Crackerjack Greenback Prudent Advice for a Prosperous Future

November 13, 2008

The Way to Wealth – Nuggets of Wisdom from Benjamin Franklin: The Lazy Tax

Filed under: Taxes,The Basics,The Way to Wealth,Values — Paul Williams @ Crackerjack Greenback @ 4:00 am

       Continuing our series on Benjamin Franklin’s The Way to Wealth, here is today’s quote:

       “It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service. But idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle employments or amusements, that amount to nothing.”

The Way to Wealth – Benjamin Franklin

Diamond-Tipped Government?

Fat Sam by Randy Son of Robert on Flickr       When I read the first part of this quote, I wanted to laugh. I personally pay 25% of my income for federal, state, and local taxes including Medicare and Social Security taxes. Franklin says a hard government would tax its people 10%. What would he think of 25%?! 🙂 I often wonder what our Founding Fathers would have to say about the current state of America.

Wasted Time

       On the other hand, how much time do I waste and how much is that time worth? I’m not talking about the necessary leisure to rest from work and spend time with family and friends – but just the shear amount of wasted time where I’m neither working nor involved in some leisure I truly enjoy. How many hours are wasted in front of the television just watching whatever happens to be on (so many better options here)? Or sitting around waiting for a doctor’s appointment (we could be reading instead)? Or time we spend just surfing around on the Internet letting time slip by while we’re so easily distracted with the millions of things you can find online?

       What if we put a dollar value to all that wasted time? How much would it be worth? Would we be able to pay our taxes easier if that money were in our pocket? Would our taxes even need to be so high since there would be more income to tax? Franklin’s point about taxes was that we probably wouldn’t need to complain about them if we actually used our time wisely. What do you think?

1 Comment

  1. You might be mistaken about Franklin, he felt any wealth accumulated over the amount needed to support your family was wasted and led to the idle rich. He felt any amount over that was only due to the beneficial results of middle class society in America, and any amount over that led to the benefit of the wealthy only.

    Comment by Jim — December 30, 2011 @ 9:40 am

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