Don’t Let the Donkey Pay Taxes Alone — 17th Century Fable Warns

As we countdown to Thanksgiving here in the United States, making lists of what we’re grateful for, let’s add taxes to that list.


That’s what I said. It’s the Canadian in me. In an ideal world, taxes are used to support good government, which provides order and stability, in a word, peace, to all. Yes … to all. And all doesn’t just mean including those in need, as in, sure you can have some too, when we’re done taking our lion’s share; “all” means in particular for those in need.

After all, those who are not in need, well, they have the capacity to relieve need, as we’ll see in this fable.

In this world, we must each rescue each other. If your neighbor dies, it’s on you the load will fall.

A donkey accompanied a horse lacking courtesy. That one carried nothing but his harness, and the poor donkey was so loaded down he was on the verge of collapse. He begged the horse to help him, even a little; else he’d die before even getting to town.

My prayer is hardly uncivil. Half this burden would be nothing to you.

The horse said no, and backfired a few blasts of wind.

Ah, but then he saw his comrade die beneath his load and recognized he had been wrong.

From off the donkey’s back, the whole load was transferred to him, with the addition of the dead beast.

Poor donkey. LaFontaine never cuts him a break, if he isn’t getting eaten by a wolf or being sacrificed for the sins of others, then he’s just plain dying on the job.

We, on the other hand, like to think that everything we have is what we deserve. We know in our hearts that it’s not true. That’s what taxes are for. To rectify the imbalances, which inevitably arise in our capitalist system. Taxes are a way to fairly share the burdens of living together in a civil society. That is, if they are fair.

The new tax structures lets the horses run free. But at some point, enough donkeys will drop dead and then the burden will be too much for the horses to carry. The donkey is only the first to die, not the only or last.

What are these Fableogs?


Originally published at on November 22, 2017.

Tagged in Taxes, Capitalism, Tax Bill, Fable, Economic Imbalance

By Mina Samuels on November 22, 2017.

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Exported from Medium on March 17, 2018.



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