The great goose debate
Leave it to a French man to liken taxation to the preparation of farmyard fowl.
‘The art of taxation is to pluck the maximum number of feathers from the goose with the minimum amount of hissing,’ so declared Jean-Baptiste Colbert, finance minister to Louis XIV.
The comment will be debated at this year’s Wyman debate organised by the ICAEW and taking place on July 16.
Colbert, it seems was a very intriguing character and somewhat of a workaholic. He once pondered whether it was better to rise early and work, or sleep very late and work.
He concluded that rising early and sleeping late would be the ideal combination, or so says that modern fountain of knowledge, Wikipedia.
He was also responsible for the manufacture of the famed Hall of Mirrors in the palace of Versailles through the state-owned glass manufacturer he helped establish.
TS ponders, wryly, whether this may have been the first attempt by the accounting class to promote transparency.