Posted by: sonofliberty1787 | February 6, 2011

Even the Super Bowl?!

You know if there’s one thing still sacred in America it is the Super Bowl; unfortunately, I came upon this on facebook this afternoon:

in honor of the Gippercentennial, all Tostitos for today’s celebration are to be distributed in a trickle-down fashion. The richest person at the party will eat until he/she is full, and should only pass the chips in exchange for goods and services provided by the lesser people. If the richest person chooses to hold all the Tostitos, he/she will receive 10% more Tostitos every hour. that way, everybody eats!

Now on top of insulting a great American and attacking his legacy, on his birthday, this is patently stupid.  Everyone knows that trickle down doesn’t work, it’s redistribution we should be pushing.  May I suggest a better mock economic system?

The host of the party will not control who brings food; however, once there the eager people who brought food, especially the tastiest treats, will be forced to give up as much of their food as the host deems appropriate.  Those that brought food will not be allowed to eat their treats, unless permission is granted to them from the host.  Meanwhile, those that didn’t bring anything will be allowed to gorge themselves on the fruits of others’ labors.  If those that provided food hold out or do not want to give it away, the host will force them into a closet, at gun point and only release them when they are willing to more charitable of those “less fortunate.”  Afterall, “It’s not that I want to punish your success [cooking abilities]. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success [eating]…”

Anyway, stay away from my Tostidos but enjoy the Super Bowl!

Update from Rational Voice:

I’d like to pass along something I’ve read a few times and goes right along with this. You want to talk about redistribution and attacking the wealthy, well read this:

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 (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.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

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