- Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:29 am
BUMP! Read this elsewhere and thought of this thread...
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
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 bowled them a wrong
“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 landlord 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
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 pound 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 pound, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I
do!” “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
And that, boys and
girls, journalists and professors of economics, this is how the 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 any more. In fact, they might start drinking elsewhere where the
atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
For those who did understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no
explanation is possible.”
I've actually met Chris n shook his hand. This fact is still causing slight issues in my trouser dept....
Yudster wrote:Best post ever.