How the Government Works

by Steve Ray on October 28, 2007

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House in D.C..  One from New Jersey, another from Tennessee and the third, Florida.   They go with a White House official to examine the fence.

The Florida contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil.  "Well", he says, "I figure the job will the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The New Jersey contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, "$2,700"

The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys!" "How did you come up with such a high figure?"

The New Jersey contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence."

"Done!", replies the government official.

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