In response to the cries for fair tuition or free tuition rates, I’ve decided to post what countries are actually paying for the services some insist are “free”.
It seems as though the recent trend among young people is the claim that the U.S. higher education system is unfairly preying on college students . A result of this is their unwavering support of political leaders like Bernie Sanders, who’s advocacy of socialist policies only serve to confirm these beliefs and foster an attitude of oppressor vs. oppressed, which isn’t reality.
What reality is, and what we’ll show you below, is the higher rates of taxation for countries who have switched over to taxpayer-funded higher education systems. While this may not mean anything for students who have never held a job and haven’t had to pay taxes yet, it would do well for them to consider the facts, when voting, before they do enter the working world.
Facts aren’t important to people like Bernie Sanders though, who says on his own site that America should join the ranks of countries who offer free college education simply on the basis that the other countries are able to:
This is not a radical idea. Last year, Germany eliminated tuition because they believed that charging students $1,300 per year was discouraging Germans from going to college. Next year, Chile will do the same. Finland, Norway, Sweden and many other countries around the world also offer free college to all of their citizens. If other countries can take this action, so can the United States of America.
The problem is that the other countries can’t support a free education system, not without taking the funds from it’s citizens…
In Finland there’s a tax on earned income, as well as a municipal tax and a church tax. The lowest tax bracket is taxed 6.5 percent, which doesn’t sound like much- until you add the 16-22 percent municipal tax along with the church tax (1-2 percent) if you belong to one. Now, compare that to the middle to upper class residents who will be taxed upwards of 39.5%- 53.75%.
Doesn’t sound so bad? How does a 24% sales tax hit ya’?
In Norway, there’s a flat 27 percent tax on earned income, 8.2 percent tax on national insurance (healthcare) and a surtax of 9-12 percent on those who earn over $63K dollars. Norwegians are also expected to pay a 25 percent sales tax. Yikes!
For a great article comparing the net income differences between Norway and the U.S., check out this article where they do a great job breaking it down.
For the year 2015, the U.S. had a marginal tax rate of 39.6% which only applied to those earning over $413K. In 2012, Denmark highest top earners had a personal income tax rate of 60% which applied to those who earned over roughly $55K.
This high tax rate has resulted in higher salaries…and a much higher cost of living. Don’t forget that 25 percent sales tax rate, either. As a result, only 40 percent of Danes even own a car.
Now, compare that to a country where the highest sales tax is ten percent and the only thing you have to pay for is your own college education, not everyone else.
The beauty of living in the United States is that Americans have the choice of attending college, earning a living and being successful without increasing the burden on everyone else. Now that’s loving your neighbor. It just demands personal responsibility, a concept that socialists just don’t understand.