Re: Weasels vs. transparancy / traffic cameras

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon May 22 2000 - 11:03:25 MDT

Charlie Stross wrote:

> On Mon, May 22, 2000 at 10:04:36AM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> > > Basically, Michael is wrong on _every_ count he cites. But he's right in
> > > his overall assertion that the UK (or at least England/Wales, a distinct
> > > legal entity from Scotland or Northern Ireland) is not free.
> >
> > I'm so right I'm wrong, I guess?
> > property crime high.... check
> > did SAS kill dissidents? ... check (that they aren't killing them ANYMORE is
> > irrelevant, only because everyone is now playing nice nice. When the next
> > dissident group shows up will prove if its a true change)
> Ahem: if we play this game, I'll have to cite the CIA's fun activities
> in the 1960's and 1970's. Or Oliver North's little escapades. Clue: the
> "next dissident group" is _already_ planting bombs -- it's nothing to
> do with the Irish issue and everything to do with militant animal rights
> protestors blowing up meat packing warehouses.

Ollie and the CIA never, to my knowledge killed anyone, up until the present
administration, who was an american citizen, with the sole exception of a few americans
who were assisting communist insurgents in central America, and they got offed by CIA
clients, not by the CIA itself. By definition, foreign communist geurillas are open
season. Nobody in the White House ever ordered anyone to off an American, a market
contrast to the practices of the Intelligence Section over there...

> > You say the income tax is lower? What are the brackets, the percentages? What are
> > the deductions? What is the cost of living?
> Well, speaking as a non-accountant, I'm in the top income tax bracket --
> paying 40% on taxable income about 28K (pounds, not dollars). I don't have
> any recent figures to hand, but the last ones I saw suggested that the
> gross proportion of income we pay in tax here is about 39%, compared with
> 38% in the USA and >40% anywhere else in the EU. (Sweden, with the highest
> rate, was around 55%.)

&28,000 equals, at a current exchange rate of 1 to 1.48, an income of $41,440.00.
Assuming you are single, you have an initial deduction of $5700.00. Thus your taxable
income is $35,740.00. With no other deductions or writoffs, your tax would be the

single married filing jointly married filing separately head of
$6,936 $5,509 $7,485
19.4% 15.4% 20.9% 16.2%

If you have any dependents, you would have additional deductions of I believe $2,000
each, thus lowering your taxable income and thus your tax bracket.

Looking at the tax tables the IRS has on its website:
You can see that even for people in the top tax bracket published, around $100,000.00,
they are only paying about 28% of their income, which is the top bracket for most
people. The higher brackets you speak of that are in the upper thirty something percent
rates are for people that make many hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was part of
Clinton's 'Eat the Rich' Tax plan.

So you are paying at least twice as much income tax as we pay over here for the same
income, and that isn't even accounting for your cost of living. I'd imagine that your
cost of living on 28K pounds sterling is probably equal to $28K over here, possibly
less. In which case, you are getting raped.

> One problem in the UK is the cosy marketing cartels. For example, automobiles
> cost a LOT more here than elsewhere -- not because they're rare or because
> they're heavily taxed, but because the UK is a captive market. Right hand
> drive vehicles, right? Makes it a bit hard to hop over the channel and buy
> one. So the manufacturers all sell via a nice cosy dealership arrangement
> that sees the same model selling for 30-40% more in the UK. (This particular
> example is now collapsing under the weight of anti-trust investigations and
> e-commerce entrepreneurs handling imports, and the dealerships are screaming
> blue murder, but it indicates a pattern underlying the cost of living in the
> UK -- which is high, but not necessarily because of taxation.)
> >you saying you don't have the right to refuse to participate in
> > the health care system and the social security system?
> Do _you_ have the right to health care or social security if you refuse to
> pay for them?

Most people who get government health care pay little or nothing for it (and pay little
or nothing in taxes). The rest of us pick up the tab.

> I have the right to refuse to use them. But they're there. And they
> represent a _lot_ of personal insurance premiums I'd be paying if they
> weren't, and a lot of surplus value going into a fat, parasitic insurance
> industry.
> > > ..... And the UK has been becoming increasingly, radically,
> > > diverse since the end of the 1950's.)
> >
> > Its still lily white compared to the US.
> Still into the one-upmanship?
> These days, the UK is approximately 7% non-white. Yeah, that's lilly
> white compared to the US. It is, however, a major departure from the
> historical record.

True. I have asserted that the relatively low homicide rates over there are
specifically because you don't have anywhere near the number of minorities as we do, as
most homicide is minority on minority crime here. Its got nothing to do with guns,
while the lack of guns is specifically why your property crime rate is so high...

Mike Lorrey

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