Are Low Taxes Taxing Our Happiness?
Americans have found solace in paying low or no taxes since a certain dumping of tea into Boston Harbor in 1773. Low taxes have contributed to the psychology behind the country's economic individualism, but have they made us happy?
The Netherlands, Finland and Denmark, where citizens pay the lion's share of the earnings to the state, rank as the top three happiest countries. The United States, where tax rates hover between 15 and 25 percent, ranked 11th on the happiness scale.
The three European countries have an average GDP per capita of roughly $39,000 per year, compared to $47,000 in the U.S.
The OECD's findings stand somewhat contradictory to the Pew Center's Andrew Kohut whose research has shown the happiest people are those who earn more.
When one adds in the extra expenditures--for health care, education, public transit--many economists calculate Americans pay close to European tax rates, just not directly. And the services Americans receive are often fewer and less comprehensive than those in Europe.
All of this contributes to a sense of worry that Thomas Kostigen notes could be reducing our overall share of happiness.
OECD's Society At A Glance which survey which countries sleep more and eat more
Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.
- Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
- 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
- On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.
- Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
- Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
- Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
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