Why Denmark Loves Globalization

High taxes, a welfare state, strong unions: how an unlikely formula delivers for the Danes

Joern Vanhoefen / Ostkreuz

Denmark's homogeneity affords a unique combination of flexibility and cohesiveness.

Last year Danish toymaker Lego announced plans to outsource most of its manufacturing to Eastern Europe and Mexico. Of 1,200 blue collar jobs at Lego's headquarters in the town of Billund, only about 300 would remain.

You might think this would make union leaders at Lego hopping mad. You'd be wrong. "We thought it was the best way to keep as many workers' places in Denmark as possible," maintenance man and union shop steward Poul Erik Pedersen tells me. "We aren't against the management. We want to make sure that they make money and we make money." Then, unprompted, he takes...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!