We are at La Ferme des Trois Ours, a Vallorcine restaurant, cooking up slabs of beef and lamb and duck on a hot plate, a raclette of sorts from this region of the Alps–a pierette–and we discuss a total contradiction–
How is it that the Danes are simultaneously the most taxed and happiest people on the planet?
To debate the issue, we have two of my uncle Roland’s colleagues from Denmark, up for an evening at his mountain home–a place, mind you, that has beams dating back from 1776, if not earlier, meaning it’s got a lot of history in its walls–and together, the five of us with my aunt Nathalie, listen to tales from Johnny Dep’s and Chris Martin’s doppelgängers about how in Denmark, a car is taxed something ridiculous, like 200%.
But, it works.
For whatever reason, socialism in Denmark thrives, at least, much more so than in other EU countries, like France, and we wonder what it is about the Danes that make their culture + socialism = success.
This little revelation minds me of the lessons learned in Africa, namely that the underlying home culture colors how a given system overlays and overlaps with it, the determining factor in whether (fill in the blank) makes sense or not.
Curious, then, to toggle back and forth between the cultural differences between the Danes and the French, wondering if northern people are simply more pragmatic than their Latin fireballs of counterparts, or if, as so many claim, it is a matter of immigration, or, maybe, it’s more so a matter entitlement, of work ethic, of understanding the bigger picture.