Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House
in D.C.; One from Illinois, one from Tennessee, and a third from Kentucky.
They all go with a White House official to examine the fence.
The Tennessee 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 Kentucky 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 Illinois contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to
the White House official and whispers, '$2,700.'
The official, incredulous, whispers back, 'You didn't even measure like
the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?'
The Illinois contractor whispers back, '$1000 for me, $1000 for you,
and we hire that guy from Kentucky to fix the fence.'
'Done!' replies the government official.
And that my friends, is how it all works ! ! !