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Italian Government Posts Every Citizen's Income

Would You Be Furious If Your Income Was Available Online?

Mama Mia, the Italian government is dealing with some livid Italians right now. They brought the fury on themselves, however, when they posted < a href="">every citizen's taxable income on their website for everyone to see and did so without warning. Friends, enemies, and everyone in between have this in common, and it's part of the government's attempt to put the kibosh on tax evasion.

Granted, the site was only live for a few hours before Italy's privacy watchdog required its suspension. Tax minister Vincenzo Visco said, "It's all about transparency and democracy. I don't see the problem," while a consumer group said the site is "a danger for an increase in crime and violence as the data are an irresistible source for criminals." And Italian daily news provider Corriere della Sera said the site was "a delicious opportunity to find out with a click how much your neighbour or colleague or, for gossip fans, celebrities earn."

How would you feel as an Italian citizen whose income was exposed to be viewed by everyone with Internet access?


Join The Conversation
imdamoos imdamoos 8 years
There's a country is Scandinavia (I can't remember which one) where salaries are public, and I'm guessing it's just a way of life there, because I haven't heard of any outrage from over there.
soonermary soonermary 9 years
All public employees have salaries that are available to the public. Why shouldn't this be equitable across the board? If you can see mine, I should be able to see yours.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i can't imaagine why anyone would be interested in someone else's income. why is that something anyone would care about? people work hard for their money regardless what they make. i'm more interested in how people build wealth on what they have. if you make $15k a year and have your house paid off; i want to hear about it. if you make $250k a year and drive a 7 series bwm, not so interesting.
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
I work in a library and am a town employee. In MA we have prop 2 1/2 so taxpayers get to vote on whether or not they are willing to pay more taxes. The town is over 5 million dollars in the hole and the past couple override votes have been very controversal. My salery and the saleries of everybody who worked for the town were posted online by the local newspaper. There were two figures. One including benefits and one not including benefits. This infuriated me because the purpose behind the posting was to imply that town employees make too much and that instead of raising taxes, all town employees should take a pay cut. I felt the chart was misleading because it looked like i made a lot more than I actually take home, almost ten thousand dollars more than what i actually take home. I'm not sure where they got that figure. But regardless, I found myself in the position of justifying my pay to townspeople and trying to explain to my parents that I really am not that wealthy. My dad was shocked when he help me file my state taxes and discovered what I really make. It's actually much less than what the Standard Times would have everybody believe.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Ya I am not cool with this.
cobrien77 cobrien77 9 years
I'm a teacher, so anyone can look up my salary online.
JennaV JennaV 9 years
No one needs to know how much I make. I would be infuriated
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
OMG - i would be so INFURIATED if my information became public knowledge. i just think that there's some info that should be kept private. yo udo not discuss income/salary with anyone - and to have it on a website...that's just WRONG
natalie5785 natalie5785 9 years
well...given that the lily ledbetter fair play act was blocked, posting the incomes of everyone would surely help people determine within 180 days whether or not they were not being paid fairly. in theory i'd also like my salary to be private, but not if that privacy comes at the cost of equal compensation for equal work. i think this policy would probably curb discriminatory pay moreso than tax evasion.
sing2day sing2day 9 years
I work for a government agency and the salaries of every employee were recently posted online. It's a little awkward, but the initial weirdness passed and people forgot about it.
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 9 years
"We are a lot more uptight about money in the US than other places." Except Italy, evidently. ;)
runningesq runningesq 9 years
Me too, sweatpea!
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
Other - I'm used to it. My salary is public.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I wouldnt care. all that would happen are nosey people would say something to me about it, and i would call them a petty fool.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 9 years
Its no one elses business about how much I make, this is ridiculous. I would be livid.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I am confused with the reasoning; however, the City Colleges here have the income and raises of every employee available in the yearly report and be looked up online for everyone to see.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
It isn't a big deal. We are a lot more uptight about money in the US than other places.
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 9 years
Oh, and count me as outraged. My privacy is as precious to me as my life and I would have a real challenge valuing the latter in absence of the former.
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 9 years
Yeah, I guessed so, too, lin -- but I suppose I kinda felt like that particular strand of reasoning (if that is, in fact, what the government is trying to do; waggle a finger at its citizens by publicly publishing income information). . .well, it just seems, oh I don't know, ineffective. The public posting seems unnecessary. I cannot comprehend how it helps.
linb linb 9 years
I'm with you, duck duck. I was confused by the reasoning too. I think maybe the point is to say "We know how much you make, so don't lie on your taxes about it".
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 9 years
I think I'm ridin' the short bus this morning, because I'm not immediately understanding *how* this tactic was supposed to reduce the occurrence of tax evasion. Unless it was meant to encourage neighbors (family, colleagues, etc) to expose people who exhibit conspicuous wealth incongruous with their financial statistics. I dunno; I think this little ducky might be sportin' the dunce cap today.
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