Monkeys Pay Taxes Too

As procrastinators across the country furtively shuffle W-2′s under their desks while on conference calls and google “post office hours,” Natalie Angier points out that humans aren’t the only ones expected to contribute to their society. In fact, dominant male fairy wrens may punish delinquent citizens for up to 26 hours and vampire bats actually regurgitate meals to feed hungry fellow bat citizens. Suddenly that I.R.S. auditor doesn’t seem so threatening does he? [%comments]


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  1. jonathan says:

    While male cats tend to be solitary, female cats share food and even nurse each other’s kittens. Examples of cooperation in the animal world are legion. It’s only philosophical humans who try to find ways to justify not wanting to contribute to community so they can keep what they have.

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  2. P says:

    Monkeys also drink their own urine, an experience that I don’t care to share.

    There sure is a lot of justification of taxation (i.e. violent coercion of individuals for the sake of other individuals) going on across the web today. Perhaps the looters are a bit frightened that the normally silent majority who actually produce wealth in our society are rousing themselves?

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  3. Kellen, Chapel Hill says:

    The labor that creates real wealth in this country is furious that the wealthy feel they should be taxed less for their ability to invent worthless financial instruments that only create the illusion of wealth.

    And the have-most are complaining that they should have even more? Please.

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  4. Garvit Sah says:

    While no one can say that taxes should not exist, the extent of taxation is surely a debate. Too high a tax rate might end up incentivising tax evasion. If tax rates are reasonable with stringent penalties for those who try to evade, more people could be made to pay tax.

    Another idea could be rationalizing tax structure based on cost of living whoch varies so much from place to place.

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  5. JoelP says:

    The interesting thing is that in none of these animal or early human examples are the poor exempt from taxation. Helping someone who is down on one’s luck is great – the expectation is that they will be able to help another later. It is only in the last few decades that the people who receive charity have lost faith in their ability to become productive and be in a position to help others.

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  6. Gabriel says:

    Funny to see the tax and holiday spikes. I wonder why 2004 was the highest?

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  7. jblog says:

    “vampire bats actually regurgitate meals to feed hungry fellow bat citizens.”

    Sort of puts a new spin on the notion of a “refund.”

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  8. sourcreamus says:

    Taxes are contributions to government, not to society.

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