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10/26/16

The Ideal Nation State: Free Universal Health Care, Free Quality Education and a Fair Share Tax System-does it exist?

Sounds too far fetched - not at all.

When we look at Unversal Health care there are thirty-two of the thirty-three developed nations have universal health care, with the United States being the lone exception . The following list, compiled from WHO sources where possible, shows the start date and type of  system used to implement universal health care in each developed country .

Note that universal health care does not imply government-only health care, as many countries implementing a universal health care plan continue to have both public and private insurance and medical providers.

If we look at Free Quality education and live in a country where it is not free but costly, like in the US, or if you fail to qualify for fully-funded university scholarships, consider enrolling in universities that are tuition free or universities that charge low tuition fees. Countries like Finland, Austria, Norway, Germany, and Sweden offer different types of free/low tuition schemes for international students.

scholars4dev.com has compiled information and provided links to tuition-free Colleges and Universities in these countries.

According to studyinfinland.fi: There are currently no tuition fees charged in Finland, regardless of the level of studies and the nationality of the student however tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students will be introduced from autumn 2017 onwards for English-taught Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes. Doctoral level studies will remain free of tuition fees.

Updates concerning the forthcoming non-EU tuition fees and related new scholarships options can be found at www.studyinfinland.fi/tuitionfees2017.

Remember that even when there are no tuition fees, you still need to plan your finances – you are expected to independently cover all your everyday living expenses during your studies in Finland.

At the moment, scholarships there are mainly available only for Doctoral level studies and research.

There are now a number of Universities also offering online degrees/courses for free.  The first such University is University of the People which is a tuition-free, non-profit, accredited online university dedicated to opening access to higher education globally.  University of the People offers online Associates and Bachelors Degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science.

This was followed by an initiative of MIT and Harvard called edX which is a learning platform that gives students from any country the opportunity to take free online courses offered by three premier Universities in the US – Harvard, MIT, and UC Berkeley and about 50+ Universities and institutions.

Following this trend, Coursera was introduced which is an online learning platform that partners with the top universities in the world to offer online courses in many fields of study for anyone to take, for free.

Last but not least: which countries have a Fare Share Tax System? For the US one place to turn for factual information on who pays how much percent of the total in income taxes is a report posted on the American Spectator’s blog on May 6, 2015. The data come from 2014, and are reported by the Tax Policy Center, which is the creation of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, two entities not known for right-wing sentiments. According to the IRS, in 2014 the top 1% of all income earners paid 45.7% of all federal income taxes, but earned 17.1% of all income in the U.S. The top 20% paid 83.9% of all federal income taxes, after earning 51.9% of all income in America. The middle 20% of income earners – who the American Spectator claims are the true middle class in America – paid 5.9% of all federal income taxes, but earned 14.8% of all income.

In Europe The EU Commission suggests that tax policy should be geared towards meeting more general EU policy goals. Tax policy must contribute to achieving the goal established at the Lisbon European Council of March 2000 and confirmed at the Stockholm European Council in March of this year of making the Union the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. This means that efforts must be made to achieve a durable reduction in the overall tax burden in the EU, by ensuring a balance between cutting taxes, investing in public services and sustaining fiscal consolidation. At the same time, tax policy must be fully consistent with other EU policies such economic, employment, health and consumer protection, innovation, environmental and energy policies. But in particular tax systems must allow individuals and businesses to benefit fully from the Internal Market. This implies a need to focus on eliminating the inefficiencies due to the co-existence of 15 different tax systems within the EU and on making those tax systems simpler and more comprehensible to taxpayers.\

At the recent European Commission’s “Debate on the Future of Europe” event in Luxembourg there was a comment from the audience arguing that corruption and tax evasion in some European countries was one of the root causes of the economic crisis in Europe, and it should be up to individual member states to solve their own problems:

One thing the people can do to promote changes on any of the issues listed above is to use their voting power and their brains to vote in gthose politicians who are in favor of Free Unversal Health Care, Free Quality Education and a Fair Tax System, and vote out those who do nothing else than give you promises and more promises.

It is high time for voters around the world to clean-up those political systems which have brought us non of the above, but instead, constant warfare, environmental disasters, while they empowered corporate entities to infiltrate and manipulate prevalent political systems. 

© EU-Digest  

1 comment:

Jess Cammerman said...

Thanks very much for the mention! University of the People also offer degrees in health science, as well as an MBA!