University of Virginia psychologist Shigehiro Oishi looked into the relationship between tax systems and quality-of-life polling in 54 nations. He discovered a direct correlation between a country’s tax progressiveness and its happiness: On average, people taxed under the most progressive rates were more likely than anyone else to evaluate their lives as “the best possible.”
A poll conducted by a University of Virginia professor found that the more progressive a nation’s tax system-meaning tax rates increase as income increases-the happier the citizens. As the study points out, it is not that citizens enjoy paying more taxes, but that the public goods provided by the increased revenue increases the quality of one’s life.
Thus, it appears that asking those who make more to pay more can actually improve the lives of a society overall. Does that mean that government should work to create a taxation system that consciously targets those who fall at the higher end of the income spectrum? Or should all citizens bear a more equal share of the nation’s tax burden, even if it means that as a society we will be less happy?