Friday, 27 March 2009

Taxes, continued

In my politics lecture this morning my professor, Frank Aarebrot (the picture), told us what we should say if we ever met an American who couldn’t understand how we could pay the high amount of taxes we pay. Funny, I thought, my friend Shane asked this question last year on the blog I don’t think neither me nor Sofie had great answers. So I will rephrase his words:

Imagine that Norway and USA has the same currency, called “money”. Both the Norwegian and the American earns 100 money a month. The Norwegian pays 44 money to the state each month while the American pays only 20 money to the state. But the American also pays the health insurance company 15 money and puts away 5 money for his or her children’s college fund. So in the end about the same proportion of money is spent on the same things. The difference is that in USA you have the freedom to be irresponsible and the freedom not to send your kids to college. The so-called Free Society based on value choices made by the citizens.

Just a little anecdote before the weekend. Now I’m about to make a “Mediterranean pie” before we have a guest arriving this evening. Thank you both so much for the post cards, they filled my with great joy. 


Shane said...

what's in a mediterranean pie, pelse? i've been feeling very meh about my cooking recently.

to play devil's advocate:

it's not just that we can choose to be irresponsible or choose not to get an education. in norway, your health care plan is chosen FOR you, and the number of schools you can go to for free is far more limited than the ones we can pay for. here, you have hundreds or even thousands of plans (if you can pay for them, that is), and hundreds of schools as well. and since consumer choice maximizes consumer satisfaction...

of course, that's an extremely flawed argument, assuming a completely equal and affluent society. and perfect information. ha. ha. ha. i just wanted to play devil's advocate :). I MISS YOU!!!!

Sofie said...

Very interesting. I would like to hear more from your lectures! Although I presume they may be over for summer?