Saturday, November 15, 2008

Society and the American Dream

As an addendum to my last post regarding Maine Revunue services, I add this comment.

I had another call to MR to speak with my account manager regarding the certified notice I received yesterday. Now, I know that I am current on my agreement, so I wanted to know why MR had mailing regarding payment in full.

My account manager said that this is something that MR does every year. (without any suggestion from me that this was a special thing this year due to lower revenue)

MR sends a certified letter to everyone on a payment plan. Supposedly this is to inform the person that if they are not paid in full by the end of the year, MR can turn over the balance to the Feds and have it deducted from tax returns. The certified notices are sent out to prevent the deliquent taxpayers from calling up MR in March protesting that they did not know that would happen and it was unjust.

I argued unsuccessfully that if MR made it clear in the initial agreement they would not need to send out all these certified letters. Of course everyone on a plan pays interest and also an equal amount in charges and fees, so the actual cost of the letter is probably born by the person on the plan, and not an additional cost to MR in general.

Although I was not harmed by the letter, the premise of the letter was legal protection for MR against those taxpayers that are deliquent and want to use the "I didn't know-that's not fair!" argument.

Ok, fine.

While I was taking Peko on his sniff and stroll in the middle of nowhereville last night, the situation crept back into mind. I contemplated how America began with people wanting to escape persecution and over-regulation and live their lives in freedom. So they headed into the unknown to live in wild America and founded a country where people could live in freedom and happiness.

I came to understand that the formation of any society is like entropy in reverse. We have lawmakers that we elect to make laws. Where does that lead? To more laws. Everytime someone does something that society doesn't agree with, or perhaps that harms society, a law or rule is created to stop that from happening-or rather, to incur fines and punishments.

Where does that leave us? Is that freedom? Because of terrorist from other countries, all our communications are monitored. Because some people run redlights, there are cameras at traffic stops. Because people shoplift, there are cameras in stores.

Some might argue that a law-abiding citizen not be concerned about these things. If you do what you are supposed to do, what is the harm? These things are only designed to catch the folks breaking the law.

Well, I am aggravated.



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