This is another “I read this and started thinking about it” post. So some guy on the internet stated that Obama wanted to raise taxes to 100%. Hmmm… first, that sounds more like what the Republicans want (are actively trying) to do to the middle class. Second, would that be so bad?
Where I’m from (SE Texas), the government is 6 of the top ten employers. We’re talking county, schools, universities, prisons, etc here. So more taxes mean more government JOBS (not welfare) and more government SPENDING on things that generate jobs, like highway construction and research and the billions of things that the government buys and does. Now, the government shouldn’t be a jobs program, but if there’s nothing else (like in SE Texas)…
Anyway, yes, I’m half joking, a 100% tax rate isn’t quite what I mean. But here’s an interesting blog post about a 90% top tax rate (which, BTW, this country has done).
But what I was thinking about is really standard of living. I know that some European countries have very high taxes and some of them have the highest standards of living in the world. So I thought I would put together a little information about standard of living and tax rates.
First, a disclaimer. Tax rates are not easy to even estimate. Every country seems to have variable rates depending on variable factors and many (like the US) seem to have effective tax rates that are much lower than the actual tax rate. I make no claims as to any meaning behind this… it’s just… interesting. (And remember my correlation versus causation talk yesterday?)
So, the nation with the highest standard of living in the world is…
Norway! Yes, Norway, where the sun doesn’t shine and the snow is there to stay. It’s tax rate? Corporate is 28%, Individual ranges from 0-47.8%, Payroll tax ranges from 0-14% and there’s a 25% sales tax on everything except food (14%) and transportation (8%). That’s a fair bit of taxes. Let’s compare with the US.
The United States of America is 4th on the list of countries with the highest standard of living. Corporate taxes range from 0-39%, Individual from 0-35%, Payroll from 2.9-17.3%, and sales taxes from 0-10.25%.
That’s not a terrible comparison.
Let’s look at number 10 on the list of highest standard of living (as I write this, I don’t know what #10 is.) Interesting, it’s Sweden. Sweden has a Corporate rate of 26.3%, individual rate of 0-57%, payroll of 31.42% (woah!), and sales taxes of either 25%, 12%, or 6%.
Hmmm… This is an interesting exercise, but I don’t think we can draw much from it. Nevermind. Sometimes researching things doesn’t help and sometimes experiments show your ideas are wrong.
Here’s the links: