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Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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New Taxes Could Increase the Price of Beauty

Now that we’ve established that attractive people earn more money, apparently it’s not just academics who are beginning to notice a difference in lifestyle. With state and federal governments looking to introduce some novel tax legislation, being beautiful could eventually become even more expensive.

With state governments toying with the idea of taxes on fat food and sodas, particularly to supplement healthcare costs, being overweight could soon carry with it an added tax burden. New York state and city officials are touting the fat tax, which could soon become a reality. But what about those who are already working hard to look beautiful? If a new federal tax is any indication, doing all that maintenance could become more costly.


After originally considering levying a tax on Botox procedures in the recently-passed health care legislation, tanning enthusiasts are about to feel that hit. The new 10 percent tax on the tanning business was an unexpected replacement for the Botox proposal. That tax now has industry insiders crying everything from elitism to racism. But a closer look at some taxation trends might show that it isn’t so much white people who are being targeted, but beautiful people.

The idea of looking to the beauty industries in tax legislation isn’t completely foreign. In Kenya, the government actually lowered taxes on cosmetics products last year in an effort to encourage women to look beautiful. But the Western world hasn’t looked to tax cuts when it comes to approaching beauty.  

In his popular book, “Feosexual,” writer Gonzalo Otolora proposes a tax in his native Argentina on beauty, claiming beautiful people enjoy an unfair advantage in society. Otolora even openly lobbied Argentine President Nestor Kirchner to consider the idea. The concept seems unusual, but it is being taken seriously by some people. Before targeting the tanning industry, the U.S. Senate proposed a 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic procedures in a shift that is could be seeing more consideration around the world.

Last year, while both the U.S. House and Senate were looking into new taxes on the beauty industries, France was looking into its own new tax targeting the cosmetics industry. In fact, the very concept of the beauty tax dates back over 200 years with the writings of Dean Swift. So with the size of the beauty industry and the favorable lives of the beautiful well documented, could governments around the globe soon be hating you because you’re beautiful?

Is the universe a graveyard? This theory suggests humanity may be alone.

Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?

According to the Great Filter theory, Earth might be one of the only planets with intelligent life. And that's a good thing (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team [STScI/AURA]).
Surprising Science

Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.

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Study details the negative environmental impact of online shopping

Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.

A truck pulls out of a large Walmart regional distribution center on June 6, 2019 in Washington, Utah.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
  • Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
  • Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
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Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

A girl and her mother take an afternoon nap in bed.

Personal Growth
  • We spend 40 percent of our childhoods asleep, a time for cognitive growth and development.
  • A recent study found an association between irregular sleep patterns in childhood and either psychotic experiences or borderline personality disorder during teenage years.
  • The researchers hope their findings can help identify at-risk youth to improve early intervention.
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