I wish we had this problem

So, Denmark’s crime rate has dropped so damn low they are having to close some of their prisons. There are only 12,000 prisoners but they have room for 14,000. You know how many prisoners the USA has? Well, there are 2,019,234 prisoners, which is 715 out of every 100,000 US citizens in jail, which is equivalent to 1% of the US population. This puts us FAR in the lead of the next largest per capita prison-happy country, Russia. You know how many people per capita are in prison in Iceland? 40:100,000.

Are Americans just that violent? Is our justice system so good it gets every guilty person (except for OJ Simpson)? Or is our justice system so piss poor that we chuck people in the hoosegow willy-nilly? Considering that Demark calls a corrupt judicial system that favors the wealthy “American style justice”, I have my suspicions that poverty is the main “crime” committed in the Land of the Free. After all, crime rates are at a 20 year low.  There are fewer murders, rapes, and assaults today than there were when Nirvana was just this little grunge band in Seattle.

Of course there is our asinine little “War on Drugs”. Thanks to that bullshit there were 1.8 million arrests for drug offences in 2005, and in 2000 there were about as many people incarcerated for drugs as there were people in prison TOTAL in 1980. Since then we have added almost another 70,000 prisoners.

There there is the fact prisons have become a “for profit” industry. Once you can make money off prisoners, it is AMAZING how much more prisoners there are!

But other than corporate/political greed and insane drug war, what else separates Denmark from America?

Well, it turns out they have this amazing thing called a “social safety net”. In America, we have only the tattered remnants of one. Of course, the wealthier Danes have to pay higher taxes so that children, the poor, and the elderly don’t go without necessities. Crazy, I know. All they get for their high taxes, among other things, is excellent schools, safe cities, great infrastructure, wonderful health care for everyone, and a 34.5 hour work week with more than a month of vacation time. Can you imagine asking some like Mitt Romney to pay more than 15% on his millions for such trivial things? Good grief Americans! Grab your bootstraps! We cannot have any of that disgusting Danish socialism!

PS — I’m thinking of leaving WordPress because their ads are starting to work my nerves. I’ll let y’all know if I hie off to another address.

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About Betty Fokker

I'm a stay-at-home feminist mom.
This entry was posted in I like this, dammit., I've been thinking too much, shit I think y'all should know. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to I wish we had this problem

  1. robenagrant says:

    Interesting, and thought provoking. I love your blogs, BF.

  2. sheri says:

    I have given up all pretense of being patient and/or respectful of anyone who thinks socialism is taking from people who work hard for their stuff and giving it all to people who don’t want to work but want stuff anyway- also known as “lazy ass crack mommas sitting in front of their big screen tvs”.
    I don’t understand how an entire society with the whole internet at their fingertips can not even bother to check what’s going on in other countries, but choose to believe that everything here is the greatest on earth and everything everywhere else sucks.
    It’s sad, and depressing, and frustrating, and will ultimately be our undoing- not by socialism, but by willful ignorance.

  3. Oh that’s depressing.

    I used to work at a youth correctional facility and I’m sorry to say that many of them really DID need to be incarcerated for crimes against children, however a ridiculous percentage were jailed for “parole violations”

  4. Jillian says:

    Great post. I’ve tried bringing up on several occasions the inherent benefits to an ACTUAL safety net and the PROOF that it works, but most people refuse to listen. Sometimes people are so close-minded it makes me want to scream in frustration (and sometimes I do, in private).

  5. londonmabell says:

    They also have a lot more racial/national homogeneity (90% pop of Danish descent, 80% belong to the same church). In Canada aboriginal people are more likely to be prisoners than non-aboriginal, which suggests two things. One, perhaps there are more aboriginal people actually committing crimes, which, like alcoholism/drug abuse/higher suicide rates would be fallout from centuries of being (to use your phrase) fokked in the earhole by white people. And then of course there’s the racism of being arrested for crimes you didn’t commit (like “driving while Indian”).

    I don’t know if these factors would contribute to higher crime rates, but I do think these countries don’t face the same particular sort of race/religion issues that we do. And in return, European countries tend to have stronger racist-nationalist parties than we do (that get actual seats in parliament), in an attempt to keep People of Color out of their little Mchappylands. The homogeneity might also be related to why there’s so much support for these social programs–cause we’re happier to help out people who are Like Us. This came up in some intro level politics course I took, taught by a German professor. …But I otherwise didn’t specialize in European politics, so these are just off-top-of-head thoughts rather than backed up theories.

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