An Economists Explanation of the Tax System

While I hate to put anything related to beer on my blog, one of my Facebook friends posted this the other day and it's a concise explanation for those who are willing to see the truth of the matter.


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.

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 ball. "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 men would 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 a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving," 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 benefit than me!"

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their 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 government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who don't understand, no explanation is possible.
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Changing Directions

I keep coming back here. 

I keep opening up a new post and I keep wanting to write something, but I don't.

This is my place to take what's inside of me and purge or express it.  But when I come here and I open a new post, all that comes to mind is things I cannot say about ugliness I'm supposed to pretend isn't deliberate.  While it's a ticking time bomb before that verbal explosion goes off....that's not what this is for.

This blog has been my place of hope and my place for change and my place for me.

And, you know, there's a little of all three going on in my life these days.

Many of you know that I work in Insurance.  My Agent is retiring at the end of the year so there's a lot of changes going on right now.  I've known for almost the whole of this year that each office birthday we celebrated would be our last office birthday to celebrate together, so it's been a bit bittersweet.

I've only been at this office for a little more than two years now, but when you spend half of your waking hours with your coworkers, you tend to develop relationships with them and I have some pretty special relationships with some of my coworkers.

I've been blessed to know and get to work for my agent for these past two years.  You all know that I set a high standard of expectations in myself and in others and Roger meets them.  He's a kind and generous man.  He's one of those above-and-beyond types.  The number of stories that I've been told by coworkers and customers of Roger and the heart he has for others has only made me more inspired by the example he's set throughout his 30 years in Insurance.

One of my goals in life--which unfortunately I fail at regularly--is to be the kind of person that makes others better for having known them.  Roger is this kind of person.  He's a Christian, a husband, a father, a PaPa, a friend, a boss, and an avid golfer!  But he's an all around nice guy and I'm glad I've gotten to know him and work for him so there's obviously some sadness that the next phase of our lives will bring some separation between me and this man that I admire.

But looking forward, I'm excited to work with my future/new boss.  

Let me just back up a bit and interject...God has been in this whole process.  He's been in it in a big way.  All the concerns that I had...being separated from my favorite coworkers, being paired with a boss that will be compatible with me, being able to grow and learn and serve my customers....God's been in the details both large and small.

I'm so excited about my new agent and the role he's asked me to take in the new agency.  I'm excited that I'll get the chance to work for another good man with great ideas and a positive attitude.  I'm excited that I'll continue working with one of my favorite coworkers.  In an ideal world there would be  another one joining us, too, so I'm sad at that.  But there's a lot of good waiting ahead of us.  

And we're going head-first into the most overwhelming part of this change now.  My new agent will be signing a new lease any day now, I've been working on a floor plan for the office layout and I'm so thankful that he encourages me to share my opinions and ideas and thoughts on this whole process (because you KNOW how hard it is for me to keep those to myself!).  Construction will start full-force soon and a stock-an-office shopping list is being accumulated and negotiated with a local store where we can hopefully submit a full list, haggle out a price, and have everything drop-shipped to our office when we're ready for it.

Along with those changes, our current office will start to clean out, we'll celebrate the last few birthdays and holidays together and come December 31st we will close our doors for the last time.  When we return to work on January 2, it will be to a new office, a new boss, and a new chapter in my life.

I guess it's only fitting that I change the chapter in this book, too.

Just remember, change is a good thing. 
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, I married the other half of my heart.  

The man who makes me so happy I cry and so mad I can't help but smile and kiss him!  

The man who completed our little family and gave us a future we would never have found without him.

The man who's smart and handsome and funny and has just enough nerd to perfectly balance out the nerd in me.

My husband. 

My best friend.

My love. 

My Happily Ever After.

Happy Anniversary Jason!  Here's to many more years together!

Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Thou Shalt Not Hit & Run

I picked up supper after work tonight.  While I was stopped at a stoplight I called Jason to let him know I was headed home.  I'm telling him about my day when I realize that the little blue Chevy Sonic in front of me--the one with the temporary tags--is rolling backwards toward me. 

I do a quick beep-beep of my horn to get the driver's attention.

And a moment later, another beep-beep as he continues to roll backwards.

And a third beep-beep as I tell Jason that the car in front of me is rolling backwards toward me.  I check my mirrors to see if I have room to back up, but there's not time and the car behind me is too close and the car in front of me is within 24" of contact, so I pushed the horn steadily trying to get the driver's attention.

Regardless, he rolls into the front of my car.  I tell Jason what happened and hang up with him so I can pull over and check things out.

The guy driving the red Chevy Truck in the lane next to us looks back at me and gestures like "What the heck?"

I motion to him asking if my car is okay and he leans out looking at my front bumper and shrugs his shoulders telling me that he can't tell.

Meanwhile, the light turns green and the Sonic moves over into the right lane as if he's going to pull into the parking lot of the gas station.

Except he keeps going.  So I assume he's trying to get to a bigger parking lot, such as the hospital parking lot just a short distance ahead.  Except at this point he starts rapidly accelerating away from me.

Fortunately one of us was intelligent enough to realize he wasn't going to get too far in 5:00 traffic, so I picked up the phone, dialed 911 and continued on behind him.

I was on the phone with the 911 operator when he passed a car in the turn lane while trying to get away from me.

The dispatcher told me that I'd need to pull over somewhere to give a statement and I told her that he was turning into the Arby's, so I'd park there--whether the guy stopped or not.

He did stop when he saw I was going to continue to follow him, though.

And he got out yelling at me saying that I ran into him and that I was on the phone and I wasn't paying any attention and I rear-ended him.  I tried being calm and explained to him that I saw him rolling backwards so I honked my horn at him several times, trying to get his attention.  I also followed him trying to get him to pull over to check for damage but he left the scene of the accident.

Mr. Aggressive became Mr. Hostile in telling me that he just left the dealership in his brand new car and I rear-ended him and it was my fault because I was on my cell phone.  I told him that I wanted a report made for information sake and he said that I could make a report but he wasn't sticking around so I nonchalantly took a picture of his car and temporary tags and then took a picture of him.

(I know...not smart given that he was already hostile...)

Anyway, so he continues yelling at me and still blaming me--coming back repeatedly to the fact that I was on my cell phone.  "That's against the law."

Me:  "No sir.  Texting while driving is against the law, talking on the phone is not.  However, leaving the scene of an accident and passing in a no-passing zone are both against the law."

Him:  "What are you, a cop?"

Me:  "Actually, I worked with Law Enforcement for 7 years." 

Can we say game-changer?

He'd wait on the police, but he was going to wait inside. 

Me:  "Oh look!  They're here."  (insert fake sorority girl smiley face)

He didn't even let the officer get off his bike before he was racing up to him.  I stood back.  I know what it's like to work with stupid people, I wasn't going to be that person when he was doing a fine job himself.

The officer ignored him and came to me.

Officer:  "Is everyone okay?"

Me:  "Yes, sir.  And there doesn't seem to be any damage but I wanted an officer here for a report."

Officer:  "Okay (he takes out his tape recorder and turns it on) what's going on?"

This is where Mr. Hostile tries to jump in.  The officer quiets him and says he'll get to him in a moment, he's going to let the lady talk first.

So I explained that we'd had a very minor accident and there wasn't any apparent damage but we seemed to be in a disagreement in what happened.  

He asked me to continue so I explained the whole story of what happened (we had to stop several times for Mr. (at this point) Belligerent.  The officer stopped him, again, and explained that I couldn't get a word in because of him and he would get a chance to give his statement.

Back to me, I explained to him what happened after the contact between the vehicles and the officer then turned to get the now Mr. Trying-to-be-Reasonable's statement.  My what a different story he was suddenly telling!

He just bought the car and it was a manual and he supposes that it might have been possible that he rolled into my car, but he knew that it wasn't hard enough for there to be damage so he didn't pull over and he thought that I had rear-ended him.

The officer pointed out that he'd just left the car lot in a new car...surely he'd want to make sure there was no damage.

I sat quietly while he gave his statement and answered all the questions that I was hoping the officer would ask.  The officer told him that he completely understood why I was upset.  I interjected, politely, that I wasn't at all upset about the accident but his leaving the scene and his driving afterward concerned me (and then I turned to the man) but what upset me was how he got out of his car yelling at me, being aggressive and trying to bully me about it.

And then Mr. Begging-for-Forgiveness appeared.  He was sorry, would I forgive him, did I want his insurance information, did I want his license, he even offered to mow my yard to make it up to me.

Long story short, the officer had a talk with him about what constituted an accident, what the follow-up procedure was for an accident, and what those yellow lines on the road meant.  I was given his insurance and driver information (not that I think I need it, I just have this principle of not wanting someone to think they got away with doing something wrong).

And because you know me and you know I can't pass up an opportunity, I had a little talk with the man about attitudes and how none of this needed to be unpleasant or aggressive, a good attitude would have gone a long way in settling the whole thing more quickly and with less fuss.

So that's my drive home tonight.

But on the good side, I got to meet a really nice officer that stood up for me when the guy wouldn't let me talk (major cool points there) and I found out that he and his wife are foster parents, too, and adopted their first child last year.  Even more cool points there.  Very awesome to meet someone willing to give his time, his home, his family and--if the job required it--his life for others.

Never a dull moment, I tell ya!
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

This Week's Project

If you know me, you know I always have a project going on.

One of the ones I keep attempting to tackle but never quite get through is a wall in my foyer.  I want a collage of sorts on it, but I want everything representative of my family as a whole, and as individuals as well.

A few months ago I got out an unused canvas I've been storing in my closet and I painted it to match some Calling Cards I got made with our names on them when Jason & I got married.

I didn't like a solid background behind it, so I went with stripes since a chevron pattern was going to be waaaay more work than I was up to at the time.

I should have just put it up until I was ready to commit more time.  Because now I have a painting and I hate the background of it.  And it'd be less work to just completely repaint a new one than to change the background on this one.

But I'm going to do that at some point.  It will just be a bit smaller.  Becuase it won't be the central piece in that collage anymore.  But as it stands, it doesn't make a good central piece because I'm at a loss as to what I could put around it that would #1--tone the stripes down a bit but also #2--build into the overall feel and layout of what I'm wanting on that wall.  It's just not the cornerstone that I see in my head when I think about what I want.

So, this week's project is the central piece for that collage.

Thanks to a little lot of help from my Daddy, I'm almost half-way done with it.

Here is the starting point (well, after the initial standard 1x4 status)

I spent Sunday night filling holes with wood filler.  And then last night I sanded and sanded and sanded.  (My arm is killing me today because of it)

And then I cleaned it up, wiped it down, and put a coat of paint on it.

Painting always helps you see where you missed spots in sanding, so I need to re-sand it tonight in a few areas and then I'll probably hit it with a final coat of paint and then onto the wall it goes once it's dried!

I'm super-excited about it and about (hopefully) getting the rest of the wall done, too! 

Keep checking back, I'll post more updates as I go!
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.