The Consumer and the Business World
You go to Wally World shopping. First you visit the outdoor section, then you come indoors, visit the pharmacy, the clothing sections, and the housewares. You go to the audio-visual and computer sections of the store, purchase a game, some blank CDs, and finally you do your grocery shopping. Then you head toward the checkout lines. You load your merchandise on the counter, pull out your credit card, pay the cashier, take your groceries and other stuff, load them into the car, and drive off.
Another day. You head to the Pet Supplies Plus, grab the cat’s and dog’s food and bedding, the cashier rings you up, you pay, and out you go. Next to the public library. One local history book, one murder mystery, two magazines, a DVD, and the librarian checks you out. Whoops! You have one overdue late charge of 25 cents. You pay and head off. One more stop. You go to the automotive supply store for windshield wipers, a turn-signal bulb, a jug of window-washing fluid, and an ice scraper. The man rings the stuff up, he prints out a receipt, you pay, and off to home you go.
This summer, you decide to go on a vacation. You go online, see what you want, the website calculates what you owe, you purchase tickets with your Visa, you get confirmation, and you sign out.
These are the routines most stores and online websites that provide goods and services go through to satisfy you, the consumer.
The Consumer and the Government
NOT THE GOVERNMENT! No. The government has a different way of doing things. You earn your income, you have a stock that pays a bit of dividends, you have an older person at home who depends upon you, you have a daughter in college, you have a handicapped child. You’ve donated a respectable sum of money to your religious organization and you’ve contributed $150 worth of items to Goodwill. Your wife is trying to start a home-based business. So do you go to the checkout lane where the IRS agent rings you up, and out you go?
HAH! Fat chance. That’s not the way the government works! This is the only organization or institution that not only demands payment for goods and services; it demands you make out your own bill! How would this work in the stores? Would you be tempted to buy as much if they made you fill out your own bill? But the best is yet to come.
The Rest of the Story
If you made an error in figuring out your bill, would it seem right that they prosecute you, charging you a severe penalty because you weren’t skilled at filling out the bill? Now ordinarily this wouldn’t be too bad. But the government makes it as hard as can be to fill that bill out, so many people opt to hire someone else to fill out their bill for them!
If the business world did things the way the government does, they would be in danger of going out of business.
But let’s face it. We receive benefits from the government. It does deal with the criminal element, albeit not altogether fairly or effectively. It does provide roads, social services, and a measure of peace. We will continue to pay our taxes. Despite all this. Despite the fact that we don’t always agree how the government spends our tax dollars. Despite the fact that much corruption exists in government. Romans Chapter 13 in the Bible tells us it is our obligation to pay our taxes. But there is one thing about it. We aren’t required to enjoy it!