Final Word from Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A cartoon in the Financial Times three weeks ago showed an Apple executive reading a newspaper article about his company's successful appeal of a €13bn EU tax bill and declaring that, "Nothing is certain except death." It was a truncated version of the famous quotation of Benjamin Franklin and others before him that "nothing in this world is certain except death and taxes." Globalization hasn't only facilitated the movement of goods, services and people, but also the movement and protection from taxes of the money of the global elite. Fiscal immortality is the ultimate gift from above, bestowed upon only those who master the ins and outs of complicated tax codes that serve as political tools for punishing or rewarding certain types of human behavior, often without any basis in logic, fairness or morality. For the mere mortal, there's now a third certainty in life: Covid-19 restrictions that in many ways mirror the tax code. They're exceedingly complicated and punish or reward certain types of behavior, often without any basis in logic, fairness, morality or science. Like taxes, they supposedly apply to everyone. [ Czech Republic coronavirus FT European Union healthcare ]

Glossary of difficult words

to truncate - to shorten something by cutting off the top or end;

fiscal - relating to government revenue, esp. taxes;

immortality - the ability to live forever;

to bestow - to confer or present (an honor, right or gift);

the ins and outs of - the intricate details of a situation or process;

exceedingly - extremely.

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