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Sumarongi 5 points ago +5 / -0

Romans used a tax farming system. A tax collector was basically a private collection agency that kept a cut of the taxes as compensation.

They were hated for the same reason we hate the IRS; no one likes to pay taxes

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DiscoverAFire 1 point ago +1 / -0

It wasn't a cut of the taxes, it was a cut on top of the taxes.

Romans say "this guy owes us 5%". Tax collector goes and tells him "You owe the romans 6%" ... or 8% or 10%, entirely up to the tax collector and how rich he feels like being at the expense of his countrymen.

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Sumarongi 1 point ago +1 / -0

It’s essentially the same. No tax farmer is going to work for free; that’s how the tax farming system was designed

Seems unfit, but it’s essentially no different than any other middleman

It was an extortive system, which accomplish two things for the roman’s; they got paid, and the tax collectors took the heat. It was a good system, too, for the tax collectors as they got rich

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DiscoverAFire 1 point ago +1 / -0

Most middlemen don't have a state-enforced monopoly, a state-enforced requirement that you purchase the product, and state violence on tap to jail you until you pay whatever they unilaterally decide.

It was advantageous for the romans and the tax collectors, but that's just political insiders teaming up to shank the outsiders. Sure, a vaxx mandate is good for the pharmaceutical companies, investors, and the politicians getting lobbied - but that doesn't excuse the abusiveness of the system.