Mathematician: Is that 18% of the pre-tax total, or of the total with tax?
Physicist: You know, it’s simpler if we assume the system doesn’t have tax.
Computer Scientist: But it does have tax.
Physicist: Sure, but the numbers work out more cleanly if we don’t pay tax and tip. It’s a pretty small error term. Let’s not complicate things unnecessarily.
Engineer: What you call a “small error,” I call a “collapsed bridge.”
Economist: Forget it. Taxes are inefficient, anyway. They create deadweight loss.
Mathematician: There you go again…
Economist: I mean it! If there were no taxes, I would have ordered a second soda. Continue reading