How much do you earn?
Looking at India becoming the sixth nation to launch a rocket to the moon got me thinking at a more global level. Such as, how would people in different countries respond if they’re asked “how much do you earn?”
In New Zealand, the answer is quite likely a flippant “not enough” or “I can get more in Australia.”
Salaries of chief executives and some other top execs can often be deduced. But, you won’t get an answer from the tax authorities if you ask. Secrecy is enshrined in law and is a key plank for voluntary tax compliance.
Ask a person in India and the answer is quite likely to be “officially or actually?” The ‘parallel economy’ is huge and cash is king.
Ask a person in Scandinavia and it’s no secret. In fact, in Sweden, Finland and Norway it’s public information. Published by the government for anyone who wants to have a look.
Magnus Graner of Sweden’s Justice Ministry says, “If it’s what you want to do, you can see what your brother-in-law made, your neighbour made. Not everybody does it, although we joke about it and say, ‘Have you checked on your future in-laws?’ No one in my family has done it — I don’t think.”
Perhaps it’s no wonder marriage is dying in Scandinavia. Also, divorce settlements are probably based on facts, not wild conjectures of what the other partner is or is not making!