The Taxman Cometh for Gen Z

America’s disdain for taxes traces back to the nation’s founding, when even modest levies ignited revolutionary fever. Compare that to the hefty cut Uncle Sam takes from paychecks today. For one student entering the workforce, her first glimpse of those deductions provoked outrage reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party.

“I just got my first job,” the teen announced to her teacher, Amber. After toiling 32 hours at $17 per hour, she’d eagerly calculated her fat paycheck. But shock awaited when she opened that envelope — taxes had swallowed nearly half her earnings!

“It doesn’t even make it worth working,” the student fumed, when Amber asked about her mood. Where had all those Benjamins gone? It felt less like payment than outright theft.

Amber nodded sympathetically. She vividly recalled her own first paycheck and the same disillusionment at seeing budgets busted by bureaucracy.

Of course, the student’s lament lacks context. Social infrastructure and services require resources. Plus, completing a W-4 form often exempts teens from tax burdens.

@amber.marie44 Why we need to be teaching high schoolers ab taxes 😪 #teacher #teachersoftiktok #teachertok #teachersbelike #teacherlife #teachertiktok #taxes ♬ original sound – amber

Still, seeing a large chunk of income vaporize must nauseate budget-thrilled Gen Zers. And for what? Propping up corrupt spending they can’t control and wars they don’t support?

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However valid, taxes remain non-negotiable. But perhaps this young worker’s shock and anger will fuel civic participation. Only by speaking out, organizing, and voting can Gen Z shape how their money gets spent and build the society they envision.

After all, ‘no taxation without representation’ didn’t just stoke revolution in 1776. It may have lit a fire under 2023’s disgruntled youth as well.

Kiara

Kiara is a passionate writer studying Mass Communication. She loves everything about the entertainment industry, from movies and series to reading novels. You'll often find her with a book in hand or indulging in binge-watching sessions. Writing is her dream, and she's determined to make her mark in the world of literature.

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