Have the Danes Figured It Out?

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

Over a decade ago, Harvard Professor of Public Policy, Robert Putnam published E Pluibus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-First Century.  Although compiling his data in 2001, he neglected to publish this paper until 2007.  The stated reason was that, as a liberal Harvard professor, he did not like where the data took him.  In one “startling” discovery, Putnam noted:


In the short run, however, immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down’. Trust (even of one’s own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer. . .

Inter-racial trust is relatively high in homogeneous South Dakota and relatively low in heterogeneous San Francisco or Los Angeles. The more ethnically diverse the people we live around, the less we trust them. This pattern may be distressing normatively, but it seems to be consistent…

As it turns out, there is a lot of academic literature out there about ethnic homogeneity and the welfare state since Putnam’s observations and they confirm his observations.

And so it appears that Denmark, that bastion of a sort-of-socialist welfare state that Bernie Sanders likes to talk about, has finally gotten the news.  On June 5, voters go to the polls.  Mette Frederiksen’s left-leaning Social Democrats are poised to make gains making her Denmark’s youngest Prime Minister at age 41.  This would normally come as welcome news for European liberals who have been stymied in electoral results in Italy, Austria, Holland and throughout Central Europe.  But, they are not celebrating because it is Fredericksen and the liberal Social Democrats who have stolen the right’s thunder in Denmark when it comes to immigration.  When talking about “immigration” in Europe, we are talking about Islamic immigration.


In her recent biography, she said:

For me, it is becoming increasingly clear that the price of unregulated globalization, mass immigration and the free movement of labor is paid for by the lower classes…

This sounds suspiciously like the words we have heard from President Trump, although those of Fredericksen may be more eloquent.  But, her Social Democrats go much further than Trump.  For example, they:

  • advocate for a cap on “non-Western” immigration;
  • the expulsion of asylum seekers to a center for processing in North Africa;
  • insist that immigrants work 37 hours per week to receive benefits;
  • confiscation of jewelry from asylum seekers;
  • a burqa and niqab ban;
  • insist on handshakes at citizenship ceremonies regardless of religious belief and practice, and;
  • expulsion of criminal asylum seekers to an island in the North Sea.

She has reiterated her backing of a paradigm shift in Denmark’s immigration policy regarding asylum seekers from one of assimilation to one of repatriation.  She has appeared at events with Kristian Thulesen Dahl, leader of the right wing populist Denmark People’s Party and pledged to work with them.

In Europe and elsewhere, it is common to label any political party opposed to mass immigration as “extremist, “far right,” or “xenophobic.”  Admittedly, some of the furthest Right parties in Europe may be some flavor of unsavory.  However, Fredericksen’s Social Democrats are hardly “far right,” and extremely to the Left on the welfare state.


Economists like Milton Friedman and others have long argued that you can have high rates of immigration of unskilled labor, or you can have a welfare state, but you cannot have both.  Whether the unskilled migrants eventually bankrupt the welfare state is as yet unproven, what is proven that the reasons are deeper and more important- social and cultural.

Putnam’s findings are well-known in academic circles.  His research has been replicated in hopes of finding the opposite without success.  This is an inconvenient truth to the multicultural Left and their identity politics.  It is also why you will not hear too much about this in the mainstream media.  But one thing is certain and it has been supported by social science research: when social trust declines, voter support for the welfare state likewise declines.

Denmark’s rightward shift when it comes to immigration is the inevitable reaction in order to preserve their welfare state.  Hence, the Danes have figured it out- something today’s Democratic Party in the United States refuses to do.  Instead, we have presidential candidates proposing that a massive social welfare program- Medicare for All- be open to illegal immigrants.  As the Danes and Europe is finding out, you can have one or the other, but not both.

In any democracy, voters eventually get what they want.  In Denmark, voters decided they did not want to become a colony of Libya.  Will Americans come to a similar decision come 2020, or will we walk further down the path to socialism and mass illegal immigration and a complete breakdown of social trust?  Denmark should be an important lesson for all voters.




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