Copenhagen's secret weapon

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Lyle
Participant
#

Not really secret…

part 1

part 2

A 200% tax on automobiles. If people don’t own cars, they won’t use them.


brian j
Participant
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I wonder how well this scales. I mean, the population of Denmark is less than NYC.

Perhaps some like-minded folks should try to move to a smallish state here and attempt to secede from the U.S. and start a Denmark-style state/economy, much like the Free State Project.

Update: Apparently you pay 90% on the first 6000 euro of your car purchase. I generally waver on taxation issues (at heart I’m an anarchist, but realistically, I most resemble a Christian Democrat), but the income tax is upwards of 50%. Yoikes. And that doesn’t include the VAT. Double yoikes.

Of course, perhaps we have a skewed idea of things, since Denmark is the second happiest place in the world.


robjdlc
Participant
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One of the key things to get from those episodes of planet money, is that corruption exists all the same and even Danish economists agree that the situation they have right now can’t last forever and will have to change very soon.


Mick
Participant
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“Tax and spend” has been vilified in the last few decades in the US.

Thing is, tax-and-spend is fiscally healthy and responsible when compared with Borrow-and-Spend (which seems to be the opiate of the so-called conservatives).


brian j
Participant
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If what I’m reading is correct, Denmark had very serious debt issues that their currently high taxes were created to fix.

A couple of other random thoughts, because I find this very interesting:

1. Unemployment in Denmark is around 5%, but that only accounts for people who aren’t working but want to be working. Has anyone seen numbers regarding the number of people on the dole there? Maybe that’s why they’re so happy–they’re getting paid not to work :-)

2. What if the U.S. implemented heavy taxes on second cars, particularly in families? I don’t think our current infrastructure would allow massive taxation on all cars (we have a rather large country, and public transportation is not consistently good, or even okay), but I think it’s reasonable to say that a family/couple should pay extra tax on a second car.

Another word on borrow-and-spend–I think it’s pretty popular with everyone. Most Americans, regardless of political stripe, don’t want to pay more taxes (even if the reality is that many Americans don’t even pay much in federal taxes).


salty
Participant
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Over here we pay people to go buy cars, not the other way around…


rsprake
Participant
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I don’t mind paying a higher tax rate so long as I get something out of it. Health care, good infrastructure, SNOW REMOVAL, good mass transit etc.


Mick
Participant
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@rprake: … so long as I get something out of it. Health care, good infrastructure, SNOW REMOVAL, good mass transit etc.

If you can’t get those, would you settle for bombing the hell out of some third world country?

Mick


rsprake
Participant
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No, but most of the country seems to. I also support a war tax during times of war or occupation. Maybe then these anti-tax, pro-war people will wise up.


alankhg
Participant
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As a 22-year-old, I certainly appreciate how the baby boomers have deigned to spend a few trillion dollars of my generation’s money on useless wars.


reddan
Keymaster
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As a 22-year-old, I certainly appreciate how the baby boomers have deigned to spend a few trillion dollars of my generation’s money on useless wars.

Don’t worry…given the current state of medical technology, you can rest assured they’ll be spending our money for at least the next 20-30 years.


alnilam
Participant
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You’ve gotta admit, spending more on “defense” than the next 15 countries combined is pretty impressive. Not just anyone can muster that level of absurdity.


jkoutrouba
Participant
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They not only spent a few trillion dollars of your generation’s money, they even got a few hundred thousand of you to volunteer to actually go do the fighting.


Mick
Participant
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Being a boomer-geezer, I was hoping you guys wouldn’t notice.

Various folks predicted, stating in the early 1990’s, that we would face a serious recession about now. It’s only expected to last a coupla decades, though.

The peak retirement should happen around 2020-2025. Along with social cesurity, you can expect economic stagnation from a massive sell-off of stock.

I hope there aren’t age riots.

Mick


edmonds59
Participant
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Whatever happened to “Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse” of that generation? (and leave something for the kids)?

Or was that my generation? I forgets.


reddan
Keymaster
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I hope there aren’t age riots.

Me too. Aside from the “you can’t hit Granny!” handicap, I expect walkers and wheelchairs would provide a significant advantage in mass hand-to-hand combat.

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