And the Marriage Deduction You Never Knew Existed
Since this week is going to be A Tree of "WTF"; the PIE Root for "tax" is *tag-. Breakdown:
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to touch, handle," with figurative extensions ("border on; taste, partake of; strike, hit; affect, impress; trick, cheat; mention, speak of").
It forms all or part of: attain; contact; contaminate; entire; intact; integer; integrate; integrity; noli me tangere; tact; tactics; tactile; tangent; tangible; task; taste; tax; taxis.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin tangere "to touch," taxare "to touch, assess," tactus "touch," integer "intact, whole, complete, perfect; honest;" Greek tassein "to arrange," tetagon "having seized;" Old English þaccian "stroke, strike gently." <<
[Relevant: https://www.etymonline.com/word/tax ]
.... That's right folks; the "stroking" and "contamination" Means exactly that which is popping into your subconscious but you dare not say out of politeness and/or shame. Those notions (i.e. from "*tag-") are key to shaping its modern day descendant of "tax".
Hilarious -- and crazy, when you think about it. Thanks for the shocking shift in perspective.
To me, the more fundamental wtf is why we bother with taxes of any sort anymore if we can just print trillions out of thin air.
Let's say a C-corp business owner has to travel to Cincinatti to meet a client. The trip would be 100% expensed under the corporation so he heads out. While his plane is landing, his sister who happens to live there calls, and tells him that she is in the hospital and dying. The hospital is directly next to the airport and he could walk there.
He wishes her luck in the next lifetime, but explains it would be a felony for him to visit her as then his visit to Cincinatti could be considered personal. Since he was on the corporate jet, it's no laughing matter, he would be responsible for thousands of dollars in taxes if he decided to visit her.
He shrewdly walks directly past the hospital to his waiting car, and tries to avert his eyes so as not to accidently see her through a window, which could be construed as a crime.
Taxation is a racket: extortion of money under the threat of violence.Now inflation is theft or a scam.
I knew I should have become a tall good looking guy at a white shoe firm, instead of an average Joe teaching high school English.
This is why they should all have been assessed for GST instead.
There's a reason hillbillies shot first, when they saw a revenuer, then asked question later.
Reading this makes me feel like Major Clipton at the end of, 'The Bridge on the River Kwai'-
Great post! Footnote 1, first sentence you write consumers when you meant corporations. Otherwise perfect - well done. Thank you!
That was hilarious!
The original income tax was sold on the principle of being a tax surcharge on the rich. The rest of us were adequately taxed via tariffs, excises, etc. Then the government discovered the joy of taxing labor directly...
The original goal of taxing just the rich has a practical problem: income tax brackets are based on the past year's income. For someone who has income which oscillates wildly, the income tax is punitive on the good years.
This problem becomes utterly obscene for capital gains, which is why the capital gains tax tends to
be flat, even when the tax on "earned" income went up to 90%.
However, the stupendously rich pay mainly capital gains taxes. And so Elon Musk pays a lower rate than your family doctor. oops!
Fee for service government would be property tax based. Protection of property is a core government function.
But property taxes make Republicans cry.
That is both hillarious and scary at the same time
THA WAS GREAT!
I get that your aim was to set up the situation for the subsequent discussion of bizarre treatments of labour exchange under US law, but your characterisation of the labour-leisure decision (specifically) and the standard neoclasical utiolitarian approach to consumption alloctions (generally), is basically a VERY basic pedagogical model presented as if it's the whole enchilada.
It's 2nd year comparative statics; no real intertemporal behaviour; no uncertainty; no general-equilibrium effects. The sort of thing where the algebra is easy, so the exam questions are easy to write and easy to grade.
It would be like me using "Offer and Acceptance" as if that's the be-all and end-all of Contract... then using that as the basis for a clever bit of witticism about how the Social Contract is not actually a contract at all - and if it is, then people can repudiate it on the basis of the exceptio non adimplenti contractus and the maxim 'frangenti fidem fides frangatur iedem' (and - since we're here - let's throw in 'cessante ratione legis, cessat ipsa lex' which even got a hat tip from the US BlackRobes in Funk ).
As it happens: I've made precisely that claim about the 'social contract' for three decades - but I don't pretend that it rests on "offer and acceptance".
inb4 [various rationalisations]: one of the irksome things about people from massively unionised fields like Law, is that they ROUTINELY get on other discipline's lawns... but if we get on theirs we go to prison.
I get into arguments like this with The Lovely - my partner lo these 30 years; a barrister for 10, and prior to that a solicitor for 15 - who thinks that the 'Law' has an epistemic foundation, rather than just being the congealed brain-snot of the opinions of politicians and their lackeys in the bureaucracy (the 'lackey' category includes judges).
Economics doesn't have the grotesque concept of stare decisis - where obviously stupid and unjust things are allowed to stand because a BlackRobe said them.
No senior members of the Australian legal profession made a stand against the recent over-reach over lockdowns, jabs and so forth - not even those whose entire career has been one gigantic virue-signal about Human Rights (Julian Burnside - I'm looking at you).
And of course every Austrlian robed lackey has earned their corn pone by crushing cases brought by the peasantry about recent nonsense... because they know - they have the EXPECTATION - that to do so would dramatically alter their labour/leisure decision at all points in the future.
(chuckle) All good fun aside, there's another aspect to income taxation that deserves consideration. What, specifically, is the taxee paying for?
If he's not purchasing some specific good or service, his payments are indistinguishable from extortion.
If he is...why are different people being charged different prices for the same good or service?
*Unless you're a corrupt US gov employee. Then tit for tat barter, such as Ukrainian corporate favors for millions, is protected by legions of FBI and CIA.