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Sankskrit for "taxes": "Extortion

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05/12/2004
I've just come across the word coined for the first taxes imposed in early North India c.400 BC. They were known as 'bali' [rhymes with 'gully']. 'Bala' means 'strength'; so 'bali' is 'acquired by (superior)strength' - ie,extortion.

Sudha Shenoy (1943–2008) was a lecturer in economic history at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She held visiting posts at California State University, Hayward; Ohio University, Athens; George Mason University; and the Mises Institute. She was the author of India: Progress or Poverty (London, IEA, 1971), Underdevelopment and Economic Growth (London: Longman, 1970), and articles in the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences and other journals, as well as book chapters. She is also the editor of A Tiger By the Tail: The Keynesian Legacy of Inflation by F.A. Hayek. See her interview in the Austrian Economics Newsletter.

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