Politics as Usual

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Strong demand for an item in short supply sounds like an entrepreneur’s dream.

But the golden rule of capitalism has proven less than successful for Common Sense, Inc. The company’s recent expansion bid into Washington, DC has cut into revenue and driven the stock price down 30% from last month’s high.

What’s going on? Price-fixing? Competitive distortions? Market regulation?

Otis Isrich, CEO, believes the answer is less complicated than any of those scenarios. He says, “We went to Washington because research showed a high level of demand among voters for Congress to begin exhibiting common sense. But we discovered there’s no market for our product in this town.”

Indeed, Common Sense ran into a wall of opposition in the Senate as soon as the company arrived on Capitol Hill. Both Republicans and Democrats were unreceptive to the company’s overtures, believing the product unnecessary and confusing.

“The feeling was that Common Sense would impede the normal workings of our government,” said one Senator’s aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

For Mr. Isrich, the failure of Common Sense to make headway in Washington was a valuable lesson. “You can lead a politician to the trough,” he says. “But you can’t make him think.”

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