Apparently, the US is the only industrial country without a VAT (value added tax) on products. The Economist claims this is an extremely efficient tax for generating revenues without deterring jobs; however, the burden “falls disproportionately on poorer people who spend a higher share of their income than richer folk.” As a result, The Economist stated:
Thanks to its reliance on income taxes, America—by some measures—has the most progressive tax system in the OECD.
I’m not entirely familiar with the economics of this discussion but I was definitely surprised by the statement. I knew that US income tax is progressive, but I never think of the US as having a generally progressive tax policy. I imagine my biases are based on comparing welfare policies instead, which would likely blind most people to this idea.
“Criticism of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s initiative often takes issue with his money saving logic for deficit-laden California. Arguably, digital materials require a personal computer available to every student, an e-Book reader like Amazon’s Kindle, or mass printing of each reading assignment by the schools themselves. In a recent NY Times article, Tim Ward, an assistant superintendent in California, says his school district cannot afford any of those options.
“Additionally, what Schwarzenegger seems to not have captured is that OER is a reaction to the move of proprietary, analog educational materials management onto the network. OER encourages and enables the open production, sharing of, and access to educational content and resources. This alone is a valuable societal good, increasing the value of investments made in education. But OER creates the opportunity for a more fundamental and transformative change: the move from passive consumption of educational resources to the formal engagement of educators and learners in the creative process of education content development itself. Thus, the core benefits of OER should probably not be conflated with cutting the costs of materials.”