Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Giving the French a run for their euros

It really takes a lot to compete with the French in bad economic policy, but the Finns are going for the gold in a different way. Some of them want their countrymen to have the distinction of the best attitude about bad economic policy, by learning to love high taxes.
Finnish taxpayers' group says be happy

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finns should be happy about paying some of the highest income taxes in Europe. At least that's what Finland's new Happy Taxpayers' Association says.

The association wants Finns to focus on the public services they receive rather than dwelling on negative thoughts about income tax.

"I don't think there is another official association like ours in the world," group vice-president Anna Tommola said on Monday.

She was speaking after the association, boasting some 250 members, was recognised by the national board of patents and registrations.

"We want to raise positive but critical discussion about taxes," Tommola told Reuters.

The main Taxpayers' Association of Finland, with 190,000 members, focuses on lobbying for tax cuts.
You can't make this stuff up.

In other news, this news article is headlined "Finland's Unemployment Rate Falls in April" with "Finland's Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.6 Percent in April" as the subtitle. But the article makes that claim based on a comparison of April 2006 to April 2005. Finland's unemployment was 8.1% in March 2006, so in fact it went up in April. Talk about putting spin on bad news!


Anonymous Brad Warbiany said...

My leftist lawyer friend in NC is always talking not about how much her property taxes are, but about how wonderful it is that she gets all these services provided for her with that money. Of course, her property is about 70% the value of mine, and her taxes are almost double mine, and the schools in my town are better, but she just doesn't see the light. True, I have to pay for my own trash service, but considering that costs me about $150/year, I think I can make that trade-off...

Regarding the unemployment thing, I have to point out that year-to-year unemployment is a better metric than month-to-month. Because many employment opportunities are seasonal, it makes a lot more sense to compare to the same time of year. That being said, though, perhaps April 2005 weather was much worse than April 2006, and that could explain the "decline in unemployment" they're hyping... The better metric would be average unemployment rate year-to-year, not individual months, because with weather variations and whatnot, the sample is far too small.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:15:00 AM  

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