And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Jorma Ollila that all the kilometers should be taxed.

The Finnish government planning a new road tax system, where each and every car is equipped with a GPS device which tracks all movements of the vehicle and then sends the information to the tax authorities who send a tax bill, which depends on how much and where you drive.

Herod the Great would have found it very convenient if the Roman client kingdom of Judea had had such a system for taxing donkey movements on the foot-paths of Palestine. Why?

As it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. After the known events in Bethlehem - including participation in a mandatory census, unsatisfactory boarding arrangements, childbirth, and a visit from three wise men who had come from far-away lands - Joseph and his family became asylum-seekers in Egypt:

The angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

And for a good reason:

Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

The European client state of Finland currently seems quite safe from such persecution. But we don't know that it will remain so. Given this, I think that the less mandatory information the government can collect about us, the better.

Road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sometimes I wonder if all those intentions are so good in the first place.


PS. Why is Jorma Ollila, of all people, leading a workgroup that makes such plans? I can think of two good reasons:
1) He is a board member of Shell. It would be bad for Shell if some country set a precedent of allowing electric cars to propagate, taking benefit from that they emit less pollution and therefore there is less need for taxing the emissions.
2) He is ex-CEO and stakeholder in Nokia. Nokia no longer knows how to do business, so they are trying to lobby laws that would force people to use stuff that Nokia could make.

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