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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Are the Greeks like us?

It is hard to get facts about the Greek economy, but this tidbit will give you an idea about how things work in Greece. Property taxes are a big part of the Greek government's income and much of it is self reporting. In one affluent suburb of Athens, the residents self reported having 242 swimming pools. However, an aerial photograph disclosed 14,567 swimming pools in the same area.

So the rich in Greece have found ways to avoid paying a full share of taxes, but the government is trying to solve its financial woes of the backs of less well off working people. Taxes on lower income people are being increased, and retirement dates are being pushed to later and later ages.

In the U.S., the 10% of the Americans who are the richest get 90% of all the income in the U.S. However, they only pay 71% of all income taxes. That is a substantial inequity because it means people with lower incomes are making up the difference.

So what is happening in Greece today could well be a peak into the future of the U.S. The two enormous problems facing the U.S. economy are how to pay for Social Security and Medicare. The simple answer (but politically explosive answer) to both of those questions can be found in our book, The Great Recession Conspiracy. It is available from various sources as a ebook at a very modest price.
and from Amazon as a Kindle book.

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