day at a few minutes past noon ten men walk into Daschle’s Diner on
the outskirts of Washington D.C. These are men of habit, a habit which
dictates that they will all order the exact same meals every day, and
every day the final tab will come to the exact same total.
The ten meals are priced at
$10 each, so the tab was $100.
One hundred dollars each and every day.
every man pay the price of his $10 meal as he leaves?
Not at Daschle’s Diner. No
sir! At Daschle’s Diner
the motto is “From each according to their ability, to each according
to their hunger.” So,
each man was charged for his meal according to his ability to pay!
every day the ten diners would finish their lunch and lineup in exactly
the same order as they pass the cashier and leave.
The first four men would walk right past the cashier without
paying a thing. A free
fifth man in line would hand over $1 as he left.
At least he was paying something.
number six would hand over $3 to the cashier.
Number seven would pay $7.
number eight paid $12. That
was more than the value of his meal, but he, like those who followed him
in line, had been very lucky in life and was, therefore, he was in a
position to pay for his meal and for a part of someone else’s.
number nine paid $18.
comes diner number 10. He
is the wealthiest of the ten diners.
He’s taken some real chances and has worked well into the night
when the other diners were home with their families, and it has paid
off. When number 10 gets to
the cashier he pays the balance of the bill.
He forks over $59.
day an amazing thing happens. It
seems that Daschle has a partner in Daschle’s Diner.
The partner runs an upscale restaurant,
Trentt’s Trattoria, located in a wealthier section of D.C.
Times have been good and the partnership has been raking in
record profits, so the partner, who controls 51% of the partnership,
orders a 20% reduction in the price of meals.
next day the ten diners arrive on schedule.
They sit down and eat their same meals.
This time, though, the 20% price cut has gone into effect and the
bill comes to $80. Eight
bucks per diner.
diners line up at the cashier in the same order as before.
For the first four diners, no change.
They march out without paying a cent.
number five and six lay claim to their portion of the $20 price cut
right away. Five used to
pay $1. Today, though, he
walks out with the first four and pays nothing.
That’s one more diner on the “freeloader’s” list.
number six cuts his share of the tab from $3 to $2.
Life is good.
number seven? His tab
before the price cut was $7. He
now gets by with just $5.
number eight lowers his payment from $12 to $9.
He moves ever-so-slightly into the freeloading category.
is diner number nine. He’s
still paying more than his share, but that’s OK, he’s been
successful (lucky) and can afford it.
He pays $12.
--- here comes diner number ten. He,
too, wants his share of the $20 price cut, so his share of the tab goes
from $59 to $52. He saves
$7.00 per day!
the restaurant there is unrest. The
first nine diners have convened on the street corner to discuss the
events of the day. Diner
six spots diner ten with $7 in his hand.
“Not fair!” he screams. “I only got one dollar.
He’s got seven!”
five, who now eats for free, is similarly outraged.
“I only got one dollar too!
This is wrong!” Diner
seven joins the rumblings; “Hey!
I only get two bucks back! Why
should he get seven?”
unrest spreads. Now the
first four men – men who have been getting a free ride all along –
join in. They demand to
know why they didn’t share in the savings from the $20 price cut!
Sure, they haven’t been paying for their meals anyway, but they
do have other bills to pay and they felt that a share of the $20 savings
should have gone to them.
we have a mob. The laws of
Democracy – mob rule – take over and they
turn on the tenth diner. They
grab him, tie him up, then take him to the top of a hill and lynch him.
the bottom of the hill proprietor Daschle watches the goings-on, and
next day nine men show up at Dashle’s Diner for their noon meal.
When the meal is over they're $52 short.