Monday, April 11, 2016

More "in praise of higher taxes"

I'm an American living in Sweden. Here's why I came to embrace the higher taxes. - Vox

There was a very similar article to this in one of the other American sites I visit earlier this year, and I think I posted about it, too.

I feel I should point out something, in light of how often I post about this:  it's not that I'm an ideologue when it comes to taxes and the role of government,  and I don't think every country should (or can) be like Scandinavia.   For one thing, the physical size of countries surely helps determine what governments can reasonably be expected to provide, and all European nations benefit from the small geography and high density of living.  Singapore does, too.

There is also the cultural element that affects the way a government can succeed (or not), so that (for example) a country like Japan can expect societal co-operation in some policies (ease of access to alcohol, little societal interest in illicit drugs) that others can't.

My attitude is more that the international examples of how countries and economies work show us the many ways different tax and government spending regimes can work, so that it is clear that low tax, limited government is not the only way to success and a happy society.

It's more a case that I am interested in showing that the libertarian/small government/low tax position that is powerful in the US and parts of the Australian Right is more pure ideology and belief system than something that is inherently the best way to approach economics and how we should run Australia.

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