Friday, May 2, 2008

Paradise Taxed

‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’ It is difficult to disagree with Benjamin Franklin on this point though I would add masturbation.

It is that time of year. I wrestle with my tax return at the last minute attempting to make the deadline.

If you have never prepared a tax return, tax bores the tits off you, or you are fed up reading my blogs, take this quick exit link now,

Norwegians boast of the best country, the best social system and the best quality of life in the world. Good for them.

It comes at a price. Norway is a socialist country. You are not allowed to be better than anyone else and must follow the rules. You are reminded of this if you step out of line by your fellow citizen, usually a 60ish year old woman in a fur coat driving a Mercedes.

With a population of 4.5 million people Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. This is in part because of North Sea oil discovered in the 1960s. It is like Kuwait on the North Sea. The US would have to harvest the oil resources of the Milky Way to achieve a similar result.

Many Norwegians including members of parliament have hard held socialist cum communist beliefs. Shortly after the election of the Labour party two years ago the Finance Minister’s second in command suggested that private real estate be made illegal and expropriated by the state.

Excessive wealth and socialism make strange bedfellows. Socialists are renowned for their economic inefficiency. It’s champagne socialism at its worst.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

As I stumble my way through my tax return a veil of depression cloaks me. My personal tax rate is 52% which means I have to work until July before the money is mine. From the remaining 48% I must pay 25% of that on sales tax on ALL consumer goods extending this period to mid August.

With my remaining spondooly’s, I pay a King’s ransom for my provisions. According to the Economist’s Big Mac Index it costs $8.10 in Norway compared to $3.50 in the US or Canada to sample two all beef patties in a special sauce. Thank goodness I do not eat McDonald’s food.

You can log on to the internet to view any of your fellow animal’s tax contribution, thus establishing their income and net worth. Look at mine and you will see a mountain of debt.

Norway is a lovely country. It is the most expensive country I have experienced.

Power to the people, even if they chose to hand most of it to back the state. That’s democracy for you. The government and the King seem to do well from it.

Norway has the feeling of an exclusive members club to which I am privileged to have been admitted but unsure I can afford.

It is certain I will die. It is certain I will be taxed. It is certain I will masturbate in order to try to take my mind of this depressing topic.



itelli said...

Yes, but.... the women...!!! Surely they balance things out a bit, no?

ian in hamburg said...

I read about a survey where they interviewed hundreds of teenage boys. Turns out 96% of them had stuccoed the ceiling by the time they were 14, the remaining 4% were liars. :-)

OSLO said...

Is Itelli implying that it's worth putting up with Norway's high taxes because of its women? Has he ever been here? I guess if you're into frumpy dressers with bad haircuts/colours and stoney demeanours....Meiow!

daisyfae said...

you would have to masturbate a lot to be >50% spent. and then, perhaps you would die.

a different circle of life, but it all comes together, doesn't it?

itelli said...

Oslo>> I have been there, yes. And it looks like a bigger St Andrews (everyone is posh, there r some immigrants that balance things out, and it snows more).

But my next (nomadic) stop might be Dublin (hopefully). The only thing i was told about Dublin is something about women and big "balconies" :) Is that right at least, or is it just another urban legend? :P

BB>> wanking might be a very misunderstood word...

Anonymous said...

@oslo - I suspect Mrs BB is all that is required to "put up with" the high taxes! and lets keep chat on the m-thing to a minimum before they figure a way to tax that.

Johnada said...

Mid-August through December must be rockin' in Norway. Everyone finally getting out of the house to spend some money. Though I'm guessing hand shakes aren't too popular!

Shantanu said...

Hmm...very interesting! Didn't know about Norway, socialism and their tax rates. But then, I wouldn't have read up this elsewhere, because who else makes it interesting enough by adding masturbation to this dull topic? :-)

Michele said...

Who could tire of your posts? They make brighter even a lovely Norwegian spring day. :-)

If I dare to whisper a complaint about high taxes here, people rush to assure me that it is all worth it, as it apparently finances a king's pension for all of norges fine old folks. Since I will most likely flee before my golden years, this offers little comfort.

@anonymous---with 25% tax on batteries and tissues, self-love is already a pricey activity.

Michele said...

Oh, also, I would like to go on record as saying that, IMO, Norwegian women dress quite well. Standing next to them, I feel frumpy and a tad bit masculine. Oslo, I will, however, concede to the stoney expression. I think my smile often gives me away as a foreigner. ;-)

beaverboosh said...

itelli – ja, it’s scando babe city. I married one!

ian – I started lying when I was 12

oslo – Joanna darling, itelli was speaking of Norway, not Ireland

daisyfae - not for most men, they knock one out and they’re napping. A good point daisyfae, it is very different - mrs BB and I came together and will stay together

itelli – good luck in Dublin. I don’t know about balconies but you will find a lot of Dublin girls with big mouths! Hey and good health detective work, like men need medical grounds for masturbation

anonymous@oslo – welcome though you look familiar. LOL, see michele’s comments below. The Democrats have been considering a wanking tax in the US, needless to say the Republicans are shriveling at the thought

johnada – ja, it rocks until the 12th day of xmas and then goes black. Health standards make it illegal to wank in Norway without latex gloves, using your less dexterous hand, so you should be ok. You might want to ask to sniff your counterpart’s fingers before shaking though this is only common on the West coast

shantanu – dude firstly, the Vegas road trip looks fab! You are the last of the bon viveurs! Yeah, it all socialism and masturbation around here!

michele – uhm, mrs bb who rarely reads them, most bloggers after a month, me… you are too kind. Hey, the odd things is Norwegian’s don’t complain about taxes or high prices, they just accept it is the way it is. LOL on the @anonymous comment, I am already examining cut backs in my tissue budget!

michele2 – the NO females are usually very smiley and helpful to foreign men… except the ones that look like men, they are pretty grumpy to everyone

Zhu said...

Wow, that sounds like a lot of taxes!!

I have just completed my Canadian taxes and ouch, it hurt a bit too. That said, I'm socialist and I like to support services. I'm glad I contribute to health care programs, youths programs etc.

If only they could make taxes paper a bit easier to fill up... that's all I ask.

beaverboosh said...

zhu - darling, you should be living in Norway. People love to pay taxes here, though the tax forms are as complex here as anywhere, and in Norwegian! Rarely a complaint is heard of taxes, or high prices... it is the Norwegian way!

kyknoord said...

It's only a matter of time before they figure out how to tax masturbation. And then half the poplulation would commit suicide.

beaverboosh said...

kyknoord - too right, and I already find it taxing enough!

Gary said...

You had me at "I would add masturbation"


Uncle Keith said...

52%! Do you feel like you are getting your money's worth. Because American Bureaucracy isn't worth the 39%, I'm paying.

beaverboosh said...

gary - takes one to know one!

uncle keith - great point! No. I often ask Norwegians if they feel they are getting value from public services for their tax bucks. Most say... 'oh yes, Norway is one of the best countries in the world to live in'. Understandable as half of the population works for the government! Turkeys don't vote...

azahar said...

'oh yes, Norway is one of the best countries in the world to live in'

Doesn't Norway rival Sweden in terms of having the highest suicide rate in the world? I thought I'd read that somewhere ... maybe it was Finland.

beaverboosh said...

azahar - Sweden, Denmark and Norway are mid pack at ~25 suicides per 100,000 pa. similar to Canada an the US. Finland is almost double at ~45, Russia is ~82, Spain is ~17. However, most surveys of Scandos reveal they are some of the most depressed (and grumpy) people on the planet!