Here’s a letter sent in response to an e-mail that arrived this afternoon:
Your e-mail invites me to seize what you describe as the “incredible opportunity” to enter “a contest to have dinner with President Donald J. Trump.” For only $10 I could enter to win an all-expense-paid trip to Washington and a meal on March 21st with the president.
Shame on you!
Mr. Trump is forever explaining to us Americans that we become poorer whenever we accept goods and services offered to us by strangers at unusually low prices. Yet here you are offering to me, for a mere $10, a chance of receiving a free trip to DC and a meal. $10 is a price well below the cost of transporting me to DC from my home in Virginia and then feeding me what would no doubt be a sumptuous dinner. Therefore, if Mr. Trump’s economics is correct (And who am I to doubt his genius?), were I to win this contest I would be made poorer.
So in the spirit of Mr. Trump’s own economic doctrines, I’ll decline your offer. I would not wish to burden the president’s conscience with the knowledge that he participated in a scheme to diminish my wealth by supplying me with a wickedly under-priced trip and meal.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
Of course, the real reason that I’m not seizing this “incredible opportunity” is that I would detest being in Trump’s presence.