It’s such a cliché phrase when talking about something bad happening to psychics etc. but it’s still a good question when the the whole point of fortune telling is being able to predict the future.
I found an article updating the world on the state of affairs of witches in Romania.
A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country’s soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don’t come true.
Superstition is a serious matter in the land of Dracula, and officials have turned to witches to help the recession-hit country collect more money and crack down on tax evasion.
Witches argue they shouldn’t be blamed for the failure of their tools.
“They can’t condemn witches, they should condemn the cards,” Queen Witch Bratara Buzea told The Associated Press by telephone.
Obviously. Because cards always lie. They lie all over the place. Everybody knows that who knows anything about cards…
“The government doesn’t have real solutions, so it invents problems,” said Stelian Tanase, a well-known Romanian political commentator. “This is the government that this country deserves.”
The article lists a few economic problems going on there. Plus, the current government is unpopular, their opponents aren’t in a strong position themselves, and their whole justice system needs reform. The press also gets mentioned as thriving on personal attacks and conspiracies.
In January, the government changed labor laws to officially recognize the centuries-old practice of witchcraft as a taxable profession, prompting angry witches to dump poisonous mandrake into the Danube in an attempt to put a hex on them.
The latest bill was passed in the Senate last week, but must still be approved by a financial and labor committee and by the Chamber of Deputies, the other house of Romania’s parliament.
Bratara called the proposed bill overblown. “I will fight until my last breath for this not to be passed,” she said.
Sometimes, she argued, people don’t provide their real identities, dates of birth or other personal details, which could skew a seer’s predictions. “What about when the client gives false details about themselves? We can’t be blamed for that.”
They’ll blame their tools, they’ll blame their customers. They’ll never admit to themselves or anyone else that they’re in a phony business that can’t possibly deliver promises people could legitimately rely on. They just believe they have these powers and a whole country willingly buys into their collective delusions.
They want to be taken seriously, but that means they ought to be treated as any other serious business gets treated. They’ve been an exception for so long they’ve come to assume it was a right. Now they’re being told they’re just like every other business and bound by every other law businesses abide by – including permits and taxation. No wonder they’re upset.
But they will still have to pay their taxes. I think prison for a wrong prediction is pretty harsh, though. We’d never do the same to weather reporters. They are human and as likely as anyone else to guess wrong at any given moment. But I suppose if they’re going to tout themselves as experts at prediction, then maybe there should be some kind of fine or punishment for a breach of trust or something. Fine them every time they’re wrong and get them to admit they’re frauds? Take away the permits of the worst offenders so they can’t practice their craft anymore? Jail them if they continue?
Then again, all this does nothing to really solve the real problems Romania is facing. All it does is piss people off and distract them.