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Greetings From Iceland, Land of the $32,000 Minimum Wage

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    My wife and I are currently enjoying a holiday in Iceland and are having a spectacular time. It's one of the most friendly and welcoming countries we have visited, not to mention one of the most stunning and awe-inspiring places in the world.

    I'll save tales of our adventures in this beautiful country for family and friends, but one thing I can't get over is how every single working age person in this country makes a minimum of 280,000 ISK ($2,700) per month. Those working in Reykjavik (the capitol city) earn far more than that.

    And don't even get me started about their universal healthcare, government funded schooling (where children learn a minimum of three languages), and prison system that has fewer total prisoners in their entire country than a typical American prison in one town.

    We Americans could learn a lot from this Nordic country, but I'm sure we won't. No, we Americans love watching the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That's the American dream...

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    You mean me? I can change tires and do oil changes, I'll get $32K a year?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Yep. And get a pension and high quality healthcare to boot.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: Yep. And get a pension and high quality healthcare to boot.
    I'm glad that you visited Iceland; it is one of the Scandinavian countries which have similar social services; I've "hammered on these things a million times and am glad you finally have seen that it works. I hope you have opened your eyes about all the things I wrote in the past. If you see the corruption here, especially with elections as well the Supreme Court election circus, then you must be screaming by now about the huge mess in this country. Corrupt to the bone!!
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    My wife and I are currently enjoying a holiday in Iceland and are having a spectacular time. It's one of the most friendly and welcoming countries we have visited, not to mention one of the most stunning and awe-inspiring places in the world.

    I'll save tales of our adventures in this beautiful country for family and friends, but one thing I can't get over is how every single working age person in this country makes a minimum of 280,000 ISK ($2,700) per month. Those working in Reykjavik (the capitol city) earn far more than that.

    And don't even get me started about their universal healthcare, government funded schooling (where children learn a minimum of three languages), and prison system that has fewer total prisoners in their entire country than a typical American prison in one town.

    We Americans could learn a lot from this Nordic country, but I'm sure we won't. No, we Americans love watching the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That's the American dream...

    Jared, I told you so; glad you've seen it with eyes wide open. Yes, I also had to learn 4 languages; that is normal in European countries of which Iceland is part of.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Iceland has moved people into the picture that used to be only profit.

    "Changes have also been made to safeguard the interests of customers, shareholders and the wider economy. While these legal parameters are relatively weak, they indicate an adjustment in outlook and a shift in how banks operate in order to better serve society."

    worldfinance.com/special-reports/failin...

    The only problem for me with Iceland is filling a bathtub with water directly from the geothermal heated wells is the challenging aroma.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Glad you got to visit such a beautiful place. Sounds amazing.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    I'm from Ohio and winter was dirty. Iceland doesn't burn fossil fuels and the snow is always white and lights from towns 20 or more sparkle crystal clear.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Jared, Check out the blankets. The Icelandic wool is like cashmere.

    "It is fine, soft as cashmere and lustrous. With a 65-70's count, or 20-21 microns, it is classified as a fine wool."

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: I'm glad that you visited Iceland; it is one of the Scandinavian countries which have similar social services; I've "hammered on these things a million times and am glad you finally have seen that it works. I hope you have opened your eyes about all the things I wrote in the past. If you see the corruption here, especially with elections as well the Supreme Court election circus, then you must be screaming by now about the huge mess in this country. Corrupt to the bone!!

    My eyes have been opened for quite some time. This certainly isn't my first visit to a country with a strong social safety net. Hell - my wife and I have discussed moving to Ireland or some other European country on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans don't have dual citizenship like my bride and aren't able to pick and choose what country they live in.

    I would love nothing more than to see the Scandinavian model in the United States, but I'm also well aware that we are heading in the exact opposite direction as a society thanks to Bernie or busters and the near fifty percent of non-voters who would rather watch "Dancing With the Stars" than participate in our democracy.

    We get the government we deserve. If we actually wanted a society where we take care of the poor, have a strong safety net for all, and high quality health coverage for all then maybe we should start voting like it.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: The only problem for me with Iceland is filling a bathtub with water directly from the geothermal heated wells is the challenging aroma.

    You get used to the smell after awhile.

    We've been to a number of geothermal pools during the trip and they are 1,000 times better than any hot tub I've been in.

  • Brooks, AB
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    My eyes have been opened for quite some time. This certainly isn't my first visit to a country with a strong social safety net. Hell - my wife and I have discussed moving to Ireland or some other European country on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans don't have dual citizenship like my bride and aren't able to pick and choose what country they live in.

    I would love nothing more than to see the Scandinavian model in the United States, but I'm also well aware that we are heading in the exact opposite direction as a society thanks to Bernie or busters and the near fifty percent of non-voters who would rather watch "Dancing With the Stars" than participate in our democracy.

    We get the government we deserve. If we actually wanted a society where we take care of the poor, have a strong safety net for all, and high quality health coverage for all then maybe we should start voting like it.

    It seems you are having a great time in Iceland. I think one of the interesting features of progressive countries is that the incentive to work is still quite strong. Well designed social programs do not turn most of us into freeloaders. All those crummy, yet necessary, jobs are still be done in Iceland as elsewhere in the world.

    But our systems of governance--to find wise progressive governments--are not there. It is time to look at alternatives. Until Americans start looking at alternatives, expect more dysfunctional government.

    I would say that if Iceland's version of democracy were somehow implemented in the USA, the USA would still not get Icelandic results. The USA needs radical change. And I believe it will be the nation that shows the rest of the world how to do it.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dave Volek Wrote: It seems you are having a great time in Iceland. I think one of the interesting features of progressive countries is that the incentive to work is still quite strong. Well designed social programs do not turn most of us into freeloaders. All those crummy, yet necessary, jobs are still be done in Iceland as elsewhere in the world.

    But our systems of governance--to find wise progressive governments--are not there. It is time to look at alternatives. Until Americans start looking at alternatives, expect more dysfunctional government.

    I would say that if Iceland's version of democracy were somehow implemented in the USA, the USA would still not get Icelandic results. The USA needs radical change. And I believe it will be the nation that shows the rest of the world how to do it.

    Iceland's version of Democracy is wonderful, but I'm also well aware that Iceland is a country of 348,580 people.

    Fifty-four US cities have a larger population than all of Iceland and you can add three zeroes to the total population of Iceland to get a rough total of the US population. Add in the fact that Iceland is a parliamentary democracy with a fluid Constitution and you can see how difficult it will be for us here in the states to mirror their system.

  • Brooks, AB
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Iceland's version of Democracy is wonderful, but I'm also well aware that Iceland is a country of 348,580 people.

    Fifty-four US cities have a larger population than all of Iceland and you can add three zeroes to the total population of Iceland to get a rough total of the US population. Add in the fact that Iceland is a parliamentary democracy with a fluid Constitution and you can see how difficult it will be for us here in the states to mirror their system.

    Exactly. That is why the builders of the new system will have to work outside of that system. There's no sense joining a political party or being an ardent activist.

    As the builders experiment with various features of that new democracy, they will find out what works (and keep it) and what doesn't work (replace it). The "fluidity" of their new constitution will be something they will figure out.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    A beer shortage in Iceland because US & NATO soldiers finished off the stuff recently, they were there on exercises, which can build up a big thirst itself, but the inhabitants of Iceland really should stop bathing in the stuff.

    "Bars in downtown Reykjavík ran out of beer serving thirsty US sailors and marines"

    icelandmag.is/article/bars-downtown-rey...