The Huffington Post:
Detractors of Warren Buffett take note: The more a country taxes its richest citizens, the happier everyone in that country will be.
Such are the findings of a new study, led by University of Virginia psychologist Shigehiro Oishi, which compares 54 different countries and finds a correlation between progressive tax policies — that is, higher tax rates for higher tax brackets — and overall contentedness.
It may not be the case that a progressive tax system automatically leads to a happier population, however. The report emphasizes that what matters is what governments do with the tax dollars they collect.
“[A] key to a happy society is quality public and common goods,” a draft of the report notes. “[E]ven if a society does not adopt a progressive tax, as long as it can afford good public transportation, education system, health care, and so forth, citizens are likely to be happy.”
The study observed the highest rates of “life satisfaction” in Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands and a number of Nordic countries, including Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden — all nations that consistently rank high whenever countries are compared on the basis of happiness.
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