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Monday, 10 January 2011

Reported conversations No. 24 : On taxes

A big one-two-three-FOUR degrees at 8am as we plied our way through the rain-sodden streets of Cannobio towards school for the first day of the new term.

AJ (aged 6) has been watching Disney's 'Robin Hood'. In the meantime, Mama and Papa have been discussing levels of taxation in different countries. Inevitably, the dirty word arises at bedtime with old elephant-ears...




AJ (thoughtfully): Mama, what are taxes?
Mama (smiling): Taxes are money we pay to the government to help them run our society.
AJ: Are you scared of the Sheriff of Nottingham?
Mama: Well, these days, the government doesn't send a bully to take your money, they take it out of your bank account ... (mutters) when you're not looking.
AJ (screwing face up over a difficult question): But Mama, what are taxes FOR?
Mama: Taxes are used to pay for all the things everybody uses (smiles wryly as the face of Silvio Berlusconi pops into her mind) - the government builds hospitals, schools, and roads for instance.
AJ: No!
Mama: What do you mean, no?
AJ: The government doesn't build the roads. 
Mama: Well who does then?
AJ: The Romans build the roads...


When Mama looks at the perfectly serviceable remains of the Roman road winding through the woods near Carmine, she can't help wishing they still did.

11 comments:

Sandy said...

"Out of the mouths" comes to mind.

Vanessa said...

Wouldn't it be a different world if we could conjure historical peoples to do the jobs they seem to have been best at: Ancient Greeks to make the laws, Romans to build roads, Egyptians to build monuments, and the Brits to make the tea and stand around chatting...

Oh mamma said...

Well, as the government is set in Rome ... he's not completely wrong. And there where taxes in ancient Rome too.

Louise | Italy said...

That's true! I'd not thought of it like that. Every British schoolboy is taught that the Romans had underfloor heating and toilets, and best of all they criss-crossed the British Isles with roads that are still there. The way you can tell you're on a Roman road in the UK is that it's dead straight as far as the eye can see.

Colleen said...

:) That is quite funny!

Karin said...

The Romans did make roads that lasted! Have noticed here that sometimes roads are paved and within a year or two they get torn up again for some reason or another! Love having conversations like that with children! Priceless!

Ann Nichols said...

What an absolutely brilliant child you have!! Please show him my post today - I feature Roman Houses!!! And they look pretty sturdy too!
I'm so happy you came visiting and am thrilled to be following along with you! Thank you so much for your kind words about my little cat, Edward! he is such a darling and we are just so please that he seems to be recovering from this problem too. He's lived with us just a bit more than 2 months now... but we can't imagine our house without him now.
Blessings!
Ann
PS Your life sounds so interesting... we have a 150 year old village house needing renovation...maybe this summer...if extra taxes don't take everything! :) (Great post!)

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

We definitely can learn from children, can't we!

Francesca said...

Thank goodness for the Romans who built the roads we still use - I can only imagine what would happen if that task was left to our government.

Tropical Mum said...

So glad I came across your blog in the Best Posts of the Week. It is great to read about a completely different place on the other side of the world.

Have a lovely weekend.

Joy said...

Brilliant!

If only that is all they spent our tax dollars on, I would be happy. I always laugh when I see signs at road construction sites - "YOUR TAX DOLLAR AT WORK!" Yeah right.. What did they do with the rest of it.
♥ Joy

Monday, 10 January 2011

Reported conversations No. 24 : On taxes

A big one-two-three-FOUR degrees at 8am as we plied our way through the rain-sodden streets of Cannobio towards school for the first day of the new term.

AJ (aged 6) has been watching Disney's 'Robin Hood'. In the meantime, Mama and Papa have been discussing levels of taxation in different countries. Inevitably, the dirty word arises at bedtime with old elephant-ears...




AJ (thoughtfully): Mama, what are taxes?
Mama (smiling): Taxes are money we pay to the government to help them run our society.
AJ: Are you scared of the Sheriff of Nottingham?
Mama: Well, these days, the government doesn't send a bully to take your money, they take it out of your bank account ... (mutters) when you're not looking.
AJ (screwing face up over a difficult question): But Mama, what are taxes FOR?
Mama: Taxes are used to pay for all the things everybody uses (smiles wryly as the face of Silvio Berlusconi pops into her mind) - the government builds hospitals, schools, and roads for instance.
AJ: No!
Mama: What do you mean, no?
AJ: The government doesn't build the roads. 
Mama: Well who does then?
AJ: The Romans build the roads...


When Mama looks at the perfectly serviceable remains of the Roman road winding through the woods near Carmine, she can't help wishing they still did.

11 comments:

Sandy said...

"Out of the mouths" comes to mind.

Vanessa said...

Wouldn't it be a different world if we could conjure historical peoples to do the jobs they seem to have been best at: Ancient Greeks to make the laws, Romans to build roads, Egyptians to build monuments, and the Brits to make the tea and stand around chatting...

Oh mamma said...

Well, as the government is set in Rome ... he's not completely wrong. And there where taxes in ancient Rome too.

Louise | Italy said...

That's true! I'd not thought of it like that. Every British schoolboy is taught that the Romans had underfloor heating and toilets, and best of all they criss-crossed the British Isles with roads that are still there. The way you can tell you're on a Roman road in the UK is that it's dead straight as far as the eye can see.

Colleen said...

:) That is quite funny!

Karin said...

The Romans did make roads that lasted! Have noticed here that sometimes roads are paved and within a year or two they get torn up again for some reason or another! Love having conversations like that with children! Priceless!

Ann Nichols said...

What an absolutely brilliant child you have!! Please show him my post today - I feature Roman Houses!!! And they look pretty sturdy too!
I'm so happy you came visiting and am thrilled to be following along with you! Thank you so much for your kind words about my little cat, Edward! he is such a darling and we are just so please that he seems to be recovering from this problem too. He's lived with us just a bit more than 2 months now... but we can't imagine our house without him now.
Blessings!
Ann
PS Your life sounds so interesting... we have a 150 year old village house needing renovation...maybe this summer...if extra taxes don't take everything! :) (Great post!)

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

We definitely can learn from children, can't we!

Francesca said...

Thank goodness for the Romans who built the roads we still use - I can only imagine what would happen if that task was left to our government.

Tropical Mum said...

So glad I came across your blog in the Best Posts of the Week. It is great to read about a completely different place on the other side of the world.

Have a lovely weekend.

Joy said...

Brilliant!

If only that is all they spent our tax dollars on, I would be happy. I always laugh when I see signs at road construction sites - "YOUR TAX DOLLAR AT WORK!" Yeah right.. What did they do with the rest of it.
♥ Joy