October 11, 2008

Barstool Economics

I was going through some old emails and thought the following one was worth a revisit, especially since we may be looking at a President who plans to put even more of the tax burden on the "rich" so that he can try to redistribute wealth (typical class warfare).
Bar Stool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share'?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (17% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Author Unknown

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
It's a dangerous way to treat the hard working people of America. Businesses will go elsewhere to escape the nonsense. Then we will be left trying to pay a tab we cannot afford. Just ask Californians.


This is a morbid topic, but this is my space to write down my thoughts, no matter how weird or random they may be.

I drove by a very large cemetery today, and it got me thinking...

Population is increasing exponentially, so deaths should also be increasing quite a bit (although, with advances in technology and medicine, the population is increasing faster than people are dying).

So I'm wondering, what happens when we run out of space to put people who have passed on? It has to happen eventually. What will happen with the bodies of the deceased (who wish to be buried) when there is no more space in the cemeteries?

October 10, 2008

Teacher Frustrations

I absolutely love being a teacher, but it is a difficult and stressful career. There are times I feel like the teacher in this cartoon (and I teach high school).

Cartoon by John Cole

October 5, 2008

Great Writing

I absolutely love noir-style books from (but not limited to) the 40's and 50's. I just started reading a new book and thought the first three paragraphs were so well-written that I wanted to share:
It was one of those nights when the sky came down and wrapped itself around the world. The rain clawed at the windows of the bar like an angry cat and tried to sneak in every time some drunk lurched in the door. The place reeked of stale beer and soggy men with enough cheap perfume thrown in to make you sick.

Two drunks with a nickel between them were arguing over what to play on the juke box until a tomato in a dress that was too tight a year ago pushed the key that started off something noisy and hot. One of the drunks wanted to dance and she gave him a shove. So he danced with the other drunk.

She saw me sitting there with my stool tipped back against the cigarette machine and change of a fin on the bar, decided I could afford a wet evening for two and walked over with her hips waving hello.
This is how Mickey Spillane begins the fifth book in his Mike Hammer series, The Big Kill (1951).