Spreading it around

October 28, 2008

I love this little anecdote (from Cafe Hayek):

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’ tie, 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 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’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 money more. I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

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16 Responses to “Spreading it around”

  1. superdave524 Says:

    Dig the graphics.

    I’m not wild about people showing their political colors in workplaces, either. I went to an office supply place that was practically McCain headquarters. I’d’ve bought a lot more if they hadn’t.

    Not fond of spreading the wealth? Check out this Marxist: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” I’ll be mean to a welfare mom if you can name the generally credited author.

  2. John in IL Says:

    That’s called charity, not marxism. It is a voluntary action. Non-believers aren’t coerced by government into “sharing” their wealth also.

    Now I’m getting this God/government faith thing.

  3. superdave524 Says:

    Thomas Jefferson and a bunch of our founder pops opined that government only derives legitimacy from the consent of the governed. If we decide as a nation to help each other out, then that’s legitimate. Major proviso: we can change our minds in four years. What services our government provides and how we pay for them is at the heart of legitimate politics. One of the things that is so irksome about sharing the wealth with the wealthy in the form of bailouts or corporate favors is that it’s essentially false advertizing. Our “tax and spenders” over the last few presidencies haven’t come close to the level of spending that the “fiscal conservatives” have. The taxing part? Well, someone has to pay the bill.

    So, who’s the author and what’s the chapter and book?

  4. KevinQC Says:

    Problem with the “change our minds” mantra, Superdave… Socialism (Marxism, Communism, blah blah blah) is like a weed, the roots go deep when it’s allowed to grow and it’s exceedingly difficult to get rid of. In short, it’s easier to keep government from growing than it is to pare it down.

  5. KevinQC Says:

    Author: Saint Paul. Reference: The Book of Acts 2:44-45. And as John in IL points out – they were being charitable with their own possessions. The Apostles weren’t taking it from them by force of law (or just plain force.)

    Ask yourself this question: Why are conservatives by far more charitable than liberals?

  6. superdave524 Says:

    Kevin, I’m with you completely as to Communism and other systems which make a command economy their centerpiece. No politiboro can respond to peoples’ needs like millions of small business folks can, and history has shown that, whatever the initial intentions of the founders of any system that starts with a command economy, it becomes more about the command than the economy. I also don’t doubt that conservatives give more money to charities than people that consider themselves “liberal” (new sense of the word, not Adam Smith’s sense of the word): they have more and can afford it. It’s what happens at the edges of capitalism and the adjustments that can be/should be made that make the difference. Some historians think Franklin Roosevelt try to kill Capitalism; some think he saved it. Different times call for different strategies. Bush= Hoover: Obama = Roosevelt?

  7. superdave524 Says:

    …and kudos on catching the quote.

  8. PatrickP Says:

    Oh please, that quote was an easy one.

  9. superdave524 Says:

    Well, Patrick, I didn’t see you ring in. Okay, Paul mighta said it, but he didn’t write it (some of the details in Acts are (at least as opined in “What Paul Meant”) contrary to Paul’s letters. Who is generally credited for writing Acts?

  10. John in IL Says:

    I also don’t doubt that conservatives give more money to charities than people that consider themselves “liberal”: they have more and can afford it.

    That’s not true, Dave. According to the book that was referenced in Kevin’s link, liberals have, on average, 6% higher incomes than conservatives.

  11. John in IL Says:

    Bush= Hoover: Obama = Roosevelt?

    How about Obama = Hoover? In response to the Great Depression, Hoover raised taxes and inhibited free trade.

  12. superdave524 Says:

    Maybe it’s moderates that don’t have any money.

  13. superdave524 Says:

    …and the author of The Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel bearing his name is Luke. Sorry, no winners. The answer is “Who was Luke”?

  14. John in IL Says:

    Oh shit. My answer: why was it bible trivia night?

  15. superdave524 Says:

    Hey, I DID run for the Statehouse in 2000, so I know how to change the subject up there with the best of ’em.

  16. John in IL Says:

    No, Dave, you are the best.


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