If only Mr. Hari knew some economics

In the US, volunteerism is highest in high-tax Massachusetts, and lowest in low-tax Mississippi. In Europe, volunteerism is highest in high-tax Sweden, and lowest in low-tax Eastern European nations.

Well yes of course. It\’s called the tax wedge.

There\’s lower labour market participation, higher household production, when the government takes more of what you can make from market production. So where taxes are higher people will give more time: where taxes are lower we will see them giving more money than time (everything else being equal of course).

2 comments on “If only Mr. Hari knew some economics

  1. Interesting claim. Do you have a link to Etzioni’s findings? It may be in his “New Golden Rule” work, but otherwise, not apparent.
    The claim that Mass. has a higher rate of “volunteers” compared to the midwestern USA states considering such would include leaders of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, volunteer fire depts, “block-watch”, Search and Rescue groups, auxillary police, conservation groups, etc. All of which are much more prevalent in the midwest than in New England makes such a claim less than obvious.

  2. Another interesting point for the likes of Mr Hari is that Sweden, long the poster child of the social democratic left, is showing distressing signs of becoming a more sensible, genuinely liberal country, as demonstrated by its voucher-style schools policy.

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