Posted tagged ‘taxation’

Taxation for dummies – A comparative study on government taxes and gang protection money!

August 9, 2013

Few days ago, an article in “The Hindu” read as follows –

“Extortion gangs have been forcing hawkers to shell out money on a weekly basis

Certain groups are partly redefining the dynamics of commerce on the Marina. These are extortion gangs that demand money from vendors for letting them ply their trade. These groups – which call themselves sangams – have put a payment system in place. Every week, a vendor has to part with Rs. 30 as protection money.

Sometimes, vendors end up paying this pre-set weekly amount to more than one extortion group. “When I set up shop five years ago, I paid Rs. 5,000 to a person who designated the spot where I could set up shop. Today, there are many more gangs. They have divided the beach among themselves and each gang exercises control over shops in their section,” said a sandwich maker.  “…continue reading the article here.

If your blood temperature shoots up to 212 degrees fahrenheit or if your blood pressure skyrockets to 180 systolic / 110 diastolic and you get an insatiable itch to take a pen and paper to write to “The Hindu” or to Mr.Saidai Duraisamy or to Mr.S.George,  condemning the extortion and giving them a piece of your mind, hold on.

Please put down that pen and have a glass of cold water. Take a few deep breaths.

Now, you need to understand a few basic things about the principle of taxation before you start wasting ink and paper to put down your strong condemnations and keeping the Postal Department going. (By the way, a condemnation is the easiest way to protest against an atrocity. It gives you the satisfaction that you too have done something against an injustice while sitting in the comfort of your home. Just like this.)

Local Dada - Gang Representative

Local Dada – Gang Representative

Prime Minister - Representative of the Govt.

Prime Minister – Representative of the Govt.

As defined in Dictionary.com a “Tax” is

“a sum of money demanded by a government for its support 

or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, 

sales, etc.”

Breaking it down,

  • pay the government for protection to do business
  • provide the govt. a cut from your income for protection
  • pay the govt. for using the roads
  • pay the govt. for buying a house
  • pay the govt. for eating out

Compare this to the gangs and their demands of protection money. Just changing one word, ‘Government’ to ‘Gang’, the framework applies like a shoe in cinderella’s feet.

“a sum of money demanded by a gang for its support or for

specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.”

The  only notable differences between taxes and protection money are that

  • Taxes are approved by the legislature while protection money is not
  • Men in suits demand taxes with a smile while protection money is demanded by men in local attire with a frown!

And the key similarity between the government and the gangs is that neither of them protect and help the people when they need it.

Disclaimer – This post is merely a sarcastic attempt in comparing and presenting facts. I don’t condone or condemn the gangs or the governments, for the fear of being punished by either or both of them (hey..thats one more similarity between the gangs and the government!!)

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