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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend - Beer & Bar Stool Economics

Ozark Guru: It is Saturday, the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. I would have liked to have fired up the grill and had a few brats (Bratwurst), burgers and beers with some of my former military buddies.  However, we have all located to different parts of he world, gotten older, and some have passed on.  Such is life.  Did have a beer with my sweetheart (Mrs OzarkGuru). I drank the beer and she drank a soda. Works for us.

Since we cannot be together for the Memorial Day weekend and since you may have noticed that I have already used the word beer three times (yes, the title counts), I want to share a video using an illustration of buddies drinking beer and using redistributive "bar economics." The textual content of the video has floated around the Internet via email. However a talented young man, Lee Doren, took the text, and made the below video last December to address Bar Stool Economics and How Taxes Work:

Text:
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.
Now, I know you want to share this video with your friends! If you have a YouTube account (they're free) and decide to checkout some of Lee Doren's other videos on the  "How The World Works" Channel, please drop by my YouTube channel, leave a comment, please friend me and subscribe to my occasional posted video. Oh, you will need the name of the channel - it's the "OzarkGuru" Channel.

Tags: Ozark Guru, Memorial weekend, beer, brats, bar stool economics, Lee Doren, youtube, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 7:19 PM - Post Link

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