Thursday, April 3, 2008

Walk


They're suggesting a congestion tax in Manhattan.
$8.00 for entering from the other boroughs. By car.
I always wonder about the real motives when new taxes or fees are added.
Is it to ease traffic or is it an attempt to make more money?
I grew up in a country where only a small percentage of your income actually was yours. Untaxed.
The tax was about 70% on what I earned. Actually, it probably was more.
In addition to that tax the employer has to pay a tax on top of your salary called employer's fee. It's around 48% to be added to the cost on top of Your salary for the employer.
You earn 1000 dollars.
It costs the employer $1,480.00.
$1,480.00 leaves $300 in your pocket in other words. Confiscation is a word that is not far away.
If you want to use that money to buy something you pay another 25% in VAT.
So, now the untaxed bit appears to be $225.
But that is not true as most of what you buy have other taxes baked into the price.
Toothpaste has luxury tax!
Wine, beer and spirits are highly taxed as are cigarettes.
Not to mention gas which is at least double as expensive as in the US.
Due to taxes.
About 3-4% of what you make remains untaxed at the end of the day. If that.
So you get a pension at the end of the life?
Maybe? And if so, it's not enough to live well on.
You probably have to sell your home, if you own one, and tax away the money and find a cheaper place somewhere where nobody wants to live anyway.
Most people save extra in private pension funds.
On a scheme where you're allowed to postpone paying the tax on money set aside until the day you use the money.
Hopefully the value of the fund has grown by the time you start to use them.
Free healthcare?
Well, you still pay fees to go to the doctor and if your before tax income is high you pay a part of days at hospitals too.
So free isn't exactly the word.
Dental care is not free at all, neither is eye care.
Mass transportation isn't cheap.
This encourages people to figure out ways to earn money under the taxman's radar.
And rich people seems to get away with paying no tax at all judging form their officially declared incomes.
So what the heck did all that have to do with a picture of a bicycle against an orange wall in NY?
Or congestion fees on cars?
Maybe they will introduce bicycle tolls too?

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