Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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Pay tax "voluntarily"
  [vote for,

Tax is paid grudgingly but we benefit from public services. Heartrending advertising of starving children or old people dying of hypothermia might induce donations, and playing on crime phobia or showing Orwellian propaganda films might yield more but it won't be enough.

As well as dubiously effective charity-like methods, a more successful way already exists. It's fairly easy to get people to give money to religious organisations either then and there, feeling the subtle peer pressure of the rest of the congregation, being lulled into compliance by collective activity or rousing songs, as direct debits donations to televangelists.

This seems to be a form of hypnosis, maybe circumvented by leaving one's wallet at home, but that won't work if they come for you through the telly.

This suggests another less painful way to get the dosh. Just as party political broadcasts appeared simultaneously on all channels, i propose a Hypnotoad-style broadcast, currently naturally illegally, hypnotise viewers into donating "voluntarily" to the government. At peak viewing time every evening, an insidiously fascinating audiovisual sequence lulls people into a relaxed and easily suggestible state and an easy means of donation is provided by the press of a single button on the remote transmitting bank or credit card details to the government. To ensure consent, the television cannot be watched without agreeing to relevant terms of service and entering the appropriate details on being turned on or taken off standby.

Potential problems:

- Hypnosis may not actually exist, but maybe people need only believe in it for this to work.

- Telehypnosis would have to be legalised. Those who can't pay might becoming expensive to the state when they become homeless or driven to crime. This can be addressed by implanting powerful suggestions of unpaid menial work on a cheap or free television service replaced by a premium channel with a better quality of hypnotic suggestion. The poor simply feel an irresistible urge to go and hoover the police station or clean the toilets at the local prison, thereby saving the costs beyond wages of employment.

The question of what could be so powerfully hypnotic is left as an exercise for the reader. Televangelism and shopping channels suggest this may not be so hard to achieve than might at first be thought.

nineteenthly, Apr 12 2012

More about the land of magic pies. http://vk.com/note133577_10456078
[spidermother, Apr 12 2012]

Hypnotoad http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/Hypnotoad
All Glory to the Hypnotoad! [DrBob, Apr 12 2012]

The Futurological Congress http://en.wikipedia...urological_Congress
[sqeaketh the wheel, Apr 14 2012]

Proof that Lem has been well translated. http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Michael_Kandel
Well, maybe not a good proof. [sqeaketh the wheel, Apr 15 2012]


       Meanwhile, in Canada...   

       The Income War Tax was strongly opposed by those who knew that the Federal Government did not have the legal right to collect income taxes. The British North American Act clearly states that direct income taxes can only be collected by the provinces. As a result, four provinces were eventually included in the Income War Tax Act and served, at the time to pacify the critics. First, income tax was to be voluntary, second it was to be temporary, lasting a proposed 24 to 36 months, third it was to apply to only those earning in excess of $10,000 per year (equivalent to $300,000 today), and fourth, it was to be applied at a rate of 10%. Under these terms, income tax was to pay off the debt for World War I and then it was to cease.   

       sleepy, so sleepy   

       [nineteenthly], you have an ability to steer the cart of knowledge along the roads of logic to the land of magic pies. In other words, the startling thing about many of your ideas, is that they actually make sense.
spidermother, Apr 12 2012

       I wish to hear more about this land.
rcarty, Apr 12 2012

       Bun that anno!   

       I'm working on it, [rcarty]. Long, hopefully lavishly illustrated book on the way.
nineteenthly, Apr 12 2012

       I guess I'll have to content myself with real pie in the meantime.
rcarty, Apr 12 2012

       If you read [beanangel]'s ideas fast enough this kind of thing happens to you, accompanied with the vague desire to splice fish neurons into your brain's frontal cortex...
RayfordSteele, Apr 12 2012

       Am i a slower or a faster version of [beanangel]? Who's the other version?
nineteenthly, Apr 12 2012

       I was thinking about Hypnotoad today. I suppose the idea is to raise money via advertising, but the problem is, you'd just be sitting there watching Hypnotoad and not notice any of the ads, or an ad break would mean people would turn over. I can't really understand how it works.
nineteenthly, Apr 12 2012

       //Tax is paid grudgingly but we benefit from public services   

       Can't we hypnotize the tax collector instead?
theircompetitor, Apr 12 2012

       Thankfully you're nothing like [beanie], he's like a bad trip.
RayfordSteele, Apr 12 2012

       Taxevangelists! Yay!... or not.
UnaBubba, Apr 13 2012

       //splice fish neurons into your brain's frontal cortex//   

       <MaxwellSmart>You don't have those? Hmm...</MaxwellSmart>
pertinax, Apr 14 2012

       The Futurological Congress (1971), by Stanislaw Lem, in which our hero finds out that he and rest of the world are living not in a utopia, but in a drug-induced hypnotic illusion of a utopia. <link>
sqeaketh the wheel, Apr 14 2012

       Yes, that book really puzzles me because i can't imagine what the original Polish, or for that matter the German, must be like.
nineteenthly, Apr 14 2012

       We 'English' are lucky that most of Lem's books have been translated amazingly well from Polish to English (not that I know Polish). Lem should be the official author of the HB. Some of his stories are nearly childlike but philosophical tales; others require a PhD in Halfbakery. Many of his protagonists are robots.To see an interactive animation about one, go to google-dot-com/logos/lem/
sqeaketh the wheel, Apr 15 2012

       // translated amazingly well from Polish to English (not that I know Polish)// Ahem. You see the problem with that assertion?
mouseposture, Apr 15 2012

       Not at all. <wink> You can find 'proof' here. <link>
sqeaketh the wheel, Apr 15 2012

       And an example: "We want the Demon, you see, to extract from the dance of atoms only information that is genuine, like mathematical theorems, fashion magazines, blueprints, historical chronicles, or a recipe for ion crumpets, or how to clean and iron a suit of asbestos, and poetry too, and scientific advice, and almanacs, and calendars, and secret documents, and everything that ever appeared in any newspaper in the Universe, and telephone books of the future..."   

       Stanislaw Lem, The Cyberiad (tr. Michael Kandel)
sqeaketh the wheel, Apr 15 2012

       I always wondered whether the author of _Strange Invasion_ was the same Michael Kandel (but never bothered to check). I liked it less than his translations of Lem, which, I suppose, means you're right.
mouseposture, Apr 15 2012


       "You don't need to see his idemnification. These aren't the debits you're looking for. He can go about his business ... "   

8th of 7, Apr 15 2012

       I like that Lem predicted the onset of an Ice Age in the late 21st century. Definitely a nonconformist mind.
UnaBubba, Apr 17 2012


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