Since the economic theory of socialism is so misunderstood and outright lied about by American entrepreneurs, it is nearly impossible to have an honest discussion about the merits and demerits of capitalism and socialism. In light of the debt discussion, another economic collapse, the Tea Party, and conservatives continuing to keep their noses so far in the air, they are starting to develop vertigo, I thought I would post one of the best articles I’ve read all year.
I read this article a few months ago, again during the beginning of the debt crisis, and yet again today. It is an eye-opening case study and should a reminder that there still is more than one way to skin a cat.
I urge everyone to read it.
I just wanted to point out a few parts that I found interesting:
“The tax system is good—it’s fair. What we’re doing when we are paying taxes is buying a product. So the question isn’t how you pay for the product; it’s the quality of the product.”
This quote is coming directly from an extremely successful CEO and entrepreneur, and it is entirely a business argument. It is an argument that requires thought and analysis, not black-and-white ideological loyalty. We are buying a product from the government, essentially quality of life. What is the quality of life and are we getting enough bang for our buck? In any comparison with the private sector, the answer is pretty clear.
Payroll taxes in Norway are double those in the U.S. Sales taxes, at 25 percent, are roughly triple.
Norway ranks 3rd in the world in quality of life and 1st on the Human Development Index (HDI) . The U.S. ranks 13th in the world in quality of life and 4th on the HDI — and have been falling in almost every other global ranking.
Although America remains near the top of the world in terms of entrepreneurial aspirations — that is, the percentage of people who want to start new things—in terms of actual start-up activity, our country has fallen behind not just Norway but also Canada, Denmark, and Switzerland.
So, Americans want to be entrepreneurs, but in Norway they actual start their start-ups. Since it can’t be the propaganda of absurdly high taxes, then what could it be? The fact that 98% of Americans do not have the resources to do it.
Taxes in the U.S. have fallen dramatically over the past 30 years. Only two countries in the OECD— Chile and Mexico—pay a lower percentage of their gross domestic product in taxes than we Americans do. Slemrod says there is no statistical evidence to prove that low taxes result in economic prosperity. But there is precious little evidence to suggest that our low taxes have done much for entrepreneurs—or even for the economy as a whole. Some of the most prosperous countries—for instance, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, and, yes, Norway—also have some of the highest taxes.