AS I PULL BACK and move many of the videos from my YouTube channel to private settings for clients, I have begun analyzing the analytics of many of the videos and the entirety of the package. Unequivocally, Denmark and Greece were the two countries where viewership counts were off the charts. While in Greece, I was just ahead of the 17 June elections and it was also the period when the Golden Dawn televised assault took place, therefore I can easily understand the spike in views. With Denmark, however, it is still somewhat of a mystery to me, as it is a very low-profile country. Furthermore, when looking at the US, the daily traffic was at its highest ever (more than 2.2 times average), and immediately after leaving there, a 60% reduction in that market ensued, with no further peaks.
I take this as a statement from viewers, particularly Americans, that we are becoming more interested in economic system alternatives. There have also been reports and studies for several years in succession claiming that Denmark is the happiest country in the world (1). Personally, I think happiness could be culturally biased, though in this case the emphasis was on security and stable conditions, along with leisure time, being weighted heavily (2). With the high taxation (Danish tax chart: 3) (lowest rate at 38% for people working at minimum wage) paired with high minimum wage at around $16USD per hour, and “free” health care, people are perplexed, curious, and sometimes open to a change to a similar system.
In the videos below, I did my best in March 2012 to explain as much about the reasons behind the social planning as possible, but also address the shortcomings and consequences. Particularly if you are a visitor spending money earned in another system, you will probably find the costs prohibitive to having a good time there, given that an American medium-sized cup of coffee is around $5USD and petrol/gasoline near $9 per gallon (13DKK per litre). What particularly shocked me was how close to poverty many people were living, in spite of appearances that indicated otherwise (respectable dress, going out occasionally to restaurants that are all quite expensive), though no one was homeless. 2011 and 2012 have seen many bank failures in Denmark, also. Furthermore, in spite of very high taxation, people still have to pay sizable sums at times for dental care, and also to endure austerity in situations like no longer receiving mail from the kommune (municipality) and thus seniors having to be taught by volunteer(!) instructors how to access community information from the web.
Finally, in order to really understand how a small, Nordic country operates politically and, to some extent, fiscally, it is a pleasure to watch the Danish series Borgen, often running on BBC Four. As a rule, people are aware of the disadvantages and hardships of the system, but there is a general but profound willingness to commit to it, as northern Europeans want to set an example of higher quality of living to all.
DENMARK VIDEO COLLECTION
“Publishing in Denmark: Small, Expensive, but High-Quality Operations”
“1960s Danish Social Housing and Community Planning”
“Longest Pedestrian Street in the World”
“Gentofte and Hellerup: More Insights
“Explaining the Kommune, Woods”
“A Former Housing Estate, Gentrification”
“Tall Poppy Syndrome, Jante Law: Around Danish Parliament”
“Amalienborg: What Happens Across the Way?”
“Rosenborg Slot/Kept Woman”
“Will You Get With the Program?”
“Will Bikes Ever Take Over the North American and Australian Markets?”
“A Stroll Through a Copenhagen Suburb”
This is by no means a complete, exhaustive selection of the videos. These are temporarily available here and on the YouTube channel “SunShine8308.”