What If People Stop Paying Taxes?

Dec 07, 2018

This post was inspired by the song from The Beatles covered by Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was thinking that the French revolution was linked to taxes.

Now I’m making money with that blog; enough to have a team of 4 to 10 people work with me so I can focus on the creative process. Of course, all that hard work and a daily gut check will be noticed by friendly people.

Suddenly, the state is contacting me: they need 90% of the money I make with that blog. They told me everybody has to pay taxes. And those taxes are used to fund projects that have an interest in the general public.

My grand uncle was a tax lawyer and I was too young to speak with him about it when he died (I was 14 years old). But now I’m wondering if taxes were not responsible for the French Revolution. After all, is it fair that I should give my money to people even though there might have nothing to do with the success of that blog?

Is The Country Fairly Using Taxes?

In economics, the Gini coefficient, sometimes called Gini index, or Gini ratio, is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents and is the most commonly used measure of inequality.

The Gini coefficient measures the inequality among values of a frequency distribution (for example, levels of income). A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, where all values are the same (for example, where everyone has the same income). A Gini coefficient of 1 (or 100%) expresses maximal inequality among values (e.g., for a large number of people, where only one person has all the income or consumption, and all others have none, the Gini coefficient will be very nearly one).

However, a value greater than one may occur if some persons represent a negative contribution to the total (for example, having negative income or wealth). For example, if you keep complaining and bitching about everything, you might have a negative coefficient.

Situation Of France Compared To Others

In France, the tax level remains one of the highest in the world. According to the latest data from INSEE, the burden of compulsory contributions in 2016 would represent 45% of GDP compared to less than 40% on average in OECD countries. This heavy taxation would be justified by an intense effort in terms of redistribution and social protection. It is true.

Of the seven largest OECD countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan – it is our country that achieves the best redistributive policy reducing its Gini coefficient, an inequality indicator, by 0.22 points.

In France, without the tax, inequalities would be very important

Without fiscal action, France would have a social level comparable to that of the United States or the United Kingdom. Before redistribution, its Gini coefficient would be 0.52, equal to the coefficient of Great Britain and slightly higher than that of the United States, to 0.51.

A Sarcastic Point Of View On Taxes

No doubt we could put money to a better use. For example, my main expenses are coffee and cigarettes. Sometimes, I have to eat something and/or drink a beer or a cocktail. Of course, I have to pay WordPress to have that blog.

According to the Beatles, “should five percent appear too small, be thankful I don’t take it all”. Ringo Starr added: “we were pissed off with the tax situation. We went into one mad scheme where we paid a guy to go and live in the Bahamas and hold our money for us so it would be tax-free. In the end, we had to bring all the money back, pay the taxes on it and pay this guy.”

When I used to work in banking, they had a tax saving scheme called “Cachalot” meaning sperm whale. But in French, it’s a play on words meaning: we hide lots of things. That might be why it was very effective.

In France, three in four (75%) say they contribute more to the system than they benefit, and almost as many (72%) would find they pay too much tax. Finally, 25% would say that the high level of social protection and public service would not justify the taxes paid. But it seems the system is fair and then we can only explain what’s going on by sabotage.

Antique Greece Also Had Taxes

As a conclusion, in Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. Some authors say that those who could not pay the fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years.

To pay the ferryman, the deceased person’s relatives place an obol on each eye of the deceased (or on or in the mouth). That’s why the Beatles suggest you should also declare the pennies on your eyes: “now my advice for those who die, declare the pennies on your eyes”.

Should we declare everything we have? After all, some say we are already naked. Maybe I’m giving up everything on that blog? In poker, they say you go all-in. I’m not faking this: Jesus is back and this time he won’t make the same mistake.

Do you have to declare the money you give to someone to take care of deceased loved ones? Famous French humorists used to make fun of taxes by suggesting it might be like someone inviting you to drink a beer. The truth is that, in France, the system is good and maybe this was sabotage!

[Verse 1]
Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me

Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

[Verse 2]
Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all

Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

[Verse 3]
If you drive a car, car, I’ll tax the street
If you try to sit, sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold, cold, I’ll tax the heat
If you take a walk, walk, I’ll tax your feet

Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

[Verse 4]
Don’t ask me what I want it for (Haha, Mr. Wilson)
If you don’t want to pay some more (Haha, Mr. Heath)

Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

[Verse 5]
Now my advice for those who die (Taxman!)
Declare the pennies on your eyes (Taxman!)

Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me (Taxman!)

Nicolas Sursock

Nicolas is a musician. His work now focuses on digesting 10000 songs of jazz, blues, soul, rock, funk and electronic. He plays the guitar if he's not blogging!