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How progressive is our system?

On Jan. 15, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) released a report ranking the states in terms of how progressive their tax systems are. A “progressive” tax system is one that asks wealthier taxpayers to pay more of their income than poorer taxpayers. Most states rely upon some form of net income tax and some form of sales tax. Sales taxes tend to have flat rates and, therefore, are regressive. Income taxes tend to have brackets, with taxpayers with higher incomes are exposed to higher tax rates and are progressive.

Many islanders live healthy by eating well with low stress

A trip to so called Third World countries of the tropics can be very enlightening in some unexpected ways. We are on our way to French Polynesia and plan to travel by local transportation to a few of the less developed islands like Huahine, Tahaa and Raiatea. We plan to learn more about what tropical fruits besides banana, breadfuit and coconut are used and how this is related to the health of the islanders.

Monitoring lava flows on ground and in sky

This month, our Volcano Watch articles are focusing on how the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory monitors Kilauea’s June 27 lava flow. Last week, we covered satellite monitoring; this week, we will discuss how HVO scientists track lava flow activity from the air and the ground.