Why Is Danish Actor Mille Dinesen So Worried About Taxes in the US?

Mille Dinesen - Denmark TaxesSchool teacher Mille Dinesen is really upset about taxes in the United States!

I found out all about it when I was talking to William today. He mentioned that one of his clients (who appears to be a little unstable) saw his “Feel the Bern” bumper sticker and emailed him something about how horrible things are in Denmark. You see, both Sanders and Clinton have said nice things about Denmark. And we aren’t supposed to do that, because everyone knows that Fascist Italy was so much better. I did a quick Google search and found out that the text was taken from what was a viral meme that was supposedly written by a school teacher in Denmark, apparently Mille Dinesen, even though it was signed in some versions, “Mikkel Clair Nissen.” But you can see Mille Dinesen there on the left, and she’s the one displayed in the meme. See the chalkboard behind her?!

The meme has been thoroughly rebutted. PolitiFact, for example, went after the claim that the suicide rate in Denmark was two to three times higher than in the US. It turns out that the suicide rate in Denmark was higher in Denmark in 1960 through 1990. But it has steadily decreased. And the US suicide rate has gone up steadily (though not as drastically). So now the suicide rate in the US is substantially higher than it is in the Denmark. Oh well.

But mostly the thing is about how terrible the taxes are. This is a typical conservative thing. What if the government taxed you at 90% and then gave the money back to you? That is, in fact, largely what the government does. Conservatives have this idea that the government takes money and just wastes it. But if that money is used to make people better off, then the rate of taxes is not a big deal. One problem we have here in the US is that we tax a great deal so that we can spend roughly as much on our military as the rest of the world combined.

Last year, Matt Bruenig wrote a very interesting article, When Is It Better Not to Be in America? It looks at the Luxembourg Income Survey data to determine how much disposable income people have at different places in the income distribution. And it turns out that people in the bottom one-third of the income scale do better in Denmark than they do in the US. And it is the opposite for the people at the top. As Bruenig noted, “We treat our rich well. Nobody can deny that.”

He goes on to note that the harm of taking money away from the wealthy is more than offset by the good that is done by giving the poor money. Not that this is the final word on the subject or anything. But the fact that cars are taxed at 180% in Denmark is totally irrelevant. The point of the meme isn’t to make people think about Denmark — it is to make people not think about America.

Mikkel Clair Nissen or Mille Dinesen — Whatever!

But there’s a funny thing about that school teacher. That isn’t a school teacher. It is Danish actor Mille Dinesen in the title role of the Danish television show Rita about a “headstrong and unconventional teacher and single mother.” (These are the kind of jobs that TinEye reverse image searches are great for!) I’m sure the writer (who appears to be just another libertarian loon) did a Google image search on “Danish teacher” and grabbed it. He is from Denmark. But he might have bigger problems than pretending to be a school teacher on television. This is from his Facebook page:

Hi folks, as I have mentioned earlier, I left the US a month ago to find out what was going on with my children. Unfortunately all in avail. I don’t feel safe in Denmark, I therefore left for Spain after only a week in Denmark and now reside in Spain where I am working in a night club. Well, this is just an update, as well as a thanks to all of you who have supported me through hard times.

Sounds a bit like Alex Jones, “I don’t feel safe in Denmark”! But I wonder why it is that people on the political right find it necessary to cherry pick data and generally distort reality in order to make their case. Oh, I’m kidding! They do it because their ideas are bad. But I’ll admit: if I have to wade through rubbish, I’d rather look at Mille Dinesen than Mikkel Clair Nissen.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

15 thoughts on “Why Is Danish Actor Mille Dinesen So Worried About Taxes in the US?

  1. Now I’m worried about the guy. Per the Snopes post Politifact references, he basically just swiped the photo and opening line from an earlier meme graphic. He has a self-published book which, on his website, he says the leading Danish conservative publication refuses to review. Also some YouTube videos where he seems eerily calm (I watched about 60 seconds of one, and now I’m gonna have nightmares.) And anyone who doesn’t feel “safe” in a rich European country is basically referring to immigrants.

    This all kind of fits the Anders Brevik profile. It’s almost certainly someone in need of some high-strength antipsychotic medications. But apparently he’s furious about such medication (my dad was the same way.) He rants over Denmark’s high rate of antidepressant use — it is high, but so is the country’s latitude, meaning in winter SAD must bother many people. At winter solstice in Copenhagen, the day is only seven hours long. (And other Scandinavian countries are even further north!)

    Lot of madness out there. I’m trying to go harmlessly insane, myself!

    • Anders Brevik?! Yikes. Let’s hope not.

      In the PolitiFact piece, the guy said depression was down because people were medicated. This, of course, begs the question. There was a problem in Denmark and through government healthcare, it was greatly reduced. But that’s the thing about supposedly smart conservatives. They aren’t really any more open to facts than this latest loon ranting about what a racist I am.

  2. Hmmmm…that throw away line about having to go to Denmark to look for his kids made me wonder…Sounds like he is MRA. There is a massive amount of overlap.

    And you typically only lose all access to your kids if you are violent or sexually abusive.

    Which means it is not a surprise he is all about “FREEDOM” because that means that the people in his life cannot escape his behavior. Also, how on earth do you feel unsafe in Denmark?

    • There’s a weird thing parents commonly do there. They’ll put infants in a car seat and leave them out in the backyard on warm summer afternoons for a nap. The parents will then go back inside to cook, watch TV, work on the computer, whatever. It’s not to shut the infants up, just a belief that the outdoor air is good for them. Can you imagine an American parent doing such a thing?

    • I thought the same thing about the MRA aspect of it. I hadn’t thought about the rest. I just assumed his wife ran away because he was so awful. But you are probably right; there is probably an official aspect of this. I almost want to read his book, but his thesis is so loony, I doubt I would make it very far. According to him socialists are narcissists. In my experience, libertarians are the most narcissist people on the planet. You especially see that with people who make a bunch of money and then discover libertarianism. But whatever. I’ve seen so many people like that it’s ultimately boring.

      • They are all the same-they think they know the truth, say the exact same thing and are just as pretentiously condescending to anyone who doesn’t agree.

        • True. I but I think I more or less know the truth. But I’m not stupid enough to think if I just lay out my reasons for thinking something then everyone will join me. Libertarianism is filled with subgeniuses.

          • I think it is more you aren’t arrogant enough. Arrogance is another thing that I see much of in the libertarian movement.

            • I’m still pretty arrogant — kind of depends on my mood. But I was far more arrogant when I was younger. As I say a lot, I’ve found aging to be overall a good thing.

              • Having not dealt with you in person, you don’t appear to be all that arrogant online. Maybe things will be different in person.

                • I think I’m far more arrogant online than in real life. I think I’m self-effacing in person. But you’d have to ask my friends. And it depends upon how I’m feeling about myself. Good question. I’ll have to think about that…

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