The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Tax evaders should be sent to workhouses

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,424 times Debate No: 16848
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




Tax evasion is a numbers game. Let's take the hypothetical example of a braying young aristocrat who has an unearned income of �100,000 per year, this money being accrued through an offshore trust fund that his over-privileged mummy and daddy set up for him when he was born.

Now, let's say this indolent young nobleman resents paying the 28% capital gains tax due when repatriating the money back into the UK and decides to consult a corrupt tax accountant to see what measures he might take to jew Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs out of the money he would owe them.

That accountant is likely to advise the slippery young gent to divide his trust fund income between 10 separate tax dodges, with each caper laundering �10,000 each. By doing this, if the taxman did stumble across one of these wheezes and the tax-dodging toff is duly prosecuted, as a punishment he would have to pay the tax on the �10,000: �2,800, plus a fine equivalent to that amount, so a total of �5,600.

However, our upper-class fraudster would not be too bothered by this penalty because he would still be saving the tax due on the remaining �90,000 – that is �25,200 - and would, therefore, be �19,600 better off overall as the result of his portfolio of tax evasion schemes.

Now, on an apparently unrelated issue, manufacturing companies in the West find it difficult to compete on cost with rival firms based in emerging economies such as India because these countries tolerate child labour, have no minimum wage and impose very few health and safety regulations on employers.

The link to the two issues above is the workhouse [1]. We could punish tax evaders more effectively and help our manufacturing industry out at the same time by sending convicted tax evaders to secure workhouses run by manufacturing companies. These firms would pay the inmates �2.65 per day, equivalent to the average pay of a production worker in India {2}, and these wages would be forwarded directly to the government to pay off the offenders' fines.

So, in return for providing rudimentary accommodation (a sleeping mat next to the machinery would be more than sufficient for these creative-accounting criminals) and basic meals (insipid gruels and stale bread would be more than these tax-fiddling felons deserve), the workhouse owners would have a workforce that they could pay the same as their third world competitors.

Meanwhile, an important message would be sent to wealthy individuals who believe that they are entitled to benefit from the country's publicly-funded infrastructure without contributing to the cost of it and that message would be: "You are a dirty, cheating scumbag and if we catch you fiddling your taxes you will be dealt with like the lowlife criminal that you are."

Tax evasion is not a victimless crime: if rich tax-evaders paid their dues we'd all benefit from better public services or pay lower taxes, or both, and that's why tax evaders should be sent to workhouses

Thank you.



A man is walking down a street in a neighborhood of questionable safety one night when he is set upon by a mugger. The mugger puts a gun to the man's head and demands that he forfeit all his money. Craftily, the unfortunate victim gives the mugger a fake wallet that contains only a little money and luckily escapes with his fortunate.

This is exactly what a wise tax-evader does in reducing the amount of money that is unjustly mulcted from him by the unscrupulous socialist government in the name of benefiting him. Of course, to be honest, the government is much worse than the mugger: a mugger only takes your money, but the government also has the nerve to tell you what to do, claim that its act of theft is in your best interest, and insult you if you speak up for yourself. The government is in reality much worse than this mere mugger.

All credit to Lysander Spooner for the above analogy [1].

Now Brian, being the filthy socialist that he is, believes that the government is entitled to take your money and spend it killing brown people on the other side of the world, giving lazy people money for not working, and funding research on things that no one cares about. When people attempt to resist this blatant act of theft, he decries them as fraudsters. How absolutely obscene! Brian is the one who has been duped: he willingly gives his money away in exchange for nothing and believes it is his duty to do so. I'd say that's a Class A fraud.

Even from his deluded perspective, his solution is absolutely mad: clearly there are better ways of solving both the 'problem' of tax evasion and the competitive issues Western companies face with their Far Eastern counterparts. For instance, the rich tax evaders are probably not good workers and will not produce much. Rather than putting them to work, you could simply raise the fine. These bums would have to work for years to produce enough to outweigh the benefit of simply robbing them of a bit more of their money. The benefit to 'society' (as conceived in statist delusions) is greater. Indeed, if the fine is high enough to outweigh the probability of not catching the tax evaders, tax evasion may even raise revenue. If this is not sufficiently humiliating, extra measures could be taken, such as the tattooing of unicorns, obscene gestures, or male genitalia on the offenders.

The workhouse issue also admits of easy solution. The obvious approach is to abolish the fascist, communist laws that plague Britain but not India and put the countries on equal ground. However, Brian, being a freedom-hating Stalinist, would probably insist the it is cruel to let children and poor people try to earn money to support themselves and would not allow this. Thus, I offer another solution: upon abolishing the tyrannical institution of the British government, we can put the burglars, murders, and slave drivers who had been at its helm to work in these factors to pay off the debt they owe to their victims. I fail to see how anyone could offer a cogent argument for the continuation of the state, so this point ought to stand.

In conclusion, Brian's plan is both morally insane and suboptimal even within his deluded, Orwellian framework.


Debate Round No. 1


Many thanks to grape for accepting this challenge.

My opponent's victim ‘mugging-off the mugger' scam is a very clever analogy.

But wait! All is not what it seems. The mugger might actually be a have-a-go hero who saw the man lift the wallet out of a blind man's jacket and who has confronted him with his crime, demanded the return of the blind man's wallet but was palmed-off with a bogus wallet, thus allowing the thief to make good his escape with the real wallet before the switch has been discovered.

The point is that relieving minted miscreants of their ill-gotten gains and distributing the proceeds amongst the needy is an honourable and noble cause – fans of Robin Hood would support me on this, although fans of evil King John would probably side with my opponent.

Moving on to my opponent's central issue that workhouses are not the best solution to tax evasion because tax evaders might not be good workers and it would take them a long time to pay off their fine and that the fine should be raised instead.

Consider a fine that many of us get on a regular basis: a parking fine. In Britain a fixed parking penalty is usually �60. It takes a person earning the average wage of �25k p.a. 7 � hours - a full working day - to earn that amount after tax, so it is a substantial amount of money to most people.

However, an indolent, parasitic aristocrat driving a Rolls-Royce which cost �250k new, and which would be worth 40% of that amount after three years, could calculate his car depreciates by �60 every 4 hours, so the fine would be of vanishingly small consequence to him.

But if the �60 fine was replaced by a one day prison sentence then our moneyed motorist might think twice before blocking the traffic on Piccadilly by parking his Rolls-Royce outside the Ritz while he partakes in afternoon tea.

Sadly, our prisons are already packed to the rafters with violent criminals so this alternative would not be practical. However, for the more serious white-collar crimes, such as tax evasion, the workhouse would be a self-financing deterrent to serious fraudsters, with an added gain for British industry into the bargain.

Of course, many of the inmates may have never done an honest day's work in their lives and they will find it hard to adjust – but the quicker they pay off their fines, the quicker they will be released.

I do, however, agree with my opponent that there needs to be a change of government in Britain and, to that end, I would urge all those eligible to do so to vote Labour at the next election.

Thank you.


Brian continues to make indignant suggestions that are both economically and morally fallacious. That this form of reasoning is considered at all rational in Britain is perhaps the best explanation of why they are now our lapdog and not the other way around. That's right, I said it. Our country is better, and if you are American (*checks site demographics*) you should vote for me.

Brian acts like honestly begotten fortunes are equivalent to thievery. It is the main characteristic of the most vicious egalitarians to think that the bum who lives off welfare is truly as deserving of wealth as a doctor who labored through a decade of education and devotes 60 hours to weak to improving the health of his clients. This is the principle strategy of the politician who naturally prefers the vote of 3 bums to 2 doctors. It is clearly utterly insane. Perhaps Robin Hood ought to have rethought his methods? Of course, like the statist/socialist looter of today, he is the hero only of unclean, uneducated, and ultimately inferior people who seek only to provide at the expense of those who have actually produced something of value. It is also true that to my knowledge Robin Hood never stole from the poor and used it to kill other poor people in a faraway land, a common practice of the governments of both our countries today.

Moving past the moral failure of the socialist understanding of the world, we see its even greater flaw: the total failure to understand economics.

Brian complains that a rich man can park a car whether he chooses because he can afford the parking fine as though this is a bad thing. Hardly so! The parking fine can simply be set so that the charge outweighs the damage caused by the improper parking. Thus, there is a mutual benefit: the rich man may park is car where he wishes and the owner of the road profits. He will set the price so as to maximize his profits, which will also include minimizing inconvenience to other less wealthy people, who may leave and cease seeking his services.

What's that you say? The roads aren't privately owned? Well, that's another instance of socialism ruining a perfectly solvable problem! Nevertheless, Brian has put forth an excellent problem for the liberation of transportation systems and ought to be commended for that, at least.

Brian later complains about the overflow of prisons, which could be solved through use of the prisoners for slave labor or through additional executions, but that is not the point of the debate.

The point that using the rich for slave-labor is less economically efficient than using poorer people and exploiting the rich in some other way has not been addressed, let alone solved. We could easily just loot the rich for more money than they could ever work off by raising the fines and taxes while simultaneously solving the labor shortage by enslaving bums. Because Brian's argument does not take morality into consideration at all (unless one tries to, brace for it, solve problems by increasing freedom, in which case he is met with condemnation) there can surely be no objection to this practice.

In conclusion, I would ask readers to vote for me in this debate and skip the next election. Your vote will actually mean something in this debate and won't simply be for the exchange of one set of tyrants for another. Brian has not successfully defended his suggestion on moral or economic grounds, and government is the enemy of all civilization.

Down with democracy, and down with Brian Eggleston!

All in good fun, of course! :)
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Amnesiac 5 years ago
This debate was hilarious!
Posted by Thaddeus 5 years ago
Medal, brothel and cake?
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
I would've said they should get a free pass to the local brothel.
Posted by Grape 5 years ago
I will take up the mantle and argue that they should receive medals.
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
Thanks t/v!
Posted by tvellalott 5 years ago
When I say "serious", I mean one where I'd have to put some effort in. Even though you're debates are tongue-in-cheek, they're still well written.
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
Shame, it's rare that I post a debate that's remotely serious!
Posted by tvellalott 5 years ago
I'm considering accepting this and instead arguing that Tax Evaders should receive medals...
But I've got a no "No remotely serious debates" stance at the moment, so no.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Excellent showing by Grape who matched Brian's humor and at the same time interwove argument. Brian as always is entertaining to read but the down under pugilist clearly takes this one 3:2.