For Fans of Pawn Stars

(Customer walks up to Rick at counter)

Rick:  What have you got there?

Customer:  This is a paint brush which has dried paint on it.

(Rick takes the brush from the customer and examines it)

Rick:  Paint brushes have been used for hundreds of years.  What you do is get one of these new then buy some paint and dip the brush into the paint.  That way they could paint wood, metal or just about anything they wanted to.  Where did you get this?

Customer:  I found it in my garage as I was cleaning out some trash.

(Cut to Rick alone removed from the customer)

Rick:  Used paint brushes have been around for hundreds of years.  If I can get this one at a decent price I definitely want it.

(Return to Rick and customer)

Rick:  Before I can give you a price I’d like to get a friend of mine to come down here and take a look at this.  Would that be alright?

Customer:  Sure.

(Later in episode a fellow joins Rick and the customer at the counter)

Rick voice over:  Tad Gack is a junk dealer.  Whenever I get something like a used paint brush in I like Tad to take a look at it and tell me what it’s worth.

(Tad shakes hands with Rick)

Tad:  What have you got, Rick?

Rick:  (hands him the used paint brush) 

Tad:  What are your concerns?

Rick:  Is it authentic and what is it worth?

Tad:  (examines the brush)  These are generally used to paint things.  There has to be a bucket of paint to go with it.  But I can tell by looking at this that it was used to paint something.  I can’t say what but all of this caked paint definitely shows it was used to paint something.

(Customer smiles)

Rick:  What is it worth?

Tad:  (hands it back to Rick) Nothing, Rick.  It’s a used paint brush.

Rick:  (turns to customer)  What did you want to do?  Pawn it or sell it.

Customer:  I want to sell it.

Rick:  What did you have in mind for a price?

Customer:  A hundred thousand dollars.

Rick:  Not going to happen.  I am thinking more in the range of ten bucks.

Customer:  Can you do fifty thousand?

Rick:  (thinks about it and rocks his head from side to side)  I can do twelve bucks.  That’s the best I can do.  Really, by the time I mount this in a nice frame I’ll have to find someone who collects these things and I have to make money.

(The Old Man comes up)

Old Man:  Rick, what the hell are you doing?

Rick:  I’m trying to buy this used paint brush.

Old Man:  You are buying a used paint brush!?! (The Old Man grabs his chest and keels over)

Rick:  Twelve bucks.  That’s the best I can do.

Customer:  OK.  We have a deal.

(Rick and customer proudly shake on the deal)

Rick:  Let’s do some paperwork.

Old Man:  (grabs Rick’s leg as he steps over the Old Man) Rick, you idiot!

(Rick jerks his leg away from the Old Man and gives him a mean stare)


Wealth as a Factor in Political Races

First of all, it is perfectly alright to point out that a candidate is wealthy and imply or actually state that because of that factor they should not be elected because they are “out of touch”, “don’t get it (whatever it is)” or will do things only for other rich people.  However, the electorate is not dumb.

There are successful politicians on both sides of the isle that had personal wealth.  JFK, FDR, John Kerry, John Edwards, Jay RockefellerGeorge Bush, Mitt Romney, Nelson Rockefeller.  (P.S.  I think Obama is now a millionaire in his own right as a result of his books.)

I believe the average voter does not consider personal wealth a reason to not vote for a candidate.  To the contrary, I think the average voter is actually comforted if the candidate has personal wealth because he or she (1) doesn’t need to get elected or more importantly re-elected in order to provide for his family, (2) is less susceptible to bribes or favors and (3) probably is in politics because they want to be not in order to make money!

And anyone who thinks the average American resents wealth or super wealth, think about the number of sports fans who pay good money for tickets or watch professional sports for entertainment.  They know perfectly good and well the athletes they are watching a multi-millionaires.  If the average American disliked those with disproportionate wealth, they would boycotted athletic events… gosh they certainly don’t do that. 

Bottom line?  People in America don’t vote against millionaires just because they are millionaires. 

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Not Stephen – the other kind.

With all this discussion about jobs, remember there are three reasons a job is created.  The first reason a job is created is because somebody thinks they can make money paying a person to perform the required task.  This is why there is all this talk about uncertainty making CEO’s hesitant to spend the gobs of cash available. If one is uncertain as to tax rates, cost of benefits, regulation, etc. then it is hard to spend to create a job when that may not result in a profit.  The second reason a job is created is for the common good (building roads, funding medical research, fighting a war etc.)  The final reason a job is created is make someone more comfortable (household workers, gardeners, cooks etc; i.e. no profit motive).

The first category is obviously the business sector.  The second is government and non-profits.  The third is affluent people. 

Statistically, 75% of jobs fall in category one,  23% in category two and 2% in category three.


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