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, from Florida. They go with a White House official to examine the fence.
How it works: The Florida contractor, Jonathan, 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."
Cletus, 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."
Vito from Jersey 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. And that, my friends, is how it all works, and it's party neutral!!