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A Piece of the Dog's Tail

Bits and Pieces, December 13, 1990

In a newly created nation in Africa, an elderly native was told that he was going to be taxed to support the government.

"Why?" he asked.

"To protect you from enemies, to feed you when you are hungry, to care for you when you are sick, and to educate your children," he was told.

"I see," said the old man. "It's like I have this dog, and the dog is hungry. He comes begging to me for food. So I take my knife, cut off a piece of the poor dog's tail and give it to him to eat. That, I believe is what this taxation is."