Leaky Bucket Experiment

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By italyzfynest42
Words 606
Pages 3
What is the “leaky bucket experiment”? In the words of Okun: "The money must be carried from the rich to the poor in a leaky bucket. Some of it will simply disappear in transit, so the poor will not receive all the money that is taken from the rich." Basically, the leaky bucket experiment was a concept developed by Okun that explains how money in our economy flows from the rich to the poor in an inefficient matter. He uses the term “leaky bucket” because we can imagine a situation where the rich carry money to the poor using a cracked bucket in which some money falls out on the way. However, we may wonder just how big these cracks are, that is to say, just how much money is leaked in transit, and where does it go? In figuring this out, we are able to estimate just how inefficient our system is. The method in which this transfer occurs in our economy is primarily by taxes on the rich, and welfare programs for the poor. However, as we can guess, not 100% of the taxpayer’s money is transferred over. Okun explains how only in a perfectly efficient economy [which does not exist], would the transfer be dollar for dollar. Part of the leakage begins with personal costs on part of the taxpayer. How much money is earned and spent affects the final cost of the tax that the taxpayer actually incurs. Now, much like any other multi-level process in our economy, each level bears a cost on someone. In this case, money leaks from the taxes to all of the costs associated with managing and attempting to create a “fair” welfare program. So as we can see, much of the taxpayer’s dollar is lost directly in what I would consider the “vertical” transfer, that is, from one level of the chain to the next. Now, what about the “horizontal” aspects of the transfer? Within each level of the chain comes a sort of “side effect” caused by the people involved in that level. For example,…...

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