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The Parable of the Tax Cuts25 April 2001
Two guys, Karl and Ken go into the world's greatest, most spacious, stupendous all-purpose store. This store sells everything. Karl picks up a CD that he wanted. The clerk charges him $25 and Karl pays and leaves.
Ken searches for just the right yacht and finds it several miles down aisle "Y and J" (for yachts and jets). What a beauty! Ken pays $250,000 for it.
That night George, the manager of the store, realizes that a big mistake has been made. Both Karl and Ken along with 98 other customers have been overcharged by that mathematically challenged new cashier who graduated with honors from the local high school.
George immediately calls both Karl and Ken and the 98 others to tell them to come in and get their refunds. Karl and Ken arrive at the same time and meet George at the cash register. George is giving refunds to all the customers who were overcharged. George now explains to Karl and Ken that he is very sorry that he took too much money and he is now going to return the extra charge. He gives $5 back to Karl because the CD was only supposed to be $20, not $25. George then gives $50,000 back to Ken because the yacht was only supposed to be $200,000, not $250,000.
Karl goes ballistic!
"Hey, hold on!" he screams. "That's unfair! I'm only getting back $5 and that guy is getting back $50,000!"
Before George can say anything, a woman pipes up: "I only got back $3."
"Miss," George says, "You bought a blow dryer that was supposed to be $17 and we charged you $20. We're giving you back...."
"Wait just one minute," says another man. "I only got back 25 cents."
"But you bought a magazine," says George.
"Excuse me," says a distinguished gentleman, "I am a math teacher. In fact, I taught your cashier. Do you realize that the fellow over there is getting back over 99 percent of all the money returned today? I mean, there are one hundred people who bought things yesterday, I counted them just now, and he is just one percent of the people who were shortchanged. Why should he get 99 percent of the money?"
"I say we vote on who gets money back," suggests another woman.
"Yeah, let's vote," says a young man. "I say only the people who bought things for less than $211.50 should get any money back. Let's have a show of hands!"
All but two of the customers raise their hands. Of course, Ken's hand isn't raised and a little boy's hand isn't raised. The little boy had received a ten-cent refund on a candy bar he bought.
"Hey, sonny," said the young man, "why aren't you voting with us? You want this guy to get all that money back."
"But, mister," says the little boy, "it's his money."
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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