Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

04 September 2011

Is the U.S. More Socialist than Scandinavia?

It is in that we have a more progressive overall tax system than the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden do.

In Denmark, the poorest 30% pay 14.1% of all taxes.  In the United States, the poorest 30% pay only 6.1% of taxes.  In Denmark, the richest 30% pay 48.7% of all taxes.  But in the United States, the richest 30% are soaked for 65.3% of all taxes.

Our poorest 30% in the U.S. pay only 43% of the portion of all taxes paid by the poorest 30% in Denmark, which most Americans assume is much more socialist than we are.  Meanwhile, our richest 30% pay 34% more of the total tax burden than do the richest 30% in Denmark.  These are not small differences in the degree of our socialism.  They are Titanic, with Titanic consequences.  We are more into the envy of class warfare than are the Scandinavians!

The United States has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world.  None of the Scandinavian countries are as bad at soaking their richer citizens and at giving their poorer citizens a pass in taking responsibility for the costs of the very government programs on which they have an equal vote.  Americans are clearly living the socialist dream that those with the greatest income will carry those with less income.  We are living by the socialist mantra that each shall provide to the rulers according to their means.  The rulers will then use the money to subsidize those they who will support them politically with votes or money and to provide distracting circuses.

As with all countries that have tried to live by socialist principles, we are finding that many of the more able or willing to produce are having second thoughts.  We are finding that some of the more able and responsible shrug and retire early.  Or that some simply slowdown and hold their cards until such blithering fools as Obama and Harry Reid are removed from their positions in the 2012 elections.  The majority of businessmen are in such a holding phase just now.  Our economy is in the doldrums as a result and we will not see any growth either until after the November 2012 elections with an Obama loss or until it is absolutely clear that he will lose.  Atlas has Shrugged and is waiting to see if he should put the World back on his shoulder at a later time.

The tax comparisons come from Government vs. Markets: The Changing Economic Role of the State (2011) by Vito Tanzi.  Tanzi is a senior economic official of the IMF.  The tax burden numbers for Denmark and the United States are given by Richard W. Rahn from an article published in the Washington Times on 31 August 2011.  That article also appears on the CATO Institute website here.


Anonymous said...

2012 will fix everything? Right, remove one corporate puppet with another, the hollowman, the man with thousands scripts and as many opinions on any matter.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Of course 2012 will not fix everything even if Obama and Reid are removed from power. With Reid out, the Senate will at least produce a budget. Government will grow a bit more slowly under Romney than under Obama because he will at least care a bit about the size of the deficit. ObamaCare, if not overturned by the Supreme Court, will be mostly gutted with funding restrictions, though the 60 votes needed in the Senate to repeal it may not be possible. The anti-small business climate will be somewhat abated. The EPA and its anti-energy rulings will be reigned in. The NRLB will be constrained. Dodd-Frank will likely be somewhat improved, if not repealed.

It has taken us more than 100 years to develop the big government based on Progressive Elitism that we have. Romney is such an elitist himself. But, he does see a bigger role for the private sector than does Obama and this will help the economy and the cause of individual rights. The process of correcting the big government viewpoint will take many election cycles and the development of a whole new generation of politicians. We are stuck with Romney today because these more libertarian politicians do not now exist.

Even though the Tea Party is having some beneficial effect on reforming parts of the Republican Party, its work has a long way to go. What is more, even the Tea Party people have often bought into many illegitimate government functions, such as Medicare and Social Security. It will take decades to undo these socialist programs that create dependency and to re-educate the People.

So, no, 2012 will not fix everything. It is only another step to follow on 2010 and to be carried on until government only protects the equal, sovereign rights of the individual to life, liberty, property, the ownership of one's own mind, body, and labor, and the pursuit of personal happiness. It will probably take another couple of election cycles at least after 2012 before there is any hope that Congress will have a majority of members who actually will reduce government spending as a percentage of GDP back to an 18% level.