Curtis Dahlgren
The question really is: Where's our FREE BEER? (Bar-stool Econ 101)
By Curtis Dahlgren
February 24, 2009

"It is now life, and not art, that requires the willing suspension of disbelief." — Lionel Trilling

WE YOOPERS WEREN'T BORN YESTERDAY. We know that there's no free lunch, no free supper, and no free breakfast. But sometimes there is such a thing as free beer — if the bartender is in the mood. The government right now seems to be in the mood a hired bar tender gets into when the owner isn't around. I don't know where the owners of the government ARE anymore (they seem to be sleep walking), but up here in the Upper Peninsula we think it's time to take advantage of the situation and demand our free beer. Old Uncle Sam is giving millions of dollars in funny money to crazy artists anyway (so they can buy their beer), so where's OURS?

[Should a liberal with no sense of humor be reading, I'M JUST KIDDING. But seriously, very few liberals do have a sense of humor, you know (especially not liberal Republicans).]

LIBERALS ARE SO LACKING IN ANY HUMOR WHATSOEVER THAT THEY KEEP ASKING, "WHAT'S YOUR POINT?" They just don't get the punch line, and they don't get Econ 101. They just passed a bill essentially printing confederate money supposedly worth ONE TRILLION DOLLARS (again), without reading the fine print or even knowing what a trillion is (in mathematical terms). No problem. It felt good, and you know what the libs say: "If it feels good, do it."


I can't claim credit for this exactly, nor even give credit, because it's one of those "authorless" things that come in over the transom on the World Wide Grapevine, but the concept goes something like this:

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 [at least].

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! did."

"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 man 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.

P.S. And "what's the point?", you liberals?

If the bartender's hasty "plan" only made matters worse and destroyed the "UNITY," now you know the definition of the term "class warfare" (some liberals may have even heard of the term, and while most don't "GET" the definition, some of the libs designed the system). Now you know why they so enjoy "tweaking" the tax code that employs so many lawyers, certified public accountants, and bureaucrats, and why a simple tax will be verboten until Kingdom come.

AND THESE ARE THE SAME BUREAUCRATS WHO WILL "ENJOY" SO MUCH TWEAKING YOUR HEALTH CARE (read "rationing") AND WHAT KIND OF SPEECH WILL BE ALLOWED FROM NOW ON (which will make the "rationing" safer for them once all the people around the bar wake up and understand what just HAPPENED). Yes, boys and girls, it's a literal emergency to get restrictions on free speech just as fast as they passed the last two TRILLION DOLLAR spending bills (which didn't apply one cent to your "health")! I mean, in THEIR minds it is a literal emergency. There's just too much "talk" out there in flyover country!

This week's John Stuart Mill Honorary column-of-the-week was in Sunday's Wall Street Journal, by Rush Limbaugh. I don't even have to quote it. You can read it yourself, if you don't get "what's the point."

I want to conclude the point about Barstool economics with a quote from my employer's monthly publication back in 1970. Economic ignorance is nothing new. The following is from the Davey Bulletin (Oct. 70):

"Youth: 100,000,000 young people have never known a depression or the need to work to keep from starving. In a recent survey of high school students, 61 percent said that did not believe in the need for a profit in business. Some 62 percent believed that the government had the responsibility of providing them with jobs, and 40 percent could name no advantage that capitalism might have over communism."

Scary, eh? Those 40 percent have been voting a straight liberal ticket ever since 1970, and now that the government so elected has screwed up the budget so royally that the Fabian socialists admit they're "taking advantage" of the situation, "right now" the liberals insist that their "consensus" government must shut down Free Speech in America. Polls say that just about those 40 percent want the government to shut down talk radio (that's the "New Tone" — where the minority rules)!

That is why "It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief."

Or, as the Davey Bulletin put it, "It seems we just get to the place where we're making our mark in life and along comes someone with an eraser" (quoted from Grit).

Did anyone in the Executive branch of government ever hear the story about the Goose who laid the golden egg, and what happened when the golden goose was killed off (which is what some of the Socialists actually want to happen)? The bigger the "problem," you see, the more Power that they can corral for themselves. And absolute Power equates with passing laws respecting ("regarding") Freedom of speech, which laws our Founding Fathers banned absolutely in the Constitution.

That's about as plain as one can put it, but alas, someone out there is still going "what's your point?" Well, Michael Savage calls the recent actions of Congress "trickle-up poverty" and that's right; for decades and decades now liberals have been decrying the "destruction of the middle class"; they may have finally SUCCEEDED (through high energy costs, etc).

By the way, I'm not "ranting" here on high octane coffee either. My coffee maker is out of order temporarily, and I wrote this column on decaffeinated tea (as in Tea Party). By the way, that wouldn't make a bad name for a third Party. By the way, I paid $5 for that coffee maker five years ago, and I plan to keep it for five more if possible.

[For a technical article on the subject of Free Speech, see Townhall magazine, February 2009; "Fearness Doctrine — What Are the Liberals Afraid Of?"]

PPS: Not to "run on," but a few words more about the craziest news stories of late:

- "Clinton lectures North Korea and Russian President Putin lectures America about socialism" [No further comment, your honor.]

- "President Obama plans to slash the deficit in half" [And I "plan" on climbing Mount Everest without a guide.]

- "President Obama says he doesn't favor reinstating the Fairness Doctrine' [They'll call it something else, as Senator Stabenow admitted.]

- Nine-year-old Arizona boy pleads guilty to "negligent" homocide. [I guess that's the word for a crime "gone bad"!]

- Woman's face nearly torn off by a jealous chimpanzee [I guess he didn't get the point that he "shares" 99 and some 44/100 percent of our DNA. It must be the "other 1.56" percent — by Design — that matters the most.]

- "Will hard times affect the jewelry worn on the Red carpet at the Academy Awards?" [Call someone who cares.]

- Clinton seeks to improve U.S. image with the Muslim world" [How about the Muslim world starting to "improve its image" with the rest of the world? I'd like to hire their public relations firm to promote my book before the whole world goes to — I forget the words. What do you think the Academy Awards show does for our image in the Muslim world, eh?]

- "NFL owners shocked — just shocked! — by big money contract paid to whats-his-name in Oakland" [In the player's defense, inflation has started to rise again, you know.]

- "SAAB files for bankrupcy" [Sob. I thought the Swedes knew everything. What Toyota and Nissan need is a good union. More than a little sarcasm there.]

- "Missouri legislators seek to okay spanking in the classroom" [The world must be coming to an end; that's not crazy. Some weeks "things just seem to be going too good"!]

I think I'll bet on the Lions winning the Super Bowl.

By the way, aren't the salaries of professional athletes based on the same assumptions that got so many people in trouble with their credit cards and mortgages? Another headline this week said unemployment has gone up (there's a surprise!), and so I've been thinking about the illegal aliens who were doing the jobs Americans won't do. Pretty soon there won't be a job an American "won't do," so I've been wracking my mind to find jobs for the poeple who will do jobs Americans STILL won't do.

How about guarding the Mexican border? How about running missile defense silos, or running the Treasury Department? There's an opening at the Commerce Department too. Or how about having them take over some of our sports franchises? Can't do any worse than some of our execs on steroids.

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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