Loose Lips Sink Productivity

Innocent questions can be expensive.

If a person walked into certain tax offices and started making noise, with the travel I’ve done, I’d probably have a long, expensive process of proving that I have indeed paid customs tariffs, taxes, and fees necessary for each country.  There exists considerable risk that each country will lay claim to the same incomes (as the USA does for foreign income) and there will be disagreement on who gets paid on what amount.  That would be expensive.

If you look through your life, there are probably many things you do that look a bit questionable (I love the British term “dodgy”)

I just transferred $11k to the UK; this exceeded the USA $10k limit, so it is into the awareness of some searching computer somewhere.  The IRS probably has an “event” flagged onto my National ID (err.. I mean my Social Security Number).  This will probably flag me to ensure my taxes are checked, if not audited.

If the right risky questions are asked, you might not be able to explain cheaply.

I’ve carried a sword on the street in NYC; this would make me look like a psycho.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Thailand; this would make me look like a sex tourist.

Who were you going with to France?  I see two tickets booked to France… (Wargames, 1983)

As the USA Famous-Person-Suing lawsuits prove, suspicion can be almost as expensive as actually doing something wrong.  The collection of multiple suspicious things, innocent as they might actually be, combine to make one’s life difficult.

Sometimes, my brother’s habit of splitting social groups and barring them from communicating has benefits, but even that habit is suspicious (communication barriers are where two halves of a lie are split).