Via Instapundit via the great and generally underappreciated TaxProf Blog via Marketwatch comes news that the only thing separating the United States from Denmark are higher taxes and higher rates of happiness. Writes Thomas Kostigen:
It says social welfare programs include health insurance, health and hospital services, insurance for occupational injuries, unemployment insurance and employment exchange services. There's also old age and disability pensions, rehabilitation and nursing homes, family welfare subsidies, general public welfare and payments for military accidents. Moreover, maternity benefits are payable up to 52 weeks.
Simply, you pay for what you get. Taxes in the U.S. have taken on a pejorative association because, well, we are never really quite sure of what we get in return for paying them, other than the world's biggest military.
Healthcare and other such social services aren't built into our system. That means we have to worry more about paying for things ourselves. Worrying doesn't equate to happiness.
Denmark leads the happiness race among OECD countries (though Danish cartoonists trail the national average, one suspects) and the U.S. trailed Belgium and others while beating Britan and France. Note here that "happiness" is a code word for "life satisfaction."
Which is a code word for not very much. On a personal note, I get annoyed, if not angry (not happy) when my taxes increase. I've got healthcare and I'm building my retirement account (Sisyphus Capital, guaranteed low rates of return!), so that's not the issue. It's that I know I will be paying more for exactly the same outcome. See education if you've got any questions. I suspect I would be equally displeased if the increase came in whatever currency the Danes are using these days.
Note to Chaz. Schulz: Happiness is a warm puppy…with a 52-week maternity benefit.
Something to make all but Belgians and the other blue-skinned peoples of the world happy. Smurfs getting what they deserve: