[German] People Who Pay More Taxes Are Happier, Research Suggests

“No single reason accounted for why those with a heftier tax bill were happier, but the economists found some evidence supporting several potential factors. One reason could be that people enjoy the public goods and services made possible by taxes. [I guess the economically-ignorant Germans don’t grasp the concept that those same public goods and services would be provided more cheaply if offered in a private competitive market.] For example, German households who regularly attended cultural events such as concerts and plays, which are at least partially publicly funded in Germany, were happier to pay taxes than “inactive” households. [What about those Germans who don’t attend cultural events? Are they happy paying for something that they will never use?]

Other possible factors include a sense that redistributing wealth is necessary, altruism [sic!!], and a measure of “tax morale,” the sense that there is a “moral obligation to pay taxes and if you don’t do it, you might feel bad about it,” co-author Sebastian Siegloch, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cologne, said in an interview Wednesday.”

Here’s the “best” part:

Previous neuroscience research has shown that giving to charity, for example, can activate certain parts of the brain linked to “rewards processing” and paying taxes might generate a similar “warm glow motive,” the paper noted. [As if voluntarily giving to charity is the same as being forced to pay taxes.]

It looks like the German sheeple mentality didn’t die in the bunker along with Hitler.

(By the way, if the Germans get such joy from paying more taxes, I’ll happily let them pay mine. How’s that for an altruistic gesture?)


7:19 pm on December 21, 2012