The Daily Populous

Monday April 29th, 2019 evening edition

image for Opinion | Universal Health Care Might Cost You Less Than You Think

If we reimagine these premiums as taxes, we’d realize that Americans pay some of the highest and least progressive labor taxes in the developed world.

Just how heavy is the burden placed on American workers by employer insurance premiums?

What this data shows is that lower-income workers, higher-income workers, single workers, and married workers with children all contribute around 40 percent of their pay toward taxes and health premiums.

And when those health care costs are taken into account, the less well off no longer pay less than high-earners, as they do in taxes alone.

For instance, according to this analysis, American families that earn around $43,000, half of the average wage, pay 37 percent of their wages to taxes and health care premiums.

In high-tax Finland, the same type of family pays 23 percent of their compensation in labor taxes, which includes taxes they pay to support universal health care.

In the United Kingdom and Canada, it is less than 0 percent after government benefits. »

Whale with harness could be Russian weapon, say Norwegian experts

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Marine experts in Norway believe they have stumbled upon a white whale that was trained by the Russian navy as part of a programme to use underwater mammals as a special ops force.

“We were going to put out nets when we saw a whale swimming between the boats,” fisherman Joar Hesten told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

“It came over to us, and as it approached, we saw that it had some sort of harness on it.”. »

Non-thermal plasma: new technology could kill 99.9% of the deadly germs in the air

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Unfortunately, air can be contaminated with dangerous germs known as airborne pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses.

Now a new study suggests that non-thermal plasma – a cool gas made up of electrically charged particles, despite having no overall charge – could inactivate airborne viruses and provide sterile air.

Although the technology has a long history and many applications (in medicine and food industry), this is a completely new use for it. »

TIL that pencils are yellow because in the 19th century, the best graphite came from China. Because yellow was a royal colour in China, pencil companies began to colour their pencils yellow to show both high quality and an association with China.

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