Informal Study of Income Redistribution

Today on my way to lunch, I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read, “Vote Obama, I need the money.”  I laughed.

In the restaurant my server had on a “Obama 08” tie. Again I laughed, as he and the homeless guy had the same political preference a coincidence I just could not let go.

When the bill came, I explained to the waiter that I was exploring Obama’s redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to “redistribute” his tip to someone who I deemed more in need – the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed off.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I’d decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful, of course.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn, even though the actual recipient “needed” the money more than the waiter did.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow – as long as it’s happening to someone else.

Hat tip to Mike Morris

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