Selling Bridges... Literally



"The Brooklyn Bridge had been a toll bridge that pedestrians had to pay a penny to cross when it opened for business in 1883. Tens of thousands crossed the bridge every day on the way to work from Brooklyn to Manhattan. When the Brooklyn Bridge first opened, it cost a penny to cross by foot, 5 cents for a horse and rider and 10 cents for a horse and wagon. Farm animals were allowed at a price of 5 cents per cow and 2 cents per sheep or hog."


In the late part of the 19th century George C. Parker would make his living by selling only one thing - the Brooklyn Bridge. There were a few problems with this. First off, Mr. Parker didn't actually own the Brooklyn Bridge and as such, had no authority to sell it. Second, he had this interesting quirk where he would sell the Brooklyn Bridge over, and over, and over again.


Ol' Georgey boy was a spectacular conman who targeted mostly new immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. He was, of course, eventually caught and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in a cell at Sing Sing.


Today, if someone tried to sell a bridge to passers by I'm certain that very few people would fall for it. Experience has taught us that a person standing on the side of the road advertising the sale of a bridge is not just peculiar but downright lying (or crazy). Experience has taught us this, gained through the stories of those who came before us and made these mistakes themselves. We learn from each other.


In this modern time the ideological descendants of Mr. Parker are always looking for the next bridge to sell. Their schemes have become more intricate but still pray upon the basic premise of duping their audiences into believing that they have something of value worthy of the price they are asking. These modern conmen (and women) need to be stopped.


It's time to fight back.


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