A Short Fable
|January 9, 2007||Posted by Staff under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Once upon a time, in order to raise revenue for its spending needs, a city taxed all trees bearing fruit, all houses with roofs, and all shoes with soles. In order to avoid the taxes, the people stopped planting fruit trees and even cut them down, took the roofs off their houses and pulled the soles off their shoes.
City officials, try as they might, were unable to prevent this. All the people lived in poverty without proper food, shelter or clothing.
One day a new mayor was elected. The mayor persuaded the city government to remove all taxes from trees, roofs and soles. In place of the taxes, they established a charge on site locations.
Now, because the citizens paid charges for their use of sites whether they had fruit trees or not, they planted as many as they wished and not only did they have enough for the payment but had plenty left over for themselves; and since the charges were not affected by whether they had roofs or not, they put roofs on their houses; and because there was no longer a penalty for having shoes with soles, they put soles on all their shoes.
Immediately there was a great demand for workers to grow fruit, build houses and sole shoes. Soon the city prospered and it still does even today.
This fable was originally developed by Michael Horsman in “Raising Revenue Without Taxation,” Ireland, January 1984.
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