Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why do people pay tax?

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There are a number of reasons why people feel compelled or indifferent to paying tax:
1. Poor thinkers: Most people are not raised with great thinking skills. They dont readily make the connections between concepts such as ethics and their practical lives. That lack of mental efficacy tends to motivate them away from thinking rather than improving their thinking. The issue thus does not get addressed in their minds, and the implication is that they tend to adopt the opposing position in defence of taxation.
2. Poor thinking: Even if one decided to improve one's thinking, one would be fighting a battle against poorly argued inferences. The psychological l implication is that you are not rewarded for your insights, you are more likely to be loathed, distrusted or castigated. Why? Because you had integrity where most do not. People dont want to compare themselves negatively with others. For people with an intransient respect for reason or objective reality, there really is no choice.
3. Security: A great many people benefit from taxation by virtue of its hand-outs and not just the poor. The richest people in the country are in the best position to benefit from compliance. Why? Because they can make so much more from option schemes, and their interest deductions, so they are in a better position not to pay tax than anyone. The implication is that taxation & the government it supports, helps those that dont deserve it, as a result of their duplicity with corrupt government or unwillingness to take responsibility for their lives. The problem goes peoople. Some people believe they have to earn their worth, whilst other people think they have a birth right.
4. Safety: There are a great many people who feel threatened by governments and the consequences of not paying taxation. The implications of not paying tax are 'lawful' imprisonment or expropriation of money from your account. For this reason, there are very few people who are untouchable. That threat is likely to discourage alot of people.
5. Generosity: Another big reason why people pay tax is that they are successful, and they are happy to share their prosperity with others. The flipside is that alot of people earn alot of money as a result of government favours, but there is nothing wrong with charity, though I would argue financing government is the worst possible way to extend your charity. You would be better off giving to a private charity.

You might ask - If its so hopeless - why do you fight it? The answer is simply I can't accept a contradiction - even if everyone else can. Its not the way I have ever conducted my life. I dont lie to others, but more importantly I dont lie to myself.
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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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