Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tax Collectors And Prostitutes

“Tax collectors and prostitutes” is New Testament phrase that is used to describe the least esteemed people in First Century Israel.

Like today, the prostitutes of old provided valued services to a cadre of satisfied and loyal clients.  Nonetheless, said clients were typically unable to discuss services received with impunity in polite company or at the family dinner table.  Thus as in most times, the prostitutes lived a shadowy life of adulation in private and scorn in public.

Not so with the tax collectors of the era.  They were thoroughly despised by everybody.  The tax collectors of Jesus’ time were fellow Jews who worked for the occupying Romans.  They were thugs who brutally extorted tribute for the foreign oppressors and typically took a bit extra than the law required for themselves.

Although they maintain a veneer of professionalism and decorum, today’s tax collectors are no better than those of ancient times.  They are still the shakedown artists for the ruling classes in far away capital cities.  Sadly, today’s tax collectors enjoy far more social prestige than today’s sex workers.  After all, you are far more likely to hear someone say something like, “My son has a nice job at the IRS”, than, “My daughter makes big money hooking Wall Streeters and Hollywood big shots”.

Why should this be so? Let’s compare the two vocations.

 


Tax Collectors

Prostitutes




Services
The Internal Revenue Service provides no service at all.  They just collect payments and make change if you fill out all their forms correctly.

All about getting serviced.




Legalities
Police will arrest you if you avoid tax collectors. 

Police will arrest you if you visit the prostitutes




Protection
Angry people often want to strangle tax collectors.  If they do, they will be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.

Crazy people often attack prostitutes.  Because their occupation is illegal they cannot go to the police and must suffer in silence.




Health Benefits
Government employees enjoy some of the finest healthcare benefits in the world.

Sex workers receive no employer based healthcare benefits.  Because of the underground nature of their work, they and their clients are at high risk for communicable diseases.




Retirement
Fully funded government pension.  Ability to retire early and start another career and get additional benefits.

Old and worn out.  No employer sponsored 401K plan, no contributions made to Social Security.




Compulsion
Must pay taxes and file returns under penalty of law.

Totally voluntary.  You have problem with paying for sex.  Fine.  Don't do it.

 

Most readers of this blog will concur that taxation is theft.  Likewise, prostitution is commerce.

Theft depletes wealth and prosperity.  It engenders hatred, suspicion and hostility among people.  It destroys community and the trust necessary to build a free society.

Commerce stimulates production, encourages cooperation among people and maximizes society’s utility – another word for happiness.

One must wonder, what kind of world rewards thieves while punishing the producers of pleasure.


Related Posts:

Getting F***ed By Statists (Literally)
The Hook Up Truck


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