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Thursday, May 1, 2008

“This already exists all around the world, you just have to watch any American soap to see that.”

posted by on May 1 at 17:11 PM

The outgoing government in Italy released information about every single Italian’s declared earnings and tax contributions on a website. The site barely stayed up for a day due to protests, but it was hard to access during the time it was up because everyone wanted to see what everyone else was making. People were looking up their neighbors, sports stars, and celebrities.

The quote in the headline of this post is from Italy’s Deputy Economic Minister, who was confused about why everyone was so upset. I’m not sure who the first person I’d look up would be, but I’d be on that website so friggin’ fast.

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Oh, you'd look up Dan Savage. And then sit down and have a good cry.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | May 1, 2008 5:20 PM
2 is all I need. Who wants to be thinking the guy up the block is OK and then find out he gave money to Mitt fracking Romney?

Posted by elenchos | May 1, 2008 5:21 PM

Clearly, the soaps they show in Italy don't give a very accurate picture of tax privacy policy in America.

Posted by David Wright | May 1, 2008 5:30 PM

I already know how much my bosses and coworkers make.

But I would love to see is how much wealth they had, not their income ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 1, 2008 5:55 PM

The disclosure violated European Union data privacy law. I wonder why a minister of a member state subject to those laws would not be aware of that.

Posted by Simac | May 1, 2008 7:16 PM

I think it's a great idea--shouldn't this be public information?

Posted by Mark | May 1, 2008 7:33 PM

They do this in Norway every year. They only have the information up for a few days, though.

Posted by bma | May 1, 2008 7:35 PM

I really don't get that quote, does watching American TV mean you earn more money? less money? maybe i am just dumb

Posted by vooodooo84 | May 1, 2008 8:01 PM

When I first got access to Lexus Nexus I spent a good deal of time looking up how much people I knew had paid for their houses (how much their mortgages were). That was pretty exciting at the time. But, what people make would be so much better....

Posted by Julie | May 1, 2008 8:13 PM

publishing this kind of info would stop the massive tax cheating that goes on in italy. what other people pay you isn't private. it involves other people. duh.
what the govet knows about you isn't private -- the govt. knows. and the govt. is the people in a democracy. so they oughter be able to know, too.

the main reason people don't want this info revealed isn't privacy it's their inteerest in tax evasion.

Posted by unPC | May 1, 2008 8:42 PM

Publishing this kind of info would stop the massive fucking that goes on in Italy. Which other people you fuck isn't private. It involves other people. Duh. The government might not know every person you go to bed with, but they should try to find out, and publish it on a web site. Hell, that's democracy, ain't it?

The main reason people don't want their sex life revealed isn't privacy, it's adultery. And fornication. And sodomy. *sigh* I get so jealous sometimes...

Posted by elenchos | May 1, 2008 9:26 PM

Of course this happens on American soap operas all the time, therefore it's true. They were probably watching "Passions."

Posted by Catman | May 1, 2008 10:25 PM

Memo to unPC: I don't evade taxes, and I still don't tell my AGI to all my friends, neighbors, co-workers, and countrymen.

I was going to say more, but elenchos's response was much better.

Posted by David Wright | May 1, 2008 11:12 PM

However, elenchos, people aren't required to file a list of their sex partners with the government every year. And government documents are generally public information.

Posted by Greg | May 2, 2008 8:56 AM

@14: Thank the Lord. Wouldn't that be embarrassing. Though it could perhaps help with things like the Palfrey case...

Posted by Aislinn | May 2, 2008 9:47 AM

I'd do it, but I'm one of the boring ones.

Posted by Greg | May 2, 2008 10:16 AM

if you did, could you write off certain sex acts? like, sex for charity?

Posted by infrequent | May 2, 2008 11:34 AM

@17: So if I could deduct for charitable sex acts, do I then get a refund? And how do you save the receipts? I'm guessing a shoebox wouldn't cut it.

Posted by Aislinn | May 2, 2008 12:18 PM

@18 ha!...

er.... actually, that's pretty gross... shoebox or otherwise, i'd feel sorry for accountants.

but what would a refund be anyways? maybe we've taken this analogy too far.

Posted by infrequent | May 2, 2008 12:45 PM

@19: Dude, "Analogy Taken Too Far" could be my middle name. I'm guessing the refund would have to be comprised of sex acts. Perhaps performed by people who underreported their sex acts in previous years and have to pay it back. With interest. Hey-oh!

Posted by Aislinn | May 2, 2008 1:42 PM

#10, how much do you make?

Posted by w7ngman | May 2, 2008 1:52 PM

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