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The bailout game
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With all the talk of bailouts, there has been a popular demand for a home edition of the bailout game.

You will need $110,030 in play money, a pizza and four players. One person acts as the bank. The bank player starts off with $10,000 and there is $100,000 in "bailout" money. The other three players have $10 each.

Round one: The bank has paid $1,000 for the pizza so in order to make back its investment, it must charge $100 per slice of pizza. So, the bank player offers each player a slice of pizza for $100. Every player refuses because they each only have $10. The highest price possible for a piece of pizza is (drum roll) $10.

Round two: Now for the Obama/Republican/Democrat bailout. The bank player is given the $100,000 in "bailout" money so now they have $110,000. And they have still paid $1,000 for the pizza and offer each player a slice of pizza for $100. Since all the other players still only have $10 each, the maximum price of a slice of pizza remains at (drum roll) $10.

No matter how many rounds of the "bailout" game are played, the result is always the same. The value of any asset is what someone else is willing and able to pay for it. What a bank or other investor paid for it is irrelevant.

The bailout game is not the answer. Bailouts are the question. The answer should be no. Write to your representative today.

Patrick Durusau is a resident of Newton County. His columns regularly appear on Fridays.