Norway publicizing each taxpayer's income & wealth

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by TraderZones, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. How stupid is this?

    Norway releases records on each taxpayer's income and wealth

    Norway's tax authorities, operating under a new law, have released official records showing the annual income and overall wealth of nearly every taxpayer in the country, the Associated Press reports.

    The "skatteliste" or "tax list" for 2008 is given to the media under a law aimed at promoting transparency.

    The law emphasized that "first and foremost, it's the press that can contribute to a critical debate" on wealth and the elaborate tax scheme that, along with the country's oil wealth, keeps Norway's extensive — and expensive — welfare system afloat, the AP says.

    The list, for example, shows that actress and director Liv Ullmann earned $17,300 in Norway, and has a wealth of $2.5 million. Income earned or kept abroad, or otherwise in some sort of tax shelter, is not included, the AP says.

    Former cross-country skiing great Bjoern Daehlie, who has eight Olympic gold medals, is worth $5.4 million.

    "Isn't this how a social democracy ought to work, with openness, transparency and social equality as ideals?" columnist Jan Omdahl wrote in the tabloid Dagbladet.

    Omdahl conceded, however, that many people treat the list as "tax porno," that allows them to check the income of neighbors of co-workers.

    Critics say the list is actually a threat to society.

    "What each Norwegian earns and what you have in wealth is a private matter between the taxpayer and the government," said Jon Stordrange, director of the Norwegian Taxpayer's Association.

    He also said the list gives criminals valuable information for picking prime targets and generates playground taunts of my-dad-is-richer-than-your-dad.
  2. piezoe


    Norway is a very open country. Even their central bank operations are very transparent. Judging from how well they are doing financially -- the government has no net debt-- and the lack of crime and poverty, i would say they must be doing something right.
  3. It is not stupid and that is a pretty big loop hole. Liv Ullmann may be a very frugal person, but I doubt she lives on $17,300 a year.
  4. They sell Oil and don't pay for their own defense, that's what they are doing right.. before they hit the oil they were starving their elderly...
  5. Norway's prosperity is largely due to North Sea oil. Like the rest of Scandanavia, it is a very homogeneous country filled with intelligent people. They don't have the same underclass problems to deal with we do.

    The downside of their socialism is that there is a great deal of envy and suspiscion of anyone who does better than average. I knew some Swedes who worked in the middle east. Their neighbors reported them to the tax police because they had a Porsche.

    This law is very counterproductive in my view and a rather extreme expression of the politics of envy. Is it a wise policy to encourage high earners to keep their assets in tax havens? Is it a wise policy to discourage your wealthy citizens from continuing to live in your socialist paradise? I say not.

    I don't really see social equality, as they define it, as a good goal. Social mobility, yes. Equality before the law, of course. But mindlessly punishing the successful to make everyone else feel better is not only stupid. It only fuels envy, which is far more destructive than social inequality.
  6. Lethn


    Not sure I approve of that, it's the equivalent of the corporation that publicized a whole bunch of peoples mobile phones in Britain.

    It's the banks and government that should be forced to be transparent, not private citizens.
  7. Banjo


    Sweden does the same thing. Always have, you just look it up online. Before that go to tax office.
  8. These countries have become freakish matriarchies. I doubt these countries will be on the map in 50 to 100 years.
  9. Norway would be considered a communist country in the USA.

    what are taxes there? like 60 %?
    #10     Aug 6, 2010