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imaginary fundraising (the 'iOU' pyramid)

A modest proposal of an i-based pyramid scheme -- just do the math.
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

The Honorable Richard Cheney Vice President Old Executive Office Building Washington, DC 20501-0011

12 May 2003

Dear Mr. Vice President,

Even as the 2004 campaign approaches, draconian new limits on monetary free speech, combined with the depradations on our corporate economy by tax-and-waste liberals under the previous ‘administration’ (as well as terrorists like Saddam Hussein and Seymour Hersh), threaten our well-laid plans to usher in the End Times, er, era of bliss and prosperity for all good Americans. Frankly, Dick, I fear that the long-suffering RNC faithful may become too disarrayed to flock effectively behind their great leaders. So, as a loyal Maine cattleman who knows the importance of keeping a herd in line, I humbly submit the following proposal to energize our electoral fundraising. The beauty of my plan, which I call ‘The Imaginary Friend Bush!™’ is that it works from the top down and requires almost nothing from each generous donor, yet promises enormous free speechmaking opportunities for both the RNC and its donors.

To set TIFB!™ in motion, you and other RNC officials would ask each well-connected tycoon in our elite Eagle’s Nest Egg™ club merely to send a letter to each of five imaginary friends. Simple as that! Just think of the many imaginary friends you count among your circle – Jesus, the spirit of Jefferson Davis, Santa Claus, the Unborn, Joe Sixpack, the global powerbrokers of New Europe, Davey and his dog Goliath, Rambo, throngs of grateful Iraqi schoolchildren, the heroes who saved Privates Jessica Lynch from Arab rapists, Miami Beach Buchananites, Stepin Fetchit…the list goes on. All these ‘iFriends’ are valuable potential donors we have yet to reach. And all are folks we can count on in this difficult time of need.

Our RNC letters to iFriends would merely ask the recipients to 1) forward the letter to five more iFriends (note: Atty’G says we might be able use his franking privileges to print pre- stamped envelopes??) and 2) send one thousand imaginary dollars (‘i$’) to each of up to five donors who passed the letter on before them. Just a thousand imaginary dollars from each donor – it may be the legal limit for individual campaign contributors, but heck, it’s pocket change, even in these tough times for America’s top tax bracket. And our typical donor won’t even miss the four thousand more i$ (imaginary = tax-free!) sent to his other iFriends. At first, the RNC coffers may see just a trickle of return – but once the bush of friendly letters branches forth like the Tree of Gesthemane, rewards will pour in. For, amazing as it seems, imaginary dollars sent by imaginary donors will compound into real dollars in absolute value terms!

To deal with this windfall, RNC could simply set up an automated account for direct transactions with donors. When that first transaction of 1000 i$ multiplied by each of 5 iFriends comes in, we’ll know we’ve really started something great. Soon after, 25 new iFriends will send in their donations of 1000 i$ each, and then 125 more iFriends, and so forth – well sir, it don’t take a hooknose East Coast trial lawyer to see how it’ll add up! Indeed, the crowning moment for each donor will come when his fifth set of donations arrives:1000 imaginary dollars from each of 3125 new imaginary friends. The RNC coffers will really be ringing up those transactions!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to get TIFB™ going for us. It’ll really get the funds flowing – so come November 2004…hooey, Dick, we’ll have ourselves a real Texas bbq to celebrate! Just imagine.


H.W. Merriwether Scunthorpe, III

n-pearson, Jun 12 2003

(?) MadeOff investment game http://www.cellufun...asp?c=com&g=madeoff
For full disclosure developed by yours truly's company [theircompetitor, May 12 2009]


       this is really long, and it looks like it will be a rant too.
ato_de, Jun 13 2003

       I did, and I decided the author was a good writer. However, the idea here is not so hot.
snarfyguy, Jun 13 2003

       [n-pearson] - this reads like the back page of the New Yorker and would fit well with their political leanings. You should send it in. Except the transition from imaginary to real dollars needs to be more clear. Or at least referred to more often, if not made more clear.
bungston, Jun 13 2003

       (It's satire on Bush's recent "tax break". At least, that's the way I read it.)   

       "Frankly, Dick, I fear that the long-suffering RNC faithful may become too disarrayed to flock effectively behind their great leaders."
That's what the NRA is for.

       I once had someone insist that the economic boom seen during the Clinton years was due to Reagan's "Trickle-Down Economics" kicking in. Honest to Ghod. I'm too polite to ask him why the effect lasted twice as long as Reagan or why th economy tanked when Bush got in office.
phoenix, Jun 13 2003

       Imaginary numbers are multiples of i, the square root of negative one. So imaginary donations sent in by imaginary donors actually equal -debits- from the recipient account. I.e. 1000i dollars from 5i donors is -5000 dollars. Awright so I tried to make such a clearly unworkable idea at least arguably relevant to the real world -- sorry if the satire was too long-winded tho.
n-pearson, Jun 14 2003

       This reminds me of a recent cartoon from the New Yorker. Two pleasant looking, "well-rounded", well-off, ruthless/clueless corporate grandpa types are sitting alone beside each other at a round table. In between them is a stuffed bunny rabbit. The one guy says to the other guy... OK, I'll sell you this stuffed bunny for 7 million dollars. Then, you sell me the bunny for 7 million dollars. [Idea - They've both "made" 7 million and risked absolutely nothing (of their own anyway)or done absolutely anything for that matter]. Need I mention that this is just a wickedly funny exaggeration of EXACTLY what big business does every single day.
thecat, Jun 14 2003

       to political...
shradius, Jul 14 2003

       To political what?
snarfyguy, Jul 14 2003

       well resurecting this late i=-1^1/2 therefore it only has a value when it is squared when the value will be -1 so the donation is purely imaginary, also for those of an engineering bent j also = -1 dunno why probably to upset the physics lot
engineer1, Feb 13 2004

       I'm disappointed - I thought that this was a scheme in which somebody said to somebody else - 'You give me an IOU for £20, and then you get all your friends to give you an IOU £20, and they get their friends to give you £20 and so on'.   

       Oh, just a thought - these are called chain letters.
froglet, Mar 14 2005


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