Skip to comments.A society which allows its poorest citizens to live in luxury?
Posted on 08/09/2006 10:43:40 AM PDT by WesternCulture
Sweden might be stranger than you think. In few other societies the "low" income earners own two-three Porsches, Beamers or Cadillacs, live in luxury houses and cruise around in million dollar yachts with a smile on their face.
- WOW! Is Sweden really that rich?
Of course it isn't. No country boasts a "lower" class that well off.
Sweden has a nominal GDP/capita on the same level as the US, while its GDP at PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) is considerably less. An advocate of the Swedish Model will tell you this is because of consumer goods being heavily taxed in Sweden in order to finance the free (or low cost) health care, education, child care etc swedish citizens enjoy - and furthermore that an average swede has to work less than his US counterpart to achieve the same standard of living.
However, the quickest way to get rich in Sweden is not by relying on the system to take care of you. Hardly surprising, it is by forgetting everything about "solidarity" and start cheating the system!
"Sweden, a land synonymous with high taxes, has a dirty secret. Each year some 120 billion kronor is paid to workers under the table and nearly 10 percent of the population has admitted to working off the books at some time in their life, according to a study by the Swedish Tax Agency.
The study said small business owners were at the crux of the problem. While small business owners make on average less than their friends employed in the same sector, they have better homes and nicer cars something that leaves the tax collecting agency scratching its head.
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The Agency believes there is a discrepancy between societys income and household consumption. This means Swedes are refusing to pay the high taxes and are short-changing the government by some 120 billion kronor each year. Small businesses are suspected of holding back some 71 billion kronor of that sum.
The agency estimates some 800,000 Swedish residents have worked under its radar. Its report said Swedes pay out some 7,000 kronor for illegal work each year, while those workers earn about 19,000 on average annually. Those who work illegally are typically younger workers with little money, while those paying have on average more money and own their own house.
About 25 percent of those working under the table are students or are performing compulsory military service
Nearly 30 percent of the population has bought items or services without paying taxes during the past five years. The European Union average is 24 percent. Swedes are among the most taxed people in the world. Switzerland, on the other hand, has one of the lowest tax rates and the lowest level of illegal workers, according to TT.
Håkan Malmer, an investigator with Skatteverket, isnt so surprised by the reports figures.
The investigation corroborates the picture we have at Skatteverket, he said, according to Dagens Nyheter. But this is the biggest study we have done, and this gives us a very clear picture."
Source: http://www.thelocal.se (Great site for learning more about Sweden/Scandinavia!)
"Switzerland, on the other hand, has one of the lowest tax rates and the lowest level of illegal workers, according to TT."
There's a shocker. If you tax people to death, they cheat. If you tax less they comply and are productive. How novel.
While small business owners make on average less than their friends employed in the same sector, they have better homes and nicer cars something that leaves the tax collecting agency scratching its head.
Yep, that is a puzzle....................
Almost no one in MA checks that box. They DON'T want to pay taxes. Even in MA. What they want, is for other people to pay taxes.
Socialism is against human nature.
Sweden has an economic bubble right now I have heard, their government ran the printing presses at the start of last year... I wonder when it will pop?
Two phrases stand out in this article: "societys income" and "short-changing the government". That's Socialism in a nutshell: your neighbors have a prior claim on your earnings, and your refusal to agree to be robbed is judged a crime.
The ex-mother-in-law has not contributed anything to the Swedish economy other than as a tourist in 45 years. I don't know how much she gets, but every month since she turned 65, she has gotten a check from the Swedish government. She feels no guilt or remorse, since she is entitled to it. I believe this is endemic to the Swedish mindset. They believe they are entitled, and all they have to do is accept it and spend it.
"Each year some 120 billion kronor is paid to workers under the table and nearly 10 percent of the population has admitted to working off the books at some time in their life"
If the US could ever get down to those numbers, it would be great.
Same as right here in the good ole USA.
IMO, no dual citizenship should be allowed in this country.
Correct: we've got Socialism Lite. (One-third less taxing than
the European brand, but with 100% of the flavor).
In Sweden, even billionaires receive government child benefit payments. When Social Democrats are asked why that is so, they reply; "If low income earners alone would be entitled to these subsidies, they might feel indicated, compromised and ashamed because of it".
So, what about adopting some means test and make people apply for child benefit?
"Out of the question" our social democrat would reply, "-it would be too costly".
I remember an occasion back in the 1980's in Sweden when I and some other kids around 10-11 years of age - some of them lower class, some of them upper class, some of them middle class (we all went to the same school and played for the same junior league soccer team) laughed at this line of argumentation.
Bono should move to Sweden.
Couldn't agree more.
I had to check the claim that their GDP per cap is the same as the US. ACC/ the CIA factbook theirs is $29,800 (2005 est.) Ours is $43,000. The only country I know of in Europe that is similar to ours is Luxemboutg.
No, that isn't nominal GDP/capita that's GDP PPP/capita!
Countries by nominal GDP/capita;
Countries by GDP PPP/capita:
Anyone defending the concept of the Swedish Model would point at the former way of measuring wealth, while anyone in favor of the American Way..
The reason I, as a swede, oppose certain swedish traditional ways of reasoning concerning political matters isn't because I believe Sweden has failed in the area of economic growth or standard of living.
The main problem which we face today is how to continue being an "innovation economy", namely an economy that, in several international fields "can do what no one else can do" (Like Ericsson, Volvo and IKEA once did, now everyone are copying them).
We have a steady economic growth and several well performing multinational corporations.
But that isn't enough.
We need a government that is even more focused on entrepreneurship, pioneering r&d and competition.
I am glad that US poor will likely not read about it. They would be demanding Escalades.
According to swedish PC moral law, any lazy, penniless moron ought to be entitled to a vehicle like a Cadillac Escalade - not to experience offence by the laws of capitalism.
To any US/non-european freepers:
Welcome to Europe, but don't believe what euoropean elitist people will tell you. Listen to what ordinary europeans have to say concerning societal and moral issues!
By the way: The Escalade is AWESOME!!!!!
"By the way: The Escalade is AWESOME!!!!! "
The awesome feeling will pass when gas hits five bucks a gallon
No it won't.
I welcome it.
Everything comes to an end.
But after arab oil, there will funny inventions.
Plus the swiss are pretty much all armed up with those evil black rifles... tax hike, "say hello to my little friend"
I'm borrowing this phrase from you.
You are welcome to it. Ayn Rand said something similar 60 years ago, and as I've come to learn, she was right.
Then don't live there...
Anyone using any inanimate object to harm people can make any place suck...
That's more or less what swedish socialism's all about.
In glaring contrast to this, when americans meet with scandinavians hosts (in Scandinavia) they act like they have to apologise for being citizens of one of the greatest nations ever in history.
I believe Europe and America will one day unite.
I apologize for what I wrote above about "Colombine".
That was thoughtless.
So you are OK with bioweapons and attack dogs? ;-}
mainly mutant seabass and sharks... I'm used to bio-weapons I have a child who attends daycare...
Once again someone swimming around in a pool has left me with advanced thoughts concerning buying skiing equipment.