Progressives in the US want to turn the US into a European style social democracy. Much more cradle to grave government assistance than we already have.

What the US Can Learn From Denmark About Inequality and Social Mobility

Denmark has many generous social policies that American progressives seek to emulate. Yet Denmark also has substantial inequality of child outcomes across social and economic classes comparable in magnitude to those in the US.
How can this be? Is the market better than the clumsy hand of the State in child outcomes?

Progressive advocates in the US often point to Denmark as a model welfare state with low levels of income inequality and high levels of social mobility in income across generations. Denmark has many generous social policies in place that progressives currently seek to emulate: There are well-funded social security, disability, and unemployment programs, and inequality in disposable income is much lower than in the US.

The Danish policies now advocated for adoption in the US include free college tuition, universal access to high-quality health care, equal per-pupil expenditures across all neighborhoods, universal high-quality pre- K, and generous childcare and maternity leave policy.

Advocates should note, however, that despite generous social policies and equality in access for all citizens, substantial inequality of child outcomes remains across social and economic classes in Denmark. Family influence on many child outcomes in Denmark is comparable in magnitude to those in the US. For example, children of college-educated women do substantially better than children of high school dropouts on many dimensions in both countries.

The Role of the Family

Common forces are at work in both countries that are not easily mitigated by welfare state policies. One overarching conclusion from our study is that formal equality in access does not guarantee equality of opportunity. More advantaged families are better able to access and utilize programs, even when these are universally available. The most apparent channel through which this is manifested is sorting by social class. Increasing sorting in neighborhoods by family status is a well-documented trend in the US. Comparable patterns are at work in Denmark. People with similar socioeconomic attributes increasingly tend to cluster together.

The result is that—even in Denmark, where most children attend public schools for which expenses are equalized at the national level—more advantaged families are better able to influence the quality of their children’s schools. Not only are families sorted by family resources, but there is also a strong positive association between the characteristics of parents and the characteristics of teachers. The most able teachers work in schools with the most affluent student body despite equality in expenditure and salaries across schools.

Universal provision of public services does not necessarily mitigate advantages and may even exacerbate inequality due to the operation of Matthew Effects:

“to those who have, more is given.”
—Matthew 25:29 RSV

Generous provision of social services does not eliminate inequality in many important life outcomes across generations. The origins of inequality and social mobility lie elsewhere. Families shape child outcomes. And families operate through multiple channels. They do so both through direct parental interactions with children in stimulating child learning, personality, and behaviors through choice of neighborhoods and thereby the quality of institutions and peers; and through guidance on important lifetime decisions.

Educational Mobility is Similar in Denmark and the US

One of the most striking policy differences between Denmark and the US is in the educational system, where Denmark has tuition-free education from pre-K to PhD and gives generous education support.

Yet, contrary to conventional wisdom, the differences in the Danish welfare state and that of the US are not reflected in intergenerational educational mobility. Despite the more generous Danish policies, the association between children’s and their parents’ education is roughly the same in the two countries.
Since equal Danish provision of services does not eliminate inequality in many important life outcomes, an uncritical adoption of Danish policy initiatives is not an effective way to ensure equality of opportunity. Universal programs benefit advantaged families.

Read the rest of the article at the link.

Something else. European universities tend to offer a less quality education than those in the US. Probably because they are "free."