The effect goes well beyond taxation, of course. Law can only be seen in one of two ways:
- As the codification of what all decent persons know to be right and just;
- As an instrument by which the nation's masters can oppress and plunder the rest of us.
When the latter conviction prevails, things are much different. What order there might be exists despite the law. Ordinary persons regard it as morally and ethically repugnant, and violate it whenever it suits them to do so. Their sole disincentive to violation is the probability of being caught and the severity of the consequences. Some among them seek to use the law as an instrument for their own gain at the expense of others...and not all of these are lawyers.
I remember, when working for a Fortune 50 company, that each employee had to go through annual "ethics training." There was nothing in that "training" that a good Christian upbringing would not have taught a child: don't lie, don't cheat, be kind, don't gossip, etc. I was most appalled when I realized many employees needed that training. They did not know to conduct themselves honestly, and with integrity...and would do so only under threat of punishment (if caught, that is.)
How far we have fallen.