July 19, 2007

All Is Not Hunky-Dory In Norway

Socialist utopian nanny-state not necessarily all it's cracked up to be. Why?

Taxes, say Norwegians.

Norwegians are among the most heavily taxed people in the world, and that in turn has made Norway one of the most expensive countries in which to live. Most accept the taxes they're ordered to pay on income and even net worth and property, but growing numbers are publicly complaining about sky-high taxes on everything from cars to fuel to consumer goods.

Norwegians differentiate between skatter (taxes) and avgifter (duties, fees or user taxes) and the latter is the most hated. They're what causes a glass of house wine at an Oslo restaurant to cost the equivalent of nearly USD 16, or a gallon of gas to cost nearly USD 9 at current exchange rates.

But I thought coughing up so much of your income to the government was worth it if you can live in a country that practically wipes your butt for you?

Meh. The MSM loves to paint socialist European countries as paradises on Earth but you'll never see the LA Times reprint an article like the one above. I've always thought that five weeks guaranteed vacation isn't all that exciting when you can't afford to do anything except drive over to Sweden. Of course, with those gas taxes even that's a luxury.

Posted by Gary at July 19, 2007 11:01 AM | TrackBack

I am just back from 2 weeks in Norway. Expensive does not begin to do it justice. When is the last time you paid $10 (60 crowns) for a half pint of draft beer? Or you go out to dinner with your wife and share a tomato salad, a bottle of wine, and you each have an individual pizza and it sets you back 900 crowns ($150). Taxes are only part of the problem. They need major, systemic reforms.

And it ain't ever going to happen -- lack of political will.

This trip, if no other trip had before, has totally ruled out for us the possibility of moving to Norway, which we had been considering. There are major problems on the horizon for that country and I am not bringing my kids there to live.

Posted by: rp at July 19, 2007 10:20 AM