Monetary systems

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This is slightly off-topic, but does kind of relate to the way that the idea of money as being the only true value distorts our system:

It seems to me rather unconscionable, even if one completely accepts the need for taxation of personal property, that one cannot satisfy such tax debt by surrendering ownership of an appropriate fraction of the property. ...or am I showing my ignorance, and this is effectively what a "lien" is? Is a lien more like a secured loan (of a fraction of the property), or more like a sale (selling part of the property to the tax office to settle the debt)? Is a lien considered adequate settlement, or is it more like a hook to get you to really settle the debt (by paying cash, possibly with penalties for late payment)? The question can only be resolved by knowning the details of how liens work, which I don't.

Woozle03:26, 23 January 2011