Bar stool economics - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 3 Old Oct 8th, 2008, 6:49 pm Thread Starter
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Bar stool economics

My apologies if this has been posted before...

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 paid $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% saving s).

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.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Jim
'06LT - Magnesium Black Graphite (light black)


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post #2 of 3 Old Oct 8th, 2008, 7:39 pm
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Re: Bar stool economics

Good one... Makes sense and is sooooo true!

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post #3 of 3 Old Oct 8th, 2008, 7:46 pm
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Re: Bar stool economics

That's funny, I heard it was written by Professor Thomas Davies, no it was by Mall Arkey, no it was by William F. Buckley Jr., no it was by . . .

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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