Analects 12.9

Original Text:



Other Translations:

Duke Ai said to Master You, “The harvest was poor and I cannot satisfy my needs. What should I do?”

Master You said, “Why do you not try taxing the people one part in ten?”

“I am currently taxing them two parts in ten, and even so I cannot satisfy my needs. How could reducing the tax to one part in ten help?”

Master You answered, “If the common people’s needs are satisfied, how could their lord be lacking? If the common people needs are not satisfied, how can their lord be content?”

Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.

Duke Ai questioned You Ruo, saying, The crop is bad this year, and I don’t have enough for government needs. What should I do?

You Ruo replied, Why not halve the rate of taxation?

The duke said, Even when I take two-tenths of the crop in taxes, I don’t have enough. How could I get by with half?

You Ruo replied, If the people have enough, what ruler will be left without enough? But if the people don’t have enough, how can the ruler hope to have enough?

Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.

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