Monday, November 19, 2007

Taxes Simply Put (Classic Story)

Ok, I know that this is an old story - but it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who A) Haven't seen this one before, and B) Don't understand this concept.

I'm starting to wonder if the stuff I heard at the last Fast Track to Cash Flow event in Vancouver talking about moving to Alberta because of their great tax structure (comparitively speaking with the rest of Canada) might be a good idea or not...

Anyway, here's the story:

Lets put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten people go out for dinner. 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 (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh $7.
The eighth $12.
The ninth $18.
The tenth (the richest) would pay $59.
So, thats what they decided to do.

They ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a problem. "Since you are all such good customers," the owner said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20."

So, now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So, the first four were unaffected, they would still eat for free.

What about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get their fair share?

The six paying customers realised that $20 divided by six is $3.33. If they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth and the sixth would each end up being 'PAID' to eat their meal.

So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each persons bill by roughly the same amount, and proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now paid $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. The first four continued to eat for free. Once outside the restaurant, they began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth, pointing to the tenth diner "but they got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth. "I only saved a dollar, too. Its unfair that they got ten times more than me!"

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

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine surrounded and beat up the tenth diner.

The next night the tenth diner didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without number ten. 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!

That, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table any more.

If you're interested in finding out ways to save those hard earned dollars before the tax man cometh, why not contact a few of the folks at Infiniti Point


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