The Real World Experience Project
I was just reading this post over at Rising Hegemon (thanks to Atta J. Turk), which features this interesting snippet of Presidential monologue.
This guy has got a great question because really what he's talking about is transparency in pricing. When you go buy a car, you know exactly what they're going to charge you. (Laughter.) Well, sometimes you don't know. (Laughter.) Well, you negotiate with them. (Laughter.) Well, they put something on the window that says price. (Laughter.) His point is, is that the more you know about price, the better you can make better decisions, and I appreciate that.
Here's another example of Bush putting his foot in it -- when you go to buy a car, you don't know exactly what they're going to charge you. You don't even, I'm given to understand, know whether in some cases they'll even condescend to sell you the car you're looking at -- that's what that "OAC" thing is they always talk about in car commercials, "On Approved Credit," and ask anyone with a spotty work history or skin darker than light pink about "redlining," which car companies do all the time, the same as the rest of the lending industry. (Car lending is big business; look at the squabbling recently about GMAC, General Motors' credit and lending division.)
I'd posit, then, that as the current POTUS, the son of a former President, and someone who comes from several generations of serious money, Bush doesn't know Thing One about buying cars, or, for that matter, groceries, toothbrushes, or replacement toilet seats. He probably hasn't even had the iconic teenage experience of sneaking off to the 7-11 after curfew to grab Coke, nachos and cheese, penny candies, and other such staples, and/or to try to convince the clerk to sell him cigarettes or beer, assuming of course that he was in a jurisdiction where beer is sold in 7-11s, as I am not. (In my misspent yout', we also specialised in lifting skin mags, but that's another story entirely.)
Then again, this probably doesn't make Bush all that out of the ordinary for a high-level politician. Most of them probably don't do their own shopping; they have enough money to hire someone to take care of all those tedious details de menage. That's why the challenge. If you should get the chance, ask your local elected leaders if they know how much a loaf of bread costs. Just an ordinary, not fancy loaf of bread from any of the local grocery stores; not a fancy gourmet loaf from the local specialty bakery, either.
The answers might be instructive, provide great segues to follow-up questions ("Actually, Mr. Premier, a loaf of bread doesn't cost 59 cents; it costs $1.09. Given that you don't even know that, don't you think it's time for you to review social assistance rates comparative to the actual cost of living?"), and really great negative ads for the next election campaign.