Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Tax-A-Lot Tale

Written tongue in cheek by D. because I'm tired of reading all the deficit spending news today.

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Tax-A-Lot the serfs told their lords that they could grow 3 trillion potatoes for the support of the kingdom. But the lords told them they wanted 5 trillion potatoes. The vast majority (about 65%) of serfs strongly protested the burden, the rest of the serfs don’t pay much attention to what the lords are doing, to the detriment of all.

This majority told the lords that 5 trillion potatoes was an impossible request as there was a limitation on what could be taken from their productivity. They asked; “What if something unpredictable happened?” The situation could get out of hand.

Ignoring the pleas of the serfs, the lords voted among themselves declaring that Tax-A-Lot would print drawings of 2 trillion potatoes to make up for the extra potatoes they wanted. But the serfs knew that this was a bad idea because you cannot eat drawings of potatoes and eventually there would be a potato shortage, causing great hardship among the serfs.

The lords didn’t really care, after all, even if there was a shortage, the lords would still be well fed, because they controlled the collection and distribution of the potatoes.

Once the lords printed the potatoes they saw that 2 trillion was not going to be enough to pay for all their castle improvement projects and pay off their well connected friends at court, so they printed a couple trillion more drawings.

As predicted by the serfs, a famine occurred among them and all the barrels full of potato drawings could not be used to obtain a single real potato. The cost of a real potato being out of reach and having exhausted the personal supply allotted to them by a complicated potato tax formula devised by the lords, the serfs were reduced to eating roots and grass. Then, due to unpredictable poor weather, they were unable to grow even 3 trillion potatoes, so the shortage worsened as potato production fell sharply. Many serfs eventually gave up trying to grow potatoes as the climate and unreasonable demands of the lords made potato growing seem a pointless effort.

For a while the lords continued to eat well, so they could not understand why so many serfs were starving and complaining. They decided to print more potato drawings to bail the poor ignorant serfs out. Of course, this did not solve the problem.

And, eventually, there were no potatoes to be had in all of Tax-A-Lot and even the lords started to starve. The lords realized too late how dependent they were on the serf’s productivity to support the economy of Tax-A-Lot. They did not heed the serf’s common sense warnings because, having never actually produced potatoes or, for that matter, anything at all, it turns out they were really the ignorant ones. They failed to understand the basics of the potato economy they were trying to control and as a result became impotent lords ruling over non-existent potatoes.

Meanwhile, the serfs being a resilient group of folks who knew how to survive on roots and grass, started growing carrots in small gardens behind their huts and devised a new barter system based on their carrot production. The serfs saved Tax-A-Lot from complete ruin by their idiot lords but it was never the same successful kingdom it had once been.

And they lived ever after. Hey,"happily ever after" would be a bit of a stretch, they are serfs after all. You get to choose your own moral to this story. Share it with me in comments.

2 Comentários:

Anonymous said...

Simple...the moral of the story is vote Republican!

D said...


I keep voting GOP but it doesn't seem to be working!




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