My daughter is growing up quickly, she is 12 years old now, and as a consequence, I have to deal with many kinds of questions on a daily basis. One day she came to me asking, “why do we pay too many taxes?” Of course, this is no easy question, but this is basically what I answered her:
There are many sorts of taxes like administrative taxes, sanctions, income tax, and etc. But what drives society to create so many kinds of taxes are only two things:
(1) someone is working for you (and that person must be paid, as in the case of administrative fees).
(2) or you are paying for organizational costs!
The Cost of Organizing Society
Yes, we pay a good part of all our fees so we can live in an organized society. For example, we need money to be printed so we can all use it (and that’s one reason why the more money you have, the more fee you should pay).
We also pay, for example, for the political system we choose (democratic or not). We pay our politicians and every worker in government institutions.
This means we pay huge amounts of money every day for the application of all the laws, and choices of our political systems as well. Do we agree with the decisions we are buying? It’s a question everyone should ask more frequently.
In fact, even sanctions imposed by the US, for example, could be seen as “organizational” fees as well (since the US feels entitled to control other countries) and in many cases, unfortunately, they do control (see the assassination of Chilean President, Allende, or the Brazilian military coup of 1964).
What happens if you don’t pay your taxes?
It means someone will be paying it for you (and it will be a heavier price than it should for them since you are not paying). So, yes, that’s why, in a way, you should be considered a criminal if you don’t pay your taxes.
Tax is Theft?
She probably heard it on the internet, and I told her: yes, it can be. But in only two possible situations:
(1) If people are not paying taxes and you are, then you are being robbed by those that are not paying.
(2) If you don’t agree with the way society is organized, because, let us say, you feel exploited. Possibly because you are working too much, while there are people making more money and working less, or paying fewer taxes than you.
Yes, she is fine with me writing about our conversation here, and no, there were no more questions about taxes after that hahaha (lucky me!).