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There is wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And clouds like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.

Nought warm where your hand was,
Nought gold where your hair was,
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.

Cold wind where your voice was,
Tears, tears where my heart was,
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.

November by Walter de la Mare
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Does money make you mean?

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 28,081 mod
This was the topic of a reading session but it's an interesting subject. The TED talk with the transcript make it easy to follow.

https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_piff_does_money_make_you_mean/transcript

What do you think? Do people change when they become rich? Does the power go to their head?

Do you play Monopoly, the board game where you buy up property and try to become the richest?
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Comments

  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,727 mod
    I think you have to be very, very careful that you don't let it take over your life. Some people use money for good, others for bad.. and it depends what side of the line you want to stand on.
  • nomad81nomad81 Posts: 512 ✭✭✭
    In my country is proverbs: "Money doesn't give a happiness, but is needed".
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,727 mod
    nomad81 said:

    In my country is proverbs: "Money doesn't give a happiness, but is needed".

    Yes this is true. I have always said that although I know money doesn't bring happiness, I would still very much like to try and have some money so that I could show people just how much good I can do with it!
  • nomad81nomad81 Posts: 512 ✭✭✭
    I try to treat money in reasonable way, I know that health, love and happiness I won't buy. Money is a measure of my development personal and professional, travelling. I want to have a little more money but whether I wish be a rich?
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    How important is saving money to you @nomad81? Some people spend most if not all they earn, while others put aside a bit every month, saving for a rainy day.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    Some people say that money is the measure of gratitude of people to an inividual. The more money one receives the more grateful to him the surrounding people are.
  • jackelliotjackelliot Posts: 755 OTT
    but where goes it with advice to children as to money
    http://jackelliot.over-blog.com/2016/05/children-and-money.html
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    @Practical_Severard following this rule then, nurses and teachers should get paid a lot more then. In Britain although there is low unemployment, many people are on very low salaries but prices are high (and getting higher).
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 20
    > @mheredge said:
    > @Practical_Severard following this rule then, nurses and teachers should get paid a lot more then.

    Most probably. People often misjudge usefulness of goods and services and are more grateful for something that's not worth it. If a big enough share of the British teachers and nurses changed their profession according to the mentioned idea, thus creating a workforce deficite, then the public might adjust their value system in a better direction.

    >In Britain although there is low unemployment, many people are on very low salaries but prices are high (and getting higher).

    I think that the Britain's high taxes and social benefits are the main factor for that. I read that the tax rate on individual income starts from 40-50%. This creates a huge fund of public money to be mismanaged and/or embezzled by uncaring officials. On the other hand, the high and broad British social benefits and the progressive tax scale encourage people to think that sponging is their best life option. That's why the ethic theory I've mentioned coins another axiom: paying a fit person unearned money is a grave sin.

    Returning to that 40-50% rate, I can guess that the employers are taxed also (pension fund, social security), adding their share to those 50%. And, of course, all I have written above isn't found in Britain solely.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,727 mod
    nomad81 said:

    I try to treat money in reasonable way, I know that health, love and happiness I won't buy. Money is a measure of my development personal and professional, travelling. I want to have a little more money but whether I wish be a rich?

    If you were rich, you would be able to give some money to other people so that they could look after themselves, too. I would love to have the money to be able to help people in that way.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    @Practical_Severard you say 'I think that the Britain's high taxes and social benefits are the main factor for that. I read that the tax rate on individual income starts from 40-50%.' Actually Britain has relatively low rates of taxes for most people at you're quoting the higher rate of tax which doesn't kick in unless you earn over a certain amount.

    You don't pay anything on the first £11,500 (more if you're married), then you pay 20% on anything more than this up to £45,000 a year income. From £45k to £150K you then have to pay 40% and over £150k income is taxed at 45%.

    If I were Chancellor of the Exchequer I would raise the threshold to maybe £50,000 or a bit more but make the £150,000+ income earners pay 50%.

    In France the rates are higher as although from €11,991 to €26,631income (£10,760-£23,898) the rate is only 14%, from €26,631 to €71,397 (£64,000) it is 30% and from €71,397 to €151,200 (£135,684) it's 41%. Beyond €151,200 it is 45%.

    What are the tax rates like in your country?

  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 24
    > @mheredge said:
    Your message needs an extensuve answer, mheredge, for which I have no time now, so I promise to come up with it later.

    But I can answer the question now:
    > What are the tax rates like in your country?

    We have 13% flat rate with important deductions:

    - Gifts within immediate family members (including properties),
    - inheritance income
    - income from selling a property or a vehicle given that one has owned them for three years or more, or is the income is below a certain limit.

    One can also deduct the money spent on private medical services, medicines and education, but there is a limit.
  • AyaAndalosAyaAndalos Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Mmmm
    I don't think its about the money, but when people have a lot of money it shows more about their reality.
    Money gives us the dare and the power to act without fear
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    This sounds quite low @Practical_Severard. In Norway, most people spend over 50% of their income on taxes. Looking at tax rates, most measurements seem to count the top rate so it is quite difficult to compare what rates are typical. Then again most countries don't have a flat rate like yours. I can imagine the very rich are very happy they only have to pay 13% in Russia!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 25
    > @mheredge said:
    Actually Britain has relatively low rates of taxes for most people at you're quoting the higher rate of tax which doesn't kick in unless you earn over a certain amount.

    Well, the British system is more complicated than the Russian one, while, I must admit, one needs to earn more than £100K annually to be taxed at 40%.

    British teachers outside London, as I've read, make annually £32-35K. If we try to calculate the tax rate for £35K, it is the Russian 13%.

    But there's a fundamentally wrong thing in the progressive tax rate system - it discourages people from earning more, because one has to cough up 40% from every pound made over a certain threshold, like that of 39999. It puts people off from professional and personal development, as well as from career building and innovating. Instead, they turn to booze, wallowing in front of their TVs, odd hobbies or wasting time in social networks. It drags down a country's overall perfomance as the result.

    And that's not all yet. As I've learned an average British adult has to pay additional 12% in national insurance. Average Joes and Janes also spend much on basic things like mortgage (which is the almost only option to have an own roof over one's head) and utilities. I suspect they can hardly afford anything else but common necessaries. And by purchasing those necessaries they compensate the makers'/sellers' VATs, corporate profit taxes and so on.

    In result, the government collects and redistributes an overwhelming share of the country's GDP. While any government as a manager (actually some bored uncaring official) is far worse than a passionate person. That's why the more money the latter manage, the better for them, for their employees, if there are any, and the country as whole. Of course, that's true not only for Britain, but for too many other countries.

    I believe that most governments (including the Russian one) must be downsized. Maybe not to the minimum (in charge of defense, public order and ruling out civil law disputes), but their functions must be considerably decreased. Most people are quite reasonable and don't need smothering governmental care.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 25
    > @mheredge said:
    > This sounds quite low @Practical_Severard. In Norway, most people spend over 50% of their income on taxes. Looking at tax rates, most measurements seem to count the top rate so it is quite difficult to compare what rates are typical. Then again most countries don't have a flat rate like yours. I can imagine the very rich are very happy they only have to pay 13% in Russia!

    Well, Norway isn't an fast growing economy so they're not a model at all.

    Speaking about the Russian very rich, they take it for granted, I guess. Though, I don't think that being rich (or very rich) is a sin. I've learned from my experience with people that low earners are more greedy than the rich people.
    Rich people routinely share their wealth with other people, so they've grown to be used to it. While the poor are often are envious and tend to think that poverty itself entitles them for benefits. In fact, it isn't.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,727 mod
    mheredge said:

    @Practical_Severard you say 'I think that the Britain's high taxes and social benefits are the main factor for that. I read that the tax rate on individual income starts from 40-50%.' Actually Britain has relatively low rates of taxes for most people at you're quoting the higher rate of tax which doesn't kick in unless you earn over a certain amount.

    You don't pay anything on the first £11,500 (more if you're married), then you pay 20% on anything more than this up to £45,000 a year income. From £45k to £150K you then have to pay 40% and over £150k income is taxed at 45%.

    If I were Chancellor of the Exchequer I would raise the threshold to maybe £50,000 or a bit more but make the £150,000+ income earners pay 50%.

    In France the rates are higher as although from €11,991 to €26,631income (£10,760-£23,898) the rate is only 14%, from €26,631 to €71,397 (£64,000) it is 30% and from €71,397 to €151,200 (£135,684) it's 41%. Beyond €151,200 it is 45%.

    What are the tax rates like in your country?

    I think the tax levels in Britain are quite decent. It gives you the chance to earn a fair amount before you pay anything at all, which is good - particularly for me being self-employed as it means if I have years where I don't earn as much, I'm not taxed heavily on it.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    > @GemmaRowlands said:
    > I think the tax levels in Britain are quite decent. It gives you the chance to earn a fair amount before you pay anything at all, which is good - particularly for me being self-employed as it means if I have years where I don't earn as much, I'm not taxed heavily on it.

    Maybe you think so because you don't know other countries' systems. E.g. here a self-employed has these options:

    1) Paying a fixed sum depending on the business. A provincial government sets the sums for possible range of businesses.
    2)Paying 6% of his overall income.
    3) Paying 15% of his income minus costs.

    All the options eleminate one's need to pay an individual income tax and VAT.

    A year patent for e.g. shoe-making in Moscow is 36 000 roubles in 2017. The minimal monthly food basket is 8 000, apartment rent starts from 25000/mo. Having payed this, one can have annual turnover up to 60m (what is pretty much in shoes, 600-1200 pairs of bespoke quality) and hire up to 15 people.

    But I could put up with the progressive tax rate system once it gave something in return. Extra votes maybe like stakeholders have in a corporation. Or, maybe the Roman King Servius Tullius' variant.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    Russia has unusually low rates of taxation @Practical_Severard. How does the government earn enough to pay for services like schools, hospitals and public transport? Or have these been largely privatised?
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 26
    > @mheredge said:
    > Russia has unusually low rates of taxation @Practical_Severard. How does the government earn enough to pay for services like schools, hospitals and public transport? Or have these been largely privatised?

    On one hand, they collect more from the businesses, especially the tax on mineral resources. On the other hand, the public sector still produces not less than 50% of the GDP. Thirdly, many people aren't satisfied with the quality of these services (which have deterioted much since the USSR's demise) and many private providers have been emerging - at least in relatively wealthy areas.

    The institutions providing public services also offer services commercially at relatively cheap prices.

    I think that not less than 2/3 of the students pay for the high education, and most middle class people don't use the public medical service until they have a very serious illness.

    The real reason of these low rates is mainly due to the government's current inability both to control the market and to collect the taxes. They keep the low rates because otherwise people will move their economic activity to the black market.

    Still, the government has been improving pretty well. They start with the bigger fish an move to the smaller later. For example, since this July every cash register sends data to the Tax Agency online.

    So our economy is pretty liberal, but, in an unexpected way.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,727 mod
    mheredge said:

    Russia has unusually low rates of taxation @Practical_Severard. How does the government earn enough to pay for services like schools, hospitals and public transport? Or have these been largely privatised?

    I would much prefer to pay money via tax than have to pay more if I wanted to go to the hospital, or to send my children to school. It feels like it's free this way, even though obviously I know it isn't really.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 26
    > @GemmaRowlands said:
    >
    > I would much prefer to pay money via tax than have to pay more if I wanted to go to the hospital, or to send my children to school. It feels like it's free this way, even though obviously I know it isn't really.

    Well, usually when someone pays himself, he gets something better. If I lived in the UK and had the money I would send my children to a public (in the British sense of the word, in fact, private) boys or girls only boarding school for which Britain is famous.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    Of course if people paid their taxes @Practical_Severard, the government would have enough money to provide better quality services. Then it wouldn't matter if you were rich or poor, you'd still get a good service. This is where the Scandinavians have really cracked it.

    In Britain there are excellent state schools that in many cases are superior to the majority of private schools. Of course some of the inner city schools leave a lot to be desired and often families move so they live in an area where the local schools are good.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 27
    > @mheredge said:
    > In Britain there are excellent state schools that in many cases are superior to the majority of private schools. Of course some of the inner city schools leave a lot to be desired and often families move so they live in an area where the local schools are good.

    And those families price the poor locals away from using the said good state schools. That serves as an additional proof that the free cheese is only in a mousetrap.

    I'm sure that I can choose doctors, schools and invest money better than any possible government since I do it either for myself or for my loved ones, not for strangers like government officials do, and I spend my own money, not ownerless one like they do.

    In this way I deprive those officials from a chance to embezzle or waste my money and that's good. I'm not against state-funded services, that's a necessary evil, but their role must be reasonable.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,727 mod

    > @GemmaRowlands said:

    >

    > I would much prefer to pay money via tax than have to pay more if I wanted to go to the hospital, or to send my children to school. It feels like it's free this way, even though obviously I know it isn't really.



    Well, usually when someone pays himself, he gets something better. If I lived in the UK and had the money I would send my children to a public (in the British sense of the word, in fact, private) boys or girls only boarding school for which Britain is famous.

    There are some really good state schools in Britain, though, so I don't think this is necessary. In fact, the people I know who went to boarding school didn't really enjoy it, and felt as though they would have preferred to stay at home and go to school with children who lived near them.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 28
    > @GemmaRowlands said:

    In fact, the people I know who went to boarding school didn't really enjoy it, and felt as though they would have preferred to stay at home and go to school with children who lived near them.

    I think that the purpose of a school isn't to enjoy children, rather to educate them. So I won't be suprised if your friends change their minds after they have spent several years building their careers.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 5,727 mod

    > @GemmaRowlands said:



    In fact, the people I know who went to boarding school didn't really enjoy it, and felt as though they would have preferred to stay at home and go to school with children who lived near them.



    I think that the purpose of a school isn't to enjoy children, rather to educate them. So I won't be suprised if your friends change their minds after they have spent several years building their careers.

    Yes, that might be right. But I think there should be some kind of balance, as I believe childhood should be carefree, and children shouldn't be made to study so hard when they are so young.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 28
    > @GemmaRowlands said:
    But I think there should be some kind of balance, as I believe childhood should be carefree, and children shouldn't be made to study so hard when they are so young.

    I agree on the balance point. Children are rightfully entitled for some rest. The younger the child, the more. The thing is that a child naturally wants nothing else but to eat, to sleep and to play. But at some time every child grows into an adult who has to perform and endure. Parenting means teaching this, among other things, of course. First and foremost teaching by example.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    Like @GemmaRowlands I know quite a few people who went to boarding school and had a really miserable time there (bullying is especially a problem in these sorts of schools). It is fine if you have money to be able to get the medical treatment or private school education you might prefer @Practical_Severard but the majority of people just do not have this sort of money to spare. Education and health in particular are essential for a country to develop and so it should be every government's priority to ensure that it has a healthy and educated workforce in order to prosper.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 603 ✭✭✭
    edited July 31
    > @mheredge said:
    > Like @GemmaRowlands I know quite a few people who went to boarding school and had a really miserable time there (bullying is especially a problem in these sorts of schools). It is fine if you have money to be able to get the medical treatment or private school education you might prefer @Practical_Severard but the majority of people just do not have this sort of money to spare. Education and health in particular are essential for a country to develop and so it should be every government's priority to ensure that it has a healthy and educated workforce in order to prosper.

    1. I guess bullying is a problem in any kind of schools.

    2. I have no doubt that a healthy and educated population is a must-have,
    but it's the population who's the main benefactor of it, not the government. And there are numerous drawbacks of a tax-funded system.

    First and foremost people don't value what the get for free (or what looks like free of charge). Secondly, they choose to spend their money on something more pleasing but less important than education or medical service. Thirdly, they abuse the services, e.g. they get useless degrees in a public-funded university. And more can be added to this list.

    All of these are well-known to the governements. Their knee-jerk reaction is imposing rules and restrictions what strains access to the services for the whole of the customers and inflates paperwork

    The option of a smartly regulated market of private providers and insurance services is way better. People spend money on health or education inevitably, either via taxation or directly from their pockets. Setting and upholding game rules for the second option is way cheaper (a nation doesn't run expensive and non-productive redistribution institutions) and gives the liberty of choice to the population.

    On the other hand, I'm not advocating for laissez-faire in these markets. A government must manage them smartly to keep the prices reasonable. Tax-funded hospitals and schools should exist as means to provide basic services for the poor. As well as government and charity funded social lifts for the most gifted and ready for hard work.
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