Tai Star of Tucson, AZ sets the world record by stacking 3,118 coins in an inverted cone or vase shape. He used 600 quarters ($150), 501 dimes ($50.10), 313 nickels ($15.65), almost 1,700 pennies ($17), plus a Mexican peso, 2 Canadian pennies and one quarter, and a British five-pence (shrug) which go inside the structure along with a bit of additional American currency, coming to -- crunch, crunch, crunch -- $232.75 (plus the foreigners). And yet, I doubt that he gets paid anything for his feat, thereby being able to create larger stacks. ;)
And yes, pro-One Percenters, it's balanced, but it's not entirely stable, per se. Keep that in mind. The whole thing can grow larger together safely, strengthening and stabilizing the base and middle, but disproportionately stacking more and more at the top will cause the entirety to collapse.
As a metaphor for tax structure, it works perfectly well, however. As the Right's 'other Messiah' Adam Smith says in their 'second Bible,' "Wealth of Nations":
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
Now, will somebody be able to stack even more coins on the lone dime? Of course; eventually someone will. Star beat his own previous record here. But again it becomes more difficult and less stable.
And besides, it's a metaphor, all of which fall apart at one point or another. ;)
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