Someone steals $50 from your store. Later they purchase an item worth $40 with the stolen money. The person receives the item and $10 change. How much money have you lost in all?

TH Thomas asked on 27 June 2020, 20:43
1 answers / 169 views / 2 votes

I see a lot of answers here that rely on assumptions about the storekeeper’s profit margin and a critical, but generally unstated assumption that the storekeeper could have sold his inventory only to the thief.

Reverse the order of the events. Someone buys the merchandise for $40 on Saturday… maybe it’s the thief, maybe it's some other customer. The identity of the customer doesn't affect the storekeeper’s profit. The cash from that sale is now part of the storekeeper’s wealth.

Then on Sunday, the thief steals $50 from the cash drawer… Clearly, the storekeeper is $50 poorer.

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