Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obamatipping Your Waiter: Contrairimairi's Brother's Reply

Contrairimairi (also h/t Dan Friedman) just forwarded a post from the legendary blogger Doug Ross, based on an Eagle Tribune letter, about what I will call an "Obama-tip", that is, giving your waiter's tip to a homeless person because "it's good to spread the wealth around."

The following is from the Doug Ross post:

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

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed--just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama 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 from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I 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 deserved money more.

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

May have to try this next time I'm out on the town. And be packing I might add.


Contrairimairi's Brother Replies:

>The guy did right (by Obama's measure) not to give the tip to the server, but he shouldn't have given $10 to the homeless guy outside. No, no, no! He *should* have sent it to his senator or congress critter so that they could take $8 of it first for "overhead" and "campaign modernization". The resulting $2 should have been sent to a local socialist group, who could send out their own damn street walkers to find the homeless folks, keeping $1 for each walker, and giving the homeless guy $1. Maybe.

The advantage of this approach is that (besides being much more realistic), it keeps the bulk of the money in the hands of the needy fat cats who can really use it, say, to get elected, and for the socialist street walkers who are burning up valuable shoe rubber. The homeless guy doesn't need as much and so shouldn't get as much. He also wasn't burning up shoe leather. Let him go find an old pair of Florsheims in the nearest dumpster. With $1, he can even get a "meal" at McDonalds - or at least a drink to wash down whatever he gets out of the dumpster along with the old shoes.


Ben Simon said...

OK, I'll bite...

Cute story - but do you really, honestly, believe that's what Obama meant when he used the phrase "spread the wealth around?"

I can see ribbing a politician for a poor choice of words - but seriously, do you think that Obama actually wants to implement a different tax strategy than the one that's been in place for the last 30 years, that happens to spread the wealth around?

If so, why do you think this?

Anonymous said...

I think this is what Obama means to a certain degree.
As Karl Marx said, from each according to his each according to his need.
That my friends is what redistribution of wealth means.

Ben Simon said...

Anonymous -

Yes, I agree that one approach to "spreading the wealth around" is simply to take it from people and give it to others.

But, if you listen to the entire Joe the Plumber clip, it seems very clear that what Barack is talking about is Spreading the Wealth around using taxes.

And like I mentioned, this is nothing new - it's how our taxes work.

So, if the Joe the Plumber clip doesn't agree with the Karl Marx approach - what clip / statement do you have that suggests he will be like Karl Marx?

Anonymous said...

While that story is actually a very interesting one, it doesn't completely mirror a redistribution of wealth plan. You could have tipped the waiter a portion of that $10 and given the homeless the other portion. Obama isn't saying only the rich will have to pay taxes and the poor get off free.

Taking it further, if you want to be even more fair, you should have increased the amount of tip because you would be a party that represents the entity who controls the most amount of wealth. Under Obama's plan You would be making more than $250,000; the waiter would be under $250,000 but above something like $100,000; and the homeless man would be a single person making less than $40,000. The amount of redistribution goes accordingly.

So.. next time, to be completely fair, I would suggest tipping more. May I suggest a $20 tip, $8 to the waiter and $12 to the homeless guy?

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