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Comment Re:News for nerds huh? (Score 2) 399

I mean sure - for me, that's fine. For the average American, the idea of "putting a few months worth of pay checks into savings" is just ludicrous. It would take them several years to be able to save that much, since everything has to be spent on the basic necessities of food, shelter, clothes and bills.

Comment Re:News for nerds huh? (Score 1) 399

The US's bi-weekly pay cycle was one of the things that surprised me most when I first moved here. In Europe, monthly pay cycles are the norm, meaning that you can neatly line up getting paid on the 1st, rent coming out on the 2nd, and bills getting paid on the 3rd, rather than constantly juggling "which pay packet does rent/mortgage need to come out of this time?"

Comment Re:America! (Score 1) 341

The whole point is to make the competition somewhat unfair. You should what someone who doesn't have a profit motive, but instead a public service motive would do. That forces all the guys with profit motives to show them how to run the thing efficiently, and *still* make a profit while providing all those good services.

Comment Re:So you exclude half the taxes and what you get? (Score 3, Interesting) 903

If you think about it, you'll realize how stupid this whole thing is. Regardless of the form of taxation, the net result is the same - money diverted from the productivity generator (employee, company) to the government. So why do we need so many taxes?

This makes a base assumption that services provided by the government are not productivity generators.

According to you:

*Roads are not productivity generators

* People who are not sick don't generate productivity

* Educated people don't generate productivity

* People who don't live in fear of crime don't generate productivity ...

Comment Re:So you exclude half the taxes and what you get? (Score 1) 903

You missed that sales tax is not paid by companies buying and then reselling products in the US. It is only paid by the final customer.

Untaxed price in both countries:
100 + .25 * 100 + .25 * 1.25 * 100 + .25 * 1.25 * 1.25 * 100
= 195.3125

VAT in the UK accumulated along the way, and then passed to the customer: .2 * 100 (when the produced item was sold to the first step executer) .2 * 125 - .2 * 100 (when the modified item was sold to the second step executer) .2 * 156.25 - .2 * 125 (when the modified item was sold to the third step executer) .2 * 195.3125 - .2 * 156.25 (when the modified item was sold to the customer)
= 39.0625
Total price in the UK = 234.375

Sales tax in the US assuming 6%: .06 * 195.3125 = 11.71875
Total price in the US = 207.03125

Comment Re:So you exclude half the taxes and what you get? (Score 1) 903

The end result of VAT and sales tax is effectively identical.

VAT: at each stage VAT is applied on the value added, and then passed along as a cost to the next person. Effectively the customer ends up paying VAT on all of the value that was ever added (the total value of the end result)
Sales: at each stage, 0% tax is applied, then when it gets to the customer, they pay sales tax on the total value.

They'e calculated in different ways, but the end result is that the customer pays the tax on the total value of the product.

Comment Re:So you exclude half the taxes and what you get? (Score 5, Insightful) 903

By the time you take all that stuff into account the US is likely to be *way* further down the list. Property tax isn't high in the US (typically around 1.5% of the value of the property, which is similar to, or lower than council tax rates in the UK). Sales tax is typically extremely low (typically less than 6%), compared to the UK's 20% VAT. Taxes on fuel are typically extremely low 18.4/gal, compared to the UK's £2.19/gal (273/gal).

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