Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Do taxes make us happy?

While I identify myself as a Democrat on my voter registration, I am more accurately a Socialist. This of course is very unpopular. When I hear the word "socialist" used on the radio, it is usually spat out, rather than spoken. I have always felt that I wouldn't mind paying more taxes, if I really would get some services for them. It just seems wrong that in the United States people go without health care. I have to pay for private trash pick up because my taxes do not cover this service, which I did not pay for in Maryland, my taxes covered it. I would love to have our public library back, but folks in my town refuse to pay enough taxes to keep it open. I have noticed less civility in Bridgewater since the vote to cut funding of the library and several other town services.

People in Qatar do not pay taxes at all. Weiner describes a study conducted at the University of Oregon which showed that giving money away involuntarily (i.e. paying taxes) stimulates certain pleasure centers of the brain. I understand that volunteering does the same thing. People should be less grumpy and learn to be more generous.

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