Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, was just ranked the ninth most livable city in the world.
Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, has been the epicenter of violent protests against President Nicolás Maduro, and the country’s economy is in shambles as Venezuelans grapple with historically high inflation rates.
Yet Fox Business Network anchor Trish Regan attempted to liken Denmark and Venezuela in a segment last week dedicated to “socialism in Denmark.”
After criticizing the Scandinavian country’s high tax rate, which pays for social services like free child care and free college tuition (students receive a check from the government), Regan said, “Denmark, like Venezuela, has stripped people of their opportunities. Is that the direction we want to go in?”
The Fox Business anchor also said no one in the European country wants to work and that “one person who studied Denmark” said that young people are interested in opening “cupcake cafes.”
“Nothing wrong with cupcakes,” Regan said, laughing. “I think Magnolia here in New York is pretty successful, but in other words, nobody’s incentivized to do anything because they’re not going to be rewarded.”
But Danish government officials say the country is not a socialist nation, and the U.S. State Department identifies Denmark as a “social welfare state with a thoroughly modern, services-based economy.” Danish officials considered Fox Business’ report so flawed that they called out Regan on Twitter, citing international rankings in which the European nation outpaces most other countries, including the U.S. And, because the country is also listed as one of the happiest in the world, they did so with smiling emojis.
“We are working much more than Americans and at the same time ranking as the worlds best in Work-Life-Balance,” Kristian Jensen, Denmark’s finance minister, tweeted on Monday. “You should come to Denmark if you dare be confronted with facts.”
Lars Gert Lose, Denmark’s ambassador to the U.S., also criticized Regan’s report by tweeting a simple one-pager filled with basic facts about Denmark. He also referenced a 2017 U.S. News & World Report article that ranked Denmark No. 4 as a “market-oriented country [that’s] a haven for capitalists and corporations” due to elements of its open economy, including minimal tariffs on foreign goods, light regulation on businesses and a low corporate tax rate.
The same article ranked the United States No. 43 in the world.
Lose also poked fun at Regan’s comment about young Danes wanting to open cupcake cafes, saying she might be disappointed by the lack of such shops if she visits.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index of 2018, which ranked livable cities, made Copenhagen one of two European cities (behind No. 1 Vienna) to appear in the top 10. No U.S. city received that distinction.
Caracas experienced one of the top 5 biggest declines in livability over the last five years, ranking No. 126 out of 140 in the Economist Intelligence Unit list.
Regan addressed the segment on Fox Business Tuesday, saying that she wanted to clarify her remarks.
“Just to be clear, I was never implying that conditions in Denmark were similar in any way to the current tragedy on the ground there in Venezuela,” she said. “I was merely pointing out, using reports from The Atlantic, The Independent and other publications, that socialism is not the way.”
Check out Regan’s original segment on Denmark below.