Friday, March 04, 2005

Customized tax forms

"There are only two certainties in life: death and taxes" -Benjamin Franklin
I made these 2 tax forms a couple years ago. Now that i'm blogging, it seems appropriate to post them as they relate to all our discussions of peoplepower. They are theoretical and of course not possible (yet) in any practical application. Still they should prove interesting to discuss. They are forbingers of a trend towards new citizen/government interfaces.

Tax report and Tax choice help build transparency between citizens and government/society. Visibility is key. By seeing where you are in a system, you remember you are a part of that system. By giving people the choice to participate in that system you dare to give some power back to the people again and thus build trust.

The downside to this is that you depend on the intelligence(moral and intellectual) of ordinary people. This can be rich or poor. We will need a robust system to get over the petty fighting of opposing positions that may arise. (every solution creates a new problem...). Another point to bear in mind is that there are other ways to build trust beyond giving citizens control over taxation.