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Historically the US has never supported the same high prices as Europe - people just won't pay them. Rather than just blame high house prices, I would suggest that at least some of the price we pay here goes into the £80 billion, that's £80,000,000,000, that is spent by the NHS and the UK does not spend as much as Germany or France on health. Being ill in the US is not something you can afford if you haven't got health insurance.

David
 

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"Health costs can't be the reason as UK overall health expenditure is low by comparison with both the US and most European countries. Yes it is financed differently, but it is the overall value which would affect prices not whether you pay via private insurance or through taxation."

Check out these two webpages Pie chart for UK budget 2006 - Money In, Money Out and OECD report in rise in tax revenue as % of GDP

The first reference tells you that HM Treasury plans to collect £516 billion from us during this year. The second tells you that in 2005 the OECD estimates that the UK government tax take as a % of GDP is 37.2%. The comparable figure for the US is 26.8%. How the UK government takes this money will vary but the fact is it takes more than the US and it comes from a combination of direct income taxes, expenditure taxes or service taxes. All legal commerce is subjected to these one way or another and so it should come as no surprise if goods and services cost more here as a result.

I was wrong about the health care cost (which means a report this week on radio 4 this week on the NHS was wrong too), it's £96 billion which is about 1/6th. Health and "social expenditure" account for about half of government spending. I doubt the US comes anywhere near this, so I think my argument still stands. We have "bigger government" than the US so inevitably everything costs more.

The biggest single beneficiary from any business run in this country is HM government, whether it makes a profit or not.

David
 

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>You have to add in the cost of the US private health system as well. Those costs that are crippling companies like General Motors.

I bet if GM were selling Lenz decoders, they would cost the same as here
I doubt the US outlets selling discounted Lenz decoders have quite the same level of private health.

In either case, the cost of the health care is "optional" for the companies. Paying NI contributions is not. Neither did I choose the single largest element of government spending - the "social" stuff which means pensions among other things. Don't tell me that the US spends more there as well.

It just costs a lot more to do business on this small overcrowded island and there are a lot more regulations business has to meet as well - Oops this isn't the DDA and layout height thread


David
 
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