U.S. has among lowest taxes in the world


By tovarichpeter   Follow   Mon, 14 Jan 2013, 3:29pm   1,616 views   62 comments
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http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/01/how-low-are-us-taxes-compared-to-other-countries/267148/

U.S. Unlike most advanced economies, the U.S. don't supplement personal income taxes with a national sales tax, or value-added tax (VAT). Consumption taxes accounted for about a fifth of total U.S. revenue in 2008 (mostly at the state and local level) compared to an OECD average of 32 percent. In other words, the U.S. relies uniquely on personal tax rates to raise revenue -- and we have relatively low personal tax rates.

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  1. bob2356


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    23   11:48am Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    leo707 says

    The US chooses to spend a good portion of its taxes on military, should the other countries get a reduction on the chart because they don't choose to spend as much on military?

    Remind me what percentage of gdp people in other countries need to spend out of pocket for military that the government doesn't provide.

    leo707 says

    Yes, you do list many countries with low or no income taxes. However, we are not just talking about income taxes.

    Actually we were. Personal tax rates are what the original post is all about.

  2. edvard2


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    24   12:05pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    The irony here and one that Republicans will never seem to grasp is that looking at that list, a large number at or near the top are also countries that enjoy the highest standards of living in the world.

  3. Peter P


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    25   12:14pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    What if we only look at the top 10%?

    I think US will do quite well.

    Besides, cramping in small homes is hardly a sign of high living standard.

    Another indicator, aircraft ownership. I worked with people who own planes. Thry are regular senior engineers.

  4. leo707


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    26   12:36pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    edvard2 says

    The irony here and one that Republicans will never seem to grasp is that looking at that list, a large number at or near the top are also countries that enjoy the highest standards of living in the world.

    Yep.

  5. finehoe


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    27   12:40pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    What if we only look at the top 10%?

    Then we are ignoring 90% of the population. What would that prove?

  6. Peter P


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    28   12:59pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    finehoe says

    Peter P says

    What if we only look at the top 10%?

    Then we are ignoring 90% of the population. What would that prove?

    Anyone can have a realistic chance of joining the top 10%. Percentile membership is not etched on your forehead.

  7. Peter P


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    29   1:01pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Just not everyone at the same time. When everyone tries, all boats are lifted by the tide of growth.

  8. leo707


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    30   1:28pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    finehoe says

    Peter P says

    What if we only look at the top 10%?

    Then we are ignoring 90% of the population. What would that prove?

    Anyone can have a realistic chance of joining the top 10%. Percentile membership is not etched on your forehead.

    Most people may be able to realistically reach the top 10% or even top 5%, but not the top 1% or .01%, and the US is one of the most difficult places in the developed world to try and move up the class ladder.

  9. tatupu70


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    31   1:30pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    Anyone can have a realistic chance of joining the top 10%. Percentile
    membership is not etched on your forehead.

    Of course--that's what powerball is for, right?

  10. Peter P


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    32   1:32pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Most of the successful people started with nothing. My two heroes are the prime examples: George Soros, Dennis Washington

  11. leo707


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    33   1:33pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    tatupu70 says

    Peter P says

    Anyone can have a realistic chance of joining the top 10%. Percentile

    membership is not etched on your forehead.

    Of course--that's what powerball is for, right?

    People tend to vastly underestimate the role that luck plays in any method of improving ones socioeconomic status.

  12. Peter P


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    34   1:34pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Unlike other countries, America is a country of becoming, not being. It is one of change and growth, not one of stagnancy and complacency.

  13. leo707


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    35   1:35pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    Unlike other countries, America is a country of becoming, not being. It is one of change and growth, not one of stagnancy and complacency.

    Interesting, yes that is the myth, but the facts show that America has almost the worst social mobility of any developed nation.

  14. Peter P


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    36   1:36pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    leo707 says

    tatupu70 says

    Peter P says

    Anyone can have a realistic chance of joining the top 10%. Percentile

    membership is not etched on your forehead.

    Of course--that's what powerball is for, right?

    People tend to vastly underestimate the role that luck plays in any method of improving ones socioeconomic status.

    Life is about managing luck. Much can be learned from options market makers.

  15. Peter P


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    37   1:38pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    leo707 says

    Peter P says

    Unlike other countries, America is a country of becoming, not being. It is one of change and growth, not one of stagnancy and complacency.

    Interesting, yes that is the myth, but the facts show that America has almost the worst social mobility of any developed nation.

    It is a bad place not to take risks though.

  16. Peter P


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    38   1:43pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Also, for a lot of people, they drank the wrong cool aid like working hard for someone, getting a degree, diversify, etc.

  17. leo707


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    39   1:49pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    leo707 says

    Peter P says

    Unlike other countries, America is a country of becoming, not being. It is one of change and growth, not one of stagnancy and complacency.

    Interesting, yes that is the myth, but the facts show that America has almost the worst social mobility of any developed nation.

    It is a bad place not to take risks though.

    Most people in the US are not born in a position where they can afford to take risks. Most of the people on Forbes list--while they did not all start out as billionaires--were born into families that allowed them the opportunity to take risks.

  18. leo707


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    40   1:50pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    leo707 says

    tatupu70 says

    Peter P says

    Anyone can have a realistic chance of joining the top 10%. Percentile

    membership is not etched on your forehead.

    Of course--that's what powerball is for, right?

    People tend to vastly underestimate the role that luck plays in any method of improving ones socioeconomic status.

    Life is about managing luck. Much can be learned from options market makers.

    People tend to vastly underestimate their ability to manage luck.

  19. finehoe


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    41   1:50pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    Most of the successful people started with nothing.

    40% of the individuals who appeared on the Forbes list of wealthiest people received a "significant economic advantage in their lives by inheriting a sizeable asset from a spouse or family member." More than 20% received sufficient wealth to make the list from this inheritance alone. Of the rich countries listed by the OECD, the three in which men's earnings are most likely to resemble their father's are, in this order, the UK, Italy and the US. If you are born poor or born rich in these nations, you are likely to stay that way.

    Equal opportunity, self-creation, heroic individualism: these are the myths that predatory capitalism requires for its political survival.

  20. lostand confused


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    42   1:51pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    Also, for a lot of people, they drank the wrong cool aid like working hard for someone, getting a degree, diversify, etc.

    As in most things in life-it depends. I know a couple who worked for others .One was a police officer and retired at 50 and the other an IT worker-yeah working for somebody with a degree. Two houses in the bay area, payed off, he gets pension and still works as a security guard for concerts, games at the arena etc. She still works part time now-because she is bored.

    I also know plenty of people who were in business -some for a long time- and don't have a pot to pee in.

    It depends-what works for some will not work for others. Extreme ideology is not good-unless of course you are in politics and making a ton of money out of suckers.

  21. leo707


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    43   1:52pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    finehoe says

    Equal opportunity, self-creation, heroic individualism: these are the myths that predatory capitalism requires for its political survival.

    With the occasional power ball winner thrown into the mix to give the peasants hope.

  22. finehoe


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    44   1:54pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    Most of the successful people started with nothing.

    All businesses exist within a vast network of human connections — customers, vendors, employees, investors and the communities that support their work. Saying you did it all yourself and therefore don’t owe anybody anything is about as absurd (and self-centered) as saying that you raised yourself from babyhood, without any input from your parents, and therefore don’t have any further obligations to your family.

  23. Peter P


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    45   1:54pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Risk taking is comparatively cheaper for those with less to lose.

    The middle class offers the worst risk reward ratio though. They tend to have something they cannot afford to lose.

    That is a separate problem.

  24. Peter P


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    46   1:56pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    finehoe says

    Peter P says

    Most of the successful people started with nothing.

    All businesses exist within a vast network of human connections — customers, vendors, employees, investors and the communities that support their work. Saying you did it all yourself and therefore don’t owe anybody anything is about as absurd (and self-centered) as saying that you raised yourself from babyhood, without any input from your parents, and therefore don’t have any further obligations to your family.

    Don't be concerned with who you owe. That is not relevant. The market is a system in which participants push against each other. A struggle at the individual level.

  25. leo707


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    47   2:01pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    Don't be concerned with who you owe. That is not relevant.

    It is relevant if we want to live in a system where people coming after us also have the opportunity to succeed.

    Ignoring the benefits that one reaps from the system marginalizes the contribution that the system played in ones success, and a marginalized system is going to be less effective at helping others also succeed.

  26. Peter P


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    48   2:10pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    My point is that participating in the market is all that matter. All debt, karmic or not, is reflected in the system.

    If there exists a system with which self interest leads to the greatest good, is it even selfish to act for oneself in the context of this system?

  27. finehoe


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    49   2:22pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    If there exists a system with which self interest leads to the greatest good, is it even selfish to act for oneself in the context of this system?

    Who the hell knows, but that in no way proves or supports your assertion that the US has the best social mobility in the world.

  28. leo707


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    50   2:24pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    If there exists a system with which self interest leads to the greatest good, is it even selfish to act for oneself in the context of this system?

    I depends on how one defines the "greatest good". I think that you could ask 10 different people and get 10 different ideas on what the greatest good is.

    I for one don't think that installing an aristocracy would be serving the greatest good.

    As long as we are waxing philosophical we might as well ask, are we even capable of taking an action that is not selfish?

  29. leo707


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    51   2:25pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    finehoe says

    Who the hell knows, but that in no way proves or supports your assertion that the US has the best social mobility in the world.

    I don't think that there is any data that supports the idea that the US even has close to the best social mobility in the world.

  30. Peter P


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    52   2:28pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    finehoe says

    Peter P says

    If there exists a system with which self interest leads to the greatest good, is it even selfish to act for oneself in the context of this system?

    Who the hell knows, but that in no way proves or supports your assertion that the US has the best social mobility in the world.

    It is about the possibility of becoming rich without being born in a rich family.

    This is vitually non-existent outside of the US except in places where illegal corruption is commonplace

  31. bob2356


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    53   3:09pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    It is about the possibility of becoming rich without being born in a rich family.

    This is vitually non-existent outside of the US except in places where illegal corruption is commonplace

    Absolute and total nonsense. There is plenty out there that refutes this. Huffington post had an article recently on it, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-steven-friedman/class-mobility_b_1676931.html . BBC ran a series maybe 5-6 years ago called Self Made Man (or something like that) that profiled people in Europe that became rich.

    Forbes top 10 richest people only has 3 Americans. Of the 7 others 4 (Carlos Slim, Armancio Ortega, Li Ka-shing, and Karl Albrecht) came from middle class or lower back rounds. I'm sure if you continue down the list the pattern won't change.

  32. Peter P


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    54   3:12pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    But how old are they? Do those places create 30-year-old billionaires?

  33. Peter P


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    55   3:14pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Did they make the money before the advent of the welfare state?

  34. leo707


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    56   3:17pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    But how old are they? Do those places create 30-year-old billionaires?

    bob gave you the links and names to answer these questions for yourself. I do see a lot of evidence that the US has, relative to other developed nations, poor mobility, but you have presented zero evidence to support the great mobility claims you have been making.

  35. Peter P


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    57   3:44pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    http://hustleb.blogspot.com/2012/08/billionaires-under-age-of-40.html

    Most young self-made billionaires in the developed world are still American.

  36. pdh


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    58   4:06pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    Most of the successful people started with nothing. My two heroes are the prime examples: George Soros, Dennis Washington

    You have to be joking. You think most of the successful people in the United States came from nothing?

  37. leo707


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    59   4:06pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    http://hustleb.blogspot.com/2012/08/billionaires-under-age-of-40.html

    Most young self-made billionaires in the developed world are still American.

    Oh, are those the only billionaires under the age of 40? You may also want to look at per/capita billionaires under 40. The US is a very populous country. Without better context that article is just anecdotal evidence.

    Also funny, of the 20 on that list 11 had--right there in their bios--clear indication that they started life with a silver spoon in their mouth (two were from the same wealthy dad). At least one other on the list I recognized as a silver spoon child, and I would bet that a little digging on the others would show that they all came from privileged backgrounds.

    …Harvard roommate …

    …officially inherited his fortune in 2001 on his 18th birthday…

    …one of four children of the late energy pipeline entrepreneur Dan Duncan, the former richest man in Houston…

    …together at Harvard…

    …transferred his holding of the family's main fortune… her fortune drop dramatically since…

    …son of slain Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri …

    …second-youngest son of slain Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who left behind a fortune now shared by his five children…

    In December 2010 German publisher Heinz Bauer, age 72, transferred 85% of the limited partnership of the family-run business to his daughter...

    …became the face of his father's company…The family owns a private island…

    A direct descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, Coleman is a Deerfield and Williams grad…

    …Graduate of Kyiv State Economic University…

    I am not sure how this leads you to believe that most young self made billionaires are made in America.

  38. leo707


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    60   4:31pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    leo707 says

    Peter P says

    http://hustleb.blogspot.com/2012/08/billionaires-under-age-of-40.html

    Most young self-made billionaires in the developed world are still American.

    Oh, are those the only billionaires under the age of 40? You may also want to look at per/capita billionaires under 40. The US is a very populous country. Without better context that article is just anecdotal evidence.

    So, looking further in to the numbers on the 20 billionaires under 40...

    Ranked in per-capita output of billionaires under 40:
    China -least
    Russia
    Japan
    US
    Germany
    Ukraine
    Hong Kong
    Lebanon
    Columbia -most

    Looks like Columbia is the best at cranking out young billionaires.

  39. Peter P


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    61   4:46pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Fine. I think I have made some horrible arguments.

  40. leo707


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    62   5:17pm Tue 15 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    Fine. I think I have made some horrible arguments.

    I am all ears if you want to make some better ones ;)

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