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Old 06-22-2008, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
28,218 posts, read 47,632,920 times
Reputation: 19724

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Every year, Sweden publishes everyone's income tax returns. So do Finland and Norway. And nobody really cares.

By contrast, U.S. law prohibits releasing anybody's tax information. Imagine the howl if the IRS put tax returns online, so co-workers, neighbors and mothers-in-law could see what someone earns.

ABC News: Where You Can Learn Everyone's Salary
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:37 PM
 
Location: In a delirium
2,588 posts, read 4,945,770 times
Reputation: 1379
I had no idea they did that. People here would freak. Employers here count on the culture of not sharing what you earn. That way they can be unfair. I had a dinky sales job in college at a baby store. My coworker and I learned we were paid differently. I had been there longer, brought in more sales, and so decided to confront the owner. She was pissed and said that was something we should never have shared, that it was unethical of us, which was funny considering all of her unethical behavior (long story). Total BS. Basically, we've been raised to think what we earn is some how the equivalent of our value to society, which intellectually we all have to reject. How would we get by without our teachers, our truck drivers, the trash collectors, etc. But, how would society suffer if a sports star fell off the face of the Earth?
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:24 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,688 times
Reputation: 10
Unfortunately there are a lot people here in the US that have the misguided belief that they have a right to privacy. As far as I see it we should are entitled to know everything about those around us. If there's nothing wrong, what do they have to fear?
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:55 AM
Status: "13 years on C-D" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,864 posts, read 9,937,706 times
Reputation: 1549
If the IRS released income and tax records there would probably be a revolution when "we, the people" found out, en-masse, that the richest among us pay zero tax and get the best goodies from the government.

Of course, since collective bargaining has been dwindled down to "individual negotiations," releasing IRS records publicly would only serve to expose gross inequalities among wage earners. Ever found out that the flunky you're training makes more than you?
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:32 AM
 
Location: London
200 posts, read 942,029 times
Reputation: 110
I'm sorry but what someone makes is nobody else's business. There should be a revolution if they try to introduce it in my opinion. Have someting to fear? Get stuffed I say. And No I'm not a major employer. I run a small business that employs just me and my salary is modest. I have no interest in what other people make and to me it says nothing about them as a person. People don't need to know what I make anymore than what colour underwear I have. If there's a problem with the tax laws and wealthy people paying less then change the tax laws or close the loopholes. People do have a right to privacy.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:04 AM
 
Location: Rural Northern California
1,019 posts, read 2,485,479 times
Reputation: 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon313 View Post
Unfortunately there are a lot people here in the US that have the misguided belief that they have a right to privacy. As far as I see it we should are entitled to know everything about those around us. If there's nothing wrong, what do they have to fear?
Sarcasm I trust?



Anyways, if the folks in Scandinavia don't care about their privacy, then good for them. I, on the other hand, care very strongly keeping my private information, well, private.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:48 AM
 
Location: MN
1,669 posts, read 5,602,957 times
Reputation: 942
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtee View Post
I had no idea they did that. People here would freak. Employers here count on the culture of not sharing what you earn. That way they can be unfair. I had a dinky sales job in college at a baby store. My coworker and I learned we were paid differently. I had been there longer, brought in more sales, and so decided to confront the owner. She was pissed and said that was something we should never have shared, that it was unethical of us, which was funny considering all of her unethical behavior (long story). Total BS. Basically, we've been raised to think what we earn is some how the equivalent of our value to society, which intellectually we all have to reject. How would we get by without our teachers, our truck drivers, the trash collectors, etc. But, how would society suffer if a sports star fell off the face of the Earth?
Somebody I work with left their tax return on the office printer one day. I noticed that I make way more money, but the other person started 5 years before me and we both do the exact same job.
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska (most of the time)
1,224 posts, read 3,345,087 times
Reputation: 1897
News, innocent before proven guilty? Not in the US.

Come on, if media can broadcast suspects names before them being declared guilty and sentenced, then why is it such a big deal that people can see what other people make?

In the US you can see the names and faces of suspects, but you can't see what your co-workers earn.
In Sweden you can't see the names nor faces of suspects, but you can see what your co-workers earn.
Sorry, but I prefere our system. If you can't see what your co-workers earn for doing the exact same job as you, then how are you going to be able to determine whether your wage is correct or be able to demand more money for your job? This system is about making it easier for people to get the right wage for thier jobs, and to make sure people actually pay ther taxes. I can speak from my own experience when I say that this system is very good. Had it not been for it, my father wouldn't have had to pay any allimony for me or my brothers. He claimed he didn't earn enough, but a look at Skatteverket proved that he earned 5 times as much as he had claimed.

We care a lot about our privacy. Hence all the protests against the new surveillance law. It's just that this isn't considered as private as in the US. Different cultures, different priorities. You think this is an invasion of one's privacy, we think other things you do to be an invasion of one's privacy.

The system is about fairness. Making it easy for the average Joe (or Medelsvensson) to get the right pay. If you don't know what others get for the same job as you do, then how are you going to be able to demand a pay raise?
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,027,288 times
Reputation: 19908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweden View Post
News, innocent before proven guilty? Not in the US.

Come on, if media can broadcast suspects names before them being declared guilty and sentenced, then why is it such a big deal that people can see what other people make?

In the US you can see the names and faces of suspects, but you can't see what your co-workers earn.
In Sweden you can't see the names nor faces of suspects, but you can see what your co-workers earn.
Sorry, but I prefere our system. If you can't see what your co-workers earn for doing the exact same job as you, then how are you going to be able to determine whether your wage is correct or be able to demand more money for your job? This system is about making it easier for people to get the right wage for thier jobs, and to make sure people actually pay ther taxes. I can speak from my own experience when I say that this system is very good. Had it not been for it, my father wouldn't have had to pay any allimony for me or my brothers. He claimed he didn't earn enough, but a look at Skatteverket proved that he earned 5 times as much as he had claimed.

We care a lot about our privacy. Hence all the protests against the new surveillance law. It's just that this isn't considered as private as in the US. Different cultures, different priorities. You think this is an invasion of one's privacy, we think other things you do to be an invasion of one's privacy.

The system is about fairness. Making it easy for the average Joe (or Medelsvensson) to get the right pay. If you don't know what others get for the same job as you do, then how are you going to be able to demand a pay raise?

I completely agree , I suspect it is just a question of culture and how we are brought up. I do not have a problem at all with anyone knowing how much money I earn.
I do mind the intrusion into our lives since the so called "war on terror" though and a lot of the civil liberties we have lost as a result in the UK since. I also really object as you mention the fact that alleged criminals can have their faces plastered on the news before they have even been put on trial. In the Uk they will say things like "John Smith, age 39 of 25 windmill road was arrested on suspicion of rape/burglary/murder/child abuse) and you know very well that the poor guy's life will not be worth living even he is proven innocent as people always think there is no smoke without fire.

That to me is an appalling breach of privacy. We have lost "Habeas Corpus" since Iraq and the new anti-terrorist measures are making our society a surveillance one.

So in the great scheme of things I would much prefer that my salary was made public and that my name was kept out of the papers if I am ever alleged to have committed a crime.

It's funny actually because when I lived in the US I was often taken aback by exactly how many people aksed me how much I earned and told me how much they made too. It seemed very normal and I know a lot of other Europeans I know were rather shocked by that very open attitude to money matters.

I actually think it is not a bad system as it means employers cannot play employees one against another. It allows for more equitable pay and a stronger bargaining point for workers. It also means you know exactly how much the fat cats are earning too.

Different strokes for different people though. Universal Healthcare makes many Americans shake in their boots at the mere mention and Europeans shake at the idea of a privatised system. Different cultures that is all.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:39 AM
 
1,570 posts, read 1,673,637 times
Reputation: 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweden View Post
News, innocent before proven guilty? Not in the US.

Come on, if media can broadcast suspects names before them being declared guilty and sentenced, then why is it such a big deal that people can see what other people make?

In the US you can see the names and faces of suspects, but you can't see what your co-workers earn.
In Sweden you can't see the names nor faces of suspects, but you can see what your co-workers earn.
Sorry, but I prefere our system. If you can't see what your co-workers earn for doing the exact same job as you, then how are you going to be able to determine whether your wage is correct or be able to demand more money for your job? This system is about making it easier for people to get the right wage for thier jobs, and to make sure people actually pay ther taxes. I can speak from my own experience when I say that this system is very good. Had it not been for it, my father wouldn't have had to pay any allimony for me or my brothers. He claimed he didn't earn enough, but a look at Skatteverket proved that he earned 5 times as much as he had claimed.

We care a lot about our privacy. Hence all the protests against the new surveillance law. It's just that this isn't considered as private as in the US. Different cultures, different priorities. You think this is an invasion of one's privacy, we think other things you do to be an invasion of one's privacy.

The system is about fairness. Making it easy for the average Joe (or Medelsvensson) to get the right pay. If you don't know what others get for the same job as you do, then how are you going to be able to demand a pay raise?
Sweden, once again you have proven why i love swedes and the rest of the scandinavian people. reps to you!
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