tax the handsome

As part of the end of year windup, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper has created a Facebook page where readers can discuss solutions to various issues facing Japan. The current topic of debate is the declining birthrate.

Takuro Morinaga, an economic analyst, weighed in with this controversial proposal: “If we levied a ‘handsome tax‘ on good-looking guys, that would serve to correct a little bit of the unfairness in dating, making it easier for homely guys to find a partner and the number of marriages would increase.”

I bet the ladies at the local tax office are all for it…

Morinaga goes on to say, “There’s a lot of discussion about income disparity, but no one is talking about attractiveness disparity. Good-looking guys get an insane amount of women. At one time, some of them are dating over a 100 women. The result is that women are converging around one type of guy.”

He goes on to point out the prevalence of the “lady-killer” in popular culture as evidence that good-looking guys do better with the fairer sex.

In matters of love, he believes there are three components: physical attraction, money, and communication, the most important of these currently being physical attraction. “No matter how many singles’ events a homely man goes to, all the attention ends up on the good-looking guys. Since we cannot change how people look, a redistribution must be made in the money component to even the playing field.”

Morinaga suggests doubling the income tax on good-looking guys while reducing the tax rate for homely guys by 10-20 percent. Currently, the highest rate of income tax in Japan is 40 percent, so this would mean high-earning, good-looking fellows are in for an 80 percent income tax rate. Ouch.

By now you’re probably all wondering who exactly is going to decide which men are good-looking and which are homely. Morinaga has thought that out as well! A committee of randomly chosen women would decide by majority rule, of course.

This system would perhaps be of help to the otaku (nerds) of Japan, of which Morinaga counts himself a member. “It’s not that there aren’t any good-looking guys among the otaku; they just aren’t very good at interacting with women. Since they don’t have a chance to interact with women, they don’t know how to talk to them and they end up falling in love with the two-dimensional women in their comics. I want to tell them that real human women are interesting too.”

In addition to more earning power, Morinaga says the appeal of otaku lies in their diligence, honesty and lawfulness. “There are a lot of good guys in this community,” he says.

The real reason for the declining birthrate, according to this radical saviour, is the rise in the number of unmarried people, so he feels that increasing the number of marriages should be the most urgent objective. Measures that make it easier for people to have and raise children – such as increasing maternity and paternity leave – are aimed at people who already have kids, and Morinaga doesn’t think they will do anything to raise the birthrate.

Interesting idea, but is it just me or is there a whiff of sour grapes about this whole thing? What do you think, readers? Is this guy an insightful genius or just spiteful?

Source: Asahi Shimbun Digital

Title image: The Student Room