Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One from Bangladesh, another from India and the third, from China.
They go with a White House official to examine the fence.
The Bangladesh 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 team and $100 profit for me)".
The Chinese contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says,
"I can do this job for $700. ($300 for materials, $300 for my team and $100 profit for me)".
The Indian contractor 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 Indian contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from China to fix the fence."
"Done!" Replies the official.