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Old 09-06-2012, 02:01 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
If I only got to keep 30% of my earnings, i don't know how "stress free" i'd be. Just referring to the OP, not the rest of this convo.
When you think about that, understand that the 30% "they" (in the OP) keep has to be compared to what you would keep after you make enough contributions to your retirement savings to end up with 60 - 100% of your salary (that is a lot higher future value than you think), after you pay for your healthcare, after you pay for local sales tax, after you pay for real estate taxes, after you pay for Federal and State income taxes, etc.

Do the math and you probably keep less than you think. See my example in post #6 in which I ballpark I net about 50% of my gross income after all of those deductions and I pay no state income tax and do contribute enough to have a very significant (but in no way guaranteed) retirement savings (when combined with employer benefits).

Last edited by Scrappy Jack; 09-06-2012 at 02:02 PM. Reason: (needs more parentheses)
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:26 PM   #62
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BBC
US tops world charitable giving index

The US has been rated as the world's most charitable country in 2011 by the Charities Aid Foundation's (CAF) World Giving Index, up from fifth in 2010.

The Irish Republic came second, then Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

The survey suggested more people were likely to perform charitable acts this year compared with 2010, but less likely to give money.

The CAF said the "global economic crisis" was the likely reason for the slight fall in charitable donations.

The group said the richest countries were not necessarily the most likely to give to charity - only five nations that are in the World Bank's top 20 economies by GDP appear in the latest CAF giving index top 20.

In terms of percentage of population, Thailand was the most generous, with 85% of Thais making regular charitable contributions. The UK was the second most generous, with 79% regularly giving to charity.

Countries were ranked in terms of the monetary donations and charitable acts of their people.
https://www.cafonline.org/pdf/world_...011_191211.pdf

The Nordic countries are around 40th on the list.

Edit: The Thai Buddhist monks rely on daily rations being charitably given to them to eat, hence their cultural giving being at a very high level.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:38 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
https://www.cafonline.org/pdf/world_...011_191211.pdf

The Nordic countries are around 40th on the list.

Edit: The Thai Buddhist monks rely on daily rations being charitably given to them to eat, hence their cultural giving being at a very high level.
This comes as no surprise as there really is no norwegians in need of charitable donations.
I give to a friend of mine that runs a home for 8 children in Zimbabwe. Providing food, shelter and education. That will not show on any statistic, nor do I claim any tax return for it.

When the Tsunami hit Asia in `04 we came second only to Australia if you count donations per capita. Each norwegian contributed with 57.95USD while every US citizen donated a measly 9.81USD...
Humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:25 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by lassi View Post
This comes as no surprise as there really is no norwegians in need of charitable donations.
I'm not sure how factual that is, but well played.


So, I was reading up on Sweden's political and budget system. Pretty interesting. They extended the length of their election cycle from 3 to 4 years and their budgets are done on a multi-year cycle (versus the annual system here).

It also seems that budgets must be presented and accepted in whole or not at all? Meaning, rather than tack on a bunch of unrelated earmarks as ammendments, all spending must be included in the original proposed budget.

In addition, because of their parliamentary system, it's almost impossible to have a budget roadblocked because a minority can pass a budget if the majority does not agree on an alternative.

That wouldn't work with our current two-party system, unless the factions inside the parties (Blue Dog Democrats, Tea Party Republicans, ?) decided to pair up and cross aisles?
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:39 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
I'm not sure how factual that is, but well played.


So, I was reading up on Sweden's political and budget system. Pretty interesting. They extended the length of their election cycle from 3 to 4 years and their budgets are done on a multi-year cycle (versus the annual system here).

It also seems that budgets must be presented and accepted in whole or not at all? Meaning, rather than tack on a bunch of unrelated earmarks as ammendments, all spending must be included in the original proposed budget.

In addition, because of their parliamentary system, it's almost impossible to have a budget roadblocked because a minority can pass a budget if the majority does not agree on an alternative.

That wouldn't work with our current two-party system, unless the factions inside the parties (Blue Dog Democrats, Tea Party Republicans, ?) decided to pair up and cross aisles?
Not factual, but I believe it`s not far from the truth. I did not mean to come off as smug asshat thinking I come from a land of bliss where fairytales are made and everybody farts rainbows...

When presented with statistics of how many work for the govt and how many people in working age are on welfare, unemploynmet or disability the discussion quickly gets heated over here too.

While the parliamentary system brings a lot more shades to the table than just left or right, it quickly becomes flawed when we can get ministers appointed to run individual govt agency with as low a 4% of the total vote count. This because they join a coalition with other parties to form the governing body. I have a hard time accepting that ministers that now after 3 years of reign have less than 4% support from the public and still refuse to give up their power and resign.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:51 AM   #66
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An assumption we should all question is the very idea of democracy wherein on every issue of our lives the majority set the rules.
The problem is that on many issues, each of us is in the minority.

51% think ultralow speed limits are good? 55 mph limits! 51% think marijuana is bad? Jail for users! And so on.
You have to ask, why does the majority have to rule over the minority on every issue?

The alternative to democracy is NOT dictatorship. The right alternative to democracy is a system based on freedom:

Beyond democracy

Quote:
Why democracy does not lead to solidarity, prosperity and liberty but to unrest, runaway spending and a tyrannical government.

Democracy is widely considered to be the best political system imaginable. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that democracy has become a secular religion. The largest political faith on earth. To criticize the democratic ideal is to risk being regarded an enemy of civilized society.

Yet that is precisely what Karel Beckman and Frank Karsten propose to do. In this provocative and highly readable book, they tackle the last political taboo: the idea that our salvation lies in democracy.

Read the first chapter
With simple, straightforward arguments they show that democracy, in contrast to popular belief, does not lead to freedom, civilization, prosperity, peace, and the rule of law, but the opposite: to loss of freedom, social conflict, runaway government spending, a lower standard of living and the subversion of individual rights.

In just 97 pages they debunk 13 great myths with which democracy is usually defended. What is more, they offer an appealing alternative: a society based on individual freedom and voluntary social relations.
$0.99 Kindle edition:
Beyond Democracy: Karel Beckman,Frank Karsten: Amazon.com: Kindle Store Beyond Democracy: Karel Beckman,Frank Karsten: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:20 PM   #67
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The government of the United States is not a democracy. It is a constitutional representative republic. Democracy is mob rule and is dangerous for obvious reasons.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:37 AM   #68
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:12 AM   #69
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Another view on the topic
The 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index
How biased of whatever political color I don't know.
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