Date: Oct 11, 2012 6:16 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 5:48 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:
> On Oct 11, 2012, at 2:02 PM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:
> You think that government revenues as a percentage of nominal GDP is
> too high in the US? Nonsense. They are essentially at the lowest point
> since WWII - 15% and 25% for federal and for combined federal, state,
> and local, respectively.
> That isn't what I said. I said that if you were to compare typical family
> budgets between a finnish family and a U.S. family they would be comparable.
> Yes, on the finnish side you have higher "taxes" but health care and college
> is covered.

But the average person in these richer countries of Scandinavia has a higher income than the average person in the US. Normalized to a 40 hour work week, in the US the average job pays thirty-something thousand dollars per year. In Norway, the richest country on the planet except for a couple of small city-state-like countries, the average job pays about eighty thousand dollars per year.

And government revenues from all sources - tax (and non-tax like income form partial or full ownership of a large percentage of the country's corporations, both publicly traded and not) - is, again, about twice that of the US as a percentage of nominal GDP. Their simply paying for some things collectively like health care and education and retirement and housing does cover lots of that difference but not all of it.