Move over Disney World, Denmark is now considered the happiest place on earth. Do you want to know where the U.S. stands this year on the list? 17th, right after Mexico! Yes, Mexico, the country that Americans look down on and say is so horrible because of the water and the drug cartels and the violence. Mexico is ranked higher than the United States of America. I can guarantee the Right is either ignoring this information, or finding ways to deny its efficacy, but the fact remains that the supposed “greatest country in the world,” is not.
Ignorant and naive Teapublicans will continue to cry from the rooftops that no country ever was or ever will be better than ‘Murica, but people with eyes and ears and brains know that’s not the case. That doesn’t mean that the U.S. couldn’t regain its former glory if it tried, which is what the progressive movement is really about, but until the “Party of No” takes a step back and looks at the truth, things aren’t looking good.
That being said, Huffington Post has some suggestions as to what we can do to make this country a better and a happier place to live, it requires us to copy Denmark. So what does Denmark do differently? Well first and foremost they promote community both in how they act individually and in their public policies. Unlike the lesser half of America that talks about how we need to take care of each other and then tells everyone to fend for themselves, in Denmark they have full universal healthcare, so that everyone is taken care of. No one has to worry about whether a medical bill will bankrupt them, and they still get top-notch first-world medical treatment.
On top of that, they force companies to provide maternity and paternity leave. Mothers and fathers both receive paid time off from work to spend with their new little ones. Mothers get a guaranteed 18 weeks and fathers a guaranteed two weeks off, and then on top of that the parents can split a further 32 weeks of paid leave up however they see fit. Not only that, but when it comes time to go back to work their childcare options don’t cost an arm and a leg to afford, this means that more women in Denmark go back to work after pregnancy than in the United States.
Another thing that Denmark promotes much more heavily than the U.S. is equality. In the 1970’s they instituted gender quotas to ensure that their parliament was more diverse and it was such a success that even though the quotas have been removed women continue to play a large role in politics. That would never happen in the US. The old white men in charge would cry foul and whine about how forcing equality on people takes away their liberty, when the fact of the matter is that they just don’t want to lose their stranglehold on the political system.
Do you really think that the government would have shut down if half of Congress was composed of women or other minority groups(though technically women aren’t a minority)? Old white men make up a small minority of the population of the United States and yet they represent a vast majority of the office holders who make the rules that govern this country. Equality has fallen by the wayside.
Either way you look at it, Denmark is doing a much better job of creating a culture and a system that promotes happiness. The United States would be wise to follow their lead, but I can guarantee that the xenophobic Conservative extremists will be fighting all the way to their death beds, no matter how good it would be for them to let it happen. The dimwitted and backwards Conservatives will say that it’s about the “pursuit” of happiness, but the fact remains that it just gets harder and harder to pursue happiness in this country when there’s so much working against anyone who wasn’t born rich or lucky enough to make the right connections.
h/t: Huffington Post