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Feb 26 / Jonathan

If High Taxes Led to Growth

Matthew Yglesias.

If High Taxes Led to Growth, the Most-Taxed Countries on Earth Would Be the Richest; Which They Are

For the record, however, the most-taxed countries on Earth (i.e., the countries where revenue is the highest percent of GDP) are in order:

1. Denmark
2. Sweden
3. Belgium
4. France
5. Norway

In terms of per capita GDP these are, respectively, the 4th, 9th, 14th, 15th, and 3rd richest countries on earth while the United States is 17th. Of course in part that’s an exchange rate phenomenon and if you use PPP adjustments rather than market exchange rates, the U.S. looks better. On the other hand, if you peer into the future it seems to me that exchange rate comparisons are likely to make us look even worse in years to come. The high-tax five also do very well on things like the U.N. Human Development index.

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