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Denmark takes a small step towards sanity

This story in the Wall Street Journal, stating that Denmark is to rescind its “fat tax” because it has proven to be economically destructive, may not, in the scheme of things, be as important as the US elections, the plight of the euro or the (hopefully) end of tax-financed public service broadcasting in the UK (we can all dream). But the sight of a European government, one that often adopts a nanny state approach to certain issues, rowing back on such an idea, is encouraging.

One thing I should point out to my despondent American pals who are concerned about the US copying failed European social/regulatory models is this: it is possible to push back, if the evidence can be presented strongly enough and if the impact is clear enough and if this can be shown to voters.

12 comments to Denmark takes a small step towards sanity

  • cirby

    Here’s the thing:

    Pretty much every dietary law or government practice we’ve seen in the US over the last few decades has been put in place to undo the last law or practice.

    “We need to grow more food and make it really cheap.” 50 years later: “People need to eat less, here’s some food taxes!”

    “Eat according to the food pyramid.” 30 years later: “The food pyramid is bunk, try this new food trapezoid!”

    “People should eat less saturated fat, use these transfats instead.” 10 years later: “Transfats should be outlawed!”

  • Rich Rostrom

    The “fat tax” was stupid to begin with.

    There is no evidence that dietary fat contributes more to obesity than any other source of calories.

  • And thus are the Danish legislators skewered on their own hubris…

    Can’t have freedom of movement, no border controls AND a “Fat Tax” can we? Otherwise people will develop perfectly reasonable responses such as shopping abroad.

    This can’t be controlled as EU legislation effectively overrides domestic legislation and Danish sovereignty? Didn’t think of that did you my dears?

    Try reimplementing your “Fat Tax” after repealing both the EU legislation on Danish statutes and Schengen. Might have a bit more success after that. Possibly introducing the requirement for an exit visa…that worked so well in Soviet Russia.

    Mind you Germany and Sweden are pretty close for swimming or by boat – maybe some kind of fence or wall is in order…


  • 'Nuke' Gray

    See, this all happens because they get some good Aussie blood into the monarchy! I’ll bet Princess Mary, from Tasmania originally, has been talking sensibly to her husband, and he quietly tells the Cabinet, and sound policy is restored! Watch as Denmark becomes the new power in Europe!

  • Paul Marks

    The end of the “fat tax” is indeed a small piece of good news.

    As for the United States….

    The problem is that the chief leftists, the academics and so on, really are very intelligent – and they have spent many years developing their tactics.

    American socialists do not call themselves socialists (as European, including Danish, socialists do) they call themselves “liberals” or “progressives”. And they are experts at advancing the collectivist cause covertly, rather than in the open.

    “Yes we know that Paul” – but you do not know how important it is.

    It is impossible to debate political economy with people who will not even admit what they are – and change the subject. Or just blatantly (and endlessly) lie – about everything.

    And so such debates give nothing to the American public – who are fed a diet of constant lies from school, college, media and so on.

    “But that is true in other places also”.

    Please see my above point – in other places people argue for socialism, they admit they are socialists.

    For example, in Germany (in many ways a big government country) Frankfurt School cultural Marxists do not pretend they are not Marxists – indeed that they are not socialists.

    And the German education system and media are not dedicated to spreading the lie that socialists are not socialists. And abusing anyone who tells the truth – not just about this, but about anything.

    This is why I no longer wish to visit the United States – the dominant political culture (from school to media to entertainment) is just one vast lie – and it disgusts me (disgusts me to the very core of my being).

    “Forget the politics”.

    Sorry – but being told to look at nice trees and mountains is not enough, not when I would be fighting down the urge to vomit all the time.

    I am what I am – politics, and political culture, matters to me.

    Everywhere in the world there are lies – but a lie on this scale, this I can not accept.

    And I must stress (yet again) that is not just Barack Obama – it is the basic political culture. A political culture dominated by a vast lie – that socialists are not socialists, indeed have nothing to do with socialism. That what really interests them is the good of “small business”, or “anti discrimination”, or “science”, or “tolerance”.

    Lies – it is all lies. And it disgusts me.

    If there are parts of the United States where socialists are called socialists – and socialism is not called “liberalism” or “tolerance” or “believing in freedom, liberty, tolerance, small business, family farms, mother and apple pie…..”, where atheism (and “social gospel” atheist propaganda) is not called “not imposing my religion, my profound and sincere spirituality”…… and on and on.

    Well someone tell me about these areas of the United States.

  • Paul Marks

    “Harsh to attack American political culture on Veterans Day”.

    I can not think of a more correct day to do it.

    Veterans – did they fight and die for anything, or not?

  • James Strong

    If the ‘liberals’ in the USA are really socialists at what stage are newcomers to the ‘liberal’ movement told the truth?
    When are they taken aside and told ‘The reality is that we are working for socialism but it’s not tactically wise to say that so we engage in this deceit’?

    And who tells them? Who and how many are on the inside?

    I do not believe that most Americans who call themselves ‘liberals’ would be recognised as socialists by Europeans who call themselves socialists.

  • Paul Marks

    James there never is such a formal “telling”.

    Most American “liberals” or “progressives” never even use the word “socialism” – however they work for the cause (because that is how things are designed).

    For example, many of the “greats” of American literature and film were not only socialists – they were active supporters of the Communist Party line in the Spanish Civil War, the Chinese Civil War, the rise of Castro to power in Cuba – and on and on.

    Modern students are taught to admire the beliefs of these “greats” but the word “socialism” is not used.

    Fairness, fair shares, social justice, environmental justice, racial justice, (and on and on).

    These are the words used.

    And it is not recent – for example in “The Constitution of Liberty” and “Law, Legislation and Liberty” Hayek describes how German socialists (yes German socialists – the ones who were both anti Nazi and anti Soviet Marxist) warned American “liberals” about where “Progressive” developments of the law lead – to totalitarianism. But the “liberals” did not understand the warnings.

    In short the “liberals” had a more (not a less) totalitarian mindset than the German socialists.

    Because the ideas are not out-in-the-open in the United States – the poison is more (not less) effective.

    Of course you do not believe James – you would not believe me if I sat you down in front of recordings of American “liberals” giving speeches (at academic conferences and so on) that are totalitarian – because certain buzz words (such as “socialism”) are not used, you would not even grasp that the speeches were totalitarian.

    I have been in this “game” a long time – I am not young any more. And I am sick of arguing with people who refuse to see the truth.

    I know I will not convince you – I am not even trying to convince you.

    I am explaining my own horror – and warning those people who can be warned.

    To be blunt, I am no longer really interested in the rest.

  • Paul Marks

    While I am waiting for my last comment to be unsmited….

    The late Andrew Breitbart was no great philosopher – but he was an intelligent man and he happened to do notice (having done some reading – almost by chance) that the “critical theory” that dominated his university (and most universities in the United States) was really Marxism.

    He tried to point this out – but most people just replied with mockery and contempt, how could it be Marxism, the word Marxism was not even used……

    But he carried on. For example taping the “Occupy” types so that their evil would be obvious – to those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

    To his dying day Andrew Breitbart cared about the people who did not know what they faced – who ignored all the warnings. He desperately tried to reach them – because he really cared about these people, he passionately cared.

    I am not sure I do anymore.

  • PeterT

    But is there not something comforting about the fact that ‘socialism’ is something of a taboo word in the US? At least it suggests perhaps that if the liberals were to show their true colours and call themselves socialists then they would lose support. In Europe people have no problem voting for socialists, even though ‘we’ are more aware of the socialist legacy than the Americans. Then again the liberals have been at it for a long time in the US, so perhaps it is too much to expect for the public to realise that they have been hoodwinked for so long.

  • Alisa

    I don’t know, PeterT – personally, I never find lies comforting.

  • Paul Marks

    Neither do I.