Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”     Ayn Rand

July 13, 2009

One Form Is Not The Same As Another

by Brad Warbiany

Kevin Drum, on time filling out forms:

So once you do your taxes you only have about two additional hours of government form filling out to do each year. To be honest, that’s less than I would have guessed — but that’s probably because I’ve been fooled by the fantastic increase in private sector forms that make up the unseen superstructure of the internet age. Here’s my guess for me personally: one hour spent filling out government forms in 2008 (an accountant does our taxes) and, oh, let’s say 10,000 hours spent filling out various annoying and idiotically designed online forms that allow me to buy things, access sites, write blog comments, take stupid quizzes, and order new services that allow me to continue living my convenient 21st century net-centric life.

OK, maybe not 10,000 hours. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I spend 30-40 hours a year filling out various online forms for one thing or another. How about you?

So let’s see here… He pays an accountant to do his taxes, but not to fill out forms so he can “take stupid quizzes”.

Why would that be?

My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that if he fills out the tax form wrong, the state can throw him in jail.

Because, you know, if you don’t like online forms to do things like “write blog comments”, it’s pretty easy to opt out. That’s kinda why I don’t comment on blogs that require me to register, because frankly I don’t want to waste that time.

It’s a little different than forms that I must fill out to, you know, WORK (and pay income tax) or DRIVE.

Drum wants to equate private-sector annoyance with that of government. But last time I checked, TypeKey doesn’t have the power to incarcerate me. I’d say that kinda means I don’t have to fill out their form, doesn’t it?


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