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U.S. has among lowest taxes in the world


By tovarichpeter   Follow   Mon, 14 Jan 2013, 7:29am PST   1,841 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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bob2356   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 3:48am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 23

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.

edvard2   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 4:05am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 24

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 4:14am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 25

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.

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 4:36am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 26

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.

finehoe   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 4:40am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 27

Peter P says

What if we only look at the top 10%?

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

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 4:59am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 28

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:01am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 29

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

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:28am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 30

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.

tatupu70   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:30am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 31

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?

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:32am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 32

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

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:33am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 33

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:34am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 34

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

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:35am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 35

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:36am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 36

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:38am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 37

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:43am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 38

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

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:49am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 39

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.

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:50am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 40

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.

finehoe   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:50am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 41

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.

lostand confused   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:51am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 42

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.

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:52am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 43

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.

finehoe   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:54am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 44

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:54am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 45

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 5:56am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 46

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.

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 6:01am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 47

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 6:10am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 48

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?

finehoe   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 6:22am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 49

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.

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 6:24am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 50

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?

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 6:25am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 51

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 6:28am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 52

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

bob2356   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 7:09am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 53

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 7:12am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 54

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

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 7:14am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 55

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

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 7:17am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 56

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 7:44am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 57

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

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

pdh   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 8:06am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 58

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?

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 8:06am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 59

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.

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 8:31am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 60

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.

Peter P   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 8:46am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 61

Fine. I think I have made some horrible arguments.

leo707   Tue, 15 Jan 2013, 9:17am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 62

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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