Denmark features in US presidential debate

Bernie Sanders uses the Danes as an example for better parental rights

Denmark ended up stealing a little bit of the focus during last night’s US Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas involving five potential Democrat presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont who has captivated a large part of the US with his progressive stance on social equality, universal healthcare, parental leave, gay rights and climate change, named Denmark as a nation that the US could learn from.

“You see every other major country saying to moms that when you have a baby, we are not going to separate you from your new-born baby because we are going to have medical and family-paid leave, like every other country on Earth,” said Sanders.

“Those are some of the principles that I believe in, and I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn what they’ve accomplished for their working people.”

READ MORE: Rufus Gifford: US can learn from Danish elections

Top 1 percent
Sanders went on to explain it was immoral and wrong that the top one tenth of the wealthiest 1 percent of the US owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent and that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.

But Sanders’ argument was rebutted by Clinton with a Denmark reference of her own. She contended it was important the US does not turn its back on “the greatest middle class in the history of the world”.

“What Senator Sanders is saying certainly makes sense in terms of the inequality that we have, but we are not Denmark,” Clinton said.

“I love Denmark, but we are the USA and it’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so that it doesn’t run amok and doesn’t cause the kind of inequities that we are seeing in our economic system.”