Thursday, August 12, 2010

Love and taxes

Stirring stuff from Eric, from the dark days of 1940:

Towards the government I feel no scruples and would dodge paying the tax if I could. Yet I would give my life for England readily enough, if I thought it necessary.

I get this sentiment...I even like it.

But then he follows up with...

No one is patriotic about taxes.

...which, yes, I can see the point of, but which also seems an overgeneralisation.

Isn't it possible, after all, to indeed have a certain patriotic feeling about taxes (even grumbling as one pays them...), as long as one has the knowledge that a significant portion of them goes toward maintaining what is -- all things considered, comparatively, by historical and international standards, in spite of the trailer-load of qualifications that I'm not going to bother considering just now -- a decent society?

Or am I just a bit of a freak on this point?

The latter is entirely plausible, I realise.

6 comments:

Geoff Coupe said...

No, you're not just a freak. Or perhaps we are both freaks together.

I see no problem about paying tax if, as you say, one is reasonably confident that the money goes towards the construction of a decent society,

Of course, given that at the moment 52% of my income goes as tax, and I'm on pensions, then perhaps one is justified in looking askance at what is really going on...

But then, I do live in the Netherlands...

Ario said...

It's not the paying I have a problem with, it's the hassle of filling out a tax form as a freelancer, having to store every ridiculous receipt and then being told by a tax advisor I should still take account of paragraph 1.4.5.2.1.6.10a. It has me bouncing off the walls every year again.

I don't understand the gainfully employed complaining about taxes which are automatically deducted from their wages every month. What is their problem?

But, then again, I might be a freak on that score.

John Carter Wood said...

All freaks together then...

Good: I hate to be freaky in isolation.

Harvey Morrell said...

Count me in as another freak, albeit on the other side of the Atlantic. As with Geoff, I don't mind paying taxes as long as I'm reasonably confident that the money is going toward building a decent society (although here in the US, this might be questionable as long as Republicans are in power). And Ario, I feel for you.

That Guy Montag said...

Seeing as I'm among friends there I assume it's safe to admit that I actually feel a stab of pride when I find out about the work of the British High Commission against forced marriages. Tax money well spent I'd say.

John Carter Wood said...

Thanks TGM, I did not know about that!