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
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.
I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.
- Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
- The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
- The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.