Re: non sequitur
@AC - But it's also $350 for 100 hammers and $450 for 500 hammers, $1000 for 10,000 hammers. Basically it's the fixed overhead of the procurement process in any large organisation with a fixed procurement process. You also see this in some large companies.
It's also much cheaper for the government to run things like rubbish collection, laying roads, funding police, etc. than it would be for individuals to do the same because they can drive down costs by effectively buying in bulk.
And the prices of bulk vs individual purchases are based off of guaranteed revenue vs fixed costs. If you've got $100,000 fixed costs and $10 unit costs then when you're selling single units with a 10% mark-up you need to make 100,000 units to cover your costs, however if someone comes along and says that they want to buy in 30 * 10,000 units suddenly you've made 3 times more money than your fixed costs so you can afford to only make 3.33% mark-up to make up your fixed costs. The government is in a position to do this on behalf of the population for certain things. However most things aren't known in advance about what's needed which is why central planning is generally considered a bad thing for things like bread and milk, but a good thing for things like rubbish collection and paving roads.