Oratorio — From the December 2012 issue

Hallelujah

An economic companion to the Messiah

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FIRST PART 1. sinfonia (overture) Christmas is all about taxes. Or at least that is what is in the passage in Luke that is invariably read out at Christmas services: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” I normally forget the tax part of Christmas, and then I remember and feel inexplicably comforted/chastened by it. Although perhaps not so inexplicably comforted/chastened: I suspect that nearly everyone whose income is mostly 1099 (miscellaneous income, taxes not withheld) rather than W-2 (regular income, taxes usually …

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is a contributing editor of Harper's Magazine. Her article Into the Unforeseen appeared in the June 2011 issue.

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