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The Three Envelopes

A newly elected president is given three numbered envelopes by her predecessor as she takes office.


She is told to open them in order and follow the enclosed advice, but only in time of great crisis.

After a few weeks, the situation looks bleek, so she opens the first envelope and finds an instruction to "Blame the previous administration."

Doing this averts catastrophe for a few months, but eventually she is forced to open the second envelope and follows its instruction to "Reorganize."

This diverts everyone's attention for significant period of time, but eventually she needs to open the third envelope.

Its instruction is "Prepare three envelopes."