I come from a socialist island on the Caribbean Sea where the government doesn’t take (formal) taxes on the citizens. Of course that there are taxes, and probably among the highest in the world (maybe around 85% of everyone’s income), but because we don’t pay them, nobody feels like someone is taking that from them.
Three years ago I started paying formal taxes, and although I understand the benefits they provide me and others (health, community services, unemployment, maybe retirement, etc.), I cannot say I am happy each time I see that my employer pays more than double the amount I receive in my account, neither it pleases me to pay on top of that 800 euros each year as revenue taxes. The first category is more like those in my homeland (out of sight, out of mind), and the second hurts a little more because we must take them out of our already low bank account, even though it is considerably lower.
I have heard people saying taxes are a government robbery, and we should pay only for what we need and use, no for somebody else’s unemployment, food or health bills. Other say it is fair and we should all contribute to help each other in society. However, it is not an easy call, as usually happens on this kind of subjects. I agree that we must help each other in society, and why not?, have a common place everyone contributes to that goal, but then things start to get messy because that savings account is managed by people which are too accommodated, isolated, and with interests far away from ours and our reality (politicians).
In 2009 started a crisis because a bunch of banks played with fire and got burned, causing a lot of troubles to all of us. In response, the governments took all the money from the common savings account society had created and saved the bankers from their scorches, but let people burning and without any money. Furthermore, the governments issued debt to keep helping bankers and allies, and put all that on the workers shoulders to pay. Something similar happened on the Covid pandemic, and these are just large scale and clear enough examples so even I can see them, I am sure it happens quietly all the time. But hey, out of sight, out of mind… right?
The bottom line here is that those 1% people on the top of the pyramid (millionaires), fucked things up trying to get even wealthier, but even though, the governments save them, and made them even richer, putting all the debt on common workers shoulders. Of course the circus was decorated with great fanfare, and most working class people never realized what going on behind the scenes.
—“Ok, Polilla”, but everybody is paying taxes, not only working class people, millionaires also.
Two weak points I see here. First, If I get paid 1000 and you get paid 100 each year, I give 200 in taxes and you 20, I end up the year with 800 and you with 80: clearly taxes ravage low and mid class people’s pockets if compared to high class. Second, the high class may not be paying taxes accordingly.
That’s the real topic of this post, and it was triggered because of this video of The Hated One. Assuming what it is said there to be completely true, and millionaires donate to their own Foundations as charity “to solve” problems most of the time themselves have created, but in reality they are (i) reducing their taxes at the en of the year, (ii) still owning and (iii) investing that money donated (because Foundations can invest and perceive revenues, and don’t have the obligation to declare or be clear on their finances), that’s just the cherry on top.
—“Ok, Polilla”, but millionaires create employment and lost of people benefit from that.
Yep! With the money of your savings account, and putting their debts on your, your children, and your grandchildren current account.
Ok, in case that’s true and it’s happening, what can we do? Of course I don’t have the answer to that, but I envisage some possibilities we could argue on.
- Things are wrecked, so accept it and get into the closest hamster wheel to you. Then turn the wheel as fast as you can to get a slice of the cake.
- Look the other way and forget about it, just keep going and accept everything as it comes. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Start with small steps towards an autonomic (or community centered) style of life, and get as independent as possible.
In the first group you can find attitudes like that of Reddit, cutting out third party applications and introducing TikTok-like vertical videos. It is disgusting, no principles, no care for the users, just trying to get a slice of the cake TikTok’s eating almost alone.
In the second group you can find attitudes like those who go to the supermarket and, even though they know grain oils are poisonous substances, they take Margarine over Butter and sunflower over coconut Mayonnaise, just because the former is cheaper.
In the third group you can find, as long as I know, those moving towards the contact with nature, auto sustainability and in extreme cases living off grid. They were able to escape from the contamination of everything on cities, but are restricted to their land and anyway are subject to be surrounded by industrial agriculture areas which can contaminate their soils and water.
Finally, there are those who live in between. One example are those identified with the Mustachianism. They said —Ok, these are the rules, we play by them and try to get out of the system as quick as possible. We make ourselves relatively autonomous (they would be OpenSource, not really Free Software 😜), and live the rest of our life without stress and working just enough to the point where we can get by without working. In the process, however, they need to look the other way and generally invest their money in companies making more harm than good to every living organisms on this planet.
Anyway, what can we do? 🤷 If there is someone out there reading this and has some clue I would really appreciate some comments (contact me).
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