By Ronald C. Tobin
In our cliche ridden world, one will occasionally hear "nothing is certain save death and taxes," or words to that effect.  This phrase is generally employed by someone who is trying to make light of a serious discussion, or someone who is vainly attempting to inject humor into a depressing situation.  It is not an expression that I ever use.
Like most cliches, 'death and taxes' is based on a statement that most people believe to be true without even thinking about it.  What could possibly be more basic in life than death and taxes?  It is a facet of our shared reality.  Who can possibly question this logic?  The statement appears to be axiomatic -- but is it really?
Taxes -- which I prefer to refer to as extortion payments -- are insidious in modern society.  They more than double the costs of many items that we purchase, and that is before figuring in GST/PST, sales tax, value-added tax, harmonized tax, whatever.  Unless you are living on cash under the table, your income is taxed before you ever see it.  Those of us who 'own' real properties get to pony up property taxes every year.  As there is nothing voluntary about taxes, it is legitimate to call them extortion payments.
Be that as it may, taxes are the one component of the 'death and taxes' equation that could indeed be done away with.  All that needs to happen is to have an end to formal forms of government.  Where there is no State, there will be no taxes.  Only in a stateless society will one enjoy all the fruits of his/her labor.  People would actually own their property, instead of having to pay tithes to a State that tells people what they can do with this land through ordinances or by-laws.
Death, on the other hand, is certain.  Everything that lives will eventually die.  What happens after death is open to speculation, depending on what one believes.  One can certainly do many things to either prolong or shorten one's span of years, but death is inevitable.
Which brings me, finally, to my main point here: cherish your friends, love your family.  Once one is dead, it is impossible to bring them back.  Try not to end arguments angry at each other -- find that common ground.  Even if you live hundreds of years (not outside the realm of possibility as the 21st Century moves forward), life is too short to make holding grudges for years make any sense.  True, sometimes people will grow apart, and some disagreements cannot be remedied.  Even then, it is best to part graciously, so as to minimize regrets.  That way, when all is said and done, you can always look in the mirror and be proud of what you see.
As we move forward into the challenges and hopes of this year 2000, as we look forward to the new millennium starting in 2001, let us reshape ourselves and our world.  Let us bring together all those who yearn for true freedom, who are willing to stand with us and make this happen.  It will be a lot of work, but the alternatives are not desirable in the slightest bit.
And, let us bury silly cliches, such as the one about death and taxes!  Say what you mean and mean what you say!  Think before you act!
Ronald C. Tobin
PO Box 10760
Glendale, AZ 85318-0760 USA

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