Tax evasion:

A commenter to my previous post asked if I would think it was cool if people started coming up with creative ways to evade their taxes. Well, I think this is a cool way to induce tax payment.

liberty (mail) (www):
Well, except for the fact that these people were ostracized for being different in the first place. I guess at least they have paid work.
11.11.2006 10:15pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
people already HAVE come up with creative ways to evade taxes... ask any Kennedy.
11.11.2006 10:20pm
Just as this is a great way to encourage compliance with posted speed limits.
11.11.2006 10:22pm
SMatthewStolte (mail):
Using people in this way seems distasteful to me.
11.11.2006 10:30pm
Nobody Special:
Tax evasion is a crime. Tax avoidance isn't.
11.12.2006 12:44am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Unfortunately the hijra are part of a caste system - as outcasts. From the media coverage I have seen in some cases they are forced to beg and prostitute themselves. This seems just like more exploitation - now by the government. From a libertarian perspective this just seems like the state taking advantage of a dehumanizing cultural practice.
11.12.2006 12:58am
Sounds like San Francisco's Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
11.12.2006 1:30am
Jay Myers:
I like it! Let's go ahead and castrate every IRS employee.
11.12.2006 11:49am
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Curses by the hijra are not taken lightly in India. This is also an example of government using the power of religion to reach the governmental goal of peoples' paying their taxes!

Hijras run their own extortion rackets all across India, showing up uninvited at weddings and other ceremonies, where they refuse to leave unless paid off.
11.12.2006 12:08pm
Federal Dog:
Again, I do not understand how exploiting the maimed and outcast for state profit can possibly be considered proper. Effective maybe, but "cool?"
11.12.2006 1:56pm
liberty (mail) (www):

Are they being exploited or are they better off for having work? If government is going to exist and collect taxes, it must hire someone. If these people are effective and are doing better for having jobs, this may not be exploitation at all. If you don't like the idea that they are effective perhaps you'd prefer to think of it as affirmative action.
11.12.2006 2:24pm
Federal Dog:
Are they incapable or unworthy of other work?

Let me get this straight: The state relegates them to the role of degrading public spectacle, then congratulates itself on granting them that great privilege, all the while raking in the profit. Yep, that would count as exploitation, with a choking dose of narcissism to boot.
11.12.2006 2:33pm
liberty (mail) (www):

Certainly they are capable of other work -- but it is society, not government, that has outcast them. Until government offered this work they were ostracized by all of society and the only other work was doing something at least as degrading (but probably less well paid) for private outfits (families etc).

The answer is not for government to employ them -- and I would be against creating make-work for them. But this is a legitimate job that must be done and which is less degrading probably than what else they had going on. The real solution is for society to begin to accept these people as normal members of society. Will this help or hurt that cause, honestly, compared to what they were doing before? I'm not sure. However, if I were an Indian transsexual, ostracized by family and society, I would probably prefer to make my money demanding taxes from tax evaders and getting a good commission than from demanding money from relatives at weddings and making very little money.

A step in the right direction? I'm not sure. A good Autumn income? Likely.
11.12.2006 2:45pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
liberty: I think the government is taking advantage of the way in which Indian society despises the <i>hijra</i>. That's sort of like going to a leper colony and hiring the lepers to attend a political opponent's rally.

It says nothing about the issue, actually, but depends on an emotional reaction of third parties to coerce action by a second party.
11.12.2006 5:10pm
liberty (mail) (www):
"That's sort of like going to a leper colony and hiring the lepers to attend a political opponent's rally."

Well, its more like going into a leper colony and hiring the lepers to go door to door doing tax collection for the IRS. But yeah, I get that.
11.12.2006 10:56pm
Rich Rostrom (mail):
I think the IRS should adopt similar tactics. Whenever the IRS (or any other taxing agency) meets resistance to their demands, they should not bother going to a court to prove the demands are valid, or let the defendant submit evidence that he doesn't owe. They should just harass him into paying.

(Didn't there used to be some libertarians around here?)
11.16.2006 1:32am