While we await the outcome of the Greek elections this weekend, the world seems fixated on a country whose GDP is the size of Indiana, Maryland or Minnesota….if we are to put things into perspective. If Indiana’s economy went bust would America crumble?
Lots of the blame for Greek’s woes is being heaped on their citizen’s reluctance to pay taxes. In fact, a good chunk of the wealthier citizens simply refuse to pay taxes. there are over 100,000 swimming pools in Athens, but only a few thousand owners pay the required taxes on these pools. that translates to a few thousand people paying for everybody else who refuses to pay! This corrupt system has resulted in the lowering of the minimum income requirement for taxation to kick in…unsurprisingly those with small incomes, especially salaried individuals who have no means to avoid paying taxes are feeling the pinch and have to carry the weight of those who are self-employed who have much better opportunities to skirt taxes.
While we can all laugh at the Greeks, lets not laugh too loud: Remember that US darling company APPLE paid corporate federal taxes at an effective rate that was below 10% in 2011……while the rest of the smaller corporations pay double and triple?
It ceases to amaze me how a select few are always able to avoid their responsibility at the expense of the majority: surely if the likes of Apple paid 20% in taxes, the rates could be lowered for all and result in a booming economy the likes of which we have never known?
Surely if the 20% of over-taxed buildings in New York had their tax assessments reduced to match those of the 80%, the 80% would pay a fraction more and the 20% would pay a significantly less (but equally to all)….all based on the clear principles of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the way.
So next time you frown at the Greek ‘system’, know that similar abuses are happening in your own back yard. And are equally disturbing and damaging.