Nonfiction: Populace Asked to Pay for Public Spending

It’s remarkable how often contemporary Danish politics has mirrored the action in “Borgen,” a serial drama from that country that has been popular with American streaming audiences. If only the U.S. could learn something from a recent attempt at sane governing by the real-life female prime minister, Mette Frederiksen. Faced with expected increases in Denmark’s military budget–largely to respond to a new European security emphasis after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine–she is asking her nation to make a tradeoff: Give up an annual holiday, the centuries-old Great Prayer Day, in order to raise additional tax revenue from the expected commercial activity in its place.  Imagine, a politician suggesting you (not just “the rich”) pay for some new expenditure! As this New York Times report notes, the idea faces opposition from various labor and leftist elements, as well as clergy. Frederiksen has a parliamentary majority but, as Borgen watchers know, the Danes govern through layers of loyalty.  As we here look forward to another national holiday on Monday–because New Year’s falls on one of our (historically religious) Sundays–might we think of at least not continuing to add days off to the American calendar?

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Published by timwferguson

Longtime writer-editor, focusing on topics of business and policy, global and local.

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