07/08/08 "Taxation: we have always had it—it’s called sharing.”

From the report: In Praise of Taxes


The most prestigious and dangerous position in the settlement was held by the Poundmaker. He was the head of the Hunt and was responsible for its success or failure. He was technician, teacher, leader, and was full of Courage. Once a herd’s location was identified his work began in earnest. He observed the weather, the wind and determined how much and how fast the Buffalo needed to be turned to bring them to the Pound…
The entry would then be closed and the Buffalo fell captive. They would not be killed as yet, as the Warriors had more work to do. They counted the animals and accounted for their size, figuring out their overall resources. Around the fire that night they would determine the distribution of the beasts: who was sick and old and needed the extra richness of organ meats? Who had to feed the most people? Who needed Buffalo robes for clothes or for their lodge? They determined all these things so that the Hunt would take care of all needs and that the meat distribution would be fair. There was only one person who was not considered in the division of the beasts. That was the Poundmaker. It was Honour enough for him to have led a successful hunt…
What of the Poundmaker? He has led an Honourable and successful hunt but how will he live? And then they come from their lodges, all of them. They bring him the steaks and the roasts and the cuts of meat that they know he loves and needs. They express their Gratitude and Respect for him in this way, knowing that in the greatest Humility he would never ask.
I somehow think that this must have been a very good system: the workers determining the boss’s salary.