Friday, October 24, 2008

Lets' share the wealth

Today on my way to lunch, I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money". I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had an "Obama 08" tie. I laughed again as he had given away his political preference. This gave me opportunity.

When the bill came, I decided not to tip the server and explained to him I was testing the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need - the homeless guy outside. The server was pretty angry and stormed away.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy the $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I had decided he could use the money more. The guy was really grateful.

My conclusions:
The homeless guy was grateful for the money he didn't earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn, even though the actual recipient deserved the money more.
It's a matter of fairness.
People just don't understand such a simple concept.


Diane Vespa said...

Hilarious, Paul! If all Repubs would do that for the next 2 weeks it might have an impact. Let's give it a whirl!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I wish I could have seen the waiter's face. Unfortunately he probably won't learn the correct lesson from this experience (i.e. Socialism sucks) and instead will chalk it up to you being one of those evil, mean, rich people and blame Bush.

I hope I have the opportunity to give an Obama supporter the same kind of lesson.

Lynn said...

That is really funny! It would have been great to see that waiter's face.

Diane Vespa said...

Hey Paul,

Have you heard this one? This is compliments of the ISBA Cafe discussion group...

Bar Stool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all tencomes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, itwould 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 everyday and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, theowner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," hesaid, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinksfor the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so thefirst four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. Butwhat about the other six men-the paying customers? How could they dividethe $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?They realised that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtractedthat from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man wouldeach end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man'sbill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out theamounts 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 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continuedto drink for free. But once outside the bar, the men began to comparetheir savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointedto 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 did!""That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back whenI got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!""Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't getanything 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 satdown and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill,they discovered something important. They didn't have enough moneybetween all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, ishow our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get themost benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them forbeing wealthy, and they just may not show up any more. In fact, theymight start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhatfriendlier.

Dr David R. KamerschenProfessor of EconomicsUniversity of GeorgiaFor those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do notunderstand, no explanation is possible.

Sud O. Nym said...

Wow, it really would have been great to see that waiter's face. Of course, I would have had to have been in New Hampshire, were the story (allegedly) took place. See this: Don't you know it isn't polite to steal someone else's work without giving them credit. (The above link is just the first website from the Google search.)

Ah, I love Republicans. So desperate, they can't even make up their own jokes!

Diane Vespa said...

It was still funny as Hell!

Anonymous said...

does this clear obama's "welfare" tax break for you?

Sud O. Nym said...

Yes, and still plagiarism.

Diane Vespa said...

Psudonym - Your point is well taken and I just googled the story. Many people are posting it on their blogs and I haven't been able to find any attribution anywhere. I would imagine the guy that wrote it intended it to be forwarded, like the hundreds I get every week. This one Paul posted because it is a great story, extremely noteworthy, with a very serious message. So what is really bothering you? Have you ever forwarded an e-mail that didn't have an author on it?

Sud O. Nym said...

My pointing out the lack of a citation is really a small point, though to my credit, I've never taken credit for someone else's work. Paul simply needed to start or end: "I saw this and found it interesting." Not pretend he actually did it.

While I doubt debating you over the merits of Obama's plan will get us anywhere, my real problem is that all Republicans have left is distorting Obama's plan rather than offer one of their own. I get it, its politics, and when you can't be constructive, be destructive. I just find it sad, and I thought that Paul "stealing" someone else's story seemed emblematic of a general lack of creativity on the part of the GOP.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have Paul stealing stories than Obama stealing my earnings and handing them out to a bunch of government moochers.

Diane Vespa said...


Diane Vespa said...

Psuedo - Paul is not part of the blogging "culture". He, along with his wife are just dear friends who are very supportive of my career and my family.

We also happen to both be Republicans. Yes, we have a big problem with Obama's plan to "redistribute" wealth. Ummm- I think that's been tried before - so it's not acccurate to call it OBAMA's plan. There are many other things you could rightfully call it but the Dem's seem to object to that.

The other thing the Repubs have a BIG problem with, wether you care to overlook it or not, is who this guy considers his inner circle of friends. Barrack Obama has spent half his lifetime being influenced by people that hate America. He does his best to hide it, but occassionally, he slips up, especially when he thinks no one is listening.

In short, I just don't think he has lived his life in such a way that he deserves to be the President of the United States.

O'Brien's Briar Patch said...

I wish someone on the right could explain to me what is the difference between what Rev Wright has said from the pulpit than that of countless other white religious leaders have said themselves.

How is it different from when Falwell, Swaggart, Hagee or countless others have said human kind is damned for its behavior? All from the pulpit. And don't go using the "hate one's country" line either, because all of these men have said similar things about the US on a variety of things (Falwell and Robertson have BOTH blamed 9/11 on the "decadent" lifestyle of some in the US).

I have never seen a bunch of people hold someone else to such double standards that they will not hold their own religious leaders to.

Anonymous said...

Here's a difference: the Republicans aren't running a candidate for president who sat in one of those churches for 20 years lapping up Rev. Wright's garbage. Nor are they running a candidate for whom this is an isolated situation. Everywhere you look around Obama you find anti-American, anti-capitalist "associations" which are really his allies.

Paul Sullivan said...

I just returned to this site and am amazed I've been accused of plagiarism simply by repeating what I thought was a pretty funny joke.

Retelling a joke in the first person is an effective way to get laughs. Isn't that what are jokes are for?

I've told this joke several times and people not only laugh, but they also know it's a joke -- not an attempt to steal somebody elses
creative work.


Diane Vespa said...

So how do you like blogging, Paul? Lol!

Jennifer said...

I like how the story glosses over all the gray areas. Like the homeless guy, let's say he's a veteran who served our country honorably and then came home and wasn't provided mental or physical health coverage that he needed. Would you still look down on him?

Additionally, people like to characterize the "redistribution of wealth" (ROW) as benefitting people that are unworthy of help, and ignore the reality that most all of us benefit from this. For example, my kids both attend public school, which costs around $7,000 per year in tax money. Do we pay $14,000 a year in taxes? No. Not currently.
Those that are against "ROW" need to think about the parks they use, the roads they drive on, the medical research funded by the government that they benefit from, and not on the minuscule amounts of "welfare cheats."

Anonymous said...

The shared expenses you quote are all admirable uses of tax money. The "gray area" you quote is a good argument for a welfare state as well. What I doubt is the "miniscule" description. I've seen statistics that estimate welfare fraud in the billions. I personally doubt the majority of homeless people are a gathering of honorably discharged veterans and the like. Something tells me drugs, alcohol, and a decision to drop out of school might be fairly represented in the ranks more prominently.

O'Brien's Briar Patch said...

I Do Not Know Jack,

Let's see....McCain had been chasing Hagee for his endorsement and this man has said equally as worse things from the pulpit.

And not only that, you seem to forget McCain's own words directed toward Falwell prior to his South Carolina defeat and then his capitulation to Falwell for his goodwill.

Not only that, McCain has taken money from G. Gordan Liddy - are you aware of his background at all?

Anonymous said...

I would guess the main difference is Obama turned tail and ran from Wright...McCain is not turning his back on the far right...but Obama would like to forget his far left background or have it forget him...a real standup guy

Anonymous said...

How many times has McCain been in Hagee's church? Or Falwell's or anyone else's for that matter? Do you have video of Hagee rapturously bellowing "God damn America!!"? I do of Wright. The fact is that Obama was not bothered by Wright and only reluctantly distanced himself from Wright when it became politically necessary to do so. McCain, for his political reasons, cozies up to Hagee or others. So I'll give you a break and call them even on political opportunism, but Obama's alliance with Wright monumentally dwarfs McCain's with any religious leader.

Support from G. Gordon Liddy is a plus in my book!

Anonymous said...

(An)Other problem with Obama is his lack of character. LEt's see: He's smoked pot and snorted cocaine by his own admition, he has obviously been involved in some nafarious activites as evidenced by his unwillingness to share information about his time in college and known "friends", and he couldn't get a security clearance within the United States through the traditional route because of ties with known criminals/terrorists. Regardless of what each candidate stands for or SAYS they are going to do once in office, I am confident that McCain will always have the United States citizens in his mind and in his heart.

dd said...

Everybody passing this story along as somehow illustrative of Obama's "socialism" seem to be missing the point: its Paul's (or whoever first told the story) money. He can give it to whomever he wants. The waiter did't "earn" the tip. Paul chose to give him the extra money, but he could choose not to. The waiter is no more "entitled" to the tip than the homeless guy. If this story illustrates anything its that most people running around yelling that Obama is a "socialist" wouldn't know socialism if it bit them on the (hand).

Anonymous said...

How about concerning ourselves with earning instead of entitlement?