Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Lunch is for losers
Posted by David Smith at 08:18 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Free Lunch: Easily Digestible Economics, my introduction/refresher to economics, is gradually conquering the world. After the Chinese, Russian, Indian and Korean editions, there is now a German version. I understand there is no direct translation for 'There's no such thing as a free lunch' in German, so the title is something like 'Lunch is for losers'.


I wonder if you would agree with James Kroeger that a steeply-graduated income tax does, indeed, provide a "free lunch" of sorts:

"The Progressive Income Tax is widely misunderstood today because people do not realize that it collects money from taxpayers in a way that always preserves every citizen's purchasing power. Each is spared the decline in purchasing power she would otherwise have experienced if only she had paid the tax."

Could he be right?


Posted by: Linette at July 7, 2005 09:50 PM

Is Bob Geldof a meddling idiot?
Who is responsible for poverty?
And what is poverty anyway?

Posted by: indcoup at July 8, 2005 07:22 AM

Congratulation with the German edition! (I would translate the German title in a different way, as far as I understand English and German, but like your joke).
It is a really good book for people with some imagination. It is well known that the hardest thing is to express complex problems in simple words. Ideas are worth more than methods.

Posted by: I.Kitov at July 8, 2005 08:07 AM

Thanks for the comments. James Kroeger makes an interesting point. You could argue that the Laffer curve, when it works, is indeed a free lunch - lower tax rates but higher tax revenues.

Posted by: David Smith at July 8, 2005 06:25 PM