Every so often, when something on the news comes up that illustrates the negligence and incompetence of our federal government, some people half-jokingly proclaim: “I’ve had enough! Pack up, we’re moving to (some country),”. For myself, it has often been Nova Scotia, or anywhere in Canada.
The following are some noteworthy countries, based on % of their GDP that comes from taxation revenues. This is but one means of analyzing just how “taxing” a national government is. If a national government has excessive funds it will grow larger, so the simple theory here is that the smaller the government is, the better.
Country Taxation as % of GDP
United States 26.9
New Zealand 34.5
United Kingdom 39.0
Perhaps a better measure is found via the Tax Foundation. They arrive at overall scores via their international tax competitiveness index (ITCI). The ITCI includes various factors such as: corporate taxes, consumption taxes, property taxes, individual/income taxes, and international tax rules. The following are some countries and scores of note (the higher score, the better and least expensive for the individual):
New Zealand 87.8
United Kingdom 62.2
United States 44.3
Nothing against Estonia, but most Americans probably have little desire to settle there. The language being a main hurdle. Additionally, it is a relatively small country and is fairly unfamiliar to most.
In looking at these two charts, the first can be deceptive because the numbers are tied into how large a nation’s GDP is. The U.S. has (by far) the largest national GDP in the world, so it still has enormous tax revenues- even though its % is roughly in the “middle of the road” internationally.
The second chart is more telling. The U.S. is down near the bottom of tax competitiveness, which is how many hard-working Americans feel. Most Americans feel that they are taxed too much for what the Feds actually decide to do with their money. They don’t get out of the government as much as they should.
Back to the initial question: In the current geopolitical atmosphere, where to move? After the semi-obvious choices of where NOT to move (Iraq, Afghanistan, Greece), what are the solid choices? If one values the benefits of an English-speaking country, Australia and New Zealand seem like good options- if you don’t mind living halfway around the world. The United Kingdom and Canada are not bad, either.
Countries to avoid might include Italy, France, and some of the other western European countries.
From researching the first list and parameters, it is interesting that most of the Middle Eastern/ Muslim countries have very low taxation in regards to their GDP. Then again, many of these countries likely do not offer the types and levels of federal programs and benefits that we do take for granted here in the USA. (In this article we are not even discussing the other very real factors of where one might want to live, including: warfare, turmoil, climate, national corruption, national and financial security, political leadership, prevalent religions, etc.)
The Unites States has been looked at throughout the world for many decades as THE place to live and work, and raise a family. In many ways, it still is. Is it still the “best” country in the world? Perhaps, but the ongoing damage done by our leaders (and allowed by the voters) over the past 40-50 years has led some to think and plan otherwise. Similar to a large and proud company that is on the downslide, we cannot rest on our laurels, and our namesake, for too long.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com