Really Now-Do You Think That The Government Cares About You?

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  1. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 16 months ago

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    Americans, do you believe that the Democratic & Republican parties care for their constituents or do they care to advance their monetary holdings & furthering their own clout?  Democrats & Republicans are both sides of the same coin sociopolitically.  In reality, they will say what is needed to obtain political office.  However, once in office, they will do what is in THEIR interests, not in the interests of their constituents.  Anyone who believes otherwise isn't living in reality.  Politicians are only interested in their specific well-being.  They will cast their constituents aside if it is for their benefit.  Politicians never cared about the American public.  Facts, the government isn't here to socioeconomically take care of people.  It is the individual's responsibility to take care of him/herself & his/her family.   Why do people expect the government to be their proverbial parents?  That isn't the government's job at all.  When will people stop believing that it is the obligation of the government to either take care of them or to provide extras-this has got to stop.  Your thoughts?

    1. Nathanville profile image92
      Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      In the UK & EU Governments care about their citizens.

      1. DrMark1961 profile image96
        DrMark1961posted 16 months agoin reply to this

        Hahahaha. Yeah, right.

        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 16 months agoin reply to this

          Exactly Dr. Mark.  Governments could care less about the citizens.  Governments exist to exercise power, no more no less.

        2. Nathanville profile image92
          Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

          Yeah, right:  Different social and cultural values on this side of the pond.

          1. DrMark1961 profile image96
            DrMark1961posted 16 months agoin reply to this

            Yes, I notice that the politicians in the UK are willing to earn and live just like a common citizen. The people of the UK earn an average of 38,000 a year, and a politician in the parliament earns 84 k.

            Yeah, they really care.

            1. Nathanville profile image92
              Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

              Actually, not all politicians in Parliament earn £84,000:  For Your Information, politicians in the House of Lords do NOT get paid.  And also, elected politicians in local government don’t get paid either – It’s just MPs in the House of Lords who get paid a salary.

              So what:  An MP’s job is not an average job; and neither is it a secure job – if the people who voted for the MP are not pleased then they will vote him/her out of office at the next General Election e.g. he/her lose their job..

              Besides, the responsibilities of an MP equate to that of senior management, and as such their wages reflect that.

              And besides, whether a politician gets paid, and how much that politician gets paid has nothing to do with whether the UK Government cares about its citizens or not; it’s their policies and how those policies are implemented which is the acid test on how much or how little a Government cares about its citizens:  Remember that in the EU & UK we have ‘Nanny States’ – something which Americans despise.

              1. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                Being a nanny state does not indicate care for the people; instead it indicates a reliance on chaining people to government in order to keep the politician his/her job.  Without the citizen's greed for more tax dollars, and a willingness to vote for anyone providing it, that politician just might lose out to someone with more plans for "free" stuff.

                1. Nathanville profile image92
                  Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  What is “care for the people” in your view?

                  In my view it’s what it says on the tin e.g. universal healthcare e.g. the NHS in the UK, Social and Welfare including State Pensions, Environment, Health and Safety, Education, Transport etc. etc.  All of which are provided for by Governments in the EU & UK.

                  Your last sentence doesn’t make any sense, at least in European politics e.g. hundreds of politicians can lose their seats at a General Election; yeah, if you’re a politician in a safe seat then your job is fairly safe, but no guarantee, even safe seats can be lost, and are lost from time to time.  Many politicians don’t have the luxury of a safe seat, and have to fight to win it during an Election, and then fight to keep it.

                  Off the 650 seats in the House of Commons, Conservatives have 172 seats, and Labour has 165 safe seats; to win a General Election with overall control in the House of Commons a Party has to win 326 seats – So there is no guarantee in elections as to which party will win – Many seats change hands all the time.

                  And elections in the UK are not won on “citizen’s greed for more tax dollars, and a willingness to vote for anyone providing it”; people have a choice of a multitude of parties in the UK, and people vote for different parties for different reasons.

                  In the last General Election in 2019, excluding Brexit, the main issues that people voted on were:-
                  (Percentage of voters who felt the following issues important):

                  •    NHS = 40%
                  •    Crime = 28%
                  •    Environment = 25%
                  •    Economy = 25%
                  •    Immigration = 22%
                  •    Housing = 14%
                  •    Education = 14%
                  •    Welfare benefits = 9%
                  •    Defence = 8%
                  •    Pensions = 5%
                  •    Family life and childcare = 4%
                  •    Tax = 4%
                  •    Transport = 2%

                  Brighton Pavilion is a good example of how, what was a safe seat, for one party can become lost over time, and subsequently become a safe seat for a different party:

                  •    From the 2nd world war, the 1945 General Election, until 1997 (over 50 years) Brighton Pavilion was a safe Conservative seat, with the Conservatives typically winning 70% of the votes in that constituency.

                  •    In 1997, in a surprise result, the Conservatives lost the seat to Labour with Labour securing 54.6% of the votes, and the Conservatives winning just 27.7% of the vote – the Liberal Democrats won 9.5% of the votes and the Green Party just 2.6% of the votes in that General Election for that seat.

                  •    It then became a Labour safe seat until 2010, when in a surprise result, the Green Party took the seat off of Labour; and since that Constituency has become a safe Green Seat with the Green Party winning 57.2% of the votes in that seat, Labour 22.8%, Conservatives 17.5%, with the Monster Raving Loony Party getting 0.5% of the votes.


                  Besides, during the pandemic; for those who couldn’t work for a best part of a year due to the nationwide lockdown (which was the fast majority of the workforce) the UK Government paid 80% of their wages so that the businesses that had to shut their doors didn’t have to make people redundant (as the government was covering the costs) and it gave people an income to pay their bills, in spite of the fact that they weren’t actually working – and the Government also paid 80% of the average of three previous year’s earnings for the self-employed e.g. our son is a self-employed professional photographer, and for over a year during the pandemic he couldn’t work because of the lockdown, but the government paid 80% of his average profits for that period, so he had sufficient income to pay for his living expenses.  That’s what I consider caring for people.

                  During the current cost of living and fuel crisis in Europe, the UK Government is handing out money to every adult citizen to cushion the impact of the current crisis; even the wealthiest of people in the UK have been given £400 ($480) for each household, and the least wealthiest have been given many times more that amount – I’m middle class e.g. quite wealthy, but even I’ve been given over $1,000 this winter to help with the cost of living and fuel crisis, in spite of the fact that I grow all my own vegetables and we have solar panels, so we’ve been largely isolated from the crisis.  That’s what I consider caring for people.

                  Besides, Parliament isn’t just the Government and the House of Commons, it’s also included the House of Lords; and you seem to be forgetting (or ignoring) the fact that apart from the 650 elected politicians in the House of Commons that get paid; the 780 unelected politicians in the House of Lords, of which 689 are appointed for life and 91 are hereditary peers, do not get paid – and it was the unelected and unpaid politicians in the House of Lords that blocked the Conservative Government from slashing Welfare Benefits in 2012.

              2. DrMark1961 profile image96
                DrMark1961posted 16 months agoin reply to this

                Children grow up seeing that politicians vote to decide what their own wages will be. That attracts those kids that are in it for a wage, not to help people. And, as wilderness points out, they are just handing out the goodies to get more votes, not because they care.

                I am sure there are exceptions at the local level, but the people that are attracted to that job are not out to help.

                1. Nathanville profile image92
                  Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  Really?  A much better option for people who are motivated by a high wage would be for them to get a Degree at University and use that qualification to get a highly paid job in Industry or Commerce, or Engineering etc., much more secure than politics.

                  I wouldn’t want to be a politician; would you? 

                  I had my taste of politics (from the inside) when I got elected first as Branch Secretary for our Union, and subsequently elected onto the Section Committee of the Union, and during that time joined the Labour Party and became a Labour Party activist:  I enjoyed it, but I would want the responsibilities of being an MP – for the work they do, whether you agree with their politics or not, they earn their money.

                  Although I’m not currently an active member of the Labour Party, two of my closest friends are, so I get all the latest inside info and news from them when we get together for a social drink in a local pub, or invite each other to a BBQ.

                  Besides, what’s all the fuss about, the politicians in the USA (House of Representative and Senate) get paid $174,000 per annum; almost double what MPs earn in the UK.

                  1. DrMark1961 profile image96
                    DrMark1961posted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    No, I would not want to be a politician. I am disgusted by the politicians constantly increasing their wages, and a child here in Brazil sees that a politican is among the top 1% of salary earners in this country. And, unlike many other countries, the politicans also receive a bonus for housing, thousands more for meals, more for travel, etc.

                    So most young people here do not see going to the university or opening up a store as the way to do well in life. If you do earn a good wage after finishing your education, the socialists tax it heavily to pay their own salaries. The path to success is joining them.

                    But as to your last point, it was not a person from the US that jumped in and said that politicians are angels and care about the people. It was you.

    2. abwilliams profile image68
      abwilliamsposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      When will people stop believing that it is the obligation of the government to either take care of them or to provide extras?"

      Probably when most other Republics have realized it - when it is too late!

      It is so easy for us to be taken in not only by shiny objects, but also shiny words, such as, "I am from the government and I'm here to help" OR "tell us how we can help you".
      THAT'S NOT GOVERNMENTS JOB!!!
      It may not monetarily cost those supposedly "helped", but there's definitely a long-run cost! It comes at the expense of our freedom & our liberty. It comes at the expense of our entrepreneurial thought, process and execution, it comes at the expense of our independence!

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        +1

      2. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        Thank you.  It is THE INDIVIDUAL'S obligation to help him/herself & his/her family if h/she has one.  Even extended family members aren't obligated to help him/her &/or his/her family.  Each tub sits on its own bottom.  Either succeed or starve.

      3. Nathanville profile image92
        Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        Yeah, I get it; Americans don’t like paying taxes, you’d rather do without the services governments provide e.g. health, education, housing, transport, social care etc.

        But what hasn’t been explained to me yet is what exactly, are the freedoms you think you get in America that you think we don’t get in Europe?

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

          The freedom to spend your own earnings, at least to a higher level than Europe.

          1. Nathanville profile image92
            Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

            And what do you spend that money on; If you’re a high wage earner in Europe, and if you’re earning enough money after taxes to buy a big mansion, run expensive cars and go on lots of exotic holidays (vacations) around the world, then you’ve got the freedom to live as you want anyway, regardless to how much tax you pay. 

            If you’re a middle income (average) wage earner in Europe you still have enough money after taxes to live a comfortable life with a large house, large car and lots of holidays (vacations).  And in the UK you get the benefit of free healthcare and education and integrated public transport, and the State Pension in old age; so you don’t need to use as much of your net income to pay for these things, giving you a higher percentage of your net income to have the freedom to spend as you wish.

            If you’re on a low income in Europe, and pay little or no tax, you get all the benefits of free healthcare, education, public transport, State Pension in old age, and other social and welfare benefits, so for what little money you get more of it is ‘disposable’ income, giving you the freedom to spend as you wish e.g. to treat yourself with a large modern TV and Smart Phone etc. 

            Yes, we might pay more in taxes in the UK, but in exchange we get far more free or subsidised public services and benefits, meaning that for the average person they don’t need to spend as much of their net income on essentials like healthcare e.g. healthcare is free in the UK; which means that a far higher percentage of their net income than an American’s net income is ‘disposable income’; giving Europeans just as much freedom to spend their money as Americans.

            So in summary, as we don’t have the burden of health insurance for example, I doubt there is little or no real difference in Discretionary income between the UK & USA.  https://youtu.be/6Zmd0HYIa1s

            1. gmwilliams profile image84
              gmwilliamsposted 16 months agoin reply to this

              Nathanville, I am sorry but low income people SHOULDN'T get any benefits on the taxpayer's dime.  This causes them to be entitled.  I believe that if one is poor, h/she should suffer the effects of poverty-no benefits.  Let them do without-that will teach them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.  There are FAR TOO many inane social programs.  If you are poor, SUFFER-AIN'T my problem.

              1. Nathanville profile image92
                Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                Yep, I know that is the American attitude; but it’s not the European attitude – we care for our people, including the poor.

                When I was working I didn’t mind paying my taxes to cover social and welfare benefits; and in Europe it’s not just the poor that benefits from Government benefits – I’m middle class, but I like every UK citizen gets FREE universal healthcare at the point – even millionaires and billionaires in the UK get FREE universal healthcare at the point of use in the UK.

                Also, now that I’m retired, I benefit from the State Pension, which along with my works pension still allows me a good income to pay for all the luxury items I want, including our three annual holidays (vacations) each year.

                As a mature student my wife did a full BA University Degree in ‘Business Administration’ Hons when she was in her mid-30s, and it hasn’t cost her a penny.

                Everyone, regardless to their wealth (including millionaires and billionaires) are all entitled to free bus travel in the UK when they reach State Retirement age.  So when I want to nip into the city centre, which I do at least once a month, it doesn’t cost me a penny to get their and back.

                Because my wife is registered disabled e.g. a bad back, in spite of the fact that we are middle class, she gets paid disability benefits from the Government; another Government benefit that’s not means tested, which means that even a disabled millionaire or billionaire can claim the benefit if they wish.

                And as my wife’s official carer, I also get paid the carers allowance from the Government to look after my wife.

                Child benefit is not means tested either, which means any family (not just the poor) get paid child benefit from the Government for any children they have (including millionaires and billionaires).

                So it’s not just about just the poor getting government benefits; everyone, regardless to how wealthy or poor they are, are entitled to various government benefits; so government benefits everyone in the UK.

                But, yes, if you are on a low income or unemployed you are entitled to more Government Benefits than those who are on a good income e.g. housing benefit if you rent, social housing (such as council houses) if you are homeless, benefits to help you pay your essential bills and not live in abject poverty.

                But the perception that the poor sponge off the State and not work is a false perception.  The Welfare State in the UK, which was set up by the Labour (socialist) Government in 1948, is a safety net to help people who fall on hard times, and to help ensure no one should live in abject poverty.

                Anyone can fall on hard times e.g. lose their job because they were made redundant, and having that safety net ties them over until they can get another job.

                Also, I’ve know people (friends of ours) who have used the welfare system to better themselves and become financially independent by getting themselves a good job:

                A prime example is an unmarried mother of three kids who live opposite us.  As an unmarried mother she was given a council house, and had her rent paid for her, and got child benefit, and welfare benefit to pay her bills. 

                When the youngest of the kids went to secondary school (at age 11) she did the same University Degree that my wife did – in fact they did the same Degree together.  And like my wife, after the three years University Degree she graduated from university with a BA Degree in Business Administration Hon, and she used that Degree to become a highly paid professional Accountant.  So now she is on a high income, paying her taxes.

                Likewise, just two doors down from us, when we bought and moved into our house, there was a middle aged single woman, living in a council house, given her so that she and her kids wouldn’t be homeless, with the local government paying her rent, and on benefit so that she could pay her bills.  After her kids left home, she went to college, got qualifications and got a good, and well paid, job in local government e.g. her first major project in local government was to project manage the build of a local community centre for the benefit of the local resident in the area.

                From a European perspective, to not help those in need is a callus attitude:  But I appreciate that the American perspective is radically different:  Different cultural and social views.

                So given the chance and encouragement, people who (for whatever reason) become dependent on the State can and do better themselves, and end up in employment, paying their taxes which ultimately benefit the whole of society e.g. we don’t have the ghettos that are so common in America, and unemployment is just as low in the UK as it is in the USA.

                1. gmwilliams profile image84
                  gmwilliamsposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  Again, the poor are poor BECAUSE either they are lazy or they simply want to be.  I should know- I have maternal EXTENDED family members who have been carried by others for 3 generations.  If no one carried them, they would be FORCED to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps.  My paternal family were poor-no one helped them.  That was a VERY VALUABLE lesson- they learned to work for what they wanted & are very independent as opposed to my maternal EXTENDED "family" who were carried by others. They remained at the poverty level. while my paternal extended family become solidly middle, upper middle, & even lower upper class.

                  Poor people need tough love not help.  That is THE BIG PROBLEM.  If social programs were cut, poor people will find a way to uplift & do for themselves.   No, I don't want my tax dollars going to social & welfare programs.  Let's apply the Old Testament, by the sweat of one's brow, one shall eat- WORK or STARVE.

                  1. Nathanville profile image92
                    Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    That’s not true, at least in the UK, “….the poor are (NOT) poor because either they are lazy or they simply want to be”; did you not read the two examples I gave where two of our close neighbours and friends of ours (single mothers) who are living in council houses and on government benefits bettered themselves and ended up with highly paid jobs.

                    I’ll repeat their life again:-

                    1.    An unmarried mother of three kids who lives opposite us.  As an unmarried mother she was given a council house by the local government, and had her rent paid for her by the local government, and she got child benefit, and welfare benefits to pay her bills.

                    When the youngest of the kids went to secondary school (at age 11) she did the same University Degree that my wife did – in fact they did the same Degree together.  And like my wife, after the three years University Degree she graduated from university with a BA Degree in Business Administration Hon, and she used that Degree to become a highly paid professional Accountant.  So now she is on a high income, paying her taxes.

                    2.    Just two doors down from us, when we bought and moved into our house, there was a middle aged single woman, living in a council house, given to her by the local government, who also paid her rent, and on the benefit she got from the government she was able to  pay her bills.  After her kids left home, she went to college, got qualifications and got a good well paid job in local government; her first major project as a local government employee was to project manage the build of a local community centre for the benefit of the local resident in the area.

                    Also, when my brother was first married, he and his wife and their son were living in a social housing two bedroom flat (apartment) with my mother, and because that is classified as overcrowding the local government gave my brother and his family their own council house.  At the time he was working as a dustman (refuge collector) so he was able to pay the rent and didn’t need any other government benefits.   But rather than just keep the status quo he took on a second job and saved enough money to be able to buy his council house off of his local government; so now that he is in retirement, on State Pension and his works pension, and owning his own home, he’s and his wife are now living a comfortable life, with a high standard of living, in retirement.

                    I understand what you say about the difference in your maternal and paternal side of the family; but that doesn’t mean that everyone is lazy – my experience is that most people want to work, and pay their way, and given the chance and encouragement will do; as in the examples I’ve given above:  That’s not to say that there aren’t people who are lazy (bone idle) and don’t want to lift a finger to help themselves; but in my experience such people are in a minority – And the proof of the pudding is that in spite Britain being a Nanny State, unemployment in the UK is no higher than in the USA.

                    So your way isn’t the only way, there are two sides to the story e.g. whether you are tough on people (as you desire), or whether you support those in need; most people don’t want to be fully dependent on the State, most people take pride in working and paying their way in life.

                    My own personal childhood experience is another example:-

                    Both my maternal and paternal grandparents were middle class; but my parents married young (my mother was only 18 when she got married), my mother didn’t work and my father was predominately unemployed, so when they first married they lived in a caravan, but when they had their first kid (my brother) about a year later the local government gave them a council house because a caravan is considered unsuitable for a family with children.

                    Then when I was still a toddler my father borrowed about £1,000 from my mother’s parents to buy a derelict house with the unrealistic vision of renovating it; an unrealistic vision because he had no DIY skills and being unemployed, no money to spend on the renovations.  The house had no water and no sewage (just a cold tap in an outhouse) in the garden. 

                    Shortly after we moved in the local government condemned the property as a slum, and tried to buy it off my father so that it could be demolished and new housing built on the site; buy my father resisted.

                    However, the property did come with ½ acre of land, and although my father had no gardening skills he bought himself a set of ‘Reader’s Digest’ books on gardening and taught himself to garden so that we could grow our own food; although one year we were so poor, and with the crops in the garden not ready for harvesting, that for two weeks we survived on nettle soup (which I remember well).

                    Nevertheless, in spite of our poverty, and living in a slum; we were happy:  The highlight of my week was Saturday evening, sitting down in front of the TV and coal fire to watch the latest episode of Dr Who.  Also that was bath night, when the tin bath from the front garden would be placed in front of the coal fire, and filled with hot water from the kettle, and we would all take it in turns to have a bath; me being the last because I was the youngest.

                    Anyway, after six years of living in a slum, my father felt confident enough in his newly acquired gardening skills to look for work in gardening; and landed himself a job as ‘Head Gardener’ for a mansion in Uley, a small village in the Cotswolds.  The job came with a tied house (house that comes with the job) and a weekly supply of free eggs (free range and organic) given as a perk to the job by the Lord of the Manor.

                    So suddenly we’d gone from living in poverty to upper working class.  But if the system that you advocate was part of the British culture e.g. no government help given to the poor, then my life would have been entirely different; and bleak.  Where at least, under the British system of welfare, we had a roof over our head, and we didn’t starve, and it gave my father the time to eventually pull himself and his family out of poverty to full employment with a decent living standard.

                    As it was, I left home at 16 with just £10 ($12) in my pocket, walked straight into a civil service job the following week, and very quickly became middle class:-

                    I met my wife three years after leaving home, we got engaged 6 months later (on her 18th birthday), bought our first home 12 months after that, and got married a year after that.

                    The other point that you’ve comply skipped over (ignored) is that under the UK social and welfare system, it’s not just the poor who get government benefits; as in the examples I gave in my previous reply, every citizen in the UK, including millionaires and billionaires, are entitled to various ‘non-means’ tested benefits including – FREE universal healthcare at the point of use (NHS); State Pension; free bus travel when you reach State retirement age; benefits for the disabled and their official carers (which often it’s the spouse who’s the official carer); child benefit. 

                    And as a nice touch, those people on certain non-means tested benefits such as disability benefits,  carers benefit, and everyone on State Pension, are all given a £10 (£12) Christmas bonus by the Government.  It’s not a legal requirement, but it’s a practice that every government has honoured since it was first introduced by a Conservative Government in 1974 – it’s not much but it’s a nice jester, and the $12 will buy a couple of bottles of wine for Christmas, for example, or pay for a meal out for one in a restaurant.

                  2. Nathanville profile image92
                    Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    I’ve made several references to council houses in my reply above.  In Britain, a Council House is a Social Housing House built and owned by the Local Government, specifically to provide housing to the homeless.

                    The rent charged by the local government for a council house is cheaper than charity run (non-profit) social housing by housing associations, and certainly a lot cheaper than private rent.

                    And under a ‘right to buy’ scheme introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, if/when council house tenants reach a point in their life where they can stand on their own two feet e.g. in full time employment on a reasonably high wage, then they can choose to buy the council house at a generous discounted rate e.g. all the rent they’ve paid in the past is taken as deposit – so the council tenant can buy the house at market price, less all the rent they’ve previously paid.

                    Another common practice with council houses, are ‘Council House Swaps’; where for example you want to move to another city, or downsize, you can swop homes with other council tenants; as demonstrated in this short video:  https://youtu.be/OobQC5q754M

                    UK Council House Tour:  https://youtu.be/7-4GWvV8FUM

            2. DrMark1961 profile image96
              DrMark1961posted 16 months agoin reply to this

              "freedom to live as you want anyway, regardless to how much tax you pay"

              Do you even realize how stupid this statement is?

              1. Nathanville profile image92
                Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                It's not a stupid statement, if you read it in context of my whole statement e.g. the living standards in the UK are comparable to that of the USA.

              2. gmwilliams profile image84
                gmwilliamsposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                +10000000000.

              3. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                "If you’re a middle income (average) wage earner in Europe you still have enough money after taxes to live a comfortable life with a large house, large car and lots of holidays (vacations)."

                Average house size in the UK is 818 sq ft.  In the US it is 2164 sq ft.  I could go into cars, but American cars in the UK won't even fit on the roads, let alone the ever popular RV's Americans are so fond of.

                1. DrMark1961 profile image96
                  DrMark1961posted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  Well, he is right on the vacations. I think he meant "tiny house, little car, and vacations (since if you work more the government will reward your efforts with more taxes).

                  1. gmwilliams profile image84
                    gmwilliamsposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    +100000000.

                  2. Nathanville profile image92
                    Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    No I didn’t mean tiny house and little car; if you’re middle class in Britain you can afford bigger houses if you want, and bigger cars if you want - Although, as wilderness pointed out, with the narrow twisty roads we have in Britain, most people want smaller cars than American cars, simply because it’s impractical to drive large American size cars in narrow British roads – but for the top wage earners in Britain, they can easily afford large status symbol cars if they want.

                    As regards taxes, your comment isn’t entirely accurate; Yeah, just like in the USA, the top wage earners are in the highest tax bracket; but once you’re in the top tax bracket the tax rate isn’t going to increase any further.  Besides, that portion of income tax that is specific for covering the NHS and State Pensions (the NI Income Tax) actually drops dramatically for people on the top tax bracket.

                    Besides, it doesn’t matter how much you earn in Britain, you still benefit from all the non-means tested government benefits, including free universal healthcare at the point of use and State Pensions etc., even if you are a millionaire or billionaire; releasing more of net income to spend as you wish than you would otherwise have if you had to pay for medical insurance, and co-pays and subscriptions, and had to worry about saving for your retirement. 

                    Unlike Americans who are very frantic about how much tax they pay; tax isn’t an issue in Britain – in General Elections in the UK only 4% of voters consider tax an issue:  So as I’ve stated many times before, the social and cultural values and attitudes of Brits are quite different to the social and cultural values and attitudes of Americans.

                    Yeah, vacations are something we do greatly benefit from in Europe.  By law in the EU and UK every employee gets six weeks paid vacation from the first day they start their job with a new employer.  And in our case we’ve have always, and still do, take 4 weeks’ vacation a year; 2 x 1 week vacations in Britain, and 1 x 2 weeks’ vacation touring France and Belgium – and we always take our car with us so that we can travel to where we want and when we want while on vacation (holiday).

                    Our next holiday (vacation) in May will be a week in Lynton and Lynmouth in Devon to coincide with their Victorian Steampunk Festival.

                    Lynton and Lynmouth, Devon:  https://youtu.be/yhEhUWWa0Fo

                2. Nathanville profile image92
                  Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  Yeah, the average house size in the UK is a lot less than the average American house size; but that what I said – There are a lot of houses in Britain that are larger than the average, and if you are middle class (which is what I said) then you have the option to buy a bigger house if you wish.

                  For example, when in 1990 we were looking to buy our 2nd home (move up the property ladder from a 2-bedroom terrace house to a 3-bedroom semi-detached) we had the option of buying a property in South East Bristol, where housing is cheap (at the time, around $50,000) and where the working class live, or North West Bristol where housing is far more expensive, and where the snobs (wealthy people live), typically around $65,000 at the time.

                  We could afford either, but we chose to by in the South East of Bristol because we get on better socially with the working class.  Therefore we chose to by an ex-council house that is around 990 sq. ft., whereas if we opted to buy a posh house in North West Bristol it would have been nearer to 2,000 sq. ft. – but that was our personal choice.  What attracted us to buying the ex-council house are the large gardens, a total of 3,600 sq. ft. which gives me ample space to have a nice garden layout, lawn, mini-orchard, wildlife pond, large sheds and a modest size vegetable plot to grow our own vegetables.

                  Most British people don’t want to live in a mansion, and quite often, when the kids have grown up and left home, and the parents are thinking about their retirement, they often want to down-size e.g. buy a smaller home - So small homes are as popular with older people, who are thinking about retirement, as they are with young couples wanting to get onto the property ladder.

                  Yeah, absolutely, Americans cars wouldn’t fit on our narrow and twisty British roads, but that doesn’t stop wealthy people from buying status symbol cars if they wish to e.g. a Rolls Royce.  But for most people in Britain a car is just for getting from A to B, and should be practical and reliable, and economic on fuel.  The cars my son and wife have chosen to drive (and which they love) because it’s small and manoeuvrable with large storage, is the Daihatsu Terios.

                  Daihatsu Terios (2006-2013) - FULL REVIEW https://youtu.be/5UlS-4Oxa9g

          2. Nathanville profile image92
            Nathanvilleposted 16 months agoin reply to this

            Looking on the web, the average monthly cost for health insurance in the USA appears to be between $560 & $640 per month; is that about right?

            I just found an old wage packet from just before I took early retirement, and at that time I was paying $145 per month NI Income tax to cover the cost of the NHS (Universal Healthcare, free at the point of use) and my contributions towards my State Pension; which seems a good deal to me e.g. leaving me with a lot more disposable income (after tax) to spend on luxury items as I don’t need to fork out for the cost of healthcare, or save for my retirement because I was already paying for my works pensions and State pension.  And even though you have to pay a large chunk of your net income on healthcare insurance, the healthcare insurance in America doesn’t cover the cost of co-pay and prescriptions; in the UK we don’t pay co-pay and for 89.7% of people the prescriptions are 100% free.

            1. gmwilliams profile image84
              gmwilliamsposted 16 months agoin reply to this

              I am of the old school, pay your way or do without.  The government & wealthy people aren't your parents.  If poor people suffered, they will choose not to be poor but to have the tools to support themselves.  C'mon man.

          3. gmwilliams profile image84
            gmwilliamsposted 16 months agoin reply to this

            Thank you.  People have to learn to do for themselves or DO WITHOUT.  If people DO WITHOUT enough, they will have the initiative to do for themselves.  Tough love is so grand indeed.

 
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