A major immigration reform is afoot in Denmark. Yet the mainstream media is rather reticent about it.
That is not only because the story is an embarrassment to the consistently pushy narrative about "socialist" and "progressive" Denmark, but because the Danes make international news usually as an appendage to a larger story. Yet there is much happening in this small Scandinavian nation that could be useful for the United States.
Of course, Denmark plays a certain role in a morality play that America's left repeats as mantra: how much better our Scandinavian allies are than us. But usually the morality play is based upon false premises and utter ignorance of Denmark and its Nordic neighbors.
For example, our illustrious Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has juxtaposed the minimum wage in the U.S. with that in Denmark: apples and oranges, of course. "Override the parliamentarian and raise the wage. [McDonald's] workers in Denmark are paid $22/hr + 6 weeks paid vacation. $15/hr is a deep compromise — a big one, considering the phase in."
But Denmark has no minimum wage; even if the fast food workers made this much money in Copenhagen half of it would be deducted in taxes and, in addition, they would have to pay a 25% VAT (Value Added Tax) on EVERYTHING. No wonder the hamburgers they sell run about twice the price of a U.S. Big Mac.
At any rate, high prices and high taxes are a brand of Danish social engineering, where in a homogenous country of fewer than 6 million people, socialist politicians parasite on a free market economic system that bankrolls their progressive fantasies. Ocasio-Cortez would like to replicate it in the U.S., a country of 300 million with astonishing diversity. The shoe usually does not fit on a larger foot.
Not that there is no diversity in Denmark. Denmark has generously taken in more than its due share of immigrants from the Third World, particularly the recent wave. You bet that the socialists and other leftists did the inviting without much social consulting. The progressives further set up "ghettos" for the newly arrived people.
The refugees congregated together and, not surprisingly, mostly failed to assimilate. Some of that led to social pathologies. I have heard more than a fair share of horror stories, for example, about Danish women being slapped on public transportation for failing to adhere to Islamic standards of decency, i.e. not wearing scarfs.
There are success stories, of course. I met an African 20-something who felt Denmark was paradise after the hell of Minnesota's inner city, where he first landed from the old country only to be prayed upon by drug dealers. He moved to Copenhagen where he thrived.
Now, the minority socialist government of prime minister Mette Fredricksen wants more success stories like that. Pressured by the public opinion and the populist and conservative opposition, the ruling Social Democrats want to reverse their own earlier social engineering experiments. They intend not just to eliminate immigrant ghettoes, but to remove the word "ghetto" itself from the nation's political vocabulary.
The idea is to cap a permissible level of immigrants in a neighborhood to 30%. The rest must be dispersed elsewhere. Further, Denmark has just become the first European country to return Middle Eastern refugees home. There is no more civil war in Syria, so they should return. It is a very popular policy position. Those who remain behind are given four years to learn Danish or leave the country. The government introduced that requirement a year ago or so, to no great fanfare.
However, the Danes are serious. They are a calm people, not mellow but, rather, deliberate. They have assimilated successive waves of immigrants: from the Dutch in the 18th century through the Polish "potato" migrants of the 19th century.
And Denmark now hopes to make the newest arrivals Danish. First they must learn the language; then, they must master the Danish ways. Assimilation is the key. Multiculturalism will not do. And Islamism is certainly out of the question.
That's the Danish way, even among the socialists. How's that AOC?
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz is Professor of History at the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school of statecraft in Washington D.C.; expert on East-Central Europe's Three Seas region; author, among others, of "Intermarium: The Land Between The Baltic and Black Seas." Read Marek Jan Chodakiewicz's Reports — More Here.
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