History of Taxes

Originally it was the Egyptians who invented the system of Taxes. They appointed Tax Masters, whose job it was to increase the burden on the slaves under the Egyptian domination. Tax collectors, also known as Scribes, were drawn on tomb paintings dating as far back as 2000 B.C.

They taxed simple things such as the use of cooking oil in family meals, as well as other aspects of daily life. They accomplished this by auditing households and checking that the correct amount of cooking oil was being consumed. They also ensured that residents were not using methods of cooking other than the taxed oil.

Greece adopted the tax system from the Egyptians and used it in Athens during times of war. They created a tax, known as eisphora, which was used to pay for special wartime expenditures. They stopped the tax system once the emergency war was over. Once additional resources were gained by the war effort they refunded the tax. Greece is one of the few societies that managed to maintain this system. Foreigners where taxed in Athens under the metoikion tax.

Ancient Rome took on the tax system and included sales taxes, and inheritance tax, as well as tax on imports and exports. Caesar Augustus is considered as one of the best tax strategists of the Roman Empire. During his reign as “First Citizen”, he made cities responsible for collecting taxes, instead of allocating the task to tax collectors from central government. He created an inheritance tax of 5%, which resulted in all military costs being paid for. This inspired the English and Dutch to make similar taxes in later years.

During Julius Caesar’s reign, sales tax was enforced. Caesar Augustus changed Julius Caesar’s sales tax of 1% to 4% for slaves and 1% for everything else. The first tax-free shipping port at Delos was created in the 4th century B.C. The shipping port is known as the first “Tax Haven” in history. It diverted traffic from Rhodes. Roman Emperor, Vespasian, expanded taxes during the 1st century A.D. He created the Fiscus Judaicus, known as the Tax on Jews, as well as a tax to use urine for cleaning or tanning leather. An inheritance tax of 10% was enforced on all Roman Citizens in 212 A.D.

The Queen of Englia, Boadicea led a revolt, which can be credited to corrupt tax collectors in 60 A.D. The revolt allegedly killed over 80,000 people, including all the Roman soldiers within 100 miles. She managed to seize London during the process and raised an army of 230,000. Emperor Nero finally managed to stop the revolt and appointed new administrators for the British region.

Lady Godiva caused a bit of disturbance herself in the 11th Century. According to legend she rode through town naked on horseback, as part of a deal that she had made with her husband, Leofric, the Earl of Mercia. He had promised to reduce the taxes if she went through with the dare. The residents of Coventry, where the tax was reduced, honoured her for her courage.

From then on countries battled and fought over different types of taxes. Eventually each country began editing its own tax system to suit its needs. They expanded the tax system, dropping smaller taxes for bigger ones, until eventually we have the system we have today.

Currumbin, Australia

A travellers view of Currumb in Queensland Australia: Yesterday I had the pleasure of lunch here at Currumbin Surf Club, as you can see from today’s pictures the Surf club itself is built directly on a large geographical feature of the area, Elephant rock.

Why anybody would choose to spoil such an interesting feature let alone for a council to allow it, is beyond me but there it is. I have visited this venue before, Father’s Day 2007 and so I have inside information that the lunch will be excellent regardless of the positioning of the club.

The rock, is of course the more interesting, I think rocks are sort of interesting because they are what they are, where they are and shaped the way they, are all of which would seem at random, at it doesn’t matter what you or I think, they have plonked themselves down and that’s that as far as the rock is concerned. We humans need to put in a great deal of work with hammers or explosives to make a difference in their rock world.

This big rock looks to be igneous in nature and the result of an angry volcanic eruption (can there be any other kind?) and has been vomited from the earth to solidify in the hilly area inland of the seafront, which of course at the time eons ago may well have been somewhere, anywhere about here. The monolithic boulder possibly rolled from its perch above the beachfront where it came to rest on a platform of brother rocks who no doubt welcome it in a civil happy and certainly not with a stoney silence. Rocks, stones, boulders etc speak in a frequency not heard by mere human ears.

Elephant rock and the table it appears to rest on seem very new geologically speaking because there appears little erosion from the wind, salt air and wave action and if we look north we can see another rocky sibling jutting proudly from the beach in an area known as Currumbin Alley which I gather is a name generated from the surfing culture which as you can imagine is very prevalent here.

Within a few miles of this very spot the local district claims ownership of several World Surfing Champions including current hero and world ranked No. 1 Mick Fanning and current Women’s champion Stephanie Gilmore who was born around the corner or at least a short distance from here up the Tweed River at Murwillumbah I will be doing an entry on Murwillumbah in the next few days.

Currumbin Alley marks the southern edge of the entrance to Currumbin Creek which is a tidal waterway fed by the Salty Ocean during high tides and mountain fed fresh water during low tide. This leads to brackish water quite close to the outflow adjacent to Currumbin Alley and is apparently an area in which it is possible to encounter the notorious Bull Shark. This estuary dweller seems to prefer brackish tidal depths and is very much adapted to seeking its food in murky water.

As we proceed up the creek the clarity declines as the leaf and earth stained fresher water becomes predominant. The use of fresh water seems a little misleading here but of course I mean non salty water. When it first trickled down from the wonderful Border Ranges far above in the catchment area, the water was as almost as fresh as water can be. As we get to know each other better(reader and scribe) you will find I do not enjoy swimming, lolling, floating, soaking, wading, splashing or generally getting wet in water that is not clear. Like most things there is a reason but that story is for another day.

So lets about face and retreat along the murky parts of Currumbin Creek and be dazzled by one of the loveliest stretches of yellow glowing sand in a nation of lovely yellow glowing beaches. Even the erstwhile British tourist does not feel the need to wear a handkerchief with knots tied in the corners on a balding or even hirsute pate. Why on earth our British cousins allowed Aussies like me (I was born in the UK incidentally) to have this image of English manhood I will never know. Imagine a latin lover boy with the Andalusian accent of the Spanish gigolo emerging from the sea, brown muscles glistening from the crystal clear waters of Currumbin Beach with his daggy trousers rolled above the knees and wearing a four corner tied handkerchief plastered to his head.

Oh Dear! could this be the beginning of an international incident. As if we Aussies are never portrayed in foreign press as anything but fine upstanding incredibly great looking young people. “Where the Bloody hell are ya’s”. Ms Lara Bingle or her former paramouror cricketer Michael Clarke, are fine examples of what all Australian look like. Well that’s the portrayal we wish to believe, not that Stephanie Gilmore or Mick Fanning are hard on the eyes to their respective opposite sexes or of course in some cases, same sexes.

To the north of Currumbin Beach is the commercially named Palm Beach which although it has much of the aforementioned glowing yellow sand and sunshine liberally applied to tanned and less tanned new arrivals alike, there are few Palm trees to be seen other than in the occasional suburban backyard. Nevertheless the atmosphere is generally holiday plus, for the family lucky enough to visit this part of the world. Here there’s a little extra bonus for folk like me…. the water is a perfect temperature and generally beautifully refreshing, no Irukanji stingers here, no stone fish, sometimes ablue bottle will appear and best of all….few bull sharks nosing around, the waters too clear.

So now I must toss up to see where I am off to tomorrow after my “Feast with Friends” in a few minutes Ahh!! the sublime pleasures of the older man traveling about our wonderful country Australia.

Poetry – Internal Ramblings of Automatic Writing-Scribing Process

What Can I Say?

Gender bender, radical right.
Fortnight coming, out of sight!
Tumultuous times, mornings anew.
Filled with rapture, yet sensing doom!
Where am I now? Where will I be?
No recognition of truth, What do I see?
Askance is my vision, narrowing now!
To what is expected, why and how?
Wandering out, reigning in
Flamboyant and powerful, meek and dim!
Who is in charge? I do not know?
Amid the corruption, a pure driven flow.
Changing arranging, often mid flight.
Brilliant ideas, created at night.
Lost in first shadows,of the upcoming day
When the practical me, has nothing to say.

Possibilities

Surrounded by time and space
I do embrace what is to come
Yesterday is gone
Today is waning
Tomorrow is waiting
An empty canvas
Brush in hand
I create according to plan
A remembered vision
A subconscious thrust
Nudging me forward
In God I trust
The table is set
The guests arrive
Feeling their presence
I begin to scribe
Inwardly focussed
Outwardly bound
Pure potential I’ve found

Spirit Lies

Spirit lies beneath the wings of floating
thoughts engaged in turbulent travel.
Unresolved issues, spewing forth in
determined effort to engage oneself in
truth. Now engaged, it readies itself to
travel forth to meet the doom of old
beliefs. Rendering what once was to a new
understanding of self. Imposed analogy of
what is and what was and what is yet to be,
melding in the internal-eternal swirl of
who I once was and yet will always be.
Devoid of truth, I shall not know what is
perception and what is so. All is lost, yet
more is gained. Internal struggles subside
as I truly allow my center to guide. The
truth of me without the lie: no longer hidden
and buried inside. My spirit runs free
united in the oneness of me.

Unmatched

Forget tomorrow, remember today
Clashing moments, leading us astray
Engaged in fancies, oft not fulfilled
Lumbering forward, at an awkward tilt
Unmatched visions, separate missions
Discordant rhythms, lumber along
Wandering here, wondering why
Disengaged focus distractions abound
Futile attempts, not on firm ground
What? We ask, without reply
When? We question as time goes by
Who? We muster is in charge
Where? We search deep in side
Why? oh why does it seem so hard
To create symmetry as we move through time
Fluidity of movement on a single path
Where questions are answered based on trust
Being inwardly guided is a must