The Spanish-derived idiom is familiar in Mexico. It's frequently associated with drug cartels; the cartels' foot soldiers, the tribal street gangs; and other thuggish black marketeers.
Unequivocal and brief, the idiom drives home the point: Take the money or leave your life. This coercive proposition involves payment – amount determined by the payer – for the services or property of the payee. Give me your silence, your land, your cooperation; in turn, I give you money for what I believe your service or property is worth. Refuse the proposition, I take your life.
No one would label such a proposition equitable. That said, the private coercive proposition has a mirror counterpart few see, and most endorse – the state tax proposition.
Here, the coercive roles are spun. Instead of individual demands for a service or property for money, the state demands money -- amount determined by it -- from an individual for a service or property: The state gives you roads, education, protection, and the charity of its choice, all in the quality and quantity it chooses, and you give the state money at the price it determines. Refuse the proposition, the state takes your life.
To be sure, the state practices more forbearance than the privateer thug; the state will soft-sell the proposition at the outset. An initial refusal is met with gentle reminders peppered with appeals to equity. But if obstinacy persists, stakes rise: Appeals devolve into threats, threats into intimidation, intimidation into violence. If one is intractably obstinate, death is the ultimate outcome.
The difference between the two propositions is always a matter of degree, never a matter of kind.