The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Stop taxing happiness: A new perspective on progressive taxation > Comments

Stop taxing happiness: A new perspective on progressive taxation : Comments

By Mirko Bagaric and James McConvill, published 21/4/2005

Mirko Bagaric and James McConvill argue the time has come for a wholesale reform of tax law, for the sake of the greater good

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. All
My comment is about happiness, not tax.
Many years ago a colleague told me that happiness was a place on a continuum. At one end of the continuum was boredom and at the other was fear. Each person's happy spot between those two was different, and, indeed, could change at different times in your life.
Some people like to have a lot of excitement in their lives and so are happiest closer to the fear end of the continuum, others like to feel secure and so are most comfortable closer to boredom.
This is a very practical and useful definition of happiness. In my own life I have used it this way, when I start to feel restless and depressed I sense I have too much safety in my life and am slipping towards boredom, the solution is dial up the amount of risks I am taking. If I start to feel anxious and stressed and panicy, I realise I have too much excitement and risk and need to increase my sense of safety and security. This has worked very well for me, and has made a sense of happiness and well being concrete and much easier to achieve. Sometimes, of course, things happen that are out of my control, but even then the concept of the boredom and fear continuum has helped me minimise my misery.
Posted by enaj, Thursday, 21 April 2005 4:23:22 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
What impact could this be expected to have on the behaviour of individuals who provide high value services? One possible outcome is that in part from a sense of resentment, and partly because they do not personally benefit from the extra work, they would reduce the extent to which they provide the service.

The effect would be to reduce the availability of the service, and push its price up.

Sylvia.
Posted by Sylvia Else, Thursday, 21 April 2005 5:29:02 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Surely this is a joke? I kept reading, waiting for the punch line, but I must have missed it. So itís a good idea to base our tax system on a couple of touchy-feely surveys that say money makes us miserable? I can smell a Nobel Prize here somewhere.

350 words wouldnít even come close to discussing the ridiculous statements put forth in this artiÖÖÖ..Wait a minute! I think Iíve just got the joke! Two lawyers lecturing us on the evils of money! Ah the delicious irony! Very subtle boys, very subtle, but absolutely hilarious! Iíve changed my mind. A top-notch effort from two of Australiaís premier comedy writers!
Posted by bozzie, Thursday, 21 April 2005 5:49:57 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
There you go again Bozzie. Getting upset with new ideas that are a bit too complex; negatively characterising the people and the ideas without actually undestanding them.

Really, there is more than a bit of information about the relationship between happiness and wealth. Lots of research shows that more and more economic success does not mean human success.

And not all lawyers are rilly rilly rich. Some work for social justice organisations and earn a pittance and are happy doing it and earning bugger all.

Believe it or not. The research is there.
Posted by Mollydukes, Thursday, 21 April 2005 6:52:57 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Sylvia Else
There are many examples of people who provide high value services for little monetary reward medical researchers or sewage workers. As there is many examples of highly paid people who donít provide high value services, Athletes and movie stars and such. The ones that make our lives better would still provide their services. Bozzie I have to agree with Mollydukes I canít see anywhere in the article that says money makes you unhappy the unbridled pursuit of it can but not money
Posted by Kenny, Thursday, 21 April 2005 8:03:00 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
These fellows are onto something here. Individual PAYE income earners can easily pay a higher overall percentage of earnings in tax, than companies.

Average company tax is way below 30% with all consumption, a tax deduction. This is how the rich (no, the really rich, not the poor deluded top marginal rate payers), make it happen. And what capital gains is payable on sale of a business? Only 25% of the gain, after inflation and capital costs?

Bozzie, youíre either in the wrong business, or hiding something from us Ö
Posted by Seeker, Friday, 22 April 2005 12:24:34 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy