shell-game

I received this from a friend a few weeks ago and have been giving it some thought:

It is the month of August, a resort town sits next to the shores of a lake. It is raining,  and the little town looks totally deserted.  It is tough times,  everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on  credit.

Suddenly,  a rich tourist comes to town.
He  enters the only hotel, lays a 100 dollar bill on the reception counter,  and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick  one.
The  hotel proprietor takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the  butcher.
The  Butcher takes the 100 dollar bill, and runs to pay his debt to the pig  raiser.
The  pig raiser takes the 100 dollar bill, and runs to pay his debt to the  supplier of his feed and fuel.
The  supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the town’s prostitute that in these hard times, gave her “services” on credit..
The  hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 dollar bill  to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she  brought her clients there.
The  hotel proprietor then lays the 100 dollar bill back on the counter so that  the rich tourist will not suspect anything.
At  that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and  takes his 100 dollar bill, after saying that he did not like any of the  rooms, and leaves town.
No  one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and  looks to the future with a lot of optimism .
And  that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the United States Government is doing business today.

Here’s what came to mind:

The rich tourist is actually the consultant hired by the city to help bring business to town.  He was hired because he told a great story and gave hope to the townspeople that he could bring change.  Each business in town had paid $10 into a pot to get the $100 demanded by the consultant.  He promised to spend the money to stimulate business in town (plus pay his modest 50% fee).  Now he has skipped town not having stimulated anything but his fee receipts.  And the bad part is that most of the businesses in town had borrowed the $10 from distant relatives.

Moral of the story (my opinion):

Spending tax dollars that have not yet been collected in order to create economic activity is stupid.  It is borrowing more money to solve problems spent by borrowing and spending beyond our means.  It is a shell game in which the only parties in the transaction who will come out ahead are the government members who will continue life as usual while the taxpayers go deeper in debt.

$100

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