In my retirement years, here I am at last having the pleasure of cutting up the second of our two drawers-full of income tax returns: mine, my spouse’s; my family company’s, and; those of the private company I co-founded. What an incredible amount of intrusively personal and private data, got together by our accountants, in order to serve the peculiar needs of the Australian Taxation Office! And what an extraordinary amount of time everyone connected with them has expended in getting these documents together, then having them vetted by ATO employees!

All totally unnecessary!

We might have done as the apostle of freedom, John Locke, suggested: As the “publick charge” is ultimately drawn from ground rent/economic rent, why not put it there, in the first place?

That would’ve been extremely easy to do; wouldn’t have occasioned the terrible waste of everybody’s time and, most importantly; big companies would neither have been able to avoid paying their fair share, nor needed to have sought refuge for their income within tax havens.

I wonder how long we’ll be prepared to endure this taxation madness, particularly as–unlike John Locke’s ground rent–income and sales taxes inject deadweight losses of twice the amount levied into the economy!

Then there’s the repetitive land price bubble-burstings that send us into economic recessions which would finally be remedied.

What hope of us emerging from the coronavirus period with this far superior means of removing money from the economy in order to protect the currency? [No, taxes aren’t a pot of revenue from which the government spends!]

Little hope, I suppose: too many lawyers and accountants addicted to this current taxation madness. Upton Sinclair’s claim comes to mind: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.