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The Stimulus Package, on the Fence

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House.
One is from Chicago , another is from Tennessee , and the third is from
Minnesota .

All three go with a White House official to examine the fence. The
Minnesota 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 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 Chicago 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 Chicago 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.