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I am not French, but Swedish, We have similar total tax burden. In general Swedes accept taxes. As it pays for: education, childcare, healthcare, a functional bureaucracy, defence, police and legal system etc. If you don’t get those or they don’t function well, then I can see that people are more hesitant.

But there is a cultural difference too. Many (most?) people around me accept that we pay for some freeloaders, as long as we also manage to protect and help those that really need it.

It seems to work [1] which is why we accept the taxes (more or less).

[1] Sweden scores high in most indexes trying to measure these things.

Maybe at one point. Today it is all borrowed against the future in the form of private debt, a propped up property market, sold off companies, and tax breaks. Of course people accepts taxes when it is primary labour that is highly taxed and they made hundreds of thousands in the property market so they don't feel like they need to work much any more. It is very unlikely that people would accept taxes to properly fund infrastructure, pensions, the military and whatever else these days.

Edit: Maybe this is uncomfortable for people but it is true. If people are so comfortable paying taxes how come the social democrats are the weakest in decades? How come there is no wealth tax, no inheritance tax, no gift tax, no property tax, deduction for debt, low corporate tax, special tax deals for family businesses, some of the highest privates debt in Europe, as well as some of the highest wealth inequality, most rapid privatization and the highest retirement age? The amount of tax money spent on private sector health care has doubled in 10 years. There is a housing shortage pretty much everywhere, for employees and students alike. The Stockholm subway is run by the Chinese. Volvo is Chinese. So is what is left of SAAB, essentially all Swedish cinemas, mobile operator 3 and partly Spotify, the other Volvo, the Stockholm airport train etc. There isn't going to be any Swedish companies left in 30 years. The steel and paper mills, spirits and other traditional companies are increasingly owned by Finnish companies. Oh, and the right wing populist party with an agenda based on discontent are now the second largest in the polls. Soon enough they will gut public service media like in Denmark.

These are not the traits of a well funded state prepared for the future. People just aren't paying attention.

"In general Swedes accept taxes" overlooks some rather important facts.

Firstly, "in general" is very vague. There are famous cases of rich Swedes who don't want to pay Swedish taxes and successfully avoid doing so. IKEA's tax structure is legendary isn't it?

Secondly, Sweden has cut taxes in the recent past:


Obviously many Swedes weren't happy with high tax rates.

In this very left-wing article about how Swedes love paying very high tax rates, it is observed:


'The median voter is a woman who works for the public sector, and around two-thirds of the electorate draw most of their income from the state, either because they work in the public sector or draw benefits from it.'

So yes the average Swede is a net recipient of tax money and is thus going to think taxes are awesome. Obviously in a world where a minority are forced to pay for the living costs of the majority, "in general" the population will believe it's a good system. But is a good idea or sustainable over the long term, let alone moral?

That isn't really how the Swedish tax system works. A lot of that is paying yourself in one form or another.

The problem in Sweden is that if you for example you get $500k from you parents, buy an apartment that appreciates, go study for five years, have a kid and take parental leave for another two years you pay maybe 10-20% tax overall (on the appreciation mostly) and nothing for health care or education for yourself or your kids, which might go to semi private school.

While the average person who don't have rich parents, or maybe kids, and are trying to work their way up are paying 40-50% or more on their income and not getting much in return. And on top of that are paying for some of the highest property values and general prices in Europe.

Stockholm built the most expensive hospital in the world, yet has one of the lowest tax rates in the country.

I don't mind paying taxes, but I want them to be put to good use and not be some sort of discount system for those who are already well off so they can take more vacations. (I do realize that their is a lot of history behind that, but it is now getting warped into some form of crony capitalism).

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