from the world's big
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?
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?
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.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- 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.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
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.