The United States wanted to get the Empire State building painted, so the job was put out to tender. The bids came in: a Chinese company offered to do it for 5 million dollars, an American company for 10 million, and a Colombian company for 20 million.

When the American authorities asked the companies to justify their figures, they responded as follows: the Chinese said "We will get the job done with the cheapest labour and materials."

The Americans said, "We will use only union labour and the best paint."

The Colombians said, "We will pay 5 million to the Chinese to do the job and split the rest with you."

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