Happiness Through Taxation

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Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:38 pm

Just to get a conversation started. First the top fifteen happiest (developed) nations (source):

Image

Then the percent of GDP collected in taxes in those nations:

Image

I suppose one could argue that "happiness" is not really scientifically definable or measurable. Still, a definition was used to compile these statistics, and there is now an academic specialty (however dubious it seems to me personally!) known as "happiness studies".
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:25 pm

I went to the source. Still don't know what the colors within the bars are supposed to represent. I can guess, but where are they labeled?

A real simple summation: the Nordic countries pay more in taxes but feel THEY GET MORE in return. Imagine the FREEDOM in being able to quit your job and go to a new one or start your own business without the WORRY that you will lose your healthcare? USA could cut its taxes to ZERO and the happiness index would not go up.

Close on this chart and for all the same reasons is our coming unavoidable shift to UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME. USA might stumble into happiness once again. Of interest, AFAIK: all the UBI experiments are taking place in Europe at the moment.
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:11 pm

In my view, happiness comes from achieving goals. One goal in a consumerist society is to have as much or preferably slightly more than others.
In countries with a small wealth gap between the richest and the poor, this is usually achievable, especially if you focus on just one type of possession you want to outperform others.
But in countries with vast differences in wealth it is obvious most people can't ever compete with the top 1%, not even when they win $300 millon in the lottery.
So there is less subjective achievement in countries with low progressive taxes compared to those with high taxation of the rich.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:26 pm

EM----you've been blinded by the sparkle. Avert your eyes.
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:50 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:EM----you've been blinded by the sparkle. Avert your eyes.



My doctors say I got ADOS:

Attention Deficit Ooooh! Shiny!
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:04 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:EM----you've been blinded by the sparkle. Avert your eyes.



My doctors say I got ADOS:

Attention Deficit Ooooh! Shiny!


Closely related to ADHLAT? (Attention deficit...Hey! Look at that!)
"A general conversion among the boys was once effected by the late excellent Mr. Fletcher: one poor boy only excepted, who unfortunately resisted the influence of the Holy Spirit, for which he was severely flogged; which did not fail of the desired effect, and impressed proper notions of religion on his mind."

James Lackington, Memoirs of the First Forty-five Years of the Life of James Lackington, the Present Bookseller

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:20 pm

Happy That's Day, everyone.
Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:26 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I went to the source. Still don't know what the colors within the bars are supposed to represent. I can guess, but where are they labeled?

A real simple summation: the Nordic countries pay more in taxes but feel THEY GET MORE in return. Imagine the FREEDOM in being able to quit your job and go to a new one or start your own business without the WORRY that you will lose your healthcare? USA could cut its taxes to ZERO and the happiness index would not go up.

Close on this chart and for all the same reasons is our coming unavoidable shift to UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME. USA might stumble into happiness once again. Of interest, AFAIK: all the UBI experiments are taking place in Europe at the moment.


It's pretty cryptic, isn't it. My guess is that the colors, from left to right, are named in this sentence:

Researchers then use six measures to try to understand the results: gross domestic product per capita, life expectancy, support from relatives or friends, charitable giving, freedom to make life choices, and perceived levels of government and corporate corruption.


Now, normally, putting one line in sequence with another means some form of addition. What is it that is being added here? Again, I'm guessing, but perhaps each of these colors are proportional to the score in each category, and the categories are weighted so as to add up to 100%. How the weights would be assigned is another arbitrary factor. It begins to look like the Brans-Dickey theory vs. general relativity here. Brans-Dickey has two arbitrary constants, while GR has only the cosmological constant. Hence B-D is practically impossible to refute, though not nearly as useful as GR.
"A general conversion among the boys was once effected by the late excellent Mr. Fletcher: one poor boy only excepted, who unfortunately resisted the influence of the Holy Spirit, for which he was severely flogged; which did not fail of the desired effect, and impressed proper notions of religion on his mind."

James Lackington, Memoirs of the First Forty-five Years of the Life of James Lackington, the Present Bookseller

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:52 pm

Of course, if another category were added: "Access to Gun to get even", then USA would leap right ahead...... depending on its weighting.

I wonder. One question: "Are you happy." ======= add them up and compare. Course..... real scientists don't like direct questions.
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Major Malfunction » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:48 pm

I'm pretty happy when I don't have to mug anyone to survive. And I'm pretty happy paying a social tax so I don't have to be mugged by desperate people.

Bloody socialism, eh?
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Flash » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:48 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
In my view, happiness comes from achieving goals.

No, no, noooooo! Happiness comes from happy pills. Those funny little buggers, brothers and sister to a stiff drink. :nuts:
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Major Malfunction » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:18 pm

There's talk about mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients.

In my opinion, there should be mandatory drug testing of bloody politicians! What the {!#%@} are they on? Probably cocaine.

But they're supposed to be running whole nations, not just a forklift. So they should the soberest of the sober, don't you think?
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:49 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:Just to get a conversation started.
Here goes.....

Humans (and other primates) have an innate behaviour called equity theory. They don't mind paying more if they think they are paying the same as the next person. In taxation psychology, a good tax system is where the taxpayer thinks he is getting an even handed deal compared to the next person in the same circumstance. Therefore asking
humans to pay more tax is not a big problem if the taxation system is equitable and social harmony remain cohesive.


The next weird rule is "coase theory". This theory states that : It doesn't matter what taxation system you have, as the same hidden hand that controls laissez-faire economics will eventually influence that taxation system to become more equitable. This is because in any system taxation the constant will always be humans and human psychology. (I wrote a paper on Roman tax farming simply to identify the influences that modify aggressive tax collection and gave historical examples)

For the above reasons I think that there is nothing wrong with moderately high tax if everyone obtains and perceives that they obtain the same equitable benefit.

I additionally think that smart politicians of the future will not offer lower taxes for some and not others, but rather initiate an aggressive policy against tax visible tax evasion.

In Australia, there was a tax scam that about 400 people undertook. The Australian Tax Office went first for the person with the highest public profile and that was Paul Hogan ( Crocodile Dundee). The scam was simple. Hogan sold the rights to Crocodile Dundee II & III to a offshore tax-haven company for a dollar. The revenue goes to that company. Hogan then borrows money for business from that company, The company charges outrageous interest to Hogan. Hogan gets a deduction in Australia for that interest payment (offsetting domestic income) and sends more money to that offshore company. Hogan then repeats the process. Eventually Hogan and his business partner were busted and had to pay back 130 million.

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Major Malfunction » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:34 am

They're all just in it for the cocaine.
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Nikki Nyx » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:35 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I went to the source. Still don't know what the colors within the bars are supposed to represent. I can guess, but where are they labeled?
Here. Page 20 shows what each color represents, and page 17 describes how the data were measured.
GDP per capita (PPP)
Social support
Healthy life expectancy
Freedom to make life choices
Generosity
Perceptions of corruption (in government and business)
Dystopia (sum of average world dystopia + specific country's dystopia)
|---| = confidence level
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Major Malfunction » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:11 am

Looks pretty, but I still wouldn't {!#%@} it.
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:33 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:Just to get a conversation started.
Here goes.....

Humans (and other primates) have an innate behaviour called equity theory. They don't mind paying more if they think they are paying the same as the next person. In taxation psychology, a good tax system is where the taxpayer thinks he is getting an even handed deal compared to the next person in the same circumstance. Therefore asking
humans to pay more tax is not a big problem if the taxation system is equitable and social harmony remain cohesive.


The next weird rule is "coase theory". This theory states that : It doesn't matter what taxation system you have, as the same hidden hand that controls laissez-faire economics will eventually influence that taxation system to become more equitable. This is because in any system taxation the constant will always be humans and human psychology. (I wrote a paper on Roman tax farming simply to identify the influences that modify aggressive tax collection and gave historical examples)

For the above reasons I think that there is nothing wrong with moderately high tax if everyone obtains and perceives that they obtain the same equitable benefit.

I additionally think that smart politicians of the future will not offer lower taxes for some and not others, but rather initiate an aggressive policy against tax visible tax evasion.

In Australia, there was a tax scam that about 400 people undertook. The Australian Tax Office went first for the person with the highest public profile and that was Paul Hogan ( Crocodile Dundee). The scam was simple. Hogan sold the rights to Crocodile Dundee II & III to a offshore tax-haven company for a dollar. The revenue goes to that company. Hogan then borrows money for business from that company, The company charges outrageous interest to Hogan. Hogan gets a deduction in Australia for that interest payment (offsetting domestic income) and sends more money to that offshore company. Hogan then repeats the process. Eventually Hogan and his business partner were busted and had to pay back 130 million.


Just a thumbs-up didn't seem an adequate thanks for that. I learned a lot from it. (And how did Paul Hogan stay out of jail?!)
"A general conversion among the boys was once effected by the late excellent Mr. Fletcher: one poor boy only excepted, who unfortunately resisted the influence of the Holy Spirit, for which he was severely flogged; which did not fail of the desired effect, and impressed proper notions of religion on his mind."

James Lackington, Memoirs of the First Forty-five Years of the Life of James Lackington, the Present Bookseller

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:23 am

Upton_O_Goode wrote: (And how did Paul Hogan stay out of jail?!)
Glen Wheatley, the manager of Little River Band went to gaol for 15 months ( he sent royalties overseas) Hogan's business partner. John Cornell had multiple sclerosis, so he did a deal with the tax office by selling up everything and paying off all debt and fines to remain out of gaol. Hogan did a runner overseas but eventually negotiated a deal paid off the tax and fines and was allowed to remain out of gaol, as he only gets film work in Australia.

The annoying thing is that they made their money from tax funded films. They, then themselves, did not pay tax on their films that made enormous profits and thus hurt the next tranche of Australian film makers. This was simply unfair in both taxation matters and to the Commonwealth artistically.

(I was a production accountant on tax funded films at the time.) :D

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:04 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote: (And how did Paul Hogan stay out of jail?!)
Glen Wheatley, the manager of Little River Band went to gaol for 15 months ( he sent royalties overseas) Hogan's business partner. John Cornell had multiple sclerosis, so he did a deal with the tax office by selling up everything and paying off all debt and fines to remain out of gaol. Hogan did a runner overseas but eventually negotiated a deal paid off the tax and fines and was allowed to remain out of gaol, as he only gets film work in Australia.

The annoying thing is that they made their money from tax funded films. They, then themselves, did not pay tax on their films that made enormous profits and thus hurt the next tranche of Australian film makers. This was simply unfair in both taxation matters and to the Commonwealth artistically.

(I was a production accountant on tax funded films at the time.) :D


As I stopped watching television some years ago, I haven't seen Hogan doing his Foster's lager commercials. But I imagine he made some serious cash for that. He was the symbol of Australia to most Americans, with just the right accent. Nicole Kidman, who is my favorite Australian, and the most beautiful woman who ever lived, rivaled only by Hedy Lamarr in her prime, does so many movies using an American accent that one tends to see her as an American. And then there is the American/Australian/American Mel Gibson, about whom the less said, the better... :D
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James Lackington, Memoirs of the First Forty-five Years of the Life of James Lackington, the Present Bookseller

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Gord » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:47 pm

Canada sucks.

No one should ever go there.
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:58 am

Upton_O_Goode wrote:...... does so many movies using an American accent that one tends to see her as an American.
You're lucky. You only get to see the Australians who can fake an American dialect. We get to see all the Australian actors who simply can't do it. Elle Macpherson has this weird fake American dialect that makes her sound as though she suffered a stroke.

On the flip side Merryl Streep put on a fake Aussie accent for "Evil Angels" that has Australian rolling in the isles with laughter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMu_GRAPKrQ

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:40 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:...... does so many movies using an American accent that one tends to see her as an American.
You're lucky. You only get to see the Australians who can fake an American dialect. We get to see all the Australian actors who simply can't do it. Elle Macpherson has this weird fake American dialect that makes her sound as though she suffered a stroke.

On the flip side Merryl Streep put on a fake Aussie accent for "Evil Angels" that has Australian rolling in the isles with laughter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMu_GRAPKrQ



Hah! She learned how to sound Australian the same place Dick van Dyke learned how to sound Cockney.
"A general conversion among the boys was once effected by the late excellent Mr. Fletcher: one poor boy only excepted, who unfortunately resisted the influence of the Holy Spirit, for which he was severely flogged; which did not fail of the desired effect, and impressed proper notions of religion on his mind."

James Lackington, Memoirs of the First Forty-five Years of the Life of James Lackington, the Present Bookseller

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:37 pm

Are you guys saying such regional accents are best thought of as one certain sound and not a range?

Seems highly prejudiced to me.
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:21 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Are you guys saying such regional accents are best thought of as one certain sound and not a range?

Seems highly prejudiced to me.

People seem to think everyone who lives in New England has a Boston accent. I've never pahked my cah to get lobstah and chowdah. (And no one has ever pahked theah cah in Hahvuhd Yahd. Not without legal consequences, anyway.)
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:36 pm

I like your accent..... its wicked cool....whatever side of Boston you are mimicking.
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Re: Happiness Through Taxation

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:00 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I like your accent..... its wicked cool....whatever side of Boston you are mimicking.

Woburn, actually, where my daughter's best friend lives. Oddly, it's pronounced WOO-burn with an almost-silent W.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein


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