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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gail Collins, "It’s Only a Million": How Much Does It Cost Not to Listen to Jeb or Hillary?

When I was very little, I remember visits from my maternal grandparents, who were both the children of impoverished immigrants to the United States. Invariably, the conversation would turn to some item or article regarding which my grandfather would tell us excitedly how much it's worth. And my father, who never had much patience for his in-laws, would invariably respond:

"Did you hear the story about the one-million dollar dog? Its owner traded it for two $500,000 cats!"

Some 50 years later, trading a special dog for two special cats at these prices would not even elicit a blink of an eye.

Today, in a New York Times op-ed entitled "It’s Only a Million" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/opinion/collins-its-only-a-million.html?ref=opinion&_r=0), Gail Collins observes:

"A million dollars will get you Jeb Bush’s advice. Also, it will buy a visit from Hillary Clinton. Four, in fact — she gets around $250,000 per appearance. When someone in the audience threw a shoe at her recently, she was speaking at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries."

Hmm, I wonder what amount speeches from Barack Obama will soon be commanding.

But more to the point, a million dollars still buys a lot of food, or shoes (for wearing, not for throwing), or basic medical treatment for the poor, of whom there are many.

Pay not to listen to Jeb or Hillary? Fortunately, it still doesn't cost us a penny.

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