You and your friends decide to have a barbecue, which will require a «contribution». Here is the first variable, how much that contribution will be per person. It is possible to establish, by common agreement – second variable – that all of them collaborate with the same amount, or that the one with the least income collaborates with a smaller amount. Once the quota is established, it is left to collect it and proceed to the purchase of the meat and other inputs. Eventually, one of the boys can make all the expenses and then, at the place of the meeting, proceed to the appropriate apportionment.
So far there are certain things that are very obvious and that just for that reason seem unimportant. Let’s see, it’s everyone’s decision, no one was forced to participate in the barbecue. He who contributes, then, does so because he wants to. If anyone decides to do the shopping, or if they are appointed to do it and accept it, it is also voluntary. Just like the one who gives his house for the event (running with the theme of cleaning and leaving everything in order later), does it at will. In other words, you contribute money, time and space at will to achieve a common goal.
Another fundamental aspect is that everyone has a more or less accurate idea of how much meat, coal, beer, and everything that is part of the roast in question cost. So, nobody is going to question the figures for the expenditure and, in any case, if a fussy person – sometimes there is one – does not believe this or that price, there will be the bill from the supermarket so that he can see that everything is in place. If we stop at this point we will see that the price knowledge comes from before the event, that is, it is not about buying something unknown.
Now, when you pay taxes as a taxpayer, do you know exactly what that money is spent on? Following the previous line, the two basic questions are: 1 do you agree on what the money you contribute is spent on? 2 is the price of what you pay with the money you contribute the fairest price? Normally people have only a vague idea of what the money they contribute is spent on, and they don’t even know how much they contribute each month or each year. So you don’t know the amount of the fee you’re paying.
Going back to the example of the barbecue, suppose the total cost of the barbecue is USD 100, or so, and then the person who did the shopping asks for USD 3, or so in return for fuel and time (3% of the total cost); suddenly the group approves you, doesn’t it? Now, do you think he would be approved if he asks for $50,000 (50% of the total expenditure)? I don’t think so. Similarly, how much of the taxes collected are used only to pay the salaries of public officials? This is the first of the figures that any ‘citizen’ should know.