Re: Consumption 2: The Return (With New and Improved Definitions and Proofs!)

From: Russell Turpin (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 06:17:40 PST

I don't buy it, Jeff. You've restricted the notion
of EQUITABLE so that it applies only when
two people consume the same proportion of
their income. We already know, those who earn
less tend to consume a greater proportion of
their income. It's pretty obvious why, since
Popeye's Chicken charges the same to both
me and my neighbor who earns minimum wage.
So what's the point? How is a tax system
equitable when it slows wealth accumulation for
lower wage earners, unless they rather
heroically cut back their consumption to be
proportional to that of their higher earning

I'm a good person to press this criticism, Jeff,
since you know I am a believer and practitioner
in cutting personal expenses. Nonetheless, I
would be digging myself into debt if I lived the
way I did and earned minimum wage. Sure,
I would then cut expenses even more. But the
raw truth: it is easier to scale your personal
expenses back from $3,000/month to $1,200/
month, than from $1,200/month to $600/month.
A LOT easier. Despite the fact that the former
is a 66% reduction, while the latter is a mere
50% reduction. The lower you get, the harder
it goes.


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