(Closed) Socialist Child Care–yay or nay

posted 6 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
Member
2385 posts
Buzzing bee

Controversial topic, but interesting article.

Post # 4
Member
5009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

I hadn’t realised that the percentage of US women who work after having children was so low! Childcare in the UK is pretty expensive, but I can work flexible hours, my mum’s hoping to take any children one day a week and I’m hoping that we can afford childcare to cover the rest (once we add in child tax credit and child benefit).

Post # 5
Member
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m always so curious why Americans feel that it’s ‘evil European socialism.”

I worked in corporate immigration for 4 years, and saw first hand how different the quality of life is elsewhere.  I’d give anything for the benefits that people get in Sweden or any of the Scandinavian—5+ weeks of vacation, 480 days of matenity leave & free university. 

I’d gladly pay more taxes for a deal like that.

Post # 6
Member
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

As someone not planning to have kids, I think having children is a personal choice and I don’t want to finance someone else’s childcare. If two people decide to have children, then they can be responsible for child care and other costs.

Post # 7
Member
4046 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I am wondering, if you don’t mind sharing, how much you pay yearly in taxes? We have been seeing more and more of these articles about the great benefits to living in many European countries, but I always wodner how much it really costs per person.

I also find it strange that they the article touts how many women are back in the workplace as if its the best option. Many of my coworkers and friends would love to have the option of being a SAHM/SAHD but it isn’t financially possible for them.

Post # 8
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@VAwife:  I totally understand what you are saying and agree! I do plan to have children, but I just hate the idea of anyone else’s tax dollars paying for my expenses.

I am choosing to wait to TTC until we are financially stable and able to care for our own children without assistance. It’s certainly a personal choice kind of thing, but personally I just like the good feeling I get from working hard to achieve my own dreams and pay my own costs.

Post # 9
Member
5009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

I pay 10% national insurance (this goes towards state pensions, unemployment benefits and statutory sick pay) on all my pay and 20% income tax on my pay above just under £9000 (so it works out as about 25% of my total monthly pay packet).

We also pay 20% sales tax (VAT) on certain items (not all) and 5% sales tax (VAT) on fuel. There are other taxes on booze, tobacco and fuels, but it’s quite complicated to lay it all out. 

I think overall about half of your pay packet goes back to the government in taxes in the end, but you have to weigh it up based on what quality of life can the average salary afford you rather than what percentage of your pay packet goes back to the government in tax. 

Post # 10
Member
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’m against it. But I’m also Libertarian and against the government getting involved in most things, so no big surprise.

Post # 11
Member
5009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

The common US attitude of “I don’t care about how others cope as long as I’m fine” always shocks me!

It shouldn’t be up to charity to make sure that people who aren’t wealthy can receive medical care or that normal people have to save to be able to afford to have children until they’re on the borderline of an age where they are more likely to have fertility issue. 

Post # 12
Member
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@VAwife:  I agree with you.  I definitely plan on having kids, but I don’t think its the responsibility of anyone else to help pay for childcare but my Fiance and myself.

 

Something else I do realize is that not everyone has a partner to help emotionally and with expenses.  I think helping low income people with some of childcare expenses so they can get into the workforce and make a living is a good idea.  But I think that help should be limited to people who REALLY need it, and be temporary, so once a single parent gets back on their feet, the can contribute more.

 

@NAvery:  I’m not libertarian (yet,) but I couldn’t agree more!

Post # 13
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

As someone in a high income, high tax bracket who never intends to have kids, I’m FOR the European model of social infrastructure and benefits, because I believe that leads to a more robust workforce when families don’t have to choose between one partner (usually the woman) leaving thus workforce because childcare is too expensive, or staying in the workforce and paying for private child care. I also believe the general “I don’t want to subsidize another person’s (insert thing here– kids, health care, education, energy bills, whatever)” mentality is detrimental to the overall society because the indirect benefits of paying for those things tend to outweigh the direct costs, but basing those attitudes just on the tax bill is not just missing half the picture, but leads to incredibly divisive arguments.

I do not mind increased taxes, even for things that don’t directly benefit me, because when the rest of my community prospers, I prosper. I may pay a few hundred dollars more a year to cover the daycare center, public school, whatever, but when the adults in my community are able to work without the burden of childcare costs, or when their kids are getting decent educations, they are more likely to have the income to spend at community businesses, and less likely to commit crime. That makes me earn more as a community resident (even if I’m employed outside the community, when the middle class is out spending and shopping, the economy grows and wages go up) and makes my property worth more.

I don’t think it’s my “responsibility” per se, or the government’s, but I think it’s a sound investment that’s likely to pay itself back. I see it less as a responsibility, and more as making a financial contribution towards my own future financial prosperity.

Post # 14
Member
5009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@fishbone:  I don’t think it’s my “responsibility” per se, or the government’s, but I think it’s a sound investment that’s likely to pay itself back. I see it less as a responsibility, and more as making a financial contribution towards my own future financial prosperity.

Very well put. 

Post # 16
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@kerensa:  I’m not European (Kiwi with an American FI), but I figured I’d respond, as our system is more similar to Europe than the US, although there are definately areas in which ,we are closer to the US and, like any country, areas that can be improved on. Disclaimer: I haven’t actually lived in NZ for 2 1/2 years, and won’t be living there in the forseeable future, so things may be out of date. Here in Japan my situation is odd, so not worth commenting on.

A quick google search states that in NZ the top tax bracket is 33%, for any money earned over $70K New Zealand (about 55K US). The brackets below that are 30% (over 48K NZ), 17.5% (over 14K) and 10.5% (under 14K). GST (sales tax) is 15%. We don’t have a federal/ state system, because the whole country is smaller than a number of your states. Compared with the US, the minimum wage is higher, but the average wage is lower.

For this there is universal healthcare (we have to pay a small amount for a GP visit, and have an optional private system. All prescriptions are $5NZ ($4US approx) and all in hospital care is free), 20 hours per week free childcare for over 3s, in centres with mostly bachelor degree qualified teachers, 14 weeks paid maternity (fairly low amount though, around minimum wage if I remember), subsidised univerisity education, interest free student loans (so long as you are in NZ) and a student living allowance if you meet specific criteria that I never met. The pension is also paid out of taxes, but there is a new savings scheme in place, so it may be different in the future.

As a law there must be 4 weeks paid holidays, 11? public holidays if they fall on a work day (if you work on one you get paid time and a half, and get to take a different, paid day off), and the option of having one year off for maternity leave.

There are some things NZ doesn’t pay for with taxes that the US does. NZ doesn’t have the food or oil subsidies the US has, and as a result these are VERY expensive. There are no mortgage interest tax credits in NZ, to my knowledge. The armed forces are also much, much smaller.

Neither country is perfect, but it is interesting to see what your tax “buys” in different countries!

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