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Given the context of this conversation... How does the math change if you strike out on your own, earning nothing for a year?

I think it suggests that the healthcare barrier to entrepreneurship is much higher in the US than in Australia.

I pay $15K/yr for a family of 3 for health insurance. Where I live it costs $95K/yr post-tax for a family of 3 to maintain middle class lifestyle (verified by not working for a year), including about $3K/mo mortgage, $1k/mo real estate tax, $1K/mo groceries, and a modest vacation in the tropics in December. So while $15K is clearly expensive, it's not dominant in the grand scheme of things. Of these numbers, BTW, it's the real estate tax that pisses me off the most: I have to pay the government to live in my own goddamn house, WTF.

Try changing your viewpoint on real estate taxes. I assume you live in a city (or else you wouldn't be paying much). By allotting your parcel of land for private use, everyone else's destination will be just a little bit farther away on average when a trip from A to B takes them past your land.

(Ref: why were medieval cities so dense despite their low populations and plentiful surrounding acreage? Everything had to be walking distance, so a big manor in the middle of the city would place a major burden on everyone's commute whose destination was not that manor).

So the tax is what you pay for the burden that your exclusive hold on the land imposes on others.

Or, you could think of it as what you pay to maintain the right for it not to be paved over as a superhighway, plus what you pay for the government to agree to keep other people from trespassing.

Not the fee for living there -- the fee for not letting others live there.

Medieval cities are dense because they had walls outside for protection. It's not like the US has insufficient acreage. I kind of got why the real estate tax was so high when my state wasn't charging sales tax on internet purchases out of state, but now it does, and yet the tax just keeps going up every year, and they also pile on the levies to boot.

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