1994-01-13 - Crypto and Taxes

Header Data

From: Hal <hfinney@shell.portal.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: a73b12a273d56a97191b0584768f149ffd01e8495985cdb2867259c4dcf318e6
Message ID: <199401130007.QAA21562@jobe.shell.portal.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-01-13 00:07:39 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 12 Jan 94 16:07:39 PST

Raw message

From: Hal <hfinney@shell.portal.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 94 16:07:39 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Crypto and Taxes
Message-ID: <199401130007.QAA21562@jobe.shell.portal.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

I appreciate the thoughtful responses in this thread.  Let me just
make one point now, saving a more detailed response for this
evening.  Perry implied that I do not wish to see people avoid taxes,
and that was why I was arguing that cryptography would not make this
as easy as some had suggested.

That is not a reasonable inference from my posts, and I am surprised
Perry would suggest it given our two years of discussions on the
extropians list.

My primary motivation is of course simply to test what I see as a
discrepency between the world I live and work in and that proposed
in the crypto-anarchy model.  I also want to question speculations
that I see playing into the hands of law enforcement interests by
making cryptography look more threatening than it is.

Another reason is to discourage complacency that cryptography will
solve our political problems by automatically ushering in a
libertarian/anarchist utopia.  This is a follow-on to the posts I
made last week on this topic.  Today, Sandy still says "We've won".
From my perspective, this declaration of victory is highly premature!

The postings about life in Italy did provide an interesting portrait of
a society of tax evaders, but at the same time the government response
was chilling.  The U.S. is not Italy, and I suspect that neither the
widespread tax avoidance nor the draconian government measures could
happen here.  But it should give pause to those who suggest that our
political battles are won.