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If Only The Guardian Would Understand This Point

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This is clearly true but it’s of much wider application:

Festivals warn: change self-isolation rules or our staff will just ignore them

This is, specifically, about the rules over the track and trace app. Make it necessary for a staff member at a festival to self-isolate if one attendee at the festival tests positive and people are just going to ignore the test and trace app.

This is just obvious.

But this is of much wider application. Sweden made this explicit when they decided not to entirely lock down initially. People will only obey strict rules for a certain period of time and they’ve got to be convinced that it’s actually necessary to do so. So, only have strict rules for a short period of time and when it is actually necessary.

But it’s of wider application again. Yes, of course the world would be a better place without rubbish strewn over the countryside. But make the rules about legal disposal of waste too strict and people will just flytip it. Sure, they shouldn’t, but they will.

Make it illegal to charge cost covering interest rates – 400% APR on small and short term loans – and people won;t stop lending or borrowing, it’s just that the enforcement mechanism will become Fat Tony and his baseball bat not the courts.

Make it illegal to make a profit when doing business as the Soviets tried and the black market will thrive – where people make a profit.

People will put up with ID cards during a total war. They did, after all, and there wasn’t all that much forging going on either. By the mid 1950s the authorities continued to think that ID cards were a lovely thing to control that population. Then Willcock v Muckle and bugger that for a game of soldiers.

People will, by and large, do the things that need to be done. They’ll buckle down and put up with even severe restrictions when necessary. And they won’t when not.

Which is something those who would rule us need to remember. After all, there would be no such thing as tax evasion, let alone tax avoidance, if some of the people didn’t think that taxes were too high now, would there?

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  1. That is definitely something to remember. There is a tax rate where it isn’t worth the bother to do tax avoidance/evasion. I think we were close to it with the 20% capital gains rate. Of course that would require firing two-thirds of the government.

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