PDA

View Full Version : Why are some higher tax countries richer than us (UK)?


mrsurrey
16th Sep 2013, 23:09
Hello,

According to this:
List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita)

lots of "high tax" countries are richer than the UK. I'm talking about the likes of Scandinavia (yes I know ignore Norway because it's got oil), Netherlands & Austria. How do they manage to have bigger public sectors than us but still outperform us economically?

MrS

Loose rivets
16th Sep 2013, 23:12
Perhaps they don't keep handing out hard-earned money to people and nations that don't deserve it.

mikedreamer787
16th Sep 2013, 23:18
Loose beat me to it.

mrsurrey
16th Sep 2013, 23:25
We give away 0.56% of our gdp as aid, so it's not very significant.

500N
16th Sep 2013, 23:35
Like Aus, still too much because we give it to the wrong people
which seems to be what people in the UK complain about.

Cpt. Underpants
17th Sep 2013, 03:52
"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle"

From your own Winston Churchill

MG23
17th Sep 2013, 04:38
lots of "high tax" countries are richer than the UK. I'm talking about the likes of Scandinavia (yes I know ignore Norway because it's got oil), Netherlands & Austria. How do they manage to have bigger public sectors than us but still outperform us economically?

1. GDP is a load of bollocks. If you pay one group of people to dig holes and another to fill them in, that's all added to 'GDP', but it's not making anyone wealthy. If the government takes taxes from you and gives them to some chavs, that adds to 'GDP', too.

2. Britain is a "high tax" country. Just before I left, I worked out that for every extra pound my employer paid me, the government took about 65p if I spent it on ordinary, everyday stuff, and about 85p if I bought petrol.

Looking at tax as a percentage of the mythical GDP, according to Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_revenue_as_percentage_of_GDP

Britain - 39%
Netherlands - 39.8%
Austria - 43.4%
Sweden - 45.8%

There really ain't a lot in it. Unless you're a Russian billionaire who pays nothing.

Polikarpov
17th Sep 2013, 04:44
We give away 0.56% of our gdp as aid, so it's not very significant.

Given that only a small fraction of GDP is truly "disposable income" it is much more significant than it sounds, and also puts the UK near the top of the generosity table (only beaten by the Scandinavians).

The entire UK defence budget is < 2.5% GDP.

I would suggest aid to countries with indigenous nuclear submarine, aircraft carrier and space programmes might better be spent closer to home.

Ancient Mariner
17th Sep 2013, 05:48
yes I know ignore Norway because it's got oil
Does not the UK?
Per

Lon More
17th Sep 2013, 06:07
Does not the UK?
Maybe because none of those countries had Thatcherism and their oil revenues were spent/invested wisely?

Nemrytter
17th Sep 2013, 06:15
Perhaps they don't keep handing out hard-earned money to people and nations that don't deserve it.At least in Denmark the vast majority of money gets handed out to people who don't deserve it.
For instance, you can register for unemployment benefit online - from anywhere. I know a few people (former students who never grew up) that spend their time in India or Thailand and still get around £1000/month from the Danish government. All they have to do is come home a couple of times a year to attend an interview.

dubbleyew eight
17th Sep 2013, 06:50
many wealthy countries don't waste money fighting stupid wars half a globe away.

Flap 5
17th Sep 2013, 06:59
The UK is now a low tax country:

BBC iPlayer - Panorama: Tax, Lies and Videotape (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03bj88x/Panorama_Tax_Lies_and_Videotape/)

That explains part of the reason why we are not actually a rich country at all. Other reasons would include the money given as 'overseas development' (every little helps) and because our politicians feel conscience bound to get involved in other countries problems (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc.), amongst other reasons. Hence we are actually one of the least rich countries as far as government money goes.

Lightning Mate
17th Sep 2013, 07:03
Schhhh - don't mention aid to India..............

UniFoxOs
17th Sep 2013, 07:44
Maybe because none of those countries had Wilsonism and their revenues were spent/invested wisely?

Fixed that for you.

Lon More
17th Sep 2013, 07:54
Fixed that for you.
Funny the first time. Tedious the ten thousandth.

Loose rivets
17th Sep 2013, 09:05
What!!?? I've just had me ten-thousandth laugh out of that.:p

Capetonian
17th Sep 2013, 09:15
I don't see why GDP or GDP per capita is a measure of a country's 'richness'. I believe better criteria would be how the money is spent and retained. Statistics of this nature are fundamentally flawed and distorted by the way they are collated and presented, even by supposedly neutral sources.

The same applies to to 'high tax'. Do the statistics include the total tax burden or simply look at income tax and VAT? In many countries social charges, which are a tax by another name, are not considered even though they can be equal to or greater than the other types of tax.

UniFoxOs
17th Sep 2013, 09:46
Maybe because none of those countries had Thatcherism and their oil revenues were spent/invested wisely?

Not funny the first time. Tedious the ten thousandth.

Fixed that for you.

SMT Member
17th Sep 2013, 10:13
The basic answer to the OPs question is that the UK is a fundamentally broken society, having relegated itself to deriving much of its revenue from an industry that is making money by moving numbers from one column to another. It may be fantastic on paper, and the balance and P&L sheets sure seems to support living off the financial sector was a brilliant idea. But as with all things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And having an entire nation living off the back of bankers and lawyers, well, what did you expect?

What this shows is that there is no real relationship between taxation, QoL and general happiness of a population; it is entirely possible to live happily in a heavily taxed country with a large public sector, and the exact opposite is also possible. The UK has managed to combine the worst of the two, but neither high taxation or a large public sector are the inherent reasons thereof. The UK just plainly sucks on so many levels, and that's why people are unhappy.

Lon More
17th Sep 2013, 11:41
As SMTMembe r said And having an entire nation living off the back of bankers and lawyers, well, what did you expect?

Thatcher's legacy.

Do you really believe Labour would have done better

anybody could have done it better. My vote goes for the bogey man under the bed

MG23
17th Sep 2013, 15:47
Part of the problem is that Britain wastes so much tax money.

A high tax society where the government actually spends the money on useful things wouldn't be so bad. But Britain is a high-tax society which has privatized many of the things the government used to do, so now you have to pay for those things in addition to paying those high taxes.

airship
17th Sep 2013, 18:16
The USS Enterprise underway together with French aircraft-carrier Charles de Gaulle:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/USS_Enterprise_FS_Charles_de_Gaulle.jpg

The UK currently has zero operational aircraft-carriers in the fleet. But ostensibily has 2 x non-nuclear powered "Charles de Gaulle" copies on order but which will only be capable of operating "pretty" but "pretty-much" ineffectual JSF-35 VTOL variants. Just like Italy's 2 "pretty" aircraft-carriers (glorified VTOL - helicopter carriers).

How many aircraft-carriers do the USA have in service worldwide again? Compared with Norway = zero. Denmark = zero. Germany = zero. Netherlands = zero. Austria = zero. Sweden = zero.

Look farther afield, here are the Saudi and UAE equivalents of aircraft-carriers:

UAE's "TOPAZ", 147m, 12,000 tonnes displacement, luxury yacht:

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/06/27/article-2165460-13CFB9CC000005DC-301_964x651.jpg

Saudi Arabia's "PRINCE ABDULAZIZ", 147m, 4760 tonnes displacement, luxury yacht:

http://www.superyachttimes.com/articles/Image/Editorial/Superyachts/2012-11-Prince-Abdulaziz/Prince-Adbulaziz-02-big.jpg

Saudi Arabia's "AZZAM", 180m, ??? tonnes displacement, luxury yacht (reputedly for Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia, who already owns a 85m megayacht, the Kingdom 5KR):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Azzam_bei_L%C3%BCrssen.JPG

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich's "ECLIPSE", 164m, ??? tonnes displacement (and the world's biggest superyacht for 12 months until the AZZAM came along...):

http://www.abramovichyacht.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Abramovich-Yacht-Eclipse-021.jpg

So, mrsurrey, the primary reasons why some countries are perhaps richer than the UK, France or the USA are primarily that:

1) They do not adequately spend on defense. Relying on other countries for the provision and costs of everything from nuclear deterrents, aircraft-carriers, troops etc. together with the financing of any prolonged war.

2) They, situated where they are, in the far-most northern or even central regions of Europe have little to fear from terrorists or warfare in general. They generally believe that keeping a low-profile will save them from all calamities.

3) They, all the richer ME nations such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia etc. always do nothing with their military might when it comes to resolving ME conflicts (particularly Syria). "It's always someone else's problem, and if intervention is necessary, it'll always be GI's boots, or the boots of UK troops or the French or whomever from the West to go in first..."?! :rolleyes:

4) The UK especially, together with some other EU countries have welcomed all these Russian oligarchs with "open arms". Like many ME Royals, they buy up our football clubs. Invest their gains in our open economies. Often being taxed at rates far lower than "home-grown" entrepreneurs for wont of a batter word.

"None of the above" contribute much to the safe-guard of their financial assets via taxes, I reckon. They're mainly just free-loaders, surfing on the backs of those of most of us who beliveve that defense has to be paid for and maintained. :}

Mr Chips
17th Sep 2013, 19:30
Margaret Thatcher stopped being PM 23 years ago.

just saying.

Pappa Smurf
17th Sep 2013, 23:26
Seems every time a country has an election,the opponents cut taxes and promise too much,thus getting in the shite.

mikedreamer787
18th Sep 2013, 01:40
When I hear of how much fiscal wastage occurs in various
countries I think of it in terms of unrealised efficient usage.

For example I read a few months ago the Federal Oz ALP
wasted $9 mill of taxpayers money by giving it to a private
company to buy Henbury Station which has now gone into
receivership (WA Inc in the 80s proved governments have
no place in business nor the real world).

Now had that 9 million stayed in taxpayers wallets -
- how many parents could've given their kids a better education?
- how many parents could've given their kids a better home to live?
- how many people could've invested in opportunities to better themselves?
- how many enterprising people could've started a business?
- and how many businesses could've survived on the retained capital?

Magnify that by the total fiscal wastage of the now-defunct ALP
and the amount of opportunities lost by people is sickening if not
downright obscene. Far as I'm concerned they should be locked
up in the same prison alongside Bernie Madoff and with the same
sentence and duration.

And the millions squandered in so-called Foreign Aid? Don't make
me laugh. Call it for what it is - Foreign Bribes.

UniFoxOs
18th Sep 2013, 07:48
And the millions squandered in so-called Foreign Aid? Don't make
me laugh. Call it for what it is - Foreign Bribes.

Most of it is not even that. We often get nothing back from it and we are giving it to countries that have, for example, space programmes, nuclear sub fleets etc.

Lon More
18th Sep 2013, 12:48
Mr. Chips wrote Margaret Thatcher stopped being PM 23 years ago
Unfortunately the malady lingers on.
She took £130 billion (IIRC) of income from North Sea Oil and abused it to fund unemployment benefits to those previously employed in the manufacturing industry which then collapsed overnight. From her side there was no need for any compromise at the negotiating table to any union demands, reasonable or otherwise. The UK was virtually left with only service industries (mainly banking and investment) running on smoke and mirrors.
The "Get on your bike" remark by Tebbet was one of the most fatuous political statements ever made. Many could have cycled the length and breadth of the UK looking for jobs that no longer existed.
Whole communities wee force onto the dole. Many never worked again. Now more than 25 years later the children of that generation know no history of employment. No wonder it's almost impossible to get them to into work.
She sold off the gas, water, electricity and British Rail, none of them the most efficient in the world, however they did provide a basic service at a reasonable price. What we now have I a bunch of greedy financial "experts" who put profit, not service, as job 1. Yes, the train operators are fined for running late but instead of improving their service to prevent it happening again all they do is jack up the prices. Same with the water companies. I saw a largish leak just outside Maidstone a couple of years ago. Six months, and a hosepipe ban, later it was still there.

Ancient Observer
18th Sep 2013, 13:01
Er, excuse me Mr SMT. I thought you were on the Met Office SMT.

As to the foreign aid to places like Pakistan, if they decide to spend their money on atom bombs, why should we give them charity?

As to "We give away 0.56% of our gdp as aid, so it's not very significant."

0.56% of GDP is about 3p in every £ of tax paid.

UniFoxOs
18th Sep 2013, 14:30
unemployment benefits to those previously employed in the manufacturing industry which then collapsed overnight

The most significant of which was the car industry, which was already on its last legs due to the efforts of a certain Robinson who was allowed to press his greedy demands for more money for the car workers, who were already much better paid and perked than any of the other manual trades in the area.

No doubt that was Thatcher's fault as well.

Lon More
18th Sep 2013, 17:42
so that's what happened; they were offered more money for not working! Makes sense

You're making things up again. I never said that. You must be writing speeches for Camerloon.
The money used to fund unemployment had to come from somewhere. The alternative would have had to be an accommodation with the unions or an increase in taxes to fund it. Neither of these was acceptable to her, so the oil revenue conveniently filled the gap. BLMC was producing crap products and was heading for the scrap heap even without Red Robbo's help.
The Mini as originally built was a rust trap, the Allegro was all agro, Triumph and Rover were competing for the same market with under developed products.
Pathetic management, a bit like Humpty Dumpty, didn't need a big shove to collapse.

BenThere
18th Sep 2013, 18:09
Lon,

English automobile production faced the same challenges as Detroit. Labor, the key input to production costs, had made itself too expensive to compete on a world-wide scale, so production moved to where it was most competitive, Asia.

And we, the consumers, decided to buy Toyota and Hyundai rather than accept less for more from our domestic offerings.

We in the West have been spoiled consuming the wealth created by our fathers and handed to us. Now that it has mostly been spent, many of us are in for a big surprise - a declining standard of living. Enjoy the life you've agitated for, Lon.

Lon More
18th Sep 2013, 18:23
the key input to production costs, had made itself too expensive to compete on a world-wide scale,
Assuming a level playing field, all the European and N. American companies should have been hit in the same way. It was the UK manufacturers that went to the wall due to their inability to produce products that the market actually wanted.
Blame rests not just with one side or the other but at that time the traditional class boundaries in the UK were under challenge, so is it unreasonable that shop-floor workers should seek equal, or more, pay than those in the offices who were often perceived as worthless drones?

G-CPTN
18th Sep 2013, 18:30
The major asset that the Japanese vehicle builders possessed was reliability.

It started being obvious with their motorcycles then occurred with their impoprts to Britain (albeit that their product was considered 'quirky').
Once the Japs adopted Western styling and features there was no going back.

MG23
18th Sep 2013, 18:40
Assuming a level playing field, all the European and N. American companies should have been hit in the same way. It was the UK manufacturers that went to the wall due to their inability to produce products that the market actually wanted.

Um, wasn't that pretty much the same claim made about US auto manufacturers when they couldn't compete with Japan in the 70s?

Unions made the workers too expensive, and a dominant market position with little competition eliminated any desire to innovate until the Japanese forced them to do so.

BenThere
18th Sep 2013, 18:44
It was more than a level playing field, Lon. Japanese, and others had, and have, to overcome shipping cost and tariffs to compete, and they did.

Western labor has to get over the notion that it is entitled to what is for them, living wages. Labor has to produce more than it costs, period. When it does, times will be good.

Mr Chips
18th Sep 2013, 19:29
I'm not great with politics.

She took £130 billion (IIRC) of income from North Sea Oil and abused it to fund unemployment benefits to those previously employed in the manufacturing industry which then collapsed overnight. From her side there was no need for any compromise at the negotiating table to any union demands, reasonable or otherwise.
So she used North Sea oil revenue (which I assume was Government money) and used it to pay unemployment benefits to unemployed people?

Outrageous

Am I missing something?

MG23
18th Sep 2013, 19:44
Am I missing something?

I believe their point was that she could, instead, have been paying those people five times as much to make Austin Allegros or dig up coal that no-one wanted to buy.

And, as far as I'm aware, manufacturing declined much faster under Blair and Brown than Thatcher. Thatcher closed down unprofitable business, Labour encouraged profitable business to knock down their factories to build blocks of flats, and use the money to build a fancy new factory abroad.

sisemen
18th Sep 2013, 20:01
I really admire lon's ability to live in the past and look at life through his red-tinted glasses where the socialist utopia ruled. And not only that but to maintain the rage over a Prime Minister who managed to win the confidence of the majority of the voting public in the UK more than once!

Others might think the constant repetition boring but I think it's always good for a laugh to see the old lefties still carrying a torch :}

Lon More
18th Sep 2013, 20:49
Prime Minister who managed to win the confidence of the majority of the voting public in the UK more than once!

That old chestnut again as trotted out ad-infinitum by the blue-rinse brigade.
Thatcher never won the majority (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election,_1983)of the votes The maximum she had was 44.9% in 1979 and it decreased thereafter.

sisemen
18th Sep 2013, 20:59
Change the record Lon it really is getting boring. The woman is dead FFS and is highly unlikely to cause you any more angst either real or imagined.

Or you can continue to be a parody and keep the rest of us amused.

Mr Chips
18th Sep 2013, 21:31
Lon she won the elections. Get over it. It was a looooong time ago, and since then we have had other prime ministers, other Governments.

I'm still unsure what was so wrong about paying unemployment benefit to the unemployed using Government money.....

MG23
18th Sep 2013, 22:34
The maximum she had was 44.9% in 1979 and it decreased thereafter.

Which is more than Callaghan or Blair managed.

Krystal n chips
19th Sep 2013, 06:01
I'm not great with politics.

Or indeed any other topic.



Quote:

She took £130 billion (IIRC) of income from North Sea Oil and abused it to fund unemployment benefits to those previously employed in the manufacturing industry which then collapsed overnight. From her side there was no need for any compromise at the negotiating table to any union demands, reasonable or otherwise.
So she used North Sea oil revenue (which I assume was Government money) and used it to pay unemployment benefits to unemployed people?

Outrageous

Am I missing something?

Yes, although I would not wish to state the obvious as you might feel a shade upset.....however, as Lon succinctly points out, whilst the unlamented deceased is now precisely that.....the legacy does endure ( Noo-Labour..also deceased ) embraced it and the current ideologist bullyboys were weaned on her views....hence their enthusiasm for perpetuation.

I hope this was simplistic enough for you ?

Solid Rust Twotter
19th Sep 2013, 06:22
It appears the celebrations of the left when Mrs Thatcher passed on were a little premature. She's still reaching out from beyond the grave to make them froth at the gash.

Lon More
19th Sep 2013, 06:26
No Krystal, you used big words with more than one syllable. Much too difficult for them.
The OP asked why some countries were richer than the UK. It didn't happen overnight. I just tried to supply a background reason,. Unfortunately it doesn't agree with the blue-rinsed lobby's vision of St. Margret of Grantham, patron saint of wide-boys and bankers.
Basil makes a good point, "The industrialists will present one argument, the unions another." I agree. Unfortunately, some, such a Siseman, would prefer to see my right to comment be blocked.


For Siseman's benefit


ma∑jor∑i∑ty
[muh-jawr-i-tee, -jor-]
noun, plural ma∑jor∑i∑ties.
1.
the greater part or number; the number larger than half the total (opposed to minority ): the majority of the population.

2.
a number of voters or votes, jurors, or others in agreement, constituting more than half of the total number.

3.
the amount by which the greater number, as of votes, surpasses the remainder (distinguished from plurality ).

She won more seats, obviously, she had a higher percentage than Blair or Callaghan, I never denied that. There's no way that this sort of situation can be redressed without fundamental changes to the election system.

Time for Siseman and Co also to move on. Yes she's dead and buried, unfortunately some here still see her on a pedestal

sisemen
19th Sep 2013, 07:12
I don't want to see you blocked Lon - it gives us plenty of laughs when you bang out your outdated lefty views. Your other stuff's OK though :ok:

Wingswinger
19th Sep 2013, 07:33
Every time I read one of these anti-Thatcher rants I just close my eyes and imagine what sort of country we would now be if she had not been Prime Minister, government had never taken on the union barons and the privatisations had not occurred.

It doesn't bear thinking about.

Her failures: she didn't sort out the farewell (sorry, welfare) state and she didn't take on the educational establishment, the NHS and the BBC. Mind you, the latter two are currently doing a fine job of destroying themselves.

UniFoxOs
19th Sep 2013, 08:12
Yes she's dead and buried, unfortunately some here still see her on a pedestal

But those who do see her that way do not try to hijack every possible thread into a pro-Thatcher rant.


Pity, because Your other stuff's OK though is barely true - your other posts are (IMHO) generally well-written, interesting, informative or amusing.

Mr Chips
19th Sep 2013, 11:51
Krystal, you really need to get over your apparent crush on me, it's embarrassing. The really embarrassing thi g is that you post garbage without actually contributing anything to any thread ever.

To start with a personal attack was childish, but I guess I'll sink to your level...

I asked a reasonable question, which you did not answer. Oh, wait, you never answer questions aimed at you, you just keep spouting juvenile insults.

So will some one please tell me what was wrong with using oil revenue to pay unemployment benefit? Better to let the out of work workers starve?

airship
19th Sep 2013, 14:50
The majority here may one fine day have reason to miss Lon More and others of his ilk, once they're gone. And left scrambling to find worthwhile interlocuteurs and/or adversaries. All because you lot couldn't grant them more than 2 milli-seconds of your own available attention span ca. 2013... :ugh:

Few are born naturally as ****-holes. This attribute is an acquired trait IMHO... :ok:

500N
19th Sep 2013, 15:07
"and others of his ilk"

A term of endearment ?

Capetonian
19th Sep 2013, 15:17
The majority here may one fine day have reason to miss Lon More and others of his ilk

Lon More I would miss, although we have diametrically opposed views he is civil, a gentleman, and does not resort to childish insults, and he does in his way answer questions he is asked. 'Others of his ilk' is a different matter, one being on my 'ignore' list since he never answers a question but descends into gibberish and puerile attempts at insults.