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  #81  
Old 05.12.2018, 22:20
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Yup, the most despicable of all taxes. Not just because inheritance tax is paid on assets that have already been taxed, not just down to the hypocrisy of preventing people from handing their wealth to their children whilst the State hands their debts to our children, but most importantly because it enforces the appalling idea that wealth belongs, by right, to the State in the first place.
An interesting article in the Economist here

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Inheritance tax
A hated tax but a fair one
The case for taxing inherited assets is strong

]NO TAX is popular. But one attracts particular venom. Inheritance tax is routinely seen as the least fair by Britons and Americans. This hostility spans income brackets. Indeed, surveys suggest that opposition to inheritance and estate taxes (one levied on heirs and the other on legacies) is even stronger among the poor than the rich.

Politicians know a vote-winner when they see one. The estate of a dead adult American is 95% less likely to face tax now than in the 1960s. And Republicans want to go all the way: the House of Representatives has passed a tax-reform plan that would completely abolish “death taxes” by 2025. For a time before the second world war, Britons were more likely to pay death duties than income tax; today less than 5% of estates catch the taxman’s eye. It is not just Anglo-Saxons. Revenue from these taxes in OECD countries, as a share of total government revenue, has fallen sharply since the 1960s (see article). Many other countries have gone down the same path. In 2004 even the egalitarian Swedes decided that their inheritance tax should be abolished.


Yet this trend towards trifling or zero estate taxes ought to give pause. Such levies pit two vital liberal principles against each other. One is that governments should leave people to dispose of their wealth as they see fit. The other is that a permanent, hereditary elite makes a society unhealthy and unfair. How to choose between them?

When the heirs loom
Some people argue for a punitive inheritance tax. They start with the negative argument that dead people no longer enjoy the general freedom to disburse their wealth as they wish—as the dead have no rights. How could they, when they are not affected one way or the other by what happens in the world?

That does not ring true. The logic would be to abrogate even the most modest of wills. But inheritances are deeply personal and the biggest single gift that many give to causes they believe in and loved ones they may have cherished. Many (living) people would feel wronged if they could not provide for their children. If anything, as the expression of their last wishes, bequests carry more weight than their passing fancies do.

The positive argument for steep inheritance taxes is that they promote fairness and equality. Heirs have rarely done anything to deserve the money that comes their way. Liberals, from John Stuart Mill to Theodore Roosevelt, thought that needed correcting. Roosevelt, who warned that letting huge fortunes pass across generations was “of great and genuine detriment to the community at large”, would doubtless be aghast at the situation today. Annual flows of inheritance in France have tripled as a proportion of GDP since the 1950s. Half of Europe’s billionaires have inherited their wealth, and their number seems to be rising.

However, in 2017, it is not clear exactly how decisive a role inheritance plays in the entrenchment of the hereditary elite. Data from Britain suggest that people tend not to lose their parents before they reach the age of 50. In rich countries the advantages that wealthy parents pass to their offspring begin with the sorting mechanism of marriage, in which elites increasingly pair up with elites (see article). They continue with the benefits of education, social capital and lavish gifts, not in the deeds to the ancestral pile.

Even if the link between inheritance-tax rates and inequality were clear, wealth can pay for a good tax lawyer. In the century since Roosevelt, Sweden and other high-taxers discovered that if governments impose a steep enough duty, the rich will find ways to avoid it. The trusts they create as a result can last even longer than the three generations it takes for family fortunes to go from clogs to clogs.

Armed with such arguments, some leap to the other extreme, proposing, as the American tax reform does, that there should be no inheritance tax at all. Not only is it right to let people hand their private property to their children, they say, but also bequests are often the fruits of labour that has already been taxed. And a large inheritance-tax bill is destructive, because it can cause the dismemberment of family firms and farms, and force the sale of ancestral homes.

Yet every tax is an intrusion by the state. If avoiding double taxation were a requirement of good policy, then governments would need to abolish sales taxes, which are paid out of taxed income. The risks that heirs will be forced to sell homes and firms can be mitigated by allowing them to pay the duties gradually, from cashflow rather than by fire-sales.

In fact, people who are against tax in general ought to be less hostile to inheritance taxes than other sorts. However disliked they are, they are some of the least distorting. Unlike income taxes, they do not destroy the incentive to work—whereas research suggests that a single person who inherits an amount above $150,000 is four times more likely to leave the labour force than one who inherits less than $25,000. Unlike capital-gains taxes, heavier estate taxes do not seem to dissuade saving or investment. Unlike sales taxes, they are progressive. To the extent that a higher inheritance tax can fund cuts to all other taxes, the system can be more efficient.

Transfer market
The right approach is to strike a balance between the two extremes. The precise rate will vary from country to country. But three design principles stand out. First, target the wealthy; that means taxing inheritors rather than estates and setting a meaningful exemption threshold. Second, keep it simple. Close loopholes for those who are caught in the net by setting a flat rate and by giving people a lifetime allowance for bequests; set the rate high enough to raise significant sums, but not so high that it attracts massive avoidance. Third, with the fiscal headroom generated by higher inheritance tax, reduce other taxes, lightening the load for most people.

A sensible discussion is hard when inheritance taxes prompt such a visceral reaction. But their erosion has attracted too little debate. A fair and efficient tax system would seek to include inheritance taxes, not eliminate them.
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  #82  
Old 06.12.2018, 03:34
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

There's a lot of talk about abuse of the system(s). Yet it oughtn't to be like climbing the Eiger Nordwand just to make an application, and have it processed within a useful time, and to obtain help without having to wait for years, and be worn down in the process.

Even if, indeed, the immense hurdles have been placed there, as someone suggested, to prevent abuse, they ought not to make life hell for the non-abusers.

After the cases I've seen, I can understand the growing number of voices who say that the hurdles are not there only to curb abuse, but to deliberately curb successful, valid applications, too.

After all, every single person who does not claim is a potential (though immeasurable) success for the social system. Every person who drops out of their claim is a demonstrable success. One less mouth to feed.

The whys and the wherefores of that dropping out are not researched. There is no duty on the social services to ensure that those who cannot or who can no longer help themselves do not drop out of claiming the help they need. This is no-one's duty: not the doctor, not the hospital, not the a nurse, neighbour or a friend. It is the insured person's responsibility alone, and if the insured Person cannot, well then that's a Success Day for the social security systems, and if the person vanishes into the world beyond the Swiss borders, or drops dead, so much the better.

Even the tuteur or Beistand (guardian), who is supposed to look out for a patient who no longer can, for him/herself, is not really likely, I believe, to negotiate the system.

Certainly, the two guardians I know (though they are concientious and correctly made sure the bills were paid promptly, and did the tax return) would be hopelessly out of their depth were they to have to, for example, deal adquately with the serious psychosis of their client during the application process for Top-Up Benefits (Ergänzungsleistungen) or the interviews at the Social Security office (Sozialamt) (not their job).

Nor would those guardians have known how to guide someone through the complexities of comorbidity, nor the serious dealings with the Disability Office and the intricacies of the laws governing those (not their job), and certainly they would not have become involved in finding treatment modalities and doctors and nurses (not their job).

Paradoxically, some of the most ill patients do not have any doctors all, because they lack the energy or the skills to find them or to keep the appointments, and this - never mind about their health! - is to their great disadvantage when, if ever, submitting documents to the Disability Office. Conversely, and tragically, such a patient's inadequacy is of great advantage to the Disability Office itself.
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  #83  
Old 06.12.2018, 08:10
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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There's a lot of talk about abuse of the system(s). Yet it oughtn't to be like climbing the Eiger Nordwand just to make an application, and have it processed within a useful time, and to obtain help without having to wait for years, and be worn down in the process.

Even if, indeed, the immense hurdles have been placed there, as someone suggested, to prevent abuse, they ought not to make life hell for the non-abusers.
Unfortunately the two come hand in hand. The UK has one of the highest of rates of autism anywhere in the world. You can also claim £145 per week if your child is autistic. This is no coincidence. Robust vetting is required to prevent abuse.
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  #84  
Old 06.12.2018, 08:24
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Unfortunately the two come hand in hand. The UK has one of the highest of rates of autism anywhere in the world. You can also claim £145 per week if your child is autistic. This is no coincidence. Robust vetting is required to prevent abuse.
Ehrm, again.....this is not UK...anyway, they surely need a doctor's certificate, no? Maybe this is the real rate. Maybe in many other places it is not even properly assessed and diagnosed. There are statistics.....and statistics.

Seriously, you shouldn't let all your resentments against the British system alter your ability to see that many people do have problems even if they are not in the wrong.
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Old 06.12.2018, 08:29
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Ehrm, again.....this is not UK...anyway, they surely need a doctor's certificate. Maybe this is the real rate.
I'm trying to give comparison to other European countries so people can see the benefits of the Swiss system. Anyway, there's soon going to be a blood test for autism - watch the rates plummet.
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  #86  
Old 06.12.2018, 08:32
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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I'm trying to give comparison to other European countries so people can see the benefits of the Swiss system. Anyway, there's soon going to be a blood test for autism - watch the rates plummet.
A blood test for autism, well, that's something new.
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  #87  
Old 06.12.2018, 09:33
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Well, it wouldn't surprise me if "managing out" as many cases as possible would actually be a metric employees of the various offices are measured on.


It's called Social Darwinism.
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  #88  
Old 06.12.2018, 09:39
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Anyway, there's soon going to be a blood test for autism - watch the rates plummet.
Sounds as medically sound as drowning someone to work out if they're a witch.
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  #89  
Old 06.12.2018, 09:52
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Sounds as medically sound as drowning someone to work out if they're a witch.
Darn those scientists. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320962.php
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Old 06.12.2018, 10:31
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Yeah, not so fast though.

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But Dr. Max Davie — an assistant officer for health promotion at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the U.K. — has expressed skepticism about such a test, saying, "This is a promising area, however this is a very long way indeed from a 'test for autism.'"

He adds, "The analysis was derived from children whose ages averaged 7–8, so there is no data to indicate that very young children will have the same metabolic pattern and that the results found would be reproducible in infants."

"While we applaud the arrival of this interesting area of research," says Dr. Davie, "it is important that it is not adopted with too much enthusiasm." He cautions that applying the test to a large population may produce a large number of false positives, causing unnecessary worry.
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Old 06.12.2018, 10:40
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Yeah, not so fast though.
Follow up study has verified the initial findings. Still some way to go, but on the right track.

Anyway, back on topic. Here's some numbers:

The European Union is:

7.2% of the World Population.
23.8% of the World’s GDP.
58% of the World’s Welfare Spending.
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  #92  
Old 06.12.2018, 10:55
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Follow up study has verified the initial findings. Still some way to go, but on the right track.

Anyway, back on topic. Here's some numbers:

The European Union is:

7.2% of the World Population.
23.8% of the World’s GDP.
58% of the World’s Welfare Spending.
What is included in your statistic for "world's welfare spending"?
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Old 06.12.2018, 11:08
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Follow up study has verified the initial findings. Still some way to go, but on the right track.

Anyway, back on topic. Here's some numbers:

The European Union is:

7.2% of the World Population.
23.8% of the World’s GDP.
58% of the World’s Welfare Spending.
I'm from EU but in my country the Welfare Spending is maybe 1% of the 58% mentioned That's why I am also used to think about the world in terms of self sufficiency and danger of failing. I agree with earlier posts that in Switzerland and a few other EU countries people lost the survival instinct, assume that the state has the means and the duty to help them in any shiiiit situation. When you don't really understand the danger you don't do enough effort to protect yourself. Of course there are accidents and what not, where in my country people are doomed when they fall into such troubles but here in Switzerland people still have so many options.

Well, @dropfiz, I wonder what's your point, do you think the Swiss system could be even better, that's nice of you but how is this discussion going to improve the system?
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Old 06.12.2018, 11:19
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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I'm from EU but in my country the Welfare Spending is maybe 1% of the 58% mentioned
Which is why you and your fellow countrymen rather look for greener pastures elsewhere?
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Old 06.12.2018, 11:26
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Anyway, back on topic.
.
.
The European Union is:
Not "back on topic". Please try to refrain from turning every thread into an anti-Europe rant.

For example, do you think the Swiss social welfare system is overly generous and subject to abuse, or too difficult for genuinely needy people?
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Old 06.12.2018, 11:38
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Not "back on topic". Please try to refrain from turning every thread into an anti-Europe rant.

For example, do you think the Swiss social welfare system is overly generous and subject to abuse, or too difficult for genuinely needy people?
Go and back and read my first post in this thread
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Old 06.12.2018, 11:50
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Go and back and read my first post in this thread
So why did you write all the other posts then?
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Old 06.12.2018, 11:55
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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I'm from EU but in my country the Welfare Spending is maybe 1% of the 58% mentioned That's why I am also used to think about the world in terms of self sufficiency and danger of failing. I agree with earlier posts that in Switzerland and a few other EU countries people lost the survival instinct, assume that the state has the means and the duty to help them in any shiiiit situation. When you don't really understand the danger you don't do enough effort to protect yourself. Of course there are accidents and what not, where in my country people are doomed when they fall into such troubles but here in Switzerland people still have so many options.
If you look at those countries with a low level of social security and/or welfare, it doesn't teach people to develop their survival instinct in any shape or form. If you fall by the wayside either intentionally or unintentionally, you just end up on the streets, which you see in significant numbers in such countries and areas.

Good preparation and planning counts for exactly zero if you have luck against you.
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Old 06.12.2018, 11:55
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Parts of the EU, have large numbers of British expats, who moved there because there were too many foreigners in the UK - you know, those who do not learn the language, have their own shops, Churches, schools, clubs, white vans coming over with internet orders from Tescos and White goods - with the cheap labour to install them on the black ... etc, etc.

Like Dordogneshire and Costadelshire ... oh the irony.
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Old 06.12.2018, 12:05
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Which is why you and your fellow countrymen rather look for greener pastures elsewhere?
Ha ha, yes, of course. I don't believe that I own anything to a country and no country owns me anything but I believe in social agreement, you contribute to your society and the society helps you when in need. Yes, I do constantly look for "greener pastures" wherever they may appear but not in a sense of being an animal fed by someone. I believe that anyone have the right to achieve whatever they want. The world is build up on injustice, reach countries do their best to keep other countries poor to have cheap labour. Many not-so-smart or lazy people just benefit from where they have been born and yet complain that it's not enough. Actually, the attitude of looking for greener pastures (being fed well by the system) is common in the reach developed countries
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