Sunday, May 15, 2016

Taxes: burden or investment?

Yahoo! Finance often has articles about high tax states and low tax states: either in general or for retirees.  But this treats taxes as something extracted from the public for the benefit of a king rather than something people invest in for their quality of life.

I hope sometime I come across an article or two comparing taxes on value received.

For example, does a high-tax state spend more on education and turn out more skilled workers and more involved citizens than a low-tax state.  Does a high-tax state have more responsive public employees than a low-tax state, a state that might have rampant corruption.  Does a high-tax state have better roads than a low-tax state; the poorer roads causing more need for car repairs?

There is so much that we take for granted that governments provide that we rarely think about how it is payed for.  We grouse about taxes, but would we really want to live in a society with no taxes?

I like the quote attributed to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I like taxes; they buy me civilization.”