Re: OT - Daschle's Diner


Mark & Juanita wrote:

I suppose many have seen this. For those who have not...
DASCHLE'S DINER
Every day at a few minutes past noon ten men walk into Daschle's Diner on the outskirts of Washington D.C. These are men of habit, a habit which dictates that they will all order the exact same meals every day, and every day the final tab will come to the exact same total. The ten meals are priced at $10 each, so the tab was $100. One hundred dollars each and every day.
Does every man pay the price of his $10 meal as he leaves? Not at Daschle' s Diner. No sir! At Daschle's Diner the motto is "From each according to their ability, to each according to their hunger." So, each man was charged for his meal according to his ability to pay!
So, every day the ten diners would finish their lunch and lineup in exactly the same order as they pass the cashier and leave. The first four men would walk right past the cashier without paying a thing. A free meal!
The fifth man in line would hand over $1 as he left. At least he was paying something.
Diner number six would hand over $3 to the cashier. Number seven would pay $7.
Diner number eight paid $12. That was more than the value of his meal, but he, like those who followed him in line, had been very lucky in life and was, therefore, he was in a position to pay for his meal and for a part of someone else's.
Diner number nine paid $18.
Then comes diner number 10. He is the wealthiest of the ten diners. He's taken some real chances and has worked well into the night when the other diners were home with their families, and it has paid off. When number 10 gets to the cashier he pays the balance of the bill. He forks over $59.
One day an amazing thing happens. It seems that Daschle has a partner in Daschle's Diner. The partner runs an upscale restaurant, Trentt's Trattoria, located in a wealthier section of D.C. Times have been good and the partnership has been raking in record profits, so the partner, who controls 51% of the partnership, orders a 20% reduction in the price of meals.
The next day the ten diners arrive on schedule. They sit down and eat their same meals. This time, though, the 20% price cut has gone into effect and the bill comes to $80. Eight bucks per diner.
The diners line up at the cashier in the same order as before. For the first four diners, no change. They march out without paying a cent. Free meal.
Diner number five and six lay claim to their portion of the $20 price cut right away. Five used to pay $1. Today, though, he walks out with the first four and pays nothing. That's one more diner on the "freeloader's" list.
Diner number six cuts his share of the tab from $3 to $2. Life is good.
Diner number seven? His tab before the price cut was $7. He now gets by with just $5.
Diner number eight lowers his payment from $12 to $9. He moves ever- so-slightly into the freeloading category.
Next is diner number nine. He's still paying more than his share, but that's OK, he's been successful (lucky) and can afford it. He pays $12.
Now --- here comes diner number ten. He, too, wants his share of the $20 price cut, so his share of the tab goes from $59 to $52. He saves $7.00 per day!
Outside the restaurant there is unrest. The first nine diners have convened on the street corner to discuss the events of the day. Diner six spots diner ten with $7 in his hand. "Not fair!" he screams. "I only got one dollar. He's got seven!"
Diner five, who now eats for free, is similarly outraged. "I only got one dollar too! This is wrong!" Diner even joins the rumblings; "Hey! I only get two bucks back! Why should he get seven?"
The unrest spreads. Now the first four men - men who have been getting a free ride all along - join in. They demand to know why they didn't share in the savings from the $20 price cut! Sure, they haven't been paying for their meals anyway, but they do have other bills to pay and they felt that a share of the $20 savings should have gone to them.
Now we have a mob. The laws of Democracy - mob rule - take over and they turn on the tenth diner. They grab him, tie him up, then take him to the top of a hill and lynch him.
At the bottom of the hill proprietor Daschle watches the goings-on, and smiles.
The next day nine men show up at Dashle's Diner for their noon meal. When the meal is over they're $52 short.
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Joe Barta wrote:

In the US is the folks in the middle that work the hardest, and the ones on top that tend to be lucky.

I thought each man payed according to his ability. What happened to Five's ability? You can't just change the rules in the middle of the game can you?
--
Thank you,



"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
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dnoyeB wrote:

You may be right. As with many places around the US, I live near a few industrial parks. I've always noticed the number of Cadillacs and Lincolns that are parked right near the front door well after business hours.
Years ago I had a lucky boss like that. Was a millionaire many times over. Very often he'd be in his office making phone calls, doing paperwork or whatever long after everyone else went home. Matter of fact, the guy had a cot in a small room just off his office and had been known to spend the night there from time to time.
I'm with you... I say he was damn lucky to have worked so hard to build his business and his fortune.
Joe Barta
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Joe Barta wrote:

I think he was indeed lucky to be able to have his hard work be so fruitful. There are plenty small business owners that work very hard and it has paid off. But they don't work harder than the people they employ. They wouldn't stand for it.
--
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"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
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dnoyeB wrote:

His labor being fruitful had little to do with luck.
Who has a better chance of making a fortune... a hard working hourly punch press operator or a hard working real estate developer? Seems to me "luck" has very little to do with it. There are other factors that have MUCH more influence over whether someone makes their fortune in this world.

Absolutely. The opportunity is there for anyone with the guts and perseverance to do it.

I'd say that's complete nonsense, but I suppose that depends on your definition of "work".

You lost me here. Who exactly wouldn't stand for what exactly?
Joe Barta
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When I hear folks complain about the "rich" not being taxed enough, I think of the folks making $20k a year and paying 25% and of Bill Gates..if he only paid 1%, he's pay more in one year than most folks pay in a lifetime..
bottom line: how many good jobs have you had where the owner was poor?
mac
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On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 08:52:05 -0800, mac davis

In actuality, someone with a *taxable income* of $20k will pay on the order of less than 12%. The person with a taxable income of $20k will actually be making quite a bit more because the tax quoted is for income after the standard deduction and before any tax credits are applied.

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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dnoyeB wrote:

Reminds me of a Jack Handey quote...
"Children need encouragement. If a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way he develops a good, lucky feeling."
Joe Barta
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dnoyeB wrote: <SNIP>

Before we move on - have you ever actually *run* a company or at least been in charge of a significant staff of people? Or are you just peddling more class-envy? Class envy is beneath the dignity of any civilized person, BTW.
You statement is baldly false in most cases. There a people who are wealthy that have not earned it, of course - say those who get it via inheritence - but they are the minority. The vast majority of wealth is earned by owning/running businesses. And you are seriously kidding yourself if you think the middle class works the hardest. "Harder", I believe, is probably most easily measured by number of working hours expended. (I have had jobs that involved physical labor and jobs that were essentially mental, and the mentally-centric jobs are just as hard to do, and perhaps more difficult. So, I don't buy the argument that physical labor necessarily makes you a "harder worker", though every union rep tries to sell that nonsense at contract time.) By that measure, poor people work even harder than the middle class for far less. And the working rich - corporate execs, business owners, etc. - work far harder than either of them, almost without exception by this measure. I am not saying the wealthy deserve any special commendation for their hard work - they are handsomly rewarded for it. But the classist argument you put forth above is just nonsense (in *most*, but not all cases).
Luck/good fortune/timing and so on plays some role in success, but it is not the major determinant. Luck is most usually trotted out as the basis for success by people who are not all that successful and need to rationalize their own mediocrity or failure. I know plenty of people - myself among them - who grew up in very meager circumstances, had no particular connections, didn't go to the "right" schools, and still managed to become comfortably successful. Some of these people I know are flat out wealthy, and some are fabulously rich. So, no, I don't buy the "luck" argument at all.
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Two members of that and the minority that come easily to mind are the two left bookends from Massachusetts.
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Cooking the books helps.
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Lobby Dosser wrote:

I have a friend... good guy... but he has this negativity about him.
When you talk to him it becomes clear that he sees the world in terms of "us" and "them". "Us", is all the "regular people"... good, decent, hardworking and honest.
"Them" is anyone that achieved any kind of success in the world (monetary or otherwise). "Them" are the business owners and the bosses, the leaders and the politicians and the successful professionals.
"Them" are bad people... bad, dishonest, generally lazy, not very nice and by simple luck of the draw are in a position to exploit the system and exploit "us".... and they are not bashful about doing so. Even if someone begins life as one of "us", once any success is achieved, it becomes obvious how they achieved it... we all know how "they" achieve success.
If one of "them" screws up and loses his fortune, unless he has done something extremely distasteful, he joins (or rejoins) the ranks of "us"... and of course, the reason for his troubles is... you guessed it... "them".
Joe Barta
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Do the names Lay or Skilling ring a bell.
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Lobby Dosser wrote:

I rest my case.
Joe Barta
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Lobby Dosser wrote:
<SNIP>

OK, name all the US corporations found guilty (or likely to be guilty) of serious fraud in the past 5 years. (As opposed to those who've had no legal problems or the problems were minor/regulatory "traffic tickets".) Here, I'll start the list for you:
Enron Tyco Adelphia Worldcom
There are probably a few others I'm forgetting at the moment.
Now, list all the companies that have had *no* legal infractions. I won't even try to start that list because the number is likely in the 10s of thousands.
Elevating Lay or Skilling as examples of ordinary corporate behavior is assinine. I have worked with literally dozens of corporate leaders in my career. Some were better at their jobs than others. Some were better human beings than others. And, yes, some were more honest than others. But I never noticed the distribution of ability, character, and honesty being particularly different than other professions. I've certainly seen plenty of dishonesty from blue-collar tradesmen, especially unionized workers, but I don't therefore presume they mostly/all are dishonest.
Your comments, however brief, are yet another example of class envy which, like all forms of bigotry, I condemn out of hand.
--
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No, they are not.
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