Monday 3 September 2007

Poll Result: US is best

This week's poll was on which government has best government for its people; just for fun I added in the tax rates to see what people would do. Here are the results:

58% tax rate(Sweden)
5 (16%)
44% tax rate(UK)
1 (3%)
36% tax rate (US)
2 (6%)
33% tax rate(Ireland)
23 (74%)

Bertie Ahern (and Guido) will be pleased, with the results; Irish eyes are smiling you might say.

I voted for the US, so that shows how popular I am! Noticeable too was the complete lack of support for the UK, given that 75% of my readers are from the UK.

Sweden too has its supporters and this does not surprise me. What would interest me to know in the comments is whether people have visited or lived in these countries. I know the UK, have lived in the US and have Irish family. My knowledge of what it is actually like to live in Sweden is limited to various bits of biased information in the Media.

Finally, I do think that Ireland has a winning formula though in lowering taxes all round and reaping the rewards for this. Using logic to develop policy rather than class envy and marxist 'rationale.'


Anonymous said...

I am happy to go and live in Sweden as an experiment Mr Unslicker - if you just send me some cash for the airfare and say a little for expenses... ??

CityUnslicker said...

Ok Mutley, but only if you pay for me to go to Ireland to find the lassie in the pic!

Sackerson said...

To what extent has the Celtic tiger benefited from large helpings of Euros on first joining the EU, which may soon be flowing the other way?

Anonymous said...

Sweden is a very nice country full of very nice people. There is basically no underclass (these people don't exist because their parents were sterilised between the 30s and 70s in a national programme of eugenics aimed at weeding out those people that didn't fit in with the Swedish model of the ideal citizen).

Unfortunately it is a little too nice. Imagine a country where everyone is a bit like Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers living the good life and being ever so slightly sanctimonious about it.

Strangely the divorce rate is through the roof so at the weekend there are hoards of dads wheeling their kids around the park. Re-marriage is too expensive, so most don't bother (single Swedish men go off to Latvia on the ferry for a dirty weekend, which has helped push up Latvias property prices).

I think the reason why the divorce rate is so high is that Swedish women have been infected by a particularly militant brand of feminism.

There are some extremely rich people in Sweden that pull all the strings (the Wahlenberg family in particular) so it is not as egalitarian as the BBC and the Guardian would have you believe.

Health care and care for the aged is excellent but education is poor as it aims to produce model citizens (a bit like adult versions of the Stepford Wives) rather than creative people (notice how Sweden used to produce great writers and film-makers but can't be arsed any more).

Fascinating place, a bit of a cross between Stepford Wives, Logan's Run and Brave New World. Not a place where most Brits would feel comfortable.

Ireland is, of course, very wet. So given a choice of those countries I would stay where I am in the UK as a reasonable compromise!

Vindico said...

I would have picked either Ireland or the USA. Both seem good to me, although Ireland is heading in the right direction while the US seems to be turning protectionist and heading in the wrong direction. The UK is most definitely heading in the wrong direction ad Sweden has been sitting comofrtably in the wrong corner for years!

Less tax, more freedom please.

Out of interest hoe did you arrive at your tax rates? why does the UK have 44%? is this a share of GDP?

CityUnslicker said...

Sackerson - This is a valid point in explaining how Ireland reached its position. however, now the Irish get a lot less subsisides and the fire has been lit as I understand it.

I am pleased that at least some governments can understand the logic of the laffer curve.

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - Thank you for this, as I said I know little of any real depth about Sweden, so this is very useful.

I agree about the creativity. it is hard to be creative when the state is going to steal most of the money you make from your hard work...why bother?

CityUnslicker said...

Vindico - Either would do me too, I am not for living in the long-term in the Uk at the moment with its ever increasing tax rates.

As for the figures, they are as you spotted, % of GDP stolen by the governments.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the problem is that the Swedish tax system is punitive that prevents creativity. I can assure you that if you make enough money it is easy enough to keep hold of it even in Sweden. Abba certainly haven't found a need to move out of Sweden.

The difference is in the attitude of the people. They are brought up to move forward as one complete society. Consensus is always required before progress can be made in any activity. Criticism is always muted so as not to offend. All Swedish citizens must conform to the model of the ideal citizen and those that do not are shunned by society until they change their habits. In such a society, sticking out like a sore thumb because you have talent is discouraged. I think there is a German phrase that describes this "The nail that sticks out the furthest is hammered the hardest". Individuality is scorned.

If you consider yourself as not very special, just run of the mill, ordinary - then you will find that Sweden is the Utopia you were told it was. But most Brits are raised on the (admittedly false) premise that they are unique, special, and desire the freedom to express their uniqueness. They are unlikely to fit in to Swedish society.

Swedish people don't complain nearly as much about tax rates as us Brits do. They regard taxation as a necessary part of the Swedish way of life. They have a totally different attitude to society and government.

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - I appreciate this further incite. I look forward to reading your blog when you start one.
Guest posts here are always welcome too.

James Higham said...

Our flat rate 13% would possibly undercut that 44%.

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