarity which does not exist in the US. In Denmark citizens believe and can see that their high rate of taxation
    is used to help their follow Danes. There is a feeling of social solidarity among the small population of 5 million
    which is not possible in larger lands with more diverse ethnic and cultural splits. Americans have been propagandized from youth with the individualist creed which is the opposite of social responsibility. Socialism is
    seen as a sinful word. *The Individualist* worked well in conquering a Continent but is a total failure in a mature society. It doesn't work on any level to create a stable and peaceful mature nation. And the export of this idea through wars and economic violation of the social structure of other nations is visibly turning out to be a tremendous failure. I personally believe the US is in unrecoverable decline which will play out painfully over the next decade or two. Then maybe a new model can be organically grow by the generation that must suffer the end game of the *Individualist Dream* .
    BTW financially and as a society, Denmark is in excellent shape, even after having to weather the storm of greed which emanated from the *Individualists* on Wall Street.
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      Oct 27 2011: Joseph

      I take it your not an Ayn Rand enthusiast? Funny she came from a highly socialized country yet espoused the opposite of what her former culture would dictate. Thomas Sowell was originally a Marxist, he changed after working at a government job for a time. I thought the U.S. metaphor was the cowboy I guess the same thing as what you are saying. I have to say that innovation, original thought, creativity, good deeds. comes from the individual not from the collective. Is it possible you suffer from collective propaganda? Is how a citizen conducts himself best served from the top down or the bottom up?

      I prefer to look at this from a pragmatic not ideological point of view the free market forces in accountability/ethics, the two individuals acting in their own best interest agree to exchange with one another, this connects everyone in the world as the components of the products they are exchanging come from all around the world, it forces them to be objective this creates peace. Would China go to war with their number one customer?

      The problems in the U.S. stem from it's democratic policies and the politicians spending on social and corporate welfare in order to be reelected by the electorate. The problem is financial, I agree this country is in for some hard times maybe complete failure.

      I will also say that from an empirical point of view the ones who espouse individualism are by far and away the most generous to charity and take the most responsibility for there fellows. A business owner is vastly more responsible for his people than any government official this is self evident if you look.

      People often think that a "public servant" does not follow his self interest this is a canard that puts them in a position of no accountability and human nature being what it is has created the malaise we now find ourselves in.

      According to the video the free market is what is turning the fortunes of Sweden. Countries do change as with Canada currently.
      • Oct 27 2011: Well I agree with most of your statement but when speaking of the *individualist* I was stating this does not work on the level of society. Every society has the great thinkers and doers, event socialist leaning states, and socialism does not preclude capitalism, far from it, as you point out is the cases of Sweden. Denmark is the same, for the last 10years it has had a Liberal (meaning right of center) leadership. humanitarian socialism rarely sets any bearers in the way of individual growth. Some of the largest family owned and grown companies in the world are here Lego and Maersk were originally family owned start ups. Skype was (and still is to an extent) developed and run by two danish young entrepreneurs. They became rich under that bugaboo *socialism *
        Denmark thinks of itself as a welfare state, not a socialist state.

        As for Ayn Rand, of course I read her books, and agree with her, however in building a working civilized nation she is wrong. Unless you wish a Benevolent Dictator model. And Ayn Rand was a middle class girl who's family was persecuted by the Bolsheviks not the socialists, and driven out of their business and home, I would think she did have *something* against the Communist Party.
        You seem to have a distorted view of the difference between free market and societies which care for the welfare of their citizens. The two are not always incomparable, in fact they are alive and well under the Northern Model
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          Oct 27 2011: They may not be mutually exclusive but the real problem is how onerous they are. Sweden and U.S. are very different cultures in Sweden it appears the culture/education keeps the spending in check? The U.S. the spending is not held in check and has resulted in legal corruption(individual welfare and corporate welfare/ crony capitalism) that is an albatross around the economies neck. The social programs are a Ponzi scheme. How does Denmark solve the Ponzi scheme aspect of it's social programs?
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    Oct 30 2011: I think you give the big corporations too much credit.

    Now if you wanted to look at the monetary system you might make a better case with the Fed that is not a part of the constitution and established by the most evil president in the history of the United States. Who the communists credit for teaching all they know about manipulating the collective. Or the IMF or the World Bank with their dubious loans to 3rd world countries. A monetary system based on debt is dubious from the get go.

    The problem is the electorate and the culture that they live in which has been more and more one of entitlement. The fact is that the American citizens are economically illiterate and make big decisions based on sound bytes.

    Which is the problem with a democracy, the U.S. started out as a republic, these days it is a democracy. Due in no small part to the most evil president in the history of the United States with the 17th amendment requiring that U.S. senators be voted in by the electorate instead of being appointed by the States. This caused the country to become a democracy and shifted a lot of power away from the states.

    Larry Arnn the president of Hillsdale college (a constitutional college) says that the U.S. has reached a cross road where it either has to go back to the constitution or stay a democracy forever. I think he is saying that we have reached the tipping point. The problem is that the executive and the congress have bypassed the constitution through the use of regulations that are so onerous that it is next to impossible for business to operate. As I have stated many times capital goes where it is treated best which sure as hell ain't here.

    Like it or not corporations are what raise the standard of living for all it is NOT governments. Government has 2 basic functions and that is it, rule of law and national defense. I reach this conclusion by looking at what works which is the 6 killer apps.
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    Oct 29 2011: I can honestly say that I do not believe democracy is the best solution for every country. Some countries need a strong and stable government that is constant. Democracy is not a constant, stable government, within a four year time period every political leader (at a federal level, not a judge) can be replaced with someone else. Obviously this brings in new ideas and views but it can also completely change the way a government acts. This constant 'struggle' for power can create an unstable government and can lead some political leaders to focus more on getting reelected than doing their job.

    What would happen if Cuba had a democratic government? Would they thrive like the United States or would they fall into a place with no guidance or leadership? I am not saying that the people may want a democracy or that dictatorships are good but I am saying that each political system has its advantages and disadvantages and the same system will not work for every government.
    • Oct 30 2011: Philosopher kings the rulers, or Guardians, of Plato's Utopian
      benevolent dictator, often considered ,in the past the best form of government, until of course the second word got a very bad name, and the first word became joke.
      Democracy is very fragile and unless carefully nurtured can lead the mob/majority rule.
      And to be a Democracy does not mean to be wise, the Germans elected Uncle Adolf in a free democratic election.
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        Oct 30 2011: And where there any elections after he became leader? Democracy is a great ststem but like every other system it is flawed. The fact that someone like Hitler was able to gain power by a majority vote is a perfect example of unstable government. And democracy can influence leaders to do what is popular not what is right.
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          Oct 31 2011: I would say that a benign monarchy would be the best but there is no such angel to fill the position. Perhaps George Washington or Winston Churchill came the closest.

          2nd choice would be a republic which is supposed to overcome the inherent problems with a democracy.
  • Oct 29 2011: In reply to pat gilbert

    The 1% ters has gone up 240%

    But let it be, my point was that nature law, or let the markets take care of it does not cure problems
    people and governments do.
    My point about Mao was that his natural law was the gun, he did not think *things will work themselves out"
    as it was the point of all the others I listed. There must be action/intervention not passive *things will right themselves*

    *Sub prime loans were a product of socialistic policies started by Carter, Clinton, Franks, Dodds, the Federal Reserve under Greenspan*
    What makes you think that they are not part of Corporate America ? Because they tell you so ?
    Ask Clinton where all the Haiti feel good money he collected went :-) Or the FED for a list of Banks they paid off.
    Carter is about the only one of that bunch that could be scum free, but look how far that got him. One term, your out,

    "What happens in your Denmark if the authorities decide something is not an official sanctioned procedure?"

    Danes then use their own savings or collect money on social networks and goto Germany or China for the
    operation/procedure.........the same as American importing non FDA approved drugs from Mexico

    Anyway, nice chatting with ya, but I think we might be wearing out our welcome at TED (?)
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      Oct 29 2011: "The 1% ters has gone up 240%" I don't get your point?

      The free market is people. The practical reality is that the governments do not represent the people, they usually just represent the individual's in power's self interest.

      For natural law to work there must first be a rule of law. In Mao's case or many of the other cases there was no rule of law it was a dictatorship or corruption.

      With the housing bubble it was both crony capitalism and corruption that caused it, I don't disagree.

      Carter created more regulations and parasitic bureaucracies (like the energy department) that bypassed the constitution and got what he deserved. One of the worst presidents in the history of the U.S. The road to hell is lined with good intentions...

      What works in Denmark won't work in the U.S., it is a fraction of the population and homogenous.

      On the other hand I prefer the interaction and diversity of viewpoints in a heterogeneous society.

      I guess this is all a moot point when countries start failing as at the end of the day countries are transitory at which point it will be rule of force.
      • Oct 29 2011: You stated : *The Middle class income has gone up by 50% over the last 30 years in the U.S. *

        "The 1% ters has gone up 240%" was my reply
        The income of the rich 1% has gone up 240% in the same time period.
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          Oct 29 2011: Not true, in that same report it stated:

          "Among those with the very highest incomes in 1996 – the top 1/100 of 1 percent – only 25 percent remained in this group in 2005. Moreover, the median real income of these taxpayers declined over this period."

          You are indulging in conjecture the stock in trade of the media who's only purpose is to sell advertisement through sensationalism and secondarily to control the collective.
      • Oct 30 2011: Yours is from the Treasury, mine are from the Congressional Budget Office . Now who shall we believe ?

        Stats are so much fun, right ?
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          Oct 30 2011: I hate to say it since you went to the trouble of looking but CBO reports are notoriously inaccurate because the parameters of the report are dictated by people with an agenda. What this report fails to state is 2 things that skew the graph so badly it is a complete canard.

          The first point is that transfer payments(welfare), and social security are not included in the report. In this report they shows the top 1% getting 16% of all the income reported. When you account for the transfer payments and the social security payments the actual amount they received was about 10.6% of the income.

          The second point is that he remaining appearance of disparity was caused by tax rate changes.

          The top personal rate dropped to 28% in '88 from 50% in '86. Lots of C-corp returns became S-corp returns. People aren't stupid, they take advantage of lower rates and reported more personal income at the new, lower rate. 28% beats the 35% corporate rate. The trend started in '83. In 1981, only about 8% of the income of the top 1% came from business. By '04, it was over 28%.

          In 1981, only about 8% of the income of the top 1% came from business. By '04, it was over 28%.

          Can you say S-corp or LLC or partnership? Can you say flow-though to your personal return?

          That's called tax-shifting. 5 hunks of important tax legislation in '86, '90, '93, '96 and '03 were responsible. Flow-through filings rose about 10% per year since '86. Not to mention other tax-motivated compensation structures that resulted in more personal income being reported.

          The problem for the "growing income inequality" crowd is that income shifting from C-corp tax returns to individual returns didn't make anyone any richer.

          At all.

          The income was always there, it was just being reported differently.

          If you knock the shifted business income out, the top 1%'s share of PERSONAL income is a little over 7%.

          SAME AS IT WAS IN THE '80s.

          Stats are necessary, the hard part is deciphering what is true and what is not.
      • Oct 30 2011: Nice expose on the art of stat manipulations. All the shifting has but one purpose, to avoid contributing to the common good. I don't blame anyone in the US for doing that as they see that their money in the aggregate is not used responsibly. The amount used in the Bush ego war in Iraq would run a sensible Nordic State for years. (Yes our nutty politicians participate in that power play also).
        So all this wrangling back and forth brings us back to the proposal of this thread. Would the Norther Model work for the US ? And the answer is still no. What will work ? A return to state sovereignty ? A libertarian way of life (Ron Paul). Or simply let the evolutionary forces take the US where it will ? Or is the state of the Union sound and working as it should ? Since Ron Paul is being marginalized by the Corporate Press I don't thanks that dog will ever be in the hunt. So my bet is on total slow meltdown over a number of years, prolonged just long enough for the Multinationals to shift their assets out of the country. Of course they still need people to sell to so the US will remain a consumer market targeted country but that happens no matter what kind of government, short of communist, there exists. So don't look to the people or Democracy of the US to determine it's fate, look to the Boardrooms for the future to be determined.
        (adding this later as a thought)
        Maybe they will decide to throw out some bones and bring some manufacturing jobs back to the US ? Just to calm the populous and bring back a false sense of hope, so they can continue to generate tax shifting wealth, Not a bad idea. Do it during a presidential period where they see benefit in supporting the government and making it *look good*.
        Another example just so the Northern Model doesn't look all that clean. We have a problem with University students getting a free education and a subsidized Upper Graduate degree in the US, staying in the US and never coming back to Denmark to contribute the the society.
  • Oct 27 2011: in reply to pat gilbert:

    It's a very small society where everyone, but mostly the media has the power total a scam.
    Also a very strong Government Accounting Authority and being small it has the ability to FOCUS
    on one scandal at a time, and get it fixed. But of course there are always problems and they surface
    everyday. Lots of whistle blowers but mostly a very strong and free press.

    BTW the next TED Talk *Open source cancer research* is a great example of how to end run the greed in the US health care field.
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      Oct 28 2011: Joseph

      In the U.S. the media is really a propaganda machine which is very selective of what they report on.

      I watched the open source video. It is an interesting idea and the fellow giving the talk is very laudable. Unfortunately this country is in short supply of such angels. I doubt his idea has legs. (will last)

      Linux is another example of open source, it is an operating system, but has a very small share of the market despite the fact that it is free.

      The cause of the healthcare problems are created by government and would be cured by getting them out of the healthcare business. Like it or not natural law fixes most things.
      • Oct 29 2011: "The cause of the healthcare problems are created by government "

        Oh boy I'm done.
        Better get rich cus you'll need it to pay the insurance and big pharma, they love folks that buy into the free market hoax. Lord help you if you ever get a major illness, They will take everything you and your family has worked for all your life. And point out to you, it's a natural law, they own the cure and you pay or suffer.

        "Like it or not natural law fixes most things"

        Mao is laughing in heaven. History is certainly not on your side pat.
        Natural Law missed these:
        Berni Madoff
        Sub prim loans
        Concentration camps
        The rise of the rich and the end of the US Middle class
        Corporate takeover of the US political system.
        Media as a propaganda machine

        Ah well nature can't be everywhere.
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          Oct 29 2011: Come on Joseph you are a reasonable person hear me out.

          Health care is really just another form of crony capitalism.

          Their is no interstate competition allowed because of state mandates.

          They have set it up so that the patient doesn't know what the costs are even if he wanted to.

          The government picks up the tab for the majority of senior healthcare i.e. medicare, since more money is made available through government the costs go much higher as with what happened with the housing bubble.

          The U.S. has the most advanced health care technology in the world. What happens in your Denmark if the authorities decide something is not an official sanctioned procedure?

          Since government picks up the tab on the indigent even the illegal immigrants get healthcare through the emergency room.

          Natural Law does work,

          Mao did not practice natural law he practiced or really psychosis

          Bernie shit happens but the SEC agents(as with most government employees) did not do their job. But some how they have time to prosecute Martha Stewart as she is truly heinous

          Sub prime loans were a product of socialistic policies started by Carter, Clinton, Franks, Dodds, the Federal Reserve under Greenspan

          Greed are you saying that you don't have any greed come on we all take of ourselves first, the only real way to keep this check is the individual has to answer to the market place.

          Concentration camps were a product of Fascism (a form of communism) not natural law

          Starvation the free market feeds more people and helps prevent starvation. Farmers are more productive today than ever before. Look at the nutrition is N Korea compared to S Korea.

          The Middle class income has gone up by 50% over the last 30 years in the U.S. this is by statistic the data is in this report from the treasury department:

          Corporate take over of the political system I AGREE, Americans are quite ignorant about this
  • Oct 27 2011: I think you left out the most important part of the Northern European model...Leaving archaic religious ideologies in the past. Sweden is something like 85-90% Atheistic?

    I don't think a diverse cultural society will ever be able to come together as successfully as a nation like Sweden when religion, or more to the point multiple religions, are so entrenched into that society.
    • Oct 27 2011: Well most Scandinavians are not atheists they are simply rational Christians who use the state church to get baptized, confirmed, married and buried. 80% are members of the State Lutheran Church in Denmark, and pay the church tax. Don't know about Sweden but it's probably close as far as church membership.
      • Oct 28 2011: Is there such a thing as a "rational Christian"? Believing in the Noah's Ark story, talking snakes, all humans being directly descended from "Adam and Eve", etc, etc, etc disqualifies people from the "rational" group in my mind.

        The Wiki post shows some interesting information. I have seen other surveys that put the number of non-believers in Sweden and Denmark at even higher levels. Being married in a church or having a religious burial doesn't prove anything other than people like their traditions and reinforces Pascal's Wager.

        Do you assert that if the majority of the population had more of a fundamentalist view on any Abrahamic religion that the idea of being a member of a multicultural society would be perceived as anything close to what it is in Northern Europe now?

        What do you think I meant by "archaic religious ideologies"? What do you think I meant by that dogma being "so entrenched into that society"?
        • Oct 28 2011: You meant rational Christians. Just as I mean rational scientist when I say Quantum Physicist who also leave archaic scientific ideologies in the past. Can you not hold the paradox of a christian who does not believe in God in your hand ? Then you'll have a hard time with particles and waves existing at the same time. not to mention the 11-dimensional M-theory, which requires spacetime to have eleven dimensions. Surly a talking snake is possible in perhaps one of these dimensions (?) :-)
          Here is the first line of that wiki *The demographics of atheism are difficult to quantify* In Denmark you
          most be Baptized and Confirmed to be a member of the Church, In the first case of baptism your parents
          must swear you believe, in the second case of confirmation you must swear you believe. So for me all the poll shows is that Danes are lairs at their confirmation or they have changed their minds I do not know how good
          or challenge the findings of the Eurostat Eurobarometer poll. I simply know the real statistics of membership in
          the Lutheran Church of Denmark and that is at present 80% of the population. Of course it's tradition, but active belief is not necessary to consider yourself a Christian. If the Eurostat Eurobarometer poll had asked are you a member of a Christian church the poll would reflect the cultural structure of the Danish society and that's what is important any society. Culture is the most important factor in this discussion and the poll only show that Denmark has a culture of freedom where you can say *I don't believe in God* and still support the existence of a State Christian Church. The weakness or the strength in any given millennium of the belief in a god is not relevant in a rational society, that's the Northern Model. Unlike the US where the state does not dare disregard the irrational beliefs of the Christian Bible Thumpers
      • Oct 29 2011: Are you trying to argue for the existence of a Christian who does not believe in God? If so, I would say that you are simply not allowed to make things up. The core of a Christian is the thought that Jesus is Divine and died for their sins.

        Are you trying to say that science is not rational? Science gives answers to questions in the most honest way possible and much of what science does is say "We don't know for certain". Quantum physics often doesn't go along with common sense. The only reason that Quantum physics is taken seriously is that it can predict with a high degree of certainty specific outcomes. If quantum physics is ever proven to be wrong, the theories will change.

        Your arguments are so weak that I almost did not reply. This particular survey shows that only 23% of Swedes believed in god in 2005. That number has been undeniably shrinking since then. Other surveys show similar results. Do you have an actual argument against this information? I get the feeling that you are just trying to be funny?
        • Oct 29 2011: I am using Christianity as a cultural and social construct, so it does not mater how many do not believe in God, all that matter is the construct of a CHRISTIAN culture.
          Yes, science is not rational on the level of quantum physics at the present time, or are you saying that every survey you've seen in the last year has shown that all people *believe* in an 11-dimensional universe.
          To state this one more time, the non belief in a god does not meant *I am not a Christian*
          And if they asked the question of the Swedes * Are you a Christian* the survey would reflect the true nature of the culture and social structure. And I don't mind if you don't reply.
          You say in *formation* like it's a fact, like the science is in, like climate change is man-made
          like the world is round, like there are only 3 dimensions. Don't mind me I only dream of a world open enough to contain no opinions.
      • Oct 29 2011: "To state this one more time, the non belief in a god does not meant *I am not a Christian*"

        You are making things up! You are changing the meaning of words to fit your argument. You can't do that...

        One might say that a society is following certain Christian values if it does not believe in God, but you can not say that someone is a Christian if he or she does not believe in God. A Christian follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught that he was the son of God (along with many other "divine" teachings). Failing to follow the teachings means that someone is not a Christian.
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          Oct 29 2011: This is an interesting debate. I am Norwegian, although I've been raised mostly in the US. However, I lived between both countries growing up. There is some truth to what Joseph is saying, Jason. I completely understand what you're saying too, however. Truth is, people can define themselves in whatever way they choose and still disagree.

          A Christian who is an active member of a church in the US, and follows biblical principles and scripture is a practicing Christian, by their own definition and the Bible's. However, in countries whose state church is Christian, as it is in much of Europe, it's part of their identity and culture. I completely understand why it makes no sense to you, yet it's true. Many people say they believe in God, but don't attend church. Others are agnostic. However, the church is where weddings and funerals are held, choirs are very popular all over Europe as well. It's as if there's a disconnect between their spiritual life and the church. The church is a direct reflection of their cultural identity. It's different in the US.
      • Oct 29 2011: Linda,

        Semantics has a little to do with it, but not much.

        I can be a member of a Golf Club, but not a Golfer. I can be a member of the Christian Church, but not a Christian. I can't be a Christian and not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (I am not religious if you haven't guessed by now).

        Chris·tian (krschn)
        1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
        2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
        3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
        4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
        5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.
        1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
        2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus

        The noun uses of the word are precise.
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          Oct 29 2011: I understand, Jason. Perhaps the best way to see it is it's a Christian culture. Although this generation is not 'church-going,' their ancestors were. The social and cultural foundation of the country (Norway) is built on Christian values, with the state church being Lutheran. Even though many may doubt their beliefs, it doesn't change the moral and cultural foundation that is already laid, and they've been raised by - it's passed down through the generations.
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          Oct 29 2011: One more thing, Jason. We can't really judge who is a Christian or not, can we? In my view, I think God would be much bigger than anything we can imagine or construct in our various world views and interpretations. I recall hearing people weren't Christian if they didn't specifically say the 'sinner's prayer,' which I'm sure you'd agree is absurd. Chances are very good that people raised in such a culture do follow the teachings of Jesus. Perhaps not to the letter, they probably don't even do it with Jesus in mind. It's simply their make-up because they've been taught those principles and morals their whole life. It's a collective consciousness, for lack of a better term.
      • Oct 29 2011: Linda,

        I agree with much of what you say and I really respect the way you say it.

        However, we have one major disagreement...

        From the Bible:
        "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."---Jesus

        To not believe in God is to not follow the teachings of Jesus is to not be a Christian.

        To not believe in God is Agnostic at best, but more Atheistic. A culture that is inspired by Christianity is also inspired by "The Golden Rule", which came much much earlier and has nothing to do with religion. My entire point is that Northern European culture has evolved past archaic religious ideologies.
        • Oct 30 2011: evolved past archaic religious ideologies.
          Yes, evolved to being Christians without a belief in God (new concepts are hard to comprehend) and without help from the Bible. Just as the non practicing Jew is still a Jew,
          I am a non practicing Catholic and am still a catholic. I don't believe in the Catholic God, nor do I believe in the Infallibility of the Pope and yet I'm still culturally, mentally, and legally a Catholic . Now you would/might say I can not be a Catholic and not believe in the Infallibility of the Pope, it's the dogma (truth) of the Catholic Church. So lets just say, no your wrong I am a Catholic having been baptized and confirm a Catholic. There are a lot of words for it, non practicing, lapsed, sinful and so on, however until I am formally excommunicated from the church I am a Catholic. The Lutherans, to my knowledge have no formal * kicking out* dogma.
          Nice to have your voice in here Linda,I though my wagon was surrounded. Your statements are considerably less augmentative than mine, I tend to go off the deep end at times.
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    Oct 27 2011: Maybe the economic model you have in mind is not what you think it is.
    • Oct 27 2011: Yes that video about sums it up. The US cannot look outside of itself for a fix, it will have to be home grown and I don't think it will come without further pain. Probably Obama will be a one term president and then the Republican will fail also and then and only then will there be a real shift in the culture, enough to set the course for stability and vision .
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      Oct 27 2011: .
      -So you think that free health care doesn't work because you are a "diverse" nation? You think doctors treat different races differently? You think a doctor treats a Catholic differently than a Muslim?

      -You think world-class education doesn't work because you are a diverse nation? You think teachers teach different races differently? You think a teacher teaches a Catholic differently than a Muslim?

      This seems to be a rather strange ground for rejection. As long as you take the secular nature of the State serious, religious or racial diversity doesn't count.

      The real reason as to why Anglosaxons seem to reject the superior Northern European model seems to be their unfounded sense of pride and their lack of trust of everything that's foreign. (And even these factors can be explained by the inequality factor: inequality leads to a society with a lot of pressure on people to distrust each other and to act on extrinsic factors of self-esteem - what do others think of us?).
      • Oct 27 2011: I fail to see where religion was mentioned in any of my remarks.
        However if you believe that racial and religious differences are irrelevant to social solidarity I really wonder which world you might inhabit.

        No Free Healthcare wouldn't work (at the moment) because there is no profit in it. As it is the US healthcare system is based on large profits regardless of race or religion. Until the present model of super rich hospitals, doctors, big pharma and insurance companies collapses there will be no Universal Health Care in the US. The US Health Care Model is built on cash not care. (generalization)

        World-class education works in parts of the US, and has nothing to do with religious tolerance.
        However absolutely free University education is a place in Denmark.

        The Northern Model is generally only applicable to countries and states which have an homogenous social and cultural population willing to work for the common good. Otherwise as in the Balkans, tribal Africa, or anywhere else with artificially imposed borders including cultural, tribal, and ethnic diversity such a system is irrelevant and foreign to the general thought of the population.
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    Oct 27 2011: Yes, a liberal democratic structure is applicable to most cultural identities. The problem is that people hate change. Cultures have to get somewhere on their own. Cultural evolution can only be accelerated by others, not brought immediately to a final stage.