Raul Diaz of the Mexican Superintendence of Tax Administration confirmed this week that the Mexican government intends to build a wall along the Mexican/Guatemalan border. Diaz claims that the official purpose of the wall is to prevent the passage of contraband, but has also admitted “It could also prevent the free passage of illegal immigrants.”

Since the advent of the income tax, it has been obvious that governments believe that their citizens’ earnings actually belong to the government first and that citizens should simply be grateful for whatever pittance their overlords let them keep. Payroll deductions, such as those for income tax, Social Security, and Medicare, have made that state of affairs even plainer; the money is extracted from the employee’s paycheck before he ever sees it.

Frank Dikotter, an historian from Hong Kong, has been allowed wide access to Chinese Communist Party archives. Speaking at the Independent Literary Festival, Dikotter described Mao Zedong as the greatest mass murderer in human history. According to the historian, the entire death toll from the Second World War was 55 million people. Mao alone was responsible for the death of a mind-numbing 55 million in the years after the war.

Swedish currencyThe move toward a cashless society is accelerating in Sweden as plastic payments become the norm and various government officials, unions, and high-profile Swedes push for a ban on cash, supposedly to reduce robberies. But opposition to the proposal is mounting as well.

Six months after the close of the Winter Olympics, Vancouver taxpayers have been slapped with a bill for $1 billion in unsold Olympic Village units. Business Insider reports, “Sixty-six percent of Vancouver’s pricey Olympic Village condos remain unsold — a total of 483 units at the massive False Creek development that served as athletes’ housing during the two-week 2010 games.”

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