Death and taxes*

Taxes‘During the Middle Ages, one of the major reasons why men joined monasteries was not religious conviction, but rather a desire to avoid the ire of the tax collector.’

Mooie quote uit The Behavioralist As Tax Collector, van Michael Hallsworth, John List, Robert Metcalfe en Ivo Vlaev. Daarin staat ook een mooi stukje geschiedenis:

For their part, tax collectors have developed clever schemes to collect taxes. For instance, as early as the 3rd century BC, Republican Rome sold “rent contracts” whereby the government awarded the right to collect taxes to the highest bidder in a competitive auction. This sort of “tax farming” was also used by the Ottomans, French, English, and other European governments. In medieval Egypt, Prussia, pre-revolutionary France, and China, ‘share contracts’ were used, whereby the government would contract with a private tax collector to collect outstanding taxes; as payment, the collector would receive a fixed percentage of the proceeds.

*De titel komt uit een brief die Benjamin Franklin in 1789 schreef aan de Franse historicus Jean-Baptiste Leroy: ‘Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’

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