Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness

  1. #1

    Default Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness

    Read this today, found it interesting. Thoughts?

    “The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

    Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

    But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

    This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

    ― Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

  2. Remove this section of ads by registering.
  3. #2


    Vimes has a quote somewhere that I found very profound.

    He was pondering the truncheon by his side and why it was not a sword and must never be a sword.

    I can't find it for the life of me.
    In New Zealand:
    The Coastguard is a Charity
    Air Traffic Control is a private company run on user fees
    The DMV is a private non-profit
    Rescue helicopters and ambulances are operated by charities and are plastered with corporate logos
    The agriculture industry has zero subsidies
    5% of the national vote, gets you 5 seats in Parliament
    A tax return has 4 fields
    Business licenses aren't even a thing nor are capital gains taxes
    Constitutional right to refuse any type of medical care

  4. #3


    It is true that expensive/quality is sometimes/often a better deal, and that people with less money sometimes/often cannot avail themselves of better deals. But the (Madison Avenue driven) desire of people with less money to have MORE STUFF is confounding "our" POVERTY PROBLEM more than their inability to snag BETTER DEALS.

    Conspicuous Consumption + Planned Obsolescence = Double Trouble.

    That said,

    Denis Diderot: "If exclusive privileges were not granted, and if the financial system would not tend to concentrate wealth, there would be few great fortunes and no quick wealth. When the means of growing rich is divided between a greater number of citizens, wealth will also be more evenly distributed; extreme poverty and extreme wealth would be also rare."
    Last edited by cheapseats; 01-18-2013 at 06:11 AM.

  5. #4


    Its even more simple than this. Take cars for instance. Those who are very poor have a much more difficult time buying a car for cash. So they end up paying 6-7% interest, and hundreds of dollars a year extra in full coverage insurance to satisfy the requirements of the loan. Furthermore, because the rich man will be paying in cash, he has the freedom to buy quality used cars without having to pay dealer markup. (It is much more difficult to get a private loan for a vehicle bought from an individual)

    Taking all of this into consideration, it is conceivable that even if the wealthy man bought the exact same quality car, he could very well end up spending about half of what the poor man spent.

  6. #5


    Terry Pratchett is pretty much the best. You get at least 10 cool points for the reference!

    But the real reason that people are rich is because WE, THE PEOPLE made them rich. Nobody became rich on their own. The market works because we all have the freedom to dollar vote for the people who benefit us more than other people do.

    For a more developed argument read this thread that I posted...Does Voting Allow You to Express Yourself?

    I added Terry Pratchett to the criticism section of the Wikipedia entry on foot voting. But I also added the passage by Friedman and the passage about Hayek.

Similar Threads

  1. Taking out American SocioEconomic System
    By LibForestPaul in forum Economy & Markets
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-24-2015, 08:43 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-06-2011, 08:14 AM
  3. Barack Obama's Paycheck Unfairness Act
    By FrankRep in forum U.S. Political News
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-18-2011, 02:44 PM
  4. Replies: 21
    Last Post: 02-17-2008, 05:16 AM
  5. Paul sure as hell better mention this unfairness next time he talks
    By TheWhiteRider in forum Reagan Library Debate
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 01-31-2008, 11:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts