Do the math

When George W. Bush took office in January 2001, there were reports that the outgoing Clinton staffers vandalized the White House. These reports were denied by the Clinton administration, but have recently been confirmed by the GAO.
Here’s what has me confused: one of the examples of vandalism cited in the GAO report is that “as many as 75 computer keyboards had to be replaced ? at a cost of more than $5,000 ? because Clinton staffers had broken off the W keys.” OK, let’s ignore the “as many as” and “more than” qualifiers and assume that exactly 75 keyboards were replaced, at a cost of exactly $5000. That works out to $67 per keyboard.
Where is the White House buying computer equipment? Of the sixteen keyboards for sale on the Best Buy website, only the four most expensive have prices over $60. And that’s if you buy only one of them at list price. The federal government, which buys items like keyboards by the truckload, presumably pays wholesale prices for them, probably with a hefty discount.
So how does the White House end up paying $67 for a keyboard when I, a lone consumer, can get one for $12.99 at Best Buy (and for 99 cents at Computer Surplus Outlet)?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *