Date: Oct 11, 2012 11:24 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 9:30 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:
> Well, what does this mean for a teacher in Norway?
> According to that first link, teachers make an average of $61,000 a year in
> Norway (compared to $42,000 in the USA).
> Let's work it out. In Norway the income tax on $61,000 is $16,470 (27%)
> leaving you with $44,530. In the USA the income tax on $42,000 is $5,460
> (13%) leaving you with $36,540. So the difference in net wages is $7,990.

Nope. You "conveniently" forgot payroll taxes in the US for Social Security and Medicare, which combined are *normally* 6.2% and 1.45% = 7.65% on everything up to a certain level way beyond $42,000. That's more than 20% of income and so $3213 more in taxes, leaving $33327. Net difference is at this point $11,203.

But wait! There's more! It's called state income taxes that the vast majority of states charge, and on top of that, state sales taxes that all states charge, and then there's local taxes that counties and cities charge like property taxes. That brings up the total that a teacher pays in taxes to all levels of government up to close to 1/4 of income, close to what teachers pay in Norway. That close to 25% is about right - it's about what I have paid as a teacher - making much less than $42,000, by the way. In FL.

See the above to see that taxation in Norway is not that bad in comparison to the US. They do have a payroll tax for their Social Security which is 7.8%. About 3/4 of municipalities charge property taxes, which range only from 0.2% to 0.7%. There is no sales tax like there is on most everything like the US, but the value added tax (VAT) sort of takes that place. The VAT is not paid by consumers - it is a BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS tax paid by the seller and NOT the buyer, and the VAT taxes only the profit margin and NOT the entire sales price of what is sold, and so the VAT is NOT a true sales tax at all even for business-to-business transaction.

In Norway, government tax revenues are about 43% of nominal GDP from all levels of government. Since their federal government owns all or most of maybe 40% of all corporations in Norway (that government majority owns about 1/3 of all publicly traded companies there), its government gets massive amounts of non-tax revenues in the form of revenue sharing. This revenue sharing is given out as dividend payments to shareholders of these publicly traded companies anyway, and therefore simple government ownership of all that stock makes much of that go to government. Thus total government revenues - as a percentage of nominal GDP - could be as high as 50-60%.

In the US, federal government tax revenues are presently only about 15% of nominal GDP when they used to be about 21% during Clinton's last years in office, and state, county, and city taxes are presently about 10% of nominal GDP when they used to be about 12%.

And so we see that historically speaking, before the Bush tax cuts - and tax cuts by Republican governors - have gutted the ability of government to take in revenue, the total level of taxation in Norway has normally been just not much higher than the US, low forties to low thirties as a percentage of nominal GDP.

> Sometimes Paul, you amaze me with how long you are able to string us along
> on BS.

It's the other way around - I am demonstrating and repeatedly have demonstrated that you are the one doing the stringing along on BS.

> Now I am going to find out about these "teaching hours" you are spouting. I
> already know your hours for primary teachers here is wrong, our teachers in
> florida spend less than 5 hours a day teaching, not 6.

Utter BS. I have taught in FL. The contracted work day was 7.5 hours per day. I taught 3 different 2 hour blocks per day.

I challenge you to prove your BS claims by actually naming a district where the contracted teaching hours are as you say, only low twenties per week.

I reiterate everything I said in my posts in this thread including

and what followed it.