Our suggested Genre-ista blog theme this month is Death and/or Taxes. In doing some research into the history of taxation (because the history of death is too weird even for me), I came across the ancient practice of Tax Farming. The conversation with my flummoxed self when I read the words
Tax Farming went something like this:
ME: Shazam! You can farm taxes? Who knew?
MYSELF: It’s probably illegal, like growing opium or babies.
ME: I wonder if they’re farming tax payments or tax rates.
MYSELF: Either way, how do the farmers find pickers they can trust? And how do they turn a profit?
ME: I wonder if they farm taxes in Farmville. If I played Farmville, I’d probably know all about tax farming. I knew I’d regret blocking all those annoying Facebook posts.
MYSELF: Naw, if players farmed taxes in Farmville, it would have made the news. Every crazy, useless thing people do makes the news.
ME: What do you mean?
MYSELF: Don’t get me started!
ME: (Trying to focus on writing this post) You don’t think it means Taxes, on Farming – do you?
MYSELF: Click on the link and find out.
ME: (Blinking) Not even close.
MYSELF: (Reading from http://www.taxworld.org/History/tax_farming.htm ) “Tax farming is the principle of assigning the responsibility for tax revenue collection to private citizens or groups. Tax farming occurred in Egypt, Rome, Great Britain, and Greece. The principle was…”
ME: (Shuddering) Geez Louise, those Roman publicani were more like government Mafia-type enforcers than IRS Agents. And the Greek Ptolemies messed up the Egyptian system by instituting tax farming. I hereby renounce my interest in this evil practice!
MYSELF: What are those other historical tax terms? Danegeld? Scuttage? Aids?
ME: (Yawning) Fodder for another post. Who chose these Genre-ista themes, anyway?
MYSELF: We did. With Judith.
Me: Well, it’s a good thing the other Genre-istas wrote such interesting posts, because I got nothin’.