Jan 11, 201306:05 AMLeft Business Brain
with Tom Breuer
The Tax Monster
(page 2 of 2)
We can also look to the experience of the rest of the world. While the eurozone crisis has prompted critics to say that Europe’s social democracies are too sclerotic and economically naive to prosper, you’d be hard-pressed to blame social democracy for what’s happened over there.
Yes, Europe’s situation is a mess, but not all countries are affected equally. Among the nations whose fiscal houses are in relatively good shape are Germany and Sweden – countries with tax rates that would make your average American conservative’s eyes bleed. (It’s also telling that Sweden currently does not use the euro.)
So just as Finland proves that unionized teachers do not doom an education system, and just as the experience of the rest of the industrialized world proves that universal coverage doesn’t turn one’s health care system into an expensive mess (in fact, it does the opposite), Germany and Sweden prove that there’s nothing magical about low taxes on the wealthy.
One thing that Europe does prove, however, is that austerity can stifle an economy. Limiting the spending power of the poor and middle class in order to preserve historically low tax rates for the rich is not just unfair, it’s unwise. If this economy is going to thrive in the future, we need to take a much broader view of the world and its history. Thankfully, the American people are starting to catch on.
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