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Thread: Panera Bread’s ‘pay-what-you-want’ socialist program goes totally belly-up...

  1. #11
    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    I'd hardly call "pay what you want" a "socialist" concept - I'd call it a "libertarian" concept.

    But this is a fairly well known problem, and is more generally why we have to have compulsory taxes to do things like helping the poor rather than leaving everything up to private charity.

    Because the amount people "want" to pay to private charities turns out to be an order of magnitude or so lower than what is actually needed. The people who say "if only the government didn't tax me and let me give the same money to a charity of my choosing instead" are all very well but it turns out most people aren't like that and wouldn't actually give enough in total if "pay what you want" was the model.

    Thus the libertarian model of voluntary charity / voluntary taxation falls apart.

  2. #12
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimbulb View Post
    I'd hardly call "pay what you want" a "socialist" concept - I'd call it a "libertarian" concept.

    But this is a fairly well known problem, and is more generally why we have to have compulsory taxes to do things like helping the poor rather than leaving everything up to private charity.

    Because the amount people "want" to pay to private charities turns out to be an order of magnitude or so lower than what is actually needed. The people who say "if only the government didn't tax me and let me give the same money to a charity of my choosing instead" are all very well but it turns out most people aren't like that and wouldn't actually give enough in total if "pay what you want" was the model.

    Thus the libertarian model of voluntary charity / voluntary taxation falls apart.
    You think a "pay what you want" restaurant scheme is analogous to a charity?
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  3. #13
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's still in operation, but years ago (20?) I was involved with a concept in San Antonio, where there was a "regular" restaurant where prices were normal restaurant prices, but the waitstaff were volunteers, as well as most of the kitchen help. As I recall, they had a full time chef and a full time manager - all other staff were volunteers. All proceeds went to run a local soup kitchen, where all meals were free. Downtown businessmen and local church members were encouraged to eat at the "regular" restaurant, and overpay if they wished, and all tips to waitstaff went into the kitty for the soup kitchen.

    It actually worked quite well - the soup kitchen was able to provide decent tasty meals, the "regular" restaurant stayed "in the black", and it was not unusual for 'customers' to order a $9 - $15 meal and pay $20.00 -- but anything more than the menu price was entirely voluntary. It was kinda fun to 'brag', yeah, I just had a really good meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and it only cost $50!!!
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  4. #14
    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need"
    I'd note that the socialist proverb is indeed from each according to his "ability", not from each according to his "as much as you happen to feel like contributing". One of several reasons why the system being described in the OP is libertarian, not socialist.

  5. #15
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    I'd note that the socialist proverb is indeed from each according to his "ability", not from each according to his "as much as you happen to feel like contributing". One of several reasons why the system being described in the OP is libertarian, not socialist.
    What if I have a gun and I decide you are "able" to pay 95% of everything you own?
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  6. #16
    tWebber
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    How exactly is this a "socialist" program?

  7. #17
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    I'd hardly call "pay what you want" a "socialist" concept - I'd call it a "libertarian" concept.
    Sounds a lot like "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" to me. They were asking people to pay what they can afford.

    Source: http://paneracares.org/our-mission/

    These cafes operate on a pay-what-you-can model and depend on your donations and support to ensure our sustainability. Panera Cares cafes provide suggested donation amounts for all menu items to help you understand the cost of “paying it forward” and assisting those who struggle with food insecurity.

    © Copyright Original Source



    But this is a fairly well known problem, and is more generally why we have to have compulsory taxes to do things like helping the poor rather than leaving everything up to private charity.
    Which is why any truly socialist country ends up being a totalitarian government. There is no incentive to work if the government actually does give you everything free. So when people stop working, a totalitarian government has to step in to force them to work for their daily bread. Under capitalism, profit is an incentive to work and produce.

    Because the amount people "want" to pay to private charities turns out to be an order of magnitude or so lower than what is actually needed. The people who say "if only the government didn't tax me and let me give the same money to a charity of my choosing instead" are all very well but it turns out most people aren't like that and wouldn't actually give enough in total if "pay what you want" was the model.

    Thus the libertarian model of voluntary charity / voluntary taxation falls apart.
    This wasn't charity. It was a business. And it failed.
    Last edited by Sparko; 02-08-2019 at 08:11 AM.

  8. #18
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimbulb View Post
    I'd note that the socialist proverb is indeed from each according to his "ability", not from each according to his "as much as you happen to feel like contributing". One of several reasons why the system being described in the OP is libertarian, not socialist.
    The problem is that "ability" and "need" are highly subjective evaluations. You might decide that I'm able to give more than I think I'm able to give, and I might decide that you need less than what you think you need. The only way to resolve this dispute is if a third party enforces its own notions of "ability" and "need". This is why a socialist government is almost inevitably a totalitarian one.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  9. #19
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    The problem is that "ability" and "need" are highly subjective evaluations. You might decide that I'm able to give more than I think I'm able to give, and I might decide that you need less than what you think you need. The only way to resolve this dispute is if a third party enforces its own notions of "ability" and "need". This is why a socialist government is almost inevitably a totalitarian one.
    Socialism is entirely founded on the principle that somebody can control OPM. And that somebody (or group) always manages to get more than their fare share.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  10. #20
    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Socialism is entirely founded on the principle that somebody can control OPM. And that somebody (or group) always manages to get more than their fare share.
    FAIR share....
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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