DALLAS Fed President Richard Fisher is an entertaining guy to listen to. He likes to tell jokes, as he did to open his latest speech on current economic conditions. This one is borrowed from Ronald Reagan:
Paddy McCoy, an elderly Irish farmer, received a letter from the Department for Works and Pensions stating that he was suspected of not paying his employees the statutory minimum wages and that an inspector would be sent to the farm.
On the appointed day, the inspector turned up. “Tell me about your staff,” he asked of Paddy.
“Well,” said Paddy, “there is the farmhand. I pay him 240 a week and he has use of a free cottage.”
“That’s good,” said the inspector.
“Then there’s the housekeeper. She gets 190 a week, along with free board and lodging.”
“That sounds fine,” said the inspector.
Paddy went on. “There’s also the half-wit. He works a 16-hour day, does 90 percent of the work, nets about 25 pounds a week when all is said and done, but takes down a bottle of whiskey and, as a special treat, occasionally gets to sleep with my wife.”
“That’s disgraceful, Paddy,” said the inspector. “I need to interview the half-wit.”
“Well,” said Paddy, “you’re looking at him.”