First reactions to
on the Danish welfare state
Thank you so much for reminding me of Denmark and the
power of the people.
It made me miss Copenhagen SO MUCH!! I am totally in
the American trap-game.. .working pretty constantly to
pay back the loans I got to pay for school. I am a nurse
but there are no benefits available at the job I have had
since September of '96 so I have no health insurance or
paid vacation. It is ridiculous, eh! I work in a hospital
where many employees have worked 10 or more years and
still don't have benefits. It is disgraceful, like you
Maybe I shouldn't have divorced my immigrant-danish
citizen husband. I am planning to get married in July. To
a yank. He is pretty a-political and I can't imagine him
EVER protesting or marching or anything like that. I
guess he is fairly conservative. Anyway, any idea on how
I could get legal permission to move back to DK?
Thank you again Jacob. You have really done some
important work in your lifetime. You should be proud of
Honestly. Kys og knus, Diane xxx
I really appreciate your sending me a copy of your
thoughts and explanation of what is going on in your
country. I want to respond in a more detailed way, but
need to give some more thought to this subject as it does
hit a deep nerve, being that I am a long term
conservative republican, with many traditional ideas.
Your arguments all sound well and good, but something
seems to be missing and that is what I need to think
about. Many questions come to mind, but I can't put it
all together yet. This would be a good subject for face
to face discussion.
Talk to you later.
Thank you for such a thought-provoking story. It did
not make me defensive, but rather sad. I will share it
with as many Americans as possible.
Much love to you. Debra.
Sit down and edit this immediately!!! You're a very
powerful writer; get it as clear and sharp as you can.
I'm going to submit it to the New York Times for an
editoral. Did you know I've been getting good work from
them? And the art director of the op-ed pages is starting
to be a good friend of mine. We went drinking til 4am the
other day after he won a gold award for his design of the
pages. When you're article goes for publication, I'm
going to try to talk Nicholas into letting me illustrate
it (although for some odd reason, he usually doesn't give
me political stories...hmmm)
Do it! Edit it now. I was about to do it myself, but I
think you are much better. It's a brilliant piece, and
I'm forwarding it (lightly editted) to Ludmila, Partha,
Karel (who I don't talk to anymore), and other friends. I
read it last night to Raymond.
Get it to me as soon as you can. I would like to email
to the editors on Monday. Can you???
I thought the piece is so damn good. And I laughed at
how you hoped you could get our goats. The only thing I'm
defensive about is that I know I'M the only one Anna
spoke to while she was here of your friends, and
HOW did she get the sad impression that I didn't know
what was going on?
OK, I didn't. But I was filled with admiration for the
crazy Danes, and terribly bitter about the pathetic
plight of us because I remember slaving away and not able
to ever get vacation because you had to work for a year
before you got one week, and I always quit before a year
was up. It sucked. Now, I'm in business for myself, and I
can't get away at all!!! I also don't want to!
Edit it! if not, I'm going to send the whole damn
thing and let them do it. Be sure the tone you use is
scolding. That's nice and effective. I don't mind because
I know you aren't talking about me.
I read half to Raymond and it is incredibly effective.
You really must realize that we being in this situation
are often quite blind to how things are. I always knew
Denmark was very socialist, had a good welfare system,
etc, but I NEVER saw the parallels until you held them up
side by side. I always thought, and unfortunately still
think, that we here are utterly hopeless, but you, the
forever romantic and optimist, ALMOST imbue me with a
sense that all is not lost.
I read your email, and really, I felt just
that--encouragement, and then hopelessness. And of
course, admiration for the Danes. But I wonder what the
response would be if you published this piece in America
and in Denmark. I would like to then hold up the letters
in response side by side, too.
I want everyone to read your article. I don't know why
and how it can be that what sounds so reasonable from you
in Denmark seems a bit idealist if I try to envision it
happening here. The mentality has been for so long so
selfish, so corporate. How are you going to knock it
down? Well, the tobacco industry is slowly starting to
I wish I saved this article for you. The ultra rich
are taking courses on philanthrophy. I just wish I could
let you see their syllabus! The courses are, of course,
very expensive, and the roster of students are carefully
picked to weed out those who just wish to hobnob with the
By the way, the very rich in New York are not
Americans. We seem to be losing apartment bids to fucking
wealthy Russians. Unbelievable! And look at the richest
people I know here: Swiss, a few Asians, Italians...
maybe a few from Connecticut, but...
I love that yeast story, and we hear NOTHING about
your pigs, chickens, etc. I have been scanning the paper
for anything about your strike, and only YESTERDAY did it
show up, a tiny little piece talking about the strike
which was in it's nth week (I forgot what it said). It
was so uninformative that it could have been something
written by me. But today, I could have written it
OK! I'm so glad that it takes a state of chaos to tear
you away from your dusty genealogy books.
love you always, you romantic! Oh, and by the way, did
you notice I never sent you any articles on Clinton's
penis? just jokes, but otherwise, I was so so so totally
uninterested. Anyway, I am immune to anything bad you say
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