Firstly, my apologies if this isn't the right forum for this - I couldn't spot a better one!
We are all born, pay taxes and die.
Depending on where we live, those taxes will (hopefully) be used to pay for our medical care when we are born, our education, maybe our college fees, health care during our lives and perhaps social care when we get too old to look after ourselves. Not to mention defending our country (armed forces) and keeping the streets safe (police).
Some of us will be fortunate enough to earn lots of money, pay tax on that money and still be able to pay for their own healthcare, their children's education and their own care when they get old. These people are likely to pay much more in taxes than they will ever receive back in benefits from the state.
Others won't be so fortunate, maybe they'll have periods of unemployment, maybe they have long-term (or just expensive) medical problems, or maybe they just won't pay much tax because they don't earn much in the first place.
In summary - some people will, over the course of their life, contribute far more in taxes than they will receive back in benefits. Others will receive much more in benefits than they ever contribute.
There must be a break-even income where a persons' overall, lifetime, tax contribution matches the total of all the benefits he receives.
So, assuming a typical working life of 45-50 years and an average life expectancy what should my average salary be over that period to eventual break-even? to be neither a net-contributor nor a net-consumer?
For the purposes of this question, I'm assuming UK rates of taxation and benefits although if there are figures for other countries I'd be happy to have those too! I'm also just asking about financial contributions/costs, not considering the relative social contributions of different types of jobs (i.e. nurses compared to stock-brokers etc)
UPDATE - I think I've found most of the answer at this link .