State TV in Norway: Paying to Be Propagandized
Well, it’s done. I just made the first of my two compulsory yearly payments to NRK – short for Norsk rikskringkasting.
In English it calls itself the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, but believe me, there’s nothing remotely corporation-like about it. It’s a fully government-owned and government-operated outfit, and its fealty to the Labor Party worldview is reflected in the nickname by which some of its disgruntled viewers refer to it: ARK, or Arbeiderpartiets rikskringkasting – Labor Party Broadcasting.
As of 2013, the semiannual NRK license fee – which, I should perhaps underscore, is something you pay in addition to whatever you might happen to shell out for your cable and/or satellite service – went up to $240.33, for a total of $480.66 per year. (Out of the kindness of their hearts, they divide the amount in two, apparently realizing that for a lot of people this is no small expense.) It’s a tax, of course, but it’s not treated as a tax – which is reflected in the fact that the fee actually includes an eight percent value-added tax. In other words, not only do they charge you a tax on top of your regular income tax to pay for a product that you may never even use – they also tax the tax. (continue reading...)