Obamanomics Explained

Joe the plumber seems to have struck a chord with many Americans and driven the Obama people and the left insane. Speaking of which another plumber has come forward : http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/oct/16/knoxvilles-joe-plumber-doubts-obama-too/ which reminded me of a talk by computer guru Clifford Stoll gave back nearly a decade ago about the folly with putting computers in the classroom. Here is a brief excerpt : from the piece http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA170318.htmlIn the world of 2101, I’ll bet that we’ll still need plumbers… somehow, I can’t imagine drainpipes and toilets that will be unclogged by clicking on an icon. Where’ll those 22nd-century plumbers learn their craft? Today, in the San Francisco Bay area, Web programmers get $30 an hour… pretty good wages. Yet plumbers charge more than twice as much. How come? Part of the reason for that expense is overhead—a plumber needs a truckload of tools while the programmer is content with a computer and phone line. A part of the disparity is due to immediacy: I can live quite well for a month without a computer. But when my kitchen sink’s plugs up, I need a plumber right away. But there’s another, overlooked reason for the price difference between plumbers and programmers. Around San Francisco, every school teaches computing. Almost none teach the trades: auto mechanics, cabinet making, or plumbing. When every student—good and bad—is pressed to become a computer maven, and only the incompetents are allowed to become plumbers, neither our programs nor our pipes will hold water.

My best friend sent me this Obamanomics Explained forwarded email. I do not know the origin but it is the best explanation I have seen for our “progressive tax system” which is anything but and leads to a further marginalizing of society and inevitable class warfare. If one person is paying the tab and the other is eating the meal, the person eating won’t stop until the the other is broke.

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.

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

Speaking of “sharing the wealth” comes this brilliant idea from powerlineblog http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2008/10
Currently, Barack Obama is outspending John McCain on the airwaves by something like four to one. It seems likely that he will succeed in buying the Presidential election.

But wait! We know that Obama is in favor of “spreading the wealth around” so as to achieve what he thinks is fairness. So presumably Obama will be willing to share his vast resources with the McCain campaign so the playing field will be level for the last weeks of the campaign. That’s only fair, right? What do you say, Barack? And if not, why not?

PAUL responds: Obama didn’t break his promise to rely on public financing (if McCain did too) for nothing.

Shouldn’t McCain emphasize, in the waning days of the campaign, that none of Obama’s other many promises should be believed, in light of the fact that Obama broke this fundamental one? Of course, having kept his own promise, it’s not clear that McCain has the resources necessary to get this, or any other, message out.


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