One about ‘why progressive taxation is annoying’ and one about ‘gratitude’. And both of them illustrate their points nicely.
The first was found at Chez’s place:
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 (16% 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.
And the other from Kim:
One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replies, â€œI cannot accept money from you. Iâ€™m doing community service this week.â€ The florist is pleased and leaves the shop.
Next morning when the barber goes to open his shop, he finds a thank you card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies, â€œI cannot accept money from you. Iâ€™m doing community service this week.â€ The cop is happy and leaves the shop.
Next morning when the barber goes to open up, he finds a thank you card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.
Later a Republican comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies, â€œI cannot accept money from you. Iâ€™m doing community service this week.â€ The Republican is very happy and leaves the shop.
Next morning when the barber goes to open, he finds a thank you card and a dozen different books, such as â€œHow to Improve Your Businessâ€ and â€œBecoming More Successful.â€
Then a Democrat comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies, â€œI cannot accept money from you. Iâ€™m doing community service this week.â€ The Democrat is very happy and leaves the shop.
The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Democrats lined up waiting for their free haircut.
And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between Left and Right.
‘course, over here we don’t have so much of a left/right divide. So all our politicians would turn up, with their generous staffs, in Mobility cars, and demand their free haircuts.
But the principle is nearly the same…