Pay What You Owe

Jason and Leslie are a married couple who own a food restaurant, Jason is the main chef and also the primary owner of that business. When he gets sick he steps down from the business in order to recover, leaving his wife Leslie to run the restaurant. When three men come to the restaurant and order some food, they finish their meal and ask to speak to the person in charge, the manager informs Leslie on the situation and she approaches them and asks them if everything is well. They proceed to tell her that she has not yet made payment for protection for her business. This is something that her husband has never shared with her, she therefore proceeds to tell the men to leave her restaurant or else she would call the police, but instead they laugh at her and give her one week to make payment or else her business will be shut down.

When two people decide to run a business together they ought to share information on everything concerning the business so that neither of them is left in the dark about the events taking place. Jason has been paying tax protection money to some men who “advocate” that they protect businesses around the neighborhood, and he has never shared this information with his wife.

Was he trying to protect her from something?

Or was he trying to prevent her from worrying?

The way they laughed at Leslie when she threatened to call the police on them, indicates that they could easily get away with charges and would cause some damages to the restaurant meaning that Leslie would have to pay the tax in order to protect her business or move her business to another location. Maybe the people who demand for the tax protection money are the same people who destroy the shops and they just imposed this rule in order to make money. This would mean that this operation of theirs is illegal.

Would you pay the tax even though you know it’s wrong for them to demand some money from business owners? Or would you be willing to invite your fellow business owners from that neighborhood to have a discussion on how you would protect your businesses, without having to pay some criminals money to stay off your properties?

Leslie is in a stiff situation as she has to wait for her husband’s approval before she makes any decision hence she’ll just have to continue paying the money and wait for her husband to recover so that they can make the final decision together and since the restaurant does not belong to her, she is under no obligation to move the business to another area. The best thing she can do is to pay the tax and wait for her husband to recover.