Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Parable of Gus and Ralph

Warning: Hidden anti-car message below!

Let's suppose that Ralph has a neighbor whose house needs serious repairs. That neighbor, let's call him Gus, finds a contractor who will do the work for $100,000! Yikes! He can't afford that.

Fortunately, Gus finds a second contractor who will do the same work for only $10,000. As Gus' friend, Ralph is relieved.

So the contractor begins his work. As he tears out walls for remodeling, he throws the trash in Ralph's yard. Clearly, Ralph is unhappy about this. "What's the deal?" he asks Gus.

"In order to afford to have the work done at this price, the contractor has to cut corners," Gus explains.

And so, as Gus' friend, Ralph picks up the junk and moves it to the garbage.

The next day, as the contractor is throwing junk out in Ralph's yard, a board with a nail konks Ralph's daughter on the head and kills her! Now he's seriously miffed.

"It's the best he can do at that cost," Gus informs Ralph with a resigned sigh.

Ah, well. If it's the best he can do...

The contractor continues his messy, dangerous work and Ralph's poor mourning family continues to clean up. In the process, Ralph's wife gets cancer from the asbestos that was thrown in his yard. She dies.

It's sad, but Gus just couldn't afford the better contractor who would have done the job more professionally for ten times the cost. And Ralph died soon thereafter a broken man. That was sad, too.

The end.

The moral?

I'm not sure. But sometimes, it seems to me, $2/gallon gasoline is not nearly as overpriced as it might seem at first blush.

1 comment:

ricklibrarian said...

Maybe when the price of gasoline gets high, people will finally want to conserve. Of course, that has been said many times before. The poorer people who have to drive far to their poorly paying jobs suffer. I recently noted again the Chamber of Commerce lobbyists were saying that people who earn less than living wages would suffer more if the minimum wage was raised because they then wouldn't have any jobs at all. Life isn't fair!