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Three contractors are bidding to fix the Capitol Hill security fence, one from New Jersey, one from Minnesota, and the third from Florida. They all go with a Department of Interior 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 run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me."

The Minnesota 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, he just leans over to the government 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?"

$1,000 for me, $1,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Minnesota

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