Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Son's 6th Grade Country Report

My boy picked Denmark. And of course I spent time with him researching the country and helping with the written paragraphs.

I'm impressed. Denmark boasts the world's highest level of income equality, as measured by the Gini coefficient (financed the world's highest tax rates). And Danes have the highest rate of meat consumption per capita in the world. It's basically your Scandinavian dream country. Modern, cultured and environmentally correct. I'm not planning a trip to Europe anytime soon, but after helping with this project, I'm way more inclined to consider a Copenhagen stopover.

In any case, here's the copy on the country's background:
Denmark is located in Scandinavia, in the northernmost part of Europe. The geography of Denmark is mostly flatland. The country's highest point being roughly 173 meter above sea level. There are over 400 islands. Some of its best-known landmarks include the Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen and the Little Mermaid Statue, at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen. Denmark's natural resources include oil, natural gas, gravel, sand, limestone, chalk, and clay. Denmark is self-sufficient in oil. Denmark has a temperate climate with mild winters and cool summers. The country averages about 28 inches of rainfall per year. Denmark is a predominantly Protestant nation and Easter and Christmas are the country's biggest holidays. Danes celebrate three days of Christmas. Other religious holidays are also important throughout the year. The capital city of Copenhagen, population of over 1 million people, is a popular visitors' attraction. The city is rich in historical sites and palaces, as well as arts and culture, like museums and the opera. The Copenhagen zoo is popular as well. The original Legoland park is located in the city of Billund, to the west in Jutland. Danes are the world's greatest meateaters! Denmark boasts the highest consumption of meat per person in the world. Meat and fish are the main foods. Danes like to eat open sandwiches, called smørrebrød, with lots of toppings, as well as meatballs with all kinds of trimmings. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Nina Agdal is probably the world's most famous Dane at the moment, although Prince Hamlet, from Shakespeare's play, remains as popular as ever. Because it is cool in Denmark most of the time, Danes wear a lot of layers in the clothing, as well as denim jeans, sweaters and scarves.
And you gotta love Denmark's immigration policy, via Der Spiegel, "Putting a Price on Foreigners: Strict Immigration Laws 'Save Denmark Billions'":
Denmark's strict immigration laws have saved the country billions in benefits, a government report has claimed. The Integration Ministry report has now led to calls among right-wing populists to clamp down further on immigrants to increase the savings...

The report has led to jubilation among right-wing politicians: "We now have it in black and white that restrictions (on immigrants) pay off," said DPP finance spokesman Kristian Thulesen Dahl. The DPP will almost certainly exploit the figures in future negotiations over the Danish economy.

But the report has sparked outrage from opposition parties like the centrist Social Liberal Party, which dismissed it as undignified and discriminatory. The party's integration spokeswoman, Marianne Jelved, said: "A certain group of people is being denounced and being blamed for our deficit, being made into whipping boys." She added: "We cannot classify people depending on their value to the economy. That is degrading in a democracy that has a basic value of equality."

Still, the announcement has not come as surprise. The right-wing populist DPP, which has been working with the ruling center-right coalition government of Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen since 2001, has in the past made its aims very clear: a complete halt to immigration into Denmark from non-Western countries. "A Somali who is no good for anything, that is simply not acceptable," said DPP leader Pia Kjærsgaard. Similarly, center-right liberal Prime Minister Rasmussen has also said anyone who would be a burden on Denmark is not welcome in the country.

Right-wing populists have even demanded a ban on satellite dishes so that TV stations like al-Jazeera and Al Arabiya cannot be beamed into Danish living rooms. There have also been suggestions to exempt migrants from the minimum wage -- supposedly to make it easier for foreigners to gain access to the labor market.

The small Scandinavian country already has the strictest immigration and asylum laws in Europe. For example, foreign couples are only allowed to marry if both partners are at least 24 years old. The number of asylum seekers and relatives of immigrants seeking entry into Denmark dropped by more than two-thirds within nine years as a result of the tough laws....

In November, the government agreed to stricter laws and made the entry of immigrants' spouses more difficult. Only those who collect enough "points" may come to Denmark in the future -- with points being determined by factors such as academic qualifications and proof of language proficiency. In addition, the equivalent of €13,000 must be deposited with the state in the form of a bank guarantee to cover any future public assistance. Socially deprived areas with a disproportionately high number of immigrants will be subject in future to a so-called "ghetto strategy" designed to prevent high concentrations of foreigners in public housing areas. Migrants will be assigned housing, and three-year-old children who do not speak Danish well enough will be required to attend state child care.

Some immigrants have already turned their back on Denmark voluntarily. Increasing numbers of Somalis are moving away, especially to the UK, the Jyllands Posten reported on Thursday, because of discrimination.
Hmm, racism as state strategy. And leftists say we're the world's most evil country, lol!