When Paying Taxes Became Un-American
Noam Avram Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1928. He attended the University of Pennsylvania where he studied linguistics, mathematics, and philosophy. In 1955, he received his Ph. D. from the University of Pennsylvania, however, most of the research leading to this degree was done at Harvard between 1951 and 1955. Since receiving his Ph. D., Chomsky has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he now holds the Ferrari P. Ward Chair of Modern Language and Linguistics.
Among his many accomplishments, he is most famous for his work on generative grammar, which developed from his interest in modern logic and mathematical foundations. As a result, he applied it to the description of natural languages.
His political tendencies toward socialism and anarchism are a result of what he calls "the radical Jewish community in New York." Since 1965 he has become one of the leading critics of U.S. foreign policy. He published a book of essays called American Power and the New Mandarins which is considered to be one of the most substantial arguments ever against American involvement in Vietnam.
Topic: Taxation and democracy
Noam Chomsky: In a democracy, April 15th, when you pay your taxes, would be a day of celebration. Here we've gotten together as a community, we've decided on certain policies and now we're moving to implement them by our own participation. That's not the way it's viewed in the United States. That's a day of mourning. There's this alien entity, sort of like a—as if it's from Mars somewhere, which is stealing our hard-earned money from us. We have to give it up, because we have no choice.
Well, that reflects the undermining of even a conception of democracy.
Recorded on: Aug 18, 2009
In a functioning democracy, Noam Chomsky claims, people would celebrate on tax day—why then do most Americans view every April 15th as a day of mourning?
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