I don't understand why people pay taxes

in taxes •  3 months ago

Ok, of course, I understand why everyone pays taxes: Because we have to. If we don't we go to jail.

However, how are people not so annoyed by it that they do something to change it, like voting for politicians that would change this.

I come from a country with high taxes, Germany. When I got out of college and into a job, I was immediately in the top tax bracket making around 50k EURO a year.

That amounted to a monthly paycheck of 1600 EURO. Living off that amount of money was quite hard for me and only doable because I was traveling as a consultant and getting per diems. In college i spend about 2000 Euro per month.

How are taxes not slavery

I may be a little radical but to me, taxes are just a form of slavery. You are forced to pay taxes that then are used to control and regulate your life.

My wife works about 16h every day and makes quite a good amount of money. However, at the end of the year 1/2 of it goes to the US government via a huge tax bill. I personally do not mind paying fees or taxes for service. As an example paying for gas or tolls is something I don't mind at all since paying for roads etc is expensive. However, paying taxes on everything that I earn is a problem in my mind.

I cannot imagine that 1/2 of everything I make is overhead that has to be taken away from me in order for society to function.

I am a minority

What is clear to me is that I seem to be that most people like taxes, paying them or others to pay them. Probably this is due to the fact that most people are either poor and also do not care about money or being wealthy that much.

If I had a choice to vote on anything I would vote for any party that is going to reduce taxes. In Germany as an example, there is maybe one party which would ever suggest such a thing as reducing taxes and it won't get any votes. Of course, because other topics are more important to people.

It often is hard to change

I could say the same thing about women in Moslem countries. Why do they submit to a system that enslaves and treats them as second class citizen?

Probably because that is what they are used to. And I think it is the same thing with us and our society. Everyone is used to being taxes, so what else is there to do. Change requires effort and pain, so we all just go with the flow.

Still, I wonder how is such a crucial thing that effects everyone at their core, simply being ignored?

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Greetings, @knircky.

Here's my confession to you: I have never paid/declared taxes in my country.

From the time I was an undergrad student and read Emerson and Thoreau I was convinced that little things, such as refusing to pay taxes, especially to immoral governments that would use that money for immoral purposes, would someday make a difference.

I am also in the minority. If asked by my government, I would be unable to produce one single tax doc.

Of course, here's the thing, as a university professor in Venezuela I never made enough money to pay any taxes. My colleagues just went through the paperwork. I refuse to even do that, and I did it out of pure disobedience.

I know I did not achieve anything with it, but it is my personal satisfaction that except for some unavoidable sale taxes and other government impositions, I had not consciously contributed to the despotic and corrupt Bolivarian revolution.

Why do most people continue doing it, even when they do not agree with the government’s policies? As you write,

Probably because that is what they are used to. And I think it is the same thing with us and our society. Everyone is used to being taxe[d], so what else is there to do?

We can get used to the damnedest things.

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Yes, that is what we historically call oil rentier state, the State is supported by oil revenues, while the population enjoys a benefit not worked, which is why the entire economy is distorted.

Venezuela is probably the only country in the world, I don't know if this case is repeated elsewhere, in which people live at the expense of the State and not the other way around. Contrary to what may seem, is a harmful system and does not work, that's why the country is broken.

On the other hand, all Venezuelans pay taxes, and much more than any other country, is called inflation, and we pay for it even when we sleep. That tax, so blatant, is precisely the result of the fact that the rest of the people have never paid taxes and that the State decides to live on oil, when the oil runs out, decides to finance itself with the Central Bank.

In this special case, not paying taxes, even if it seems contradictory, is the original cause of the problem.

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Venezuela is probably the only country in the world, I don't know if this case is repeated elsewhere, in which people live at the expense of the State.

Well, theoretically. If you have seen the news, something that we knew instinctively and experts denounced years ago, which was obvious (given the obscene amount of money the country received via oil revenues but which was never translated into infrastructure improvement or people's benefits of any kind), lots of corruption scandals are starting to emerge with full names (Chavez's relatives and trusted men among them).

Some estimate the looting in more than 400,000 million dollars = $400 billion. And that's just by the few names that are now escape goats; the real mafiosos are still in office. Who knows how much they have stolen.
So, when we say that people live at the expense of the State, we should be saying "the elite ruling class" (left or right) lives at the expense of the state and at the expense of people's (the average Joe's) suffering.

A college professor's salary is about $20 a month, while you'd need $500 to cover the monthly basic expenses. Imagine the salary of the average worker. That’s why so many people are leaving. How can you expect the average person to pay any income tax if their income is not realistically taxable?

Regarding inflation:

That tax, so blatant, is precisely the result of the fact that the rest of the people have never paid taxes and that the State decides to live on oil.

Not exactly. People do pay taxes in many ways (sale taxes here was 16%, one of the highest in the world, it was reduced to 12% at some point). Most business people, even if they own small business/companies/factories pay taxes, of many kinds. The Venezuelan government took many factories and then bankrupted them, and drove many others to ruin or forced their owners to close or leave the country, thus reducing the tax revenues it might have gotten had those factories/companies been operating successfully.
The real problem is what the government has done with that money and the biggest junk, which comes from oil revenues.

In the case of the average worker, because documentation for tax collection is not automated and some institutions do not have digital records or systems to process payments and deductions, the process get complicated and because most workers do not make enough money as to be required by law to pay income tax, then they end up not even filing the docs (which is what I did).

20 years ago, college professors' salaries were so good, we were forced by law to pay taxes, it was not that heavy and people paid it gladly since it did not affect their family budget.

The Venezuelan hyper inflation has been the result (among other factors) of poor management, low production (destruction of the industrial apparatus), fall of oil prices, issuance of inorganic money by the central bank and corruption, not of people like myself refusing to pay what I cannot realistically pay. It is not like I have the money and decide to hide it or spend it on video games. I just never earned any decent amount of money all year long, so why would I even file some docs to help support a corrupt and inhumane government?

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So, when we say that people live at the expense of the State, we should be saying "the elite ruling class" (left or right) lives at the expense of the state and at the expense of people's (the average Joe's) suffering.

I'm sorry to tell you that it's not like that. Although in the eyes of the average citizen it does not seem that rentism is perceived by the entire population, it is really the opposite. Each Venezuelan is a participant in the process. When the Venezuelan State received 960,589 million dollars thanks to oil revenues, it was able to pay for things like universal public education, including public universities, public health system, pensions, unemployment insurance, water service, electricity, gas, internet, and gasoline, in addition to many other subsidies such as housing, cars and missions, all that was supported by the oil money, not by the taxes, the entrepreneurs are really as parasites as any in this society, because they used the credit expansion of private banks to buy subsidized dollars, import products and sell them at accessible prices.

The taxes of the entrepreneurs were only the product of the benefit obtained by the stimulation of oil income, they benefited from the money that the State introduced through oil, and not vice versa.

Do you really believe that the State is supported by the few taxes paid by citizens? this is not the case, first of all, money comes into the hands of citizens because the State introduces it through oil.

Currently, most people don't earn enough to pay taxes, in fact, most people don't pay taxes because legally they are exempt. Twenty years ago the condition of Venezuela was also deplorable for the same reason that now, there is no oil money. There is no difference between the model of Chavez and the Adeco model, it is exactly the same, without any difference.

This system has not been created by you or me, it was created more than 100 years ago, and we have only continued it. There are books dedicated to this, Arturo Uslar Pietri predicted, with surprisingly millimetric accuracy, that the current crisis would happen.

The Venezuelan hyperinflation is the product of the shortage of oil revenues, so the State goes to the Central Bank and the international debt, to be able to sustain what is normally paid with oil money.

In this way, the tax that society usually does not pay, since oil pays for them, is charged by a galloping inflation now.

Venezuela needs a restructuring of the model, rentism is not viable, society can't sustain itself entirely of oil money, it has to produce wealth by itself.

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We agree on that. What I meant is that when one says

the Venezuelan State received 960,589 million dollars thanks to oil revenues, it was able to pay for things like universal public education, including public universities, public health system, pensions, unemployment insurance, water service, electricity, gas, internet, and gasoline, in addition to many other subsidies such as housing, cars and missions...

It makes it sound as if all that was actually translated into something. But when you see that there is not such a thing as free healthcare or education or whatever because nothing is actually working, then we have to conclude that whatever amount of money that was going to be wrongly used to subsidize those things was actually looted. The electricity, phone and water services do not work because for years little has been invested in modernizing their infrastructure and keeping their personnel updated and properly equipped.

The system is wrong, I agree, it must be changed; the country must produce wealth, its citizens must be productive and responsible, but as of now what we are witnessing is a brutal and shameless robbery of resources with some money being thrown here and there to keep appearances.

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Good. It is really splendid for me, when I run into another Venezuelan who is really willing to change the situation, because there are many who, unfortunately, decide to persist in this model.

On the other hand, it was not my intention to suggest that the State make good use of money, on the contrary, it makes a very bad use of money, that is why we are in crisis, because instead of using the income to restructure the system was used to deepen it even more.

What I wanted to point out, is that when oil money enters the national economy, it acts like a dynamo, business opportunities arise, the purchasing power of the average citizen increases, and things are built, but as Uslar Pietri used to say, when that money disappears, everything that was built with him, will be as desolate, disused and empty, as the well from where the oil was extracted.

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Absolutely. These lines sum it up.

as Uslar Pietri used to say, when that money disappears, everything that was built with him, will be as desolate, disused and empty, as the well from where the oil was extracted.

And we saw Aristóbulo Isturis and all the main members of the cartel brag about how they'd reverse a much delayed and self-destructive economic model, and of course they did nothing. On the contrary, they turned us more oil dependent and less and less able to produce even our own food. I wrote extensively (when we had still newspapers) about the invisible P of the CLAPs. Those committees were supposed to ignite production.

They just aggravated the import tradition. 80 or more% of the food in those boxes come from somewhere but our soil.
Oil will not be "planted", as Uslar demanded, as long as the revolution rules.

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Wie Du schon gesagt hast, manche Steuern werden sinnvoll eingesetzt, wie zum Beispiel Straßenbau , Schulen usw. Jedoch wird ein Großteil verschwendet . Am meisten ärgert einen das immer wenn man mit Ämtern zu tun hat in denen die Angestellten für ihre Leistungen sowieso überbezahlt sind und sich diese auch noch wie Götter aufführen und den Steuerzahler regelrecht diskriminieren. Bauämter die bestimmen welche Farbe oder Form dein Haus haben muss. Welche Bäume du in deinem Garten Pflanzen darfst,. Ein Praktikant bei uns hat jetzt nach drei Jahren Politikstudium das Handtuch geschmissen. Seine Begründung kurz gefasst: Es werden Probleme diskutiert um die Ursachen heraus zu finden aber wehe du versuchst Lösungen zu erarbeiten.
Aber zurück zu den Steuern. Es gibt viele legale Wege seine Steuern deutlich zu mindern und es war im Zeitalter von Social Media noch nie so einfach sich darüber zu informieren. Doch die meisten haben einfach keine Lust dazu und benutzen einfach die Ausrede: Ich habe keine Zeit. Dabei ist genau diese Zeit auf Dauer der Beste Stundenlohn den sie jemals erreichen würden, wenn man es auf die Jahre der Steuerersparnis zurück rechnet.

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Well, maybe I'm considered 'wealthy' , but I do believe that taxes, overall, are a good thing.
As I see it, taxes are used to make our society more stable and more advanced. A police force costs money, so does an army. Academic research is expensive, and most of the time isn't profitable but still affects our quality of life in the long-term.
Imagine if only research that would net a profit would be done. Psychology would stagnate from that point onward. Therapists would still make money, even if they all used methods that were last seen in the 1920's. People need help coping with their emotional deficits. How effective that help is determined mostly by the budget of Psychology labs in academic institutions. Physics research would also disappear. If it wasn't for it, we probably wouldn't have GPS, which relies on math done by a famous physicist called Einstein.
Other affects of a taxless society include higher crime rate. No welfare system, means unlucky or unmotivated people have to either die from starvation or steal and rob other. While the unmotivated probably deserve it, the unlucky (disabled, unwillfully unemployed, etc') probably deserve to stay alive as long as they look for or can't work.
There are many other examples where taxes make our life easier, and unless you make really a lot of money, you're better off living where you are, than in complete anarchy.

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Thank you for your response.

I think most people feel like you and thus think that taxes are great.

I agree with you by the way that a society is required and that such a thing requires cost and I so t think that anarchy would work.

You are correct in that we do it because first we go to jail if not but also because we got used to it. Unfortunately, there is never a right amount to pay balance the needs of those who depend on government services versus those who can afford to pay. It is a black and white discussion many times with nobody willing to enter the grey area for balance given the politics involved. I, personally, have given up this concern and just move forward with whatever is left over; never assuming I will get any benefit from it other than the perception that someone else that needs the government help, will get it...

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A fine is a tax for doing wrong . A tax is a fine for doing well.

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I don't mind paying some taxes as it goes towards bettering our general well being. For some places taxes allow for free Health Care and other things like you mentioned as roads. I do think taxes have risen to a crazy amount. As you said we shouldn't be giving away 50 % of our earnings. The government waste so much via over paying for services alone.

The tax bill that really pissed me off is our land tax bill. Who's idea was it that we have to pay taxes on land that we own yearly and if we don't it gets taken from us. How did that bill ever pass. Complete nonsense if you ask me. I can see paying taxes once upon purchase but that should be the end of it.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

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Damn man, I think the same like you! In Poland the guys who want to cut taxes are treated in media as a crazy ones and get literally 3-4% each election. I decided to quit Poland and Europe because of the fucking taxes. Wish one day could have company registered in cayman Island or another tax paradise.

Good post, I see that the comments section is active, and that is something unfortunately hard to get here in Steemit.

On the other hand, I must say that modern taxes are the product of an inorganic credit system, governments maintain their operation based on debt, and then they need more and more taxes to pay it, the bankers, in their symbiotic relationship with the State, benefit from the interests, but the system needs high taxes to reduce the money supply and thus avoid inflation.

Why don't people change the situation? My answer to that is that society is divided, people put a bracelet in their arms, raise flags of political parties and ideologies, and then face each other, favoring the status quo.

Upvote and Resteem. Regards!

I spent half an hour looking for this video but saw that someone else had already posted it:

We have the dream that banks are doing us a favour. We also dream that governments are good for our society. But the only reason why they exist in the manner in which they exist is because they have imposed this idea on us, because it is convenient for them.

It's they and us, it's just a social hierarchy beautified by time. There is nothing but violent oppression in the form of so-called protection. Now we have bitcoin and decentralisation and we see how we don't need anyone else. We don't depend, we can do on our own, and we see how banks and governments try to crack on it because it breaks the illusion.

I absolutely hat paying taxes. Especially because the majority is used for things I oppose and that I do not want to support.

We spend more money on making poor peoples lives terrible than actually helping them. So much bureaucracy that does nothing for us at all.
Then part of the taxes are used to spy on us and finance wars. Some part ends up in the hands of some people milking the system plus the usual corruption.
But we are told that paying taxes is great because a little amount actually ends up in the hands of the poor...

Perhaps because I'm young, and I live in the U.S. and because I don't deal with high taxes (we actually just got a tax cut) I can't fully appreciate what you're saying.

I for one think my country needs more taxes, however with the caveat that I'm able to choose which services my taxes pay into, and where my money goes.

That's true democracy isn't it?

We ought to create a system in which programs that are actually popular amongst the people get the most funding, so that folks don't feel like they're getting robbed whenever they see the government taking a cut of their checks every two weeks.

The fact that our government can just cut certain programs willy-nilly, even if they're widely approved of by the public (like social security, our government retirement fund) is highly disturbing.

I'm not old enough to benefit from that pension, my parents aren't even going to see a nickel of it, lol. And yet money comes out of our paychecks every other week for a program that we don't get to use.

If we could actually choose which programs we funded, social security, education, and infrastructure would perenially be at the top (they always are in the polls).

Alas, that's just not the world we live in (yet).

Thought provoking stuff, great post :)

Taxes + Goverment = Wasteland

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