Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ZenTiger A Restaurant Tax Story in Pictures

I recently decided to dig up the old restaurant tax story to preserve on this blog as a handy reference. [A Restaurant Tax Story]

Scrubone has decided to add to that story by putting it in pictures - a series of handy graphs illustrating the nature of proportional taxation and the effect of proportional rebates, and notes that the usual complaints about tax reductions "for the rich" are never discussed in context of the proportions they are first applied. No wonder the criticisms often seem faintly ridiculous.

But what directions can this story take us, after we've finished reading it? Where does the socialist perspective take us? What about the gap between the rich and the poor? I read the story again and came up with a few discussion points that people might extract from the story. Not saying they are right or wrong, just that the story hints at other angles we could take in considering progressive taxation.

If I were to look for real criticism of this situation, it’s simply that the rich person can afford to be generous and the poorer ones cannot, and so rely on the richer person’s contribution.

However, if we put aside the money issue, all people have a great conversation and good companionship sharing a fine dinner.

Perhaps the rich person has enough wealth that the cost of the meal is payment enough for the fine company he enjoys, and perhaps the poor possess a sufficient sense of self-worth that enables them to share the meal, simply appreciative of the free feed, yet also realizing that they are welcome at the table without having contributed financially.

At least whilst it lasted.

On the other hand, in the story there surfaced an undercurrent of greed and it didn’t take much for the friendship to be destroyed and the poorer ones ended up losing out in the short term because of their violence.

What are the messages then? Consider these:

* Rich people, pay your taxes or society will disintegrate?

* Accept tax increases if you are rich or be beaten up.

* If we remove the rich person from the picture, does it allow a poorer person to "fill the gap" and earn more money? Some people believe a bloody revolution clears the way for a new society! Will the new rich be glad to step up to their "obligation" to pay the high taxes, given they beat the rich person up?

* What were they doing spending money on a lavish dinner anyway? A simple dinner would have required less input from the rich person and the disparity would have therefore been less, or have the appearance of being less. Does that make the envy less? Are we prepared to cap the quality of restaurants instead of the cost of the meal and the resulting high taxes? The health system and tax expenditure on health might be the area to apply this thought… (and think on the recent changes in the USA)

What other aspects of the story stand out to you if we were to over analyze this? What say you to any of the points above? Any-one want to discuss this over drinks or lunch? Your shout...

1 comment(s):

MK said...

"* Rich people, pay your taxes or society will disintegrate?"

I think every now and then society will disintegrate before we wake up to ourselves.

"* Accept tax increases if you are rich or be beaten up."

Or they can always move and we'd be stuffed.

Progressive taxation to me is terribly unfair, you are basically punishing people for being wealthy or working hard.

Some might say the country will go broke if we don't have progressive taxation. To that i say, well that means you're living beyond your means.

If we can only afford welfare and other such socialist services by taxing the rich, then we really shouldn't have those services.

Continuing to have those services by taxing the rich is then no different from a crack-addict stealing to fund his/her crack-habit.

"What say you to any of the points above? Any-one want to discuss this over drinks or lunch? Your shout... "

Nice one. :)

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