Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Norway & Hong Kong: Drunk Or Art Nouveau!

Democracy Or Alcohol?

Ålesund ©2012 Am Ang Zhang

In 1904 fire destroyed most of Ålesund.

It was rebuilt in Art Nouveau style and is arguably the most beautiful city in Norway without the City Hall.

Democracy: Voted against joining EU in 1972 and 1994.

Norway is one of the richest and most contented nations on earth, with a GDP per capita of £40,000 – compared to £23,000 in the UK, and an EU average of £21,150.
Unemployment is at 3.25 per cent, while GDP is growing at 2.75 per cent per year – as it has on average over the last 40 years.

It also regularly tops the UN's survey of quality of life, with a generous welfare system – women receive 46 weeks maternity leave at full salary, compared to Britain's six weeks on 90 per cent – and free education (incl. universities) is provided for all.

The country funds this through its huge reserves of oil, timber and fish which it manages prudently, stashing away large percentages of its oil revenues to fund the future healthcare needs of an ageing population.


Do we ever learn that prohibition never did anything to alcohol consumption nor would price control? 

With the millions spent on Cocaine in Wall Street and The City, when will we wake up to the fact that these are Tax Free perks?

©2013 Am Ang Zhang

By Wendy Leung - February 27, 2008 05:37 EST
In a place without democracy!

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong's government abolished taxes on wine and beer after posting a record surplus, boosting efforts to turn the city into a wine-trading hub.

The tariffs will be abolished immediately, costing the city government HK$560 million ($72 million) in annual tax revenue.
Tax was 80% before 2007 then 40%

The rest of Hong Kong Tax:
No sales tax
No capital gains tax
Maximum salary tax of 20%
Profit tax maximum of 16%
Inheritance tax or estate duty has been abolished since             11February 2006. 

Yet, my doctor friends told me that there is no binge drinking problem like they have in Norway where there is high taxation and much difficulty in buying alcohol.

Strange: A drink too many!

Ålesund Norway©2012 Am Ang Zhang

Solveig Torvik 
December 16, 2010 

Weekend binge drinking is a perplexing feature of Norwegian cultural life to many visitors.

The role of alcohol in Norway often appears to be to consume it until you’re senseless, and alcohol commonly is accepted as an excuse for indulging in antisocial behavior. Binge drinking seemingly isn’t regarded as aberrant behavior in Norway, even by sober citizens who, generally speaking, uncomplainingly tolerate the ensuing brawls and other unpleasant results.

But why do so many people who do live in the “world’s best place” drink until they’re comatose? And why are many of them prone to violence and aggression when drunk? No one knows.

Dr Ole Johan Hoyberg, formerly a hospital-based psychiatrist in Ålesund, told newspaper Sunnmørsposten: “There’s a great deal more drunkenness in the communities that I got an insight about as a hospital doctor. Alcohol abuse is on the point of becoming a national sickness.”

Which seems an odd state of affairs indeed for a nation that’s billed as the world’s best place to live.

Perhaps no tax on alcohol beats democracy!

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