Government Waste

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There are stories about Government putting the burden of waste on the taxpayers back. Again, the intentions are always good, but if you're the mule getting the weight piled on, the intentions don't matter as much as the burdern.

Government Waste

BayBridge.jpg
The bay bridge is a metaphor for San Francisco. The Golden Gate was built privately and under budget for $35M ($1.2B in today's dollars), one span of the Bay Bridge needed a retrofit, that was run by the city and came in late, and over budget at $6.4B, and has withmetallurgy issues (per the spec). For that cost we could have built 4 other bridges. But it looks nice, so everyone wins.... except the taxpayers more...
Understanding California's fake water drought. It had nothing to do with rain, and everything to do with the failure of government. California captures 1% of the water, then since 2007 flushes 46% of that into the ocean for "environmental purposes" (a baitfish the delta smelt), 43% goes to farming, 11% goes to urban areas. Whenever there's a problem they raise the cost of water and punish the 11%: because that's where the money is. more...
DontSaveLives.png
There are many unexpected consequences for everything we do. I had a minor epiphany for improving a medical device/process, that the heads of the company I worked for (Baxter) agreed would save lives, but they could never use because of medical liability. They had to practice defensive medicine, which is about protecting the company from lawsuits. For every action, there is an opposite reaction.... but in life (unlike physics), it isn't always an equal and opposite reaction. more...
GoodIntentions.jpg
If you only look at the government wins in R&D, things look great. If you look at the bigger picture, you'll understand why government R&D usually has huge costs and small payouts. Politicians playing technologists, using our money, may be fun for them, or earn them votes for caring by the gullible, but it's not fair to taxpayers. more...
The left believes in Green Energy: that it exists, it's cheaper, and could provide all our power needs, if we just embraced it. The facts (Science) says that Solar and Wind is unreliable, space inefficient and highly expensive if you remember to add in the costs of over-capacity, backup plants, and storage (for when they aren't working). The cheap and reliable forms of Green Energy are: Nuclear, Hydroelectric and Geothermal: but the left hates those and has resisted the adoption of real green energy solutions. more...
HUD.jpeg
HUD (Housing and urban development) has various programs that are meant to help low income and first time buyers into their own homes. Sounds great, right? Too many people can’t afford a house, so a little wealth redistribution ought to help them out? Yet, in many cases the opposite has happened. Here's my story about some of the negative and unintended consequences of HUD. more...
MilitaryCosts.jpg
If you hear someone claim "that military screwdriver cost $500", or something like that, then you know that person is gullible, or a polemic. The truth is far more nuanced. When politicians get involved, bureaucracy will increase -- and those costs will be absorbed and passed on to the consumer. So you get what you pay for, and we're paying for political waste. more...
IronTriangle.png
50 years ago Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) warned us about an iron triangle (government conspiring with politicians and special interests to work against the public), and coined the term "the Military Industrial Complex". Since then the military has fallen to 1/4th the spending it was, and the Poverty Industrial Complex (Social Spending) has become 8x larger, and far surpassed military spending. The warning still applies, just what the bigger threat is has changed. more...
The left fought for "Net Neutrality", which really mens giving the government taxing and regulatory authority over the Internet. It is a Mao suit: one-size-fits all, poorly -- to defend us from choice and free will. Imagine the idea of "mail neutrality": where you're only allowed to charge one fee for mailing a letter, or a 500 lbs. refrigerator, any distance: one price fits all. We had no net neutrality for the first 60+ years of networking, the Obama admin invented a few "regulations" in 2015 to protect us from liberty (imaginary demons under the bed and non-problems that weren't happening), and the left/media act like repeal of that (liberty) will be end of days. more...
ShantyTown.jpg
I have no problems with social experiments. I just want honest accounting of them. San Jose Mayor (Sam Liccardo) got people to sponsor "tiny homes" (garden sheds) for the homeless on public lands, at about about 5x the cost per unit (≈$70K each) as it would cost an individual. Which I find compassionate to the homeless, and cruel to the taxpayers. We know how this will end: crime, disease, and detritus to our community, suppress property values, it will attract more homeless (for the free housing, etc) -- and those things will cause backlash against the Homeless it claims to help. But Sam gets free press, and that's what's important, right? more...
SolarFreeLoader.jpg
I like the idea of residential Solar Power and people not being dependent on government regulated grids, and having the ability to survive in case of natural or man made disasters. I plan on adding it to my next home. What I don't like is lies (flim-flam), about how much industrial Solar Power costs, or the bullshit about how "green" it is. It is not as green as the proponents pretend, and if it was cheaper, how come places that implement it at scale have higher energy costs and less reliability? Someday, it might be ready (and that may be coming in a few short years or decades), but the point is that means they've been lying for the last 30 that it had already reached cross-over. more...
SpaceShuttle.png
The last Shuttle Launch has happened today. The end of an era. Hopefully the beginning of a new one. Now that the government monopoly on space is weakened, the rate of progress can increase. more...