Driverís Taxes and Other Money-Grabbing Schemes Throughout History
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers
by Mike (in Tokyo) Expatriation?
Beware of the Culture Shock! Oh, and the Tentacles Too!
I think "Driverís
Taxes" is a pretty good and descriptive name for this topic
and article. Why? Because anything that has to do with your car;
driverís license, automobile license plates, gasoline, random DUI
and seat belt inspection stops; tolls; police hiding in wait to
catch a bypassing speeder, etc., are all forms of taxation. I know
I am speaking to the choir here at this web site when I say this
but there are many of our own family members and friends who seem
to fail to realize this simple fact of life; Driverís Licenses and
the related costs are actually all taxation.
like driverís licenses; DUI and seat belt stops are not for the
safety of the public, but merely just one of many back-door schemes
by our overlords to tax us more.
Let me prove
it to you so that you can prove it to your friends.
When it comes
to the chicken and egg, I donít know which came first. But when
it comes to cars and driverís taxes? Did you know that the forerunner
of todayís Driverís Licenses, I mean Driverís Taxes, came way before
engines for automobiles were ever dreamed of? Yes, itís true.
I go into that, let me give a brief explanation of how I got onto
this subject in the first place.
A guy wrote
to me the other day about gun
control. In his note he asked,
"If you agree
that we need a license to drive, then why don't you agree that we
need a license for a gun?"
I wrote back,
be surprised but I don't think you need a license for a gun just
as I don't think you need a license to drive a car. Licenses are
merely a back-door form of taxes levied upon us by our government.
Don't you know that?"
I don't agree with laws requiring the wearing of seat belts in cars
or helmets when riding motorcycles.
I always wear
a seat belt. I donít need a law. We know that wearing seat belts
can save a life in a car accident but if some guy doesn't want to
wear a seat belt, then what business is it of yours or mine? It
most certainly is not the governments business either. And it definitely
is not a reason to tax us more money in order to put more police
on the road to stop drivers who drive without their seat belts on
and fine them. If Dick or Harry want to drive without a seat belt,
then let them. I don't care and it is none of my business.
and things like seat belt laws have zero to do with protecting the
public and everything to do with taxes. Driverís licenses and license
fees (for passports, filing papers, dogs, cats, fishing, open fire,
killing bugs, you-name-it, etc.) are all merely a form of taxation.
Just to drive
home the point of how ridiculous drivers licenses are and to point
out how they have nothing to do with safe driving and everything
to do with another form of taxation, let me tell you the story of
"rikishaw," or, as you people in the west call them, "Japanese
rickshaw." You know, the old style carts that were used in
Japan long ago that were pulled by one skinny Japanese guy running
Well, it used
to be, over a hundred or so years ago, when rikishaw were quite
prevalent on the streets and alleyways in Japanese towns, one needed
a license for a rikishaw and a license to be a rikishaw "driver."
There was even
a "Rikishaw organization" (probably filled with retired
cops) that handled the licensing and registration of these vehicles
all in the name of protecting the public. (As if some guy could
out run the cops in some high speed chase after a hit-and-run accident
with his unlicensed rikishaw!)
that these rikishaw are no longer popular, and not in much use (though
they still exist mainly in tourist areas) there is no requirement
for licensing rikishaw.
it; if the licensing procedure for rikishaw were for safety of the
public and the good of society, then this procedure would still
be in practice today, would it not? But it is not. These rikishaw
still exist! Why no licenses? This proves that the licensing was
Ė and always will be Ė a scheme merely to fill government coiffures.
It is no longer cost-effective to license these things. Automobiles
make for a much more healthy revenue stream.
"Oh, but that
was ancient Japan. The United States is different!" You say?
Check your US (and
UK) history and find the same
story concerning horse drawn carts in the cities up until about
1910 or so (and still
going on in Canada today!)
story should be proof enough to get people to see that, no matter
the geographical zone or time in history, government will always
look for new ways to tax the people through licensing.
Monty Python episode about the Ministry of Silly Walks? Well, throughout
history, and still today, every country has their Ministry of Silly
Did you know
that you need a license in Japan to be a sushi chef? Itís true.
In Japan, you need a license to slice raw fish.
You can bet
that if the sushi restaurants in the USA were to become so popular
that they stood on every street corner, the government would increase
taxes on them by requiring a special license to slice fish; and
why not? They tax you to go out on the water to catch them!
the history of man there have been all sorts of ridiculous taxes
levied on people by their overlords. The government claims they
are doing it for the good of society, but itís all a money scam.
Hereís a short
list of some of my, er, "favorite" taxes through time:
In the first
century AD, Roman emperor Vespasian placed a tax on urine.
placed an absurd tax on cleanliness during the Middle Ages. It was
a "Soap Tax." This tax remained in effect in some countries
for hundreds of years. England, for example, didnít repeal its soap
tax until 1835!
Did you also
know that in 1660, England placed a tax on fireplaces? I guess thatís
where George Harrison got the line about taxing the heat in his
In 1696, the
King of Jolly Old initiated a "Window Tax," that placed
taxes on any dwelling by the number of windows they had.
One of the
dumber ideas the King of England and his court had was in the 1700s;
they placed a tax on bricks! Yeah, you know; rectangular blocks
of ceramic material used to build buildings? Well, this didnít work
out so well as the builders quickly figured out that they could
just use bigger bricks and pay less tax. The brick taxes werenít
repealed until the 1850s.
are pretty dumb, right? Well, they get dumber. Letís let our imaginations
fly on some more stuff that has been taxed. I mean, "Licensed"
in order to protect the public.
the 16th century, the geniuses that held the Kingís ear
in England decided to tax playing cards (you know, poker, Texas
Holdíem, Old Maid?) They got away with this for a while, but sometime
in the early 1700s, they drastically upped the taxes on cards and
dice. Soon after, criminal elements in society began making forgeries
to avoid paying taxes. Fake poker cards and dice? Heavens! See?
I told you the taxes were for protecting the public. This playing
card and dice tax wasnít repealed in England until, are you ready
for it? 1960.
And how about
hats? Did you know that England had a hat tax in the late 1700s?
To avoid paying the "Hat Tax," hat-makers, in the early
1800s, began calling their creations, "Head-gear." You
just have to love the ingenuity and spirit of the independent businessman!
By 1811, the "Hat Tax" was in the dustbin of history Ė
unfortunately the concept wasnít.
The taxes listed
above make us laugh at our British friends. But, frankly speaking,
Americans are not really in any position to laugh at anyone. Why?
Americans canít laugh because the USA has more than its fair share
of ridiculous taxation ideas and schemes as well as absurd laws.
Did you know
that the IRS taxes stolen property? Yep. On your 1040, you know,
that TV you stole from the neighbors when you broke into their home
while they were on vacation last summer? You are supposed to report
that to the IRS as income or you are breaking the law! However,
if you did report that, it would be self-incrimination under the
5th Amendment and you might go to jail. But fear not!
Our masters have thought of everything! Thatís why you, dear Quick
Fingers, have the option of reporting your thefts as "other income."
You canít make
this stuff up.
the way it is with taxes, licenses, whatever folks. If, someday
soon, flying vehicles become popular and there's one in every garage,
do you think that the government will be licensing them for our
safety? No way! They will license them because they will see it
as just another profitable revenue stream. Just like fining people
for driving without seat belts, helmets, burnt out taillights, blah,
They can call
them "licenses" all they want; I hope this proves to dear
reader that licenses (for driving, dogs, cats, fishing, open fires,
raising animals, etc.) are all a form of taxation.
the only thing throughout manís history that taxes have proven to
be really good for was the inspiration of a great Beatles song.
(in Tokyo) Rogers [send
him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to
Japan in 1984. He is the president of an Internet & Cross Media
advertising/marketing agency and a media production company named
He writes about marketing, the Internet and Social Media at the
Marketing Japan blog. His book, Schizophrenic
in Japan, went on sale in 2005.
© 2013 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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