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28 August 2010


Paul Emery

I can't believe you'd give Glenn Beck any credibility. Check this out.


This guy's a phony and an opportunist who has found a market for the worst kind of trash entertainment
He's using the oldest tricks in the business and people are going for it. If you worry about the ability of people to make decisions in the voting booth that lead to the need for term limits I'd worry about the votes of the 400,000 who attended that rally so that the extent that it makes me wonder if we should have IQ tests for voters.

Don't get me started on Glen Beck. I'll fill up you're blog with unbelievable quotes and videos

Really George, you sunrise me with this one

Todd Juvinall

I don't watch much of Beck but I have sneaked a few minutes here and there. I watched the rally while babysitting with my GF her two little GK's. What I saw was a discussion on freedom and restoring our country to its greatness. I do not believe Beck blamed Obama or anyone else. I can tell you the country has been losing its soul for many years and people like Beck are simply pointing this out. What surprises me about the detractors of Beck amd the Tea Party is this. I would agree with the detractors if hate and supremacy were being preached. But Beck is preaching love and compassion. I think liberals and democrats know the message Beck and the TPP have are winners and the left has only hate and subjugation on their agenda. Americans of good will are longing for the return of common sense and the right to their personal freedom. They are tired of the political class telling us what is best for us and want the government to leave us alone and stay out of our pockets.

D. King

“The folks gathered there to counter Beck had not a clue of what the Democrat supported unions and education policies from far-left academia have done, not only to three generations of their children, but to the country overall.”

Well said George. I think people are finally fed up
with those claiming to care, and at the same time
implementing policies that keep folks in poverty.
We don’t have the time or money to play their
games any longer. I believe them to be sociopaths.
You cannot do to children, what they do, and not
be. Their vacuous arguments and lies, just
don’t fly any more.

Russ Steele

Let's hear about the worst of Glenn Beck quotes and let's debate the validity of those quotes. A blanket damming of Glenn Beck is not warranted. Let's have the specifics.

George Rebane

Paul, I'm not sure what that video showed. Most certainly the 'Young Turk' commentator wrapped it in a pretty stinky newspaper. But Beck is constantly lambasted by the left. However, his copy seems to survive - he reports what is closer to ground truth than what the lame stream media does. Hard to argue with audio and video segments of Obama's crew speaking their piece. If it were all bullshit, then no one would be fired or render midnight resignations from the White House. Maybe there is more info on this video of the shoot to get Beck's crying pictures.

Paul Emery

It certainly shows him having special ointment applied to his eyes to make him look like he's crying. That's a major part of his act. Basic Jimmy Swaggart weeping preacher crap. Every time I've seen him on TV he's crying about something. The point is he's a phony through and through . This has nothing to do with lame stream media. It's all about Glenn Beck. One of my closest friends was a fundamentalist preacher for 20 years and used to tell me stories about how much money he would make when he turned on the tear machine.

I am trying to appreciate the passion of the Tea Party and associated movements but it's really hard when I see the applause that is given to fakers like Beck and Brietbart.

George, I really appreciate the intellectualism and thought you put in you're essays. I don't understand why you lower your standards to embrace such bullshit.

You call him a Reverend? What credentials does he have ? I understand he's a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints but I don't think he's ordained.

Paul Emery


Here's a few of the more common ones

From various sources

"I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong?" -musing about what he would do for $50 million

"This president I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture....I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist." -on President Obama, sparking an advertiser exodus from his FOX News show

"When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I'm just like, 'Oh shut up' I'm so sick of them because they're always complaining." –"The Glenn Beck Program," Sept. 9, 2005

"So here you have Barack Obama going in and spending the money on embryonic stem cell research. ... Eugenics. In case you don't know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person. ... The stuff that we are facing is absolutely frightening." –"The Glenn Beck Program," March 9, 2009

Steven Frisch

I have an idea how about George and Russ peer review a Friday episode of Glenn Beck University?

Michael Anderson

Glenn Beck is a Jack Mormon. What is a Jack Mormon? It used to mean someone who wasn't baptized as a Mormon, but in the 21st century it means someone who uses Mormonism (spiritually/love for Jesus Christ) to make a point but doesn't really carry their water.

And then there's the whole Mormonism thing to deal with. Really? Golden tablets 10 feet tall? An alien race hanging out in the mid-west?

D. King

"An alien race hanging out in the mid-west?"


You were saying?

George Rebane

Gentlemen - My use of the 'Reverend' salutation for Beck is a tongue-in-cheek reference to his shift this year to proselytizing a return to spiritualism. Of course he's not an ordained minister, but his daily programs remind (at least) me of being in a revival tent. Please reread my post.

I have several significant differences with Beck's philosophical position and his criticisms of the left. However, his revelations of who said/did what have to stand on their own merits. The left does not rebut those, but attacks him instead.

A jack Mormon is a person who has formally been accepted into the Mormon faith and then has lapsed.

Todd Juvinall

Paul, my guess is Beck was saying those words (If he actually did) as a voice odf someone else saying them. It is a way to show the absurdity of another person who actually said the words.

I am sure that all of us have said things we regret and perhaps thos words were recorded somewhere and are then used to beat us over the head. It has happened to me and when the lamestream gets the quotes they usually repeat them over and over as if that is the sum total of someone's life. That happens to conservatives and very rarely to someone on the left. It looked to me after reading all the reports that Beck had a million people there. I would dare say you have yet to give us your in depth reporting on the life of Al Sharptn. Paul, why don't you give the same column inches to informing us of his 5,000 person rally down the street from the Beck rally?

Mikey McD

I don't watch Beck (I killed my T.V. years ago), but, I do respect his personal redemption story (from gutter to 'reverend'), his love of our constitution, his focus on fiscal responsibility, his understanding of the free market capitalist system as the best vehicle of personal liberty, his disdain for big government, and his exposure of collectivism as glorified slavery.

His list of shortcomings may be just as long, but, not as important to me (man's chosen religion is off limits). The event sounded very positive and for that we should all be thankful.

Russ Steele

One of our local lefty supporters is claiming that the real number of people at the Glenn Beck Rally was just 87,000 "Here’s what CBS reported: 87,000 people at the event, he writes. On Drudge this morning NBC is saying the attendance was on the order of 300,000, the event planers are saying 500,000. I would say that George's estimate of 400,000 is closer than the lefty supporters claim of 87,000. I wonder if we will get an apology from the lefty support for suggesting George was a "wing nut" for suggesting 400,000. I think, not as the facts do not really matter on this left leaning blog.

Paul Emery

Here's one where Beck talks about killing people with shovels.

Why is he even allowed on the air let alone an "inspiration to millions "
Yes Todd we all say things we regret this kind of talk can and does inspire nut cases to actually do these things.

George, if this kind of person is serving as an hero for the Tea Party movement it shows how desperate things are. We have to have some standards of behavior we live by and support.

George Rebane

That was quite a Glenn Beck back in 2001. Do you think he really meant it, or was it similar to Ralph Kramden threatening each Saturday to belt Alice so hard that she would land on the moon? I imagine the Beck of those days affected people differently depending on the context he established for his radio shows. Do you think this is the same Glenn Beck of today in the format of his today's radio and TV shows?

Paul Emery

He said it. Did he mean it? I don't think it matters. It certainly intended to incite anger and violence. Has he Changed his style? Not really. His "I'm thinking of killing Michael Moore" was in 2007.

How many of the followers of Glen Beck jumped on the anti Obama band wagon when it comes to statements made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright or, more recently supported the out of context smear campaign of Shirley Sherrod .
Let's say he meant it as a joke, which is pretty sick.
What if Rachael Maddow joked about killing Sarah Palin for example.

You should be leading the charge to condemn this kind of talk . Instead you seem to applaud the results of his hate speech. Free speech has responsibilities. Is free speech part of the commons you refer to?

George Rebane

Russ, thanks for pointing out the latest from our local lefty. He's a hard man. Any mistake he attributes to you (even if it's his own) comes along with his usually prescribed punishment - banishment.

BTW, you have to be a double dufus if you think that Beck's rally had an attendance under 100K.

Nuff said

Yep, revival tent indeed ... and he's got the snake oil for you, too!

Steven Frisch

I saw the pictures and have read the reports and I would readily acknowledge that George's numbers are likely accurate.

As far as the 'wing-nut' statement is concerned, I think the history of abuse here, and on other blogs, is such that it is hard for anyone to pull back from their rhetorical flourishes at this point. It is to be expected. None of our moderators do a very good job of eliminating personal attacks.

George Rebane

Whoa Paul, you covered about five separate topics in that little outburst. We can go on to dissect them one by one, given your continued interest. I am a man of limited abiities, and have to take these things a little bit slower. I know a lot of people who can and do talk about five things at once with each other, they don't make much progress, but then that often is not the objective. (Un?)fortunately, I wasn't even blessed with the talent.

But for now you are attributing a level of my endorsing Glenn Beck that has no basis in fact, or in anything I have written. You know me well enough that the usual lefty tactic of 'baselessly attribute and then attack the attribution as truth' doesn't work with me. That's a cheap tack better left for others.

George Rebane

Agreed Steve, especially when the attack comes as spontaneously and gratuitously as Pelline's latest. But I don't want anyone to mistake for an ad hominem attack on me the probing that Paul Emery is doing to discover (vs paint) my 'devotion' to Beck. I'm not taking it as such, and am just asking him to go back and read my words a bit more carefully.

Nevertheless, I think all of us are making some progress in turning these comment threads into more productive dissections of the posted topics (and related meanderings which, at least to me, expand the discussions and leven the revelations).

In the end we all have to face the undeniable fact that in these posts and comments we are tackling the most serious and momentus issues that today face our nation and even our civilization. This is not light fare that we are dealing with. And almost all of us come to the forum with well formed ideologies, each of which in their formation have become dear to us, no matter how much we profess the willingness to reshape them as new things are uncovered.

D. King

I was amazed to hear Sharpton’s speech where he
said that Churchill rounded up Obama’s father
and incarcerated him. Pretty much edited out
and scrubbed from the net. It will be interesting
to see the U.K. response. (silence?)

Here is a home video.
Scan video to 3:20 and play to 3:60


George Rebane

A close friend just blind copied me on an email he sent to Glenn Beck that reflects my own sentiments. Here it is -

"Dear Glenn:

While I have been a long time fan and supporter of your views and your program, the last few shows and your rally seem slightly over the top. Are you in danger of becoming "the anointed one" of whom you so often speak? I hope not, and trust you will regain your footing as your views and the ability to deliver them in an understandable manner from a substantial island in a sea of crap."

Paul Emery

Okay George. I don't mean to make it personal. I thought looking at the similarity of Becks and Wrights rhetoric and analyzing the reactions to those statements is fair game for discussion. , Also, the TPP endorsement of Glenn Beck http://www.teapartypatriots.org/Recycle/ implies to me that the TPP finds his language and style acceptable as responsible free speech. Partnering with someone who jokes about strangling a fellow media entertainer and killing adversaries by whacking them with shovels is not setting an acceptable standard for how we should be dealing with crucial and difficult issues.

George Rebane

Paul, I would agree and, as I said, am not taking your critique as personal. I do think that most people, e.g. TPPers, take Beck's speech within the frame of their own existence. I know that you condemn this as putting blinders on and not seeing Beck as he really is.

But 'really is' I have found to be beholder specific. A lot of blacks do a similarly selective editing of the words of their leaders/celebreties, and so do the Hispanics. Were there a better voice that described our country's leftward lurch today, one can suppose that Beck's historical warts would cause him to be dumped. But right now he's the best and loudest one out there.

Who knows, he might self-destruct after his 8/28 rally. Today he was on 'Chris Wallace Sunday' where Wallace asked him if after attracting 400K people (yes, Fox now agrees with me) that he might consider the mounting encouragement of a Palin/Beck ticket. He said NFW - we'll see. BTW, I don't consider him to be any more qualified for the presidency than I do Obama.

RL Crabb

I don't watch Beck's show every day, but when I do I take the time to digest what it is he's saying. Some of his points are on target, and other times I am forced to regurgitate into the bucket I keep next to my easy chair. (It comes in handy when watching Ed Schultz on the other side as well.)

If you'll recall, George, in an earlier post we discussed your notion that a despot could only come from the left, while I countered that such a person could easily come from the right, using religion and patriotism as his or her club. While I wouldn't say that Glenn is that person, whoever it would be will be studying Beck's technique.

I didn't see the big rally in D.C., as I was busy being a good capitalist and selling my own political snake oil. My crowd wasn't as big as Beck's, but they were enthusistic. Don't worry, I have no delusions of grandeur and haven't ordered white robes. It does give me ideas for getting the concession on torches and pitchforks though. I could make a fortune.

George Rebane

Bob, hope you had more big customers like me ;-)

Actually, I didn't exclude a man on a white horse from the right (I avoid like the plague attempting to prove such negatives), I posited that such messiahs are most likely to come from the left as they have almost without exception in the last century. It is the left that extols the virtues of collectivism and giving up freedoms for the common good.

I can't think of a conservative/libertarian free marketeer coming up with arguments to convince anyone as to why they should give up their freedoms and accept an authoritarian government. Maybe you can help us see some of those arguments.

Jeff Peline

The truth will set you free!
"WashPost lets Beck, Bachmann spin rally attendance"

D. King

Good old Media Matters, a centrist organization.

I do worry about their Soros’s…I mean sources.


Todd Juvinall

Jeremiah Wright was preaching hate for America and its ideals. Beck preaches hope and the dreams, the good kind, for all Americans. How anyone could confuse them is beyond me. Regarding Beck's past statements which seem to inflame Paul. I listened to some of your links and what I came away with was he was speaking to the absurdity spewed by his detractors who said he was whatever they said he was. Then he takes what they said about him and makes it even more absurd. This is what Rush does and it drives the liberal brain crazy. I get it and I only have a high school education. As far as Pelline is concerned. How he can claim to be a moderate and be so loving of liberals and the philosophy is just plain disingenuous. He a a flamer on the left no doubt about it. The truth shall set you free. BTW, the Sharon Rose character has got to be a left winger portraying her. No one can say such asurd things and be a real person.

RL Crabb

Fear and uncertainty, George. It's the fuel that works for either side. Think of how well it served Bush II when he decided to invade Iraq. Throw out some vague threat that can't be verified by anyone but the CIA and watch the patriots go nuts. Convince them that your neighbors are in league with the Islamo-commie conspiracy and they'll be happy to burn their house down and support marshal law indefinitely.

Todd Juvinall

Your history is too lazy. It was a huge vote to invade, everyone but Barbara Lee (I think) said go getum. France, England, many others all said go. Now we have Iran with a nuke. When they sneak one in to America I would dare say the anger may be a bit greater then 9/11.

Dixon Cruickshank

Jeff I folowed the links to the photo's, if honestly think thats only 87,000 your more pathetic than I've given you credit for

Jeff Peline

Thanks "Dixon." My self esteem hinges on your commentary, as well as the other insightful thoughts that appear here regularly. LOL.

RL Crabb

If I remember my history correctly, the Roman Senate offered Caesar the crown three times, and he declined so as not to appear an enemy of the Republic. After his assassination, it was Cato and Pompei who met the sword and ushered in centuries of empire in the name of stability and continuity.

George, since you are a fan of Heinlein, perhaps you remember "Revolt in 2100" when a backwoods preacher named Scudder used the money he inherited from an elderly parishioner to buy time on a TV station, eventually building an empire that led to a U.S. theocracy. The nation sealed its borders to avoid corruption from the outside world. After his death his followers used technological trickery so the prophet could appear to his flock indefinitely.

I'm not saying I believe such a scenario could play out in our society, only that the possibility exists.After reading some of the stuff I see on the internet, I have to conclude that many on the right are just as gullible as their counterparts on the left.

Paul Emery


Let me understand this. You wrote

"what I came away with was he was speaking to the absurdity spewed by his detractors who said he was whatever they said he was."
Huh? I really don't get it. He did say those things with vicious intent and no concern about what nut case he might push over the edge . The guy's a shock jock cum political entertainer and now he's giving some people hope through his religious expostulations and fake tears.
That's how I see it. He's laughing all the way to the bank. To quote Elmer Gantry "I feed them dog food and they think it's steak."

George Rebane

Would agree with the gullibility of many on the right. The only thing that limits their harm is that they have no functional ideology that can launch a state-controlled society. Their most devout theology doesn't dovetail with free-market conservatism to the extent that it will support an authoritarian theocracy.

On the other hand, secular humanism and its more virulent socialistic versions, the religion(s) of the left, support many forms of strong authoritarian governments. This belief system has demonstrated that capability many times in the last hundred years. A more closer example is alive and well around us, we have been giving away a long inventory of freedoms at least since the Wilson presidency, and some would argue going back to Lincoln.

Again, I look forward to a scenario that allows a conservative free marketeer to morph into an eager follower of an authoritarian state. And let's not confuse someone changing their stripes to a collectivist and cheering for the man on a white horse - possible, but not likely.

The problem is a toughy. As I have said many times, we will need some form of wealth redistribution. How do we devise one that does not kill the economy, and rapidly slide us into totalitarian poverty?

Dixon Cruickshank

Paul I'm sorry but really, the guy does deserve credit, he attracts millions of viewers every day and gets 400K+ to come to Washington in the August heat? Everybody in the country is not that stupid in spite of what the current administration thinks. I would bet you a dollar to a donut Obama - Biden, Pelosi and Hillery couldn't raise 400K in the august heat giving away free ice cream, its kinda an insult to more people than just Mr Beck and he doesn't even want to be President.

I give Obama and his people credit for getting elected but I also think that is just the diaster that has finally awoken millions in this country to politics again - add up all the Maddow's, Obermamns and every other liberial cable show and they don't add up to Beck's combined, so you are in a minority whether you and Peeline like it or not - just say'in

Steven Frisch

"The only thing that limits their [the right's] harm is that they have no functional ideology that can launch a state-controled society". Wow, just wow

Here we go again with George's skewed history of totalitarianism.

With all due respect to his fascinating and greatly respected personal history, which he was kind enough to share with us here--totalitarianism is a parasitic beast. It knows no single host, it moves between left and right, communist, fascist, religious, and secular with ease. I am reminded of the work of the great American writer and Philosopher Eric Hoffer, author of The True Believer, whose thesis was that the movement does not matter, the movement is merely a shell within which the fanatic can thrive. The fanatic, driven by a need for self esteem and power, riven by self loathing and insecurity, creates the vehicle of their own power.

George, I know you know this. It just bugs me that you paint the left with the totalitarian brush, while never mentioning the right. Stalin, Mao, Ceausescu, KIm Il-sung, all totalitarians. Why is it that you always mention them and don't mention Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, Antonescu, Codreanu, Franco et al.?

Can't we just agree that all murderous, genocidal, blood letting dictators suck? and that all people that follow demagogues do so at the peril of their liberty?

George Rebane

Steve, thank you for taking that juncture. I was waiting for the introduction of Hitler, Mussolini, etc (save Pinochet maybe) as right wingers. They were national socialists and took their playbook from Marx and Lenin. Their application was to appeal to a nationalist audience that would trade their freedoms for the greater glory of the national collective in a strong central state. There was nothing left of the conservative/libertarian free market values based on individual liberties.

Even the shell corporations that survived by name were turned into state entities with management either replaced or selectively allowed to remain if their allegiance to the socialist state was convincing. I have never said that a conservative free marketer cannot change his stripes and give up his liberty. But a strong central state is antithesis to the social philosophies that are conservative/libertarian and free market, and are invariably consigned by the left to be on the right.

I and others of my ilk have no problem adopting the additional label of ‘right’, but that does not allow you in the same breath to take away my core social philosophy which I have described ten ways from Sunday in these pages, and then insert some authoritarian one in its place. The social philosophers of the right have made that very clear. As have also the social philosophers of the left who teach the blessings of state ownership of the means of production and distribution.

All I have been saying is that no one in history has yet figured out how to stop the socialistic state from stopping at some commodious and economically sustainable half way point to authoritarianism. Once they’re on the slippery slope of wealth destruction through the creation of altruistically operated commonses, they seem to have only one type of ratchet-like solution to the problems so created – more state control.

The fact that the left and right cannot convince each other of their deeply held beliefs here is cause enough for the deepening divisions we witness in America today. And we can and do agree “that all murderous, genocidal, blood letting dictators suck, and that all people that follow demagogues do so at the peril of their liberty.” It’s how we each see ourselves coming to such “blood letting dictators” that maintains our debate. I assume that you are implying that Glenn Beck is such a “demagogue” who is in the process of leading us into a totalitarian theocracy.

On that we differ greatly. If there were even a hint of that for the millions who watch and listen to him, he wouldn’t be able to lead even a pair of them across the street. We have to remember that our country grew out of some pretty strong religious stock that, as de Tocqueville observed, never confused their scriptures with the state.

Does this help clarify, or do I appear to you still confused and going around in circles?

Paul Emery

I don't give Beck that much credit or consider him a potential threat as far as becoming some kind of dictator . I just consider him a flim flam man, an opportunist who doesn't care about anything but his own opportunity to become famous and make money. I can't think of any other justification for his boasting of killing with shovels or strangulation other than that he must believe that his somewhat twisted core followers will get off on it enabling him to be more famous and make more money. He struck a chord obviously and now has a much larger following than the core idiots that first enjoyed his disgusting rants so I would expect a kinder, gentler Glenn Beck till he peaks and, like Rush Limbaugh extends his entertainment career by thinking of clever variations of his old themes. No doubt, he's a very smart and talented comic but I don't see him becoming any kind of nationalistic leader beyond his current role as cheer leader for the angry right.

What I don't understand George is why people in countries such as Denmark, where I've spent considerable time, seem so happy and heathy and don't at all seem oppressed and enslaved by their socialistic secular humanistic government. They are healthier, have a much lower crime rate, much better infant mortality numbers, longer life spans, have a better education . and have higher percentage of home ownership than us. Perhaps they are unaware of their situation like a frog in a slowly warming pot of water. Sure seems like a nice place to me. You don't have to worry about going bankrupt if you have a health emergency and life seems pretty good. Help me understand this from you're perspective.

Steven Frisch

I was not considering Mr. Beck a threat to the Union. I was responding to George's fascinating dystopian vision of history. His Utopian vision of a perfect Laissez-fair capitalist society has never existed.

Paul Emery

I agree. It's a pretty romantic vision. Perhaps America in the 19th Century when there was free land and cheap immigrant labor before anti trust laws made monopoly's inconvenient. Colonialism was pretty cool. Lots of cheap raw resources and free slave labor and no government interference just rich European family dynasties sucking up human and natural resources with no inconvenient government restrictions. Where's the modern example? China ? Saudi Arabia. Certainly not Europe. Perhaps Russia or some ....stan. I don't know. South America-Antarctica...

Paul Emery

I called this one right. A kinder, gentler Glenn Beck Perhaps a compassionate conservative.

RL Crabb

Well, Steve beat me to the punch with his list of former right wing dictators, Franco and Pinochet being some of the worst examples. You could add Batista, the Shah, and a few others that were backed by Democratic and Republican administrations and have led us to being the "Great Satan" today.

To be fair, many of Obama's problems are of his own making. You can't say you're reaching across the aisle with one hand and then blame them for every problem you face with the other. Glenn Beck's popularity feeds on the frustration of the American public and the uncertainty so many feel as we crawl into another decade. Too much time wasted on health care instead of reforming our convoluted tax system, social security, border security, etc. etc.

I do believe the stimulus helped some to keep the country from sliding into a depression, but the perception is that the Dems were paying off their debt to the unions and government bureaucrats at the expense of the free market. If he had paid more attention to those concerns Glenn Beck would still be a backwater DJ.

D. King

Of course, if any of you had actually watched Beck,
you would have seen this:

Revolutionary Holocaust

There are 6 segments, here is the first.


Russ Steele

Heritage Foundations has developed and Economic Freedom Index. Look at the Government spending and individual tax burden.

Denmark’s economic freedom score is 77.9, making its economy the 9th freest in the 2010 Index. Its overall score is 1.7 points lower than last year, due mainly to reduced scores in monetary freedom, property rights, and labor freedom. Denmark is now ranked 3rd freest among the 43 countries in the European region, and its overall score is well above the regional average.

Denmark’s modern and competitive economy performs well on many of the 10 economic freedoms, enhancing entrepreneurship and macroeconomic stability. The country has a strong tradition of openness to global trade and investment, and transparent and efficient regulations are applied evenly in most cases. Denmark also boasts an efficient, independent judiciary that protects property rights, and the level of corruption is extraordinarily low. The financial sector is competitive, and its efficiency is supported by prudent lending practices and sound oversight. The impact of the global financial crisis on the banking sector has been relatively small.

Two significant weaknesses continue to hold down Denmark’s overall economic freedom. Despite a gradual decline over the past years, government spending remains over 50 percent of GDP. While the corporate tax rate is moderate, personal income taxes are very high, and the overall tax burden is significant.


Denmark’s strong economy depends heavily on foreign trade, and the private sector is characterized by many small and medium-size companies. A large welfare state provides public education, lifelong health care coverage, and subsidized care for children and the elderly. Relations between Denmark and the Muslim world have been precarious ever since September 2005 when several cartoon caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were printed in Danish newspapers. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen resigned in April 2009 to become Secretary General of NATO and was succeeded as prime minister by former Minister of Finance Lars Løkke Rasmussen.


The overall freedom to start, operate, and close a business is well protected under Denmark’s regulatory environment. Starting a business takes an average of six days, compared to the world average of 35 days. Obtaining a business license requires much less than the world average of 18 procedures and 218 days.


Denmark’s trade policy is the same as that of other members of the European Union. The common EU weighted average tariff rate was 1.3 percent in 2008. However, the EU has high or escalating tariffs for agricultural and manufacturing products, and its MFN tariff code is complex. Non-tariff barriers reflected in EU and Danish policy include agricultural and manufacturing subsidies, quotas, import restrictions and bans for some goods and services, market access restrictions in some services sectors, non-transparent and restrictive regulations and standards, and inconsistent regulatory and customs administration among EU members. The lack of transparency in pharmaceuticals regulation exceeds EU policy. Ten points were deducted from Denmark’s trade freedom score to account for non-tariff barriers.


Denmark has a very high income tax rate and a moderate corporate tax rate. The top income tax rate of 59 percent is scheduled to be lowered to 51.5 percent in January 2010. The top corporate tax rate is 25 percent. County municipal taxes range from 22.7 percent to 27.8 percent. State taxes vary from 5 percent to 15 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT), a vehicle tax, and an 8 percent health tax. In the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 49.5 percent.


Total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, are very high. In the most recent year, government spending equaled 51 percent of GDP. Most industries and businesses are now in private hands.


Inflation has been relatively low, averaging 2.9 percent between 2006 and 2008. As a participant in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, the government subsidizes agricultural production, distorting the prices of agricultural products. Medications are heavily subsidized, and rents are generally fixed by law. Ten points were deducted from Denmark’s monetary freedom score to account for policies that distort domestic prices.


As a rule, foreign direct investment is not restricted or prescreened, but Denmark restricts the establishment of companies that provide legal, accounting, auditing, and medical services. The investment code is relatively transparent, and bureaucracy is streamlined and transparent. Incentive financing is available to foreign and domestic businesses. There are no restrictions on converting or transferring investment-associated funds into or out of Denmark. EU citizens and companies from EU member states may purchase any type of real estate (except vacation properties) without prior authorization; non-EU citizens and companies not previously based in Denmark for at least five years need government permission.


Denmark’s financial system is competitive, though the two largest banks account for about 75 percent of assets. No banks are state-owned, and the central bank is independent. Supervision and regulation are based on EU legislation. The securities market is highly developed, and the bond market is one of the world’s largest. The global financial turmoil caused the collapse of several small and medium-sized banks. In October 2008, the parliament passed legislation calling for a joint financing program by private banks and the government. As a result of relatively prudent lending in a sound regulatory framework, Denmark has weathered the financial crisis with resilience.


The judiciary is independent and generally fair and efficient. Commercial and bankruptcy laws are consistently applied, and secured interests in property are recognized and enforced. Denmark adheres to key international conventions and treaties on the protection of intellectual property rights.


Denmark (along with two other countries) is ranked 1st out of 179 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2008 for the second year in a row. Denmark has signed the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crime has investigated the involvement of Danish firms in the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal.


Flexible labor regulations enhance employment opportunities and productivity growth. The non-salary cost of employing a worker is low, and dismissing an employee is relatively easy and inexpensive.

Paul Emery

Thanks Russ

So is this an example of a "socialistic secular humanistic government" that's on a path to becoming a Marxist dictatorship? My friends there are quite happy with the quality of life and never complain about lack of freedom or opportunity. And you don't lose the farm if you break an arm. High taxes, yes but, unlike this country you seem to get something for your toll.

Dixon Cruickshank

I will point out a couple points -

size does matter

demographics - no redistribution of wealth, what there is as pointed out by Paul has a return on invested $

if you look down that list - Business Freedom - Fiscal Freedom - Investment Freedom - Financial Freedom - Corruption - and Labor Freedom

Each of those points is directly opposite the direction this country is moving, maybe thats why it works

One other point is " One Size Fits All" only works with bath robes

Todd Juvinall

America has been led off track for a while. It is now trying to get back to what made us great. The liberal has diverted our attention with their agenda of shame, guilt and racism and it has not worked. When a million show up for a Sunday rally and the message is freedom and spirituality you need to pay attention. For every person at a meeting or rally, many stayed at home and watched and agreed. Sharpton's rally was a flop because it was simply another leftwing rant against the good things America is about. Whether it was Beck or any other right thinking American hosting the rally, I believe Americans are yearning for a return to sanity from the liberals who have usurped our country.

Paul Emery

So What's Rotten in Denmark ? Is this the type of European style socialism takeover that the Becksters are worried will lead to a Marxist dictatorship?

George Rebane

Gentlemen - I've tried to expand this discussion and more completely answer some questions put to me in the post 'Social Scaling'.

Mikey McD

C-SPAN COVERAGE (REPLAY): http://c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/08/28/HP/A/37551/Restoring+Honor+Rally.aspx

Dixon Cruickshank

No paul that was my point, nothing is rotten in Denamrk, they seem to be doing just fine - it just may not fit here and probably doesn't and won't. If you read my post, they are moving in totally different directions - easy on business - easy to fire people - low cost to hire people - moving to lower taxes - low corp tax rates - all are conpletely counter to all US policies and especially CA. Not sure what you think is really going right in this country right now as we move in this direction, none of what Russ posted about Denmark is happening here????

You think if you beat back Prop 23 and nobody listens to Beck that all the blacks, whites and hispanics will all be sitting around the campfire singing kumbaya - ya they might, but because the campfire is keeping the hobo stew warm - and the muslims will be bring roasted goat just like the indians on thanksgiving.

Exit question for all: I have a mortgage customer and friend in Springhill, Fl called me last year to maybe do a refi - his estimate was 205-210 owes 155K, keep in mind thats ghetto out there but not here. Keep in mind this was 2009 not 2006 as prices had already fallen, apprasial 183K - ouch, and with 11k due at closing we decided it was not a good idea.
He called this year as rates have fallen again (why), my processor calls an appraiser buddy that says 129K - I say NFW, does he have the address right?? As I questioned the appraiser so he didn't waste another $400 he went someplace else - new value 131K

Question - in the last 48 months, less time than a car loan - how much have you LOST on the value of the biggest investment and asset you have - 125K like him or maybe 300K out there. Paul how much are you willing to spend to see if Obama'a and Pelosi's ideas work here ???? - its been going out at clip of about 15K a month so far

just say'in

Mikey McD

I just finished watching much of the Restore Honor Rally. I found the rally extremely positive and worthy of applause (especially Glenn's conclusion and summary of the 40 day challenge). I have a lot more respect for Glenn Beck as a result.

I have never seen the mood of our nation this low and the Restore Honor Rally was a taste of the remedy for what ails us. George, thanks for sharing.

Dixon Cruickshank

Thats why I said agree or disagree, he deserves some credit, what it was about had no politics involved which I think the country needs.

Paul Emery


We can all agree that things are a mess. Thanks for the thoughtful dialogue. I have more on Denmark in the latest posting.

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