“The USA Last”& “The Nordics First”

Many of you probably do not want to subscribe to the New York Times (NYT) because of the expense and relevance – there is only so much you can read…

But sometimes there are articles that just show you how this great country, the USA, is actually almost a developing country when it comes to important policy decisions. 

In today’s NYT, there is an Opinion column from Professor Paul Krugman, is a Nobel winning thoughtful economist and writer. He writes the following about a couple of policies being promoted by Nancy Pelossi, who is Speaker of the United States House of Representatives:

“One example is taxation of the rich. Conventional wisdom is still obsessed with the notion that taxing high incomes and/or giant fortunes will have dangerous effects on incentives. Actual experts in public finance have, however, long argued that substantially higher top-end taxation is justified — and Warren devised her wealth-tax plan with help from Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, superstars in the field.

Another example is child care, where there is a large body of evidence that investments in child care pay back significant dividends in both the short run — by helping mothers remain employed — and in the long run, because well-cared-for children grow up into more productive adults.”

On both counts the Nordics are way ahead already with progressive taxation and with low cost public and private childcare. Both policies have been in place for years and nobody has noticed any fall in the efficiency or motivation of hard-working well-paid employees and senior management, and women definitely get better job opportunities if they are not forced or expected to stay at home…

However, nothing is written in stone here in the Nordics. The governments and society in general are always looking to create better gender equality and for smaller income differentials.

Thank goodness we are far from the American class society where the super-rich can live in their safe nibbles and avoid paying their fair share of taxes, where gender inequality is rife and the income gap between the wealthy and poor is enormous…

…. but Paul Krugman knows all this…

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

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