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Bear in mind before you get crazy that this was typically used to keep people well-known to be well-off anyways from trying to weasel their way out of paying; he wasn't exactly trying to collect from peasants in hovels.
Instead, he was trying to get around a then-common excuse for not paying taxes (that is, not having any money to do so) by discounting the proofs used to support the excuse (actual profligacy and feigned poverty).
The basic rule lives on: if you're going to say that you don't have the money to pay your taxes, you'll have to open your books to the government—saying "I spent it all on junk" and "Look, I'm living on the cheap, clearly I'm poor" won't cut it.
Sometimes the tax authorities will settle, but more often they'll just put a lien on what you do have so that if you sell anything, they can collect the proceeds.
If the choice is deceptive—and the option that seems less bad is actually worse—that's The Window or the Stairs.
There’s a fine balance between loving your man and smothering your man.
As we are generally all optimists, a woman believes she can salvage the relationship and change him for the better.
They discussed it among themselves and said, If we say, From heaven, he will ask, Then why didnt you believe him?
") precludes a "safe" answer (since, in this case, by denying to answer the question, you are essentially admitting that suspicions about you beating your wife are legitimate).
This is a lot easier today what with electronic payment systems; obviously it was much harder in Morton's day. Thomas Hobson — who lived about half a century after Morton — leased horses, and, having noticed that, given a real choice, his customers tended to pick the same horses over and over again, leaving them seriously over-used while leaving others almost completely unexercised, he had customers automatically assigned the one nearest the door rather than let them pick, so all the horses would be used and exercised equally.
The customer's choice was "Take it (the horse assigned) or leave it (don't get any horse)." A Hobson's choice is a false choice because there's only one real option if you're in need of the thing being offered.