Monday, October 27, 2008

A Parable For Our Time

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" button, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference — just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring Obama's "redistribution of wealth" concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need — the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed away from me.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn, even though the actual recipient needed the money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.


Epaminondas said...

You should have gone back in to the restaurant and reminded the server that his attitude meant he was neither neighborly nor patriotic.

Anonymous said...

CW, that was a brilliant display of logic! I will have to use it if the One gets elected.

Citizen Warrior said...

I forgot to add that I didn't create that parable. I got it in an email.

But I think it illustrates the principle perfectly. One guy EARNED his money, and one RECEIVED his money. If everyone did that, the incentive to be a hobo increases and the incentive to be a waiter decreases.

The system may seem appealing but every time it has been tried, it has been a failure.