Recent Photographs: all photographs © 1969-2020 by Carl Weese
Sometimes one does get a feeling that a form-filling service would be quite useful, even in the so-called "digital services" transformation. I have seen forms it has taken quite a long time to understand what they mean.
Juha, come to think of it, that's what the whole tax accounting industry is in the U.S.—filling in the forms that no amateur can possibly keep up with year to year.
Here in Finland the tax authority is one of the organisations that does work rather well in terms of forms needed to be filled. You get a pre-completed tax return in March or April; if it is complete and accurate you need take no further action. If there are things to add or correct, that can be done online in a system that is rather simple to use and understand. Of course, this only works because the tax authority gets the information it needs directly from companies, banks, government agencies etc. In a small country like Finland this is possible, but I guess this kind of system wouldn't have large popular support in all countries.
I read about this in a fascinating book—something like "The Nordic Way of Everything." I don't think it's the size that would cause a problem, but that everything about American society would have to be changed to facilitate this. Not just the way taxes are computed and collected, but healthcare, education, social welfare, literally everything. I'm not saying that would be a bad thing, just very difficult since change is always difficult, and we're at the moment when there's a full court press going the other direction entirely.
The book "The Nordic Theory of Everything" by Anu Partanen is indeed quite interesting, showing that there are large-scale systematic differences between how things work in the Nordic countries and US. Making changes to one direction or another is far from simple.
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