At one point, a local newspaper did a article about what you could buy with that weeks Lotto prize, I think it was 3.2 million euros. One of the things mentioned were 300000 bottles of Koskenkorva, but the most interesting to me was one kilometer of motorway. Yup, sure would be expensive building up that road to our cottage with own money.
Personally, I think taxes in Finland are still too low, at a net taxation of about 43% (compared to around 26% in the US).
Every time I hear an American complain about taxes, I think, they should have a discussion with a European. I had a lot of Swedish and Danish friends that schooled me on the subject.
Yes, socialism is a dirty word here. But living it, in practice, it doesn't feel bad at all.
I think even our most hard core right wingers here would be radical lefties in the States
But we do have some very unfair taxes here as well. It's a nice way to get votes saying that high income takers should pay their fair share of taxes and low income takers should get tax cuts, but if you're making six figures and paying almost 60% income tax, I'd say your paying 20 fair shares. Adding a couple grand annually isn't fair anymore. And someone making 1500 euros a month isn't really going to benefit all that much from the extra 10 euros they're getting, money that could be used to improve healthcare, infrastructure or education. Or heck, maybe just take a bit less national debt. My thinking isn't very popular though. Another thing that shocked me, was when I read the news that 3000 spots were going to be cut from art education. The part that shocked me, was that it was possible to cut 3000 spots, have we really needed that many unemployed art historians and bad painters? But again, my thoughts on that matter aren't very popular. And I do understand that some money should be spent on culture as well, I just don't see why it should be spent at the expense of health care or basic education.