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Hogarth judge

December 2017

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Heresy hunt

Doug wrote:
What if all the residents in the contract fire protection district withhold payment until the occasional event of a fire? Who will answer the call? With what equipment?


This is exactly the reason for the drastic fury by which taxes are collected, another subject of eternal anger from the eternal peasant. Important things are contingent upon them actually being paid when due, rather than maybe later when you think you might need the police or the sanitation department on your side. Paying taxes is part of the fabric of civilized society; it's not just a matter of you versus the revenuers.

You will do your part to protect your neighbor's house from fire, even if he is too poor or too cranky to pay his taxes. The collective wrath of you and your neighbors can be brought to bear on the free rider, afterwards, even if in the moment of need, you did what needed to be done for the ingrate. It still was the right thing to do.

Comments

If the tea party types are all about how you shouldn't have to pay taxes, wouldn't the man who lost his house be thought by them a hero? Instead, Glen Beck was all "serves him right," he's an "ingrate and freeloader".

But this wasn't a tax. It was a surcharge. He already paid his taxes. It's almost like protection money. People were even saying things like "maybe this will make people think twice about not paying the surcharge".
Just so, which is why basic government services like a fire department ought to be funded out of taxes rather than surcharges, and why it is wrong to imagine that it could be otherwise.