As a share of G.D.P., Denmark’s coronavirus relief spending is a bit less than America’s, but it seems more effective at protecting the population.
The upshot is that Denmark staggered through the pandemic with employees still on the payroll and still paying rent. As the economy sputters back to life, Danish companies are in a position to bounce back quickly without the cost of having to rehire workers.
“We can be up and running in a week, back where we were,” explained Peter Lykke Nielsen, a negotiator for unionized workers at hamburger chains. This European approach to avoiding unemployment won admiration in Washington, and not exclusively from liberals: Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, advocates something similar in the United States.