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(Reason Magazine)   The Pentagon's brownie recipe is 26 pages long - but unlike Obamacare or Operation Iraqi Freedom, when the recipe is implemented you actually will have brownies   (reason.com) divider line
    More: Dumbass, Operation Iraqi Freedom, pot brownies, brownies, Korean War, antioxidants, LBJ, Bosnia and Herzegovina, flour  
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5277 clicks; posted to Politics » on 18 May 2010 at 11:27 AM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2010-05-18 12:33:12 PM  

carmody: That's because you have to explain things VERY CAREFULLY to the kind of military folks who end up in food service.


Technically, I think the specifications listed are aimed at government contractors, but your concern is still relevant.
 
2010-05-18 12:35:19 PM  
not bad, but if these were nasa brownies, there's be a diagram and drawing of the location of every ingredient
 
2010-05-18 12:36:47 PM  

keithgabryelski: Rincewind53: Oh god, the PDF is fantastic.

Literally 26 pages long, detailing how to make brownies and oatmeal cookies. Twenty-six pages long. Got to love Army Efficiency.

MIL spec is not "army efficiency" -- it is a set of standards used to meter whether a project is complete.

Go ahead and spend 2 billion on an airplane with out it -- see what happens.


I'm working on a project right now that's almost literally the last scenario you described. Someone, years ago, didn't follow the goddam blueprints and now it's my job to figure out who farked up because now the parts don't fit in the damn engines.

Much of it is moot, anyway, because no matter how detailed the instructions, the guys on the line will still do whatever the hell they want because they think they know better. Sometimes they're right, but I've had to un-fix a lot of hack jobs in the past.
 
2010-05-18 12:38:12 PM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size


Stupidest website on the internet.
 
2010-05-18 12:39:26 PM  

Sir Vanderhoot: I'm working on a project right now that's almost literally the last scenario you described. Someone, years ago, didn't follow the goddam blueprints and now it's my job to figure out who farked up because now the parts don't fit in the damn engines.Much of it is moot, anyway, because no matter how detailed the instructions, the guys on the line will still do whatever the hell they want because they think they know better. Sometimes they're right, but I've had to un-fix a lot of hack jobs in the past.


it almost makes you wish you could go grab an old t-square and use it to whack someones head off, doesn't it
 
2010-05-18 12:40:18 PM  

haplo53: DONNA
$500 screwdrivers is why you didn't vote for the President?

JACK
I work for the President. That's a lot.

DONNA
It's wasteful spending.

JACK
No, it's not.

DONNA
A $400 ashtray?

(Jack picks up a wrench and smashes an ashtray that's on his desk. It breaks into three large chunks.)

DONNA
What was that?

JACK
A $400 ashtray. It's off the U.S.S. Greenville, a nuclear attack submarine and a likely target for a torpedo. When you get hit with one, you've got enough problems without glass flying into the eyes of the navigator and the Officer of the Deck. This one's built to break into three dull pieces. We lead a slightly different life out there and it costs a little more money.

DONNA
I can't believe you broke a $400 ashtray.

JACK
Yeah, I wish I hadn't done that. It's... 'cause you're blonde.


god that was a good show.
 
2010-05-18 12:41:59 PM  

haplo53: DONNA
$500 screwdrivers is why you didn't vote for the President?

JACK
I work for the President. That's a lot.

DONNA
It's wasteful spending.

JACK
No, it's not.

DONNA
A $400 ashtray?

(Jack picks up a wrench and smashes an ashtray that's on his desk. It breaks into three large chunks.)

DONNA
What was that?

JACK
A $400 ashtray. It's off the U.S.S. Greenville, a nuclear attack submarine and a likely target for a torpedo. When you get hit with one, you've got enough problems without glass flying into the eyes of the navigator and the Officer of the Deck. This one's built to break into three dull pieces. We lead a slightly different life out there and it costs a little more money.

DONNA
I can't believe you broke a $400 ashtray.

JACK
Yeah, I wish I hadn't done that. It's... 'cause you're blonde.


I love that conversation. Some things are expensive because they're really, really, good. Some things are expensive because you ordered 200, then after production started you cut the order in half and now the R+D costs are distributed across half as many items. Some things are expensive because you have to go through two dozen people to get them fixed or because ordering replacement parts takes years and is incredibly expensive for the factory (make a bunch! Ok, contract is over, stop making them! *5 years later* Ok, now make a bunch more!)
 
2010-05-18 12:42:49 PM  

loonatic112358: Sir Vanderhoot: I'm working on a project right now that's almost literally the last scenario you described. Someone, years ago, didn't follow the goddam blueprints and now it's my job to figure out who farked up because now the parts don't fit in the damn engines.Much of it is moot, anyway, because no matter how detailed the instructions, the guys on the line will still do whatever the hell they want because they think they know better. Sometimes they're right, but I've had to un-fix a lot of hack jobs in the past.

it almost makes you wish you could go grab an old t-square and use it to whack someones head off, doesn't it


wow, you've thought about this quite a bit, eh?

/starts slowly backing away
 
2010-05-18 12:44:28 PM  

Aexia: This.

It'll never occur to the free-market cheerleaders at Reason as to why details specifications like this are so necessary.


The government can't figure out how to property research a supplier to make sure they're going to get the goods that they want, and somehow that's a market failure? Every outdoor supply company in the country can figure out how to order (and resell) a winter grade blanket without getting screwed, but the government has to write up a 40 page spec sheet that tells their supplier what a blanket is. Yeah, definitely a "free market" problem. Or maybe the problem is that the government tends to choose suppliers based on factors other than who can actually supply the best product (i.e. on who is the most politically connected).

See, e.g. The Tanker Fiasco (new window)
 
2010-05-18 12:45:11 PM  
Of course, the brownies will be trillions of dollars over budget when they're done, and will be unable to withstand chocolate frosting...
 
2010-05-18 12:50:18 PM  

Talondel:
The government can't figure out how to property research a supplier to make sure they're going to get the goods that they want, and somehow that's a market failure? Every outdoor supply company in the country can figure out how to order (and resell) a winter grade blanket without getting screwed, but the government has to write up a 40 page spec sheet that tells their supplier what a blanket is.


Outdoor supply stores also sell snuggies in hopes stupid people will mistake them for something useful.

If you are able to walk into a store and see the item you are purchases ahead of time, you can be sure to get what you expect.

The government has to specify these things down to the 40 page detail so that the blanket, needed for cover, is not bright purple (because that was the cheapest cloth) and is easier to see by enemies snipers in the wilderness.
 
2010-05-18 12:51:27 PM  
Oh, and these pans ROCK!

foodmayhem.comView Full Size


/too small for Barefoot Contessa recipe, but fabulous for boxed varieties...
 
2010-05-18 12:52:07 PM  

Magorn: Rincewind53: Oh god, the PDF is fantastic.

Literally 26 pages long, detailing how to make brownies and oatmeal cookies. Twenty-six pages long. Got to love Army Efficiency.

Welcome to milspec hell

It'd be easy to blame the military-bureaucracy complex for it, but the truth is it really lie in the underhanded business ethics of war-profiteers excuse me, defense contractors going back to at least the civil war. Because fo them, you can't simply let out a contract for "blankets" or some scummy merchant will underbid the contract, deliver a bunch of blankets thinner than cotton sheets and say well it's what I call a blanket so pay me"

Thus before you can ask a contractor for Blankets you have to define minimum standards: So many inches long, so many wide, so many thick, made out of these kinds of material only, in these colors, to meet this elvel of flame retardency, durability, etc etc

ergo Milspec


Came to say this. If they didn't spec brownies, some turd would send them turds studded with brown pebbles and call them brownies with walnuts.

/turd
//more likely, they'd be 90% cellulose with Chocolatine™ imitation chocolate flavoring, produced from sludge byproducts
 
2010-05-18 12:52:22 PM  
mgonline.comView Full Size


MILSpec strawberries?

 
2010-05-18 12:54:15 PM  

KJUW89:
/too small for Barefoot Contessa recipe, but fabulous for boxed varieties...


Everything is too small for the Barefoot Contessa
 
2010-05-18 12:55:44 PM  

Sir Vanderhoot:
I love that conversation. Some things are expensive because they're really, really, good. Some things are expensive because you ordered 200, then after production started you cut the order in half and now the R+D costs are distributed across half as many items. Some things are expensive because you have to go through two dozen people to get them fixed or because ordering replacement parts takes years and is incredibly expensive for the factory (make a bunch! Ok, contract is over, stop making them! *5 years later* Ok, now make a bunch more!)


Yeah. I love explaining that the famous $600 toilet seat wasn't exactly a toilet seat that you could wander down to home depot and buy.

These details specs can cause problems though if somebody writes them too detailed. Like totally defines for 'sugar' a maker, type, size of bag, etc instead of the definition there.
 
2010-05-18 12:56:29 PM  
"Haw haw haw!", my conservative uncle crowed in the mid-90s. "The dummycrats buy hammers for hundred of dollars and I can just go to Home Hardware and buy the same hammer for $25!"

"But if you wanted to purchase 50,000 of those hammers you'd have to rent trucks, right?"

"...welll..yeah, I guess.."

"And if you wanted to run those trucks you'll need gasoline, right?"

"....sure, but..."

"and you'll need drivers for those trucks, people at both ends to load and unload pallets of hammers, a warehouse in which to store the hammers, some sort of QC before purchasing to actually ensure that the 10s of thousands of hammers you're buying are most appropriate for as the most number of tasks your people will require, someone in an accounting office to deal with 10s of thousands of pieces of paper to account for all the hammers and trucks and gas and manpower. Can you get all of that at Home Hardware and still stay within your $25 per hammer budget?"

"Shut up, stupid liberal."

I'm sure my equally-conservative aunt now has a brownie recipe that takes half an index card, "proving" the same point about government inefficiency.
 
2010-05-18 12:57:28 PM  

Talondel: The government can't figure out how to property research a supplier to make sure they're going to get the goods that they want, and somehow that's a market failure? Every outdoor supply company in the country can figure out how to order (and resell) a winter grade blanket without getting screwed, but the government has to write up a 40 page spec sheet that tells their supplier what a blanket is. Yeah, definitely a "free market" problem. Or maybe the problem is that the government tends to choose suppliers based on factors other than who can actually supply the best product (i.e. on who is the most politically connected).


Thank you. It's always nice to see what people who don't know what the hell they are talking about think.
 
2010-05-18 12:57:37 PM  
It's a MILSPEC, not a recipe (though there's a one-paragraph recipe in it.)

MILSPECs exist to keep the military from wasting money and getting incorrect or crap products and services from contractors.

Odd that "Reason" would oppose that.

/Why does "Reason" love wasteful federal spending and hate the military?
 
2010-05-18 1:04:49 PM  

Talondel: Aexia: This.

It'll never occur to the free-market cheerleaders at Reason as to why details specifications like this are so necessary.

The government can't figure out how to property research a supplier to make sure they're going to get the goods that they want, and somehow that's a market failure? Every outdoor supply company in the country can figure out how to order (and resell) a winter grade blanket without getting screwed, but the government has to write up a 40 page spec sheet that tells their supplier what a blanket is. Yeah, definitely a "free market" problem. Or maybe the problem is that the government tends to choose suppliers based on factors other than who can actually supply the best product (i.e. on who is the most politically connected).

See, e.g. The Tanker Fiasco (new window)


The Tanker Fiasco is politics driven due to Congressional interference. Totally.

Anyway, DOD has to tell a supplier what a 'blanket' is for a good reason. You buy a blanket, it sucks, you throw it away and biatch on the internet.
DOD buys $50 million worth of blankets, the blankets suck, maybe one gets a guy horrible disfigured because they weren't actually fire proof as was required, there's a Congressional investigation, people get fired, blankets have to be replaced, 20 year long lawsuits start up between the USG and the supplier, and somebody probably ends up in jail. Bit of a difference.

A somewhat related example: Congressman from California put in a budget line forcing the USMC to buy some moisture wicking shirts (company owned by a contributor, naturally). Great, right? Hot environment, USMC can use those. Although the USMC was already buy some according to their own spec. These new shirts weren't milspec but Congress said "BUY" so the USMC did. But they're just moisture wicking shirts, right? Kind you could buy at Dick's Sporting Goods. Stupid to have a milspec for it!
Except in a flash fire like you get in an IED explosion the shirts melted and fused to skin. Some people were badly injured, IIRC. USMC said the shirts couldn't be worn in a combat environment. Taxpayer money wasted. Nobody got investigated though because it wasn't a DOD farkup but a Congressional one and those are a-okay.

Although, some stuff is bought like you describe. It's called COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) but that's only used in certain cases for certain things although it is very much encouraged. It just doesn't work for many things.
 
2010-05-18 1:09:25 PM  

Aexia: It'll never occur to the free-market cheerleaders at Reason as to why details specifications like this are so necessary.


Apparently they've never heard of ISO 9000. Basically the free-market version of mil-spec.
 
2010-05-18 1:16:15 PM  
blog.baliwww.comView Full Size

MILSpec Water pouch?

 
2010-05-18 1:17:22 PM  
Dammit. Now I have the munchies.
 
2010-05-18 1:17:33 PM  

cram_hole: The brownies are a lie.


Great, now the army is going to end up with shower curtains.

stinieroo: Apparently they've never heard of ISO 9000. Basically the free-market version of mil-spec.


And it's roughly a thousand pages long.
 
2010-05-18 1:26:01 PM  
Obama? The date on the doc is 2003, and it says it's a revision of a 1987 doc. So this is the second Bush administration's revision of the Reagan administration's recipe.

/but I still blame Obama
 
2010-05-18 1:30:47 PM  

RsquaredW: cram_hole: The brownies are a lie.

Great, now the army is going to end up with shower curtains.

stinieroo: Apparently they've never heard of ISO 9000. Basically the free-market version of mil-spec.

And it's roughly a thousand pages long.


It also happens to not at all be a free-market version of mil-spec. It is an internationally recognized document designed to hold the majority of the worlds manufacturing sector to a unified set of standards so cars built in Japan could be readily compared to cars built in the US and so TVs are all tested to not be radioactivity generation boxes of death.

It has pretty much bupkis to do with mil-spec or mil standards or military documentation or our military.
 
2010-05-18 1:31:48 PM  
It all depends on how many eggs you're willing to crack.
 
2010-05-18 1:32:09 PM  

stinieroo: Aexia: It'll never occur to the free-market cheerleaders at Reason as to why details specifications like this are so necessary.

Apparently they've never heard of ISO 9000. Basically the free-market version of mil-spec.


Yes, there's no change the DOD has ever heard of ISO 9000 or the other international standards and no chance that they've ever replaced certain Milspecs with generally accepted international standards.
 
2010-05-18 1:34:11 PM  
Und Keine Eieir!!!!



//oh wait, diregard, clarified by section 3.2.6.1
 
2010-05-18 1:34:18 PM  

BeesNuts: It also happens to not at all be a free-market version of mil-spec. It is an internationally recognized document designed to hold the majority of the worlds manufacturing sector to a unified set of standards so cars built in Japan could be readily compared to cars built in the US and so TVs are all tested to not be radioactivity generation boxes of death.

It has pretty much bupkis to do with mil-spec or mil standards or military documentation or our military.


But it has everything to do with standardizing processes. Which is what military specifications also are there to do.
 
2010-05-18 1:35:37 PM  

Spade: Yes, there's no change the DOD has ever heard of ISO 9000 or the other international standards and no chance that they've ever replaced certain Milspecs with generally accepted international standards.


Reading comprehension is not your strong suit.
 
2010-05-18 1:37:26 PM  

Bill_Wick's_Friend: "Haw haw haw!", my conservative uncle crowed in the mid-90s. "The dummycrats buy hammers for hundred of dollars and I can just go to Home Hardware and buy the same hammer for $25!"


More like:

"Well when your $25 steel hammer causes a spark that sets a multi-million-dollar aircraft on fire, or it gets too close a high power military radar/communications magnetron and you lose a finger and ruin a vital (and very expensive) piece of military hardware, you'll understand why they buy $500 beryllium alloy hammers instead."

=Smidge=
 
2010-05-18 1:38:08 PM  

NewportBarGuy: It all depends on how many eggs you're willing to crack break.


Way to screw that one up, jackass.
 
2010-05-18 1:38:28 PM  

manimalia: Obama? The date on the doc is 2003, and it says it's a revision of a 1987 doc. So this is the second Bush administration's revision of the Reagan administration's recipe.

/but I still blame Obama


When I voted for him, I expected him to roll up his sleeves and put on the green eyeshades! I can't believe he hasn't personally re-written all of MILSPEC to a concise, 10 page pamphlet using only standard English. And written it in a way that eliminates all loopholes and ensures only the highest quality, lowest cost, and most efficiently procured materiel for our fighting forces.

Instead, it seems he has resorted to "B..b..but GHW Bush!" again.

Typical lib president.
 
2010-05-18 1:38:37 PM  
So vote Republican, subby, you trolling putz...
 
2010-05-18 1:39:27 PM  

Spade: stinieroo: Aexia: It'll never occur to the free-market cheerleaders at Reason as to why details specifications like this are so necessary.

Apparently they've never heard of ISO 9000. Basically the free-market version of mil-spec.

Yes, there's no change the DOD has ever heard of ISO 9000 or the other international standards and no chance that they've ever replaced certain Milspecs with generally accepted international standards.


I'm pretty sure that "they" referred to Reason.com
 
2010-05-18 1:44:30 PM  

BeesNuts: It also happens to not at all be a free-market version of mil-spec. It is an internationally recognized document designed to hold the majority of the worlds manufacturing sector to a unified set of standards so cars built in Japan could be readily compared to cars built in the US and so TVs are all tested to not be radioactivity generation boxes of death.

It has pretty much bupkis to do with mil-spec or mil standards or military documentation or our military.


In the sense that it's a framework for defining quality management standards, I can see the analogy. I'm willing to bet that import regulations for products - banning lead-painted toys, etc - are pretty detailed and would be a better point of comparison.
 
2010-05-18 1:46:10 PM  
So what sort of brownies would you get in MREs if there were no particular specs?
 
2010-05-18 1:46:39 PM  
Are there real Brownies in them?
 
2010-05-18 1:47:29 PM  

keithgabryelski: Outdoor supply stores also sell snuggies in hopes stupid people will mistake them for something useful.

If you are able to walk into a store and see the item you are purchases ahead of time, you can be sure to get what you expect.

The government has to specify these things down to the 40 page detail so that the blanket, needed for cover, is not bright purple (because that was the cheapest cloth) and is easier to see by enemies snipers in the wilderness.


Again. Somehow outdoor supply stores are able to order from their suppliers and actually get camoflauge winter grade survival blankets. Probably because if a supplier sent them bright purple ones, the store would return them and then stop using that supplier. When the Government gets screwed by a supplier, they don't drop them (usually they can't, since the person making the purchase at the operational level doesn't get to decide who the supplier is). Instead they write up a 40 page document explaining to the incompetant supplier what a blanket is.

The problem isn't with the free market supplying the blankets. It's with the government's inability to take advantage of the market, because political considerations drive purchasing decisions rather than markets. This is why the problem isn't unique to the military. It's a problem that you see anytime politics starts dictating where money goes.

Spade: Except in a flash fire like you get in an IED explosion the shirts melted and fused to skin. Some people were badly injured, IIRC. USMC said the shirts couldn't be worn in a combat environment. Taxpayer money wasted. Nobody got investigated though because it wasn't a DOD farkup but a Congressional one and those are a-okay.


I'm not suggesting that the Government buys COTS. The government, like any large buyer, has to be able to dictate the terms on large purchases. What I'm suggesting is that this isn't a market failure, it's a political one.

For example, in the case you describe, the Marine Corps (who actually do go out of their way to use efficient markets in purchasing when allowed to do so, see Corps Business) had sourced a suitable product. Then Congress intervened and made a decision based on politics, not on customer needs, and screwed it all up.

The original purchase probably did require a specific milspec. The point isn't that detailed spec sheets are inherently bad. Large businesses use specific spec sheets with suppliers all the time, just not usually to the extent the government does. The point is that spec sheets are not needed due to "war profiteers" as was claimed above. To the extent that the government has to rely on detailed specs more than the private sector does, it's mostly due to artificial restrictions that require the government to purchase from (politically selected) suppliers.

The problem isn't the market's ability to meet the govrenments needs, the problem is the governments ability to take advantage of the market due to artificial barriers to competition.
 
2010-05-18 1:50:49 PM  
Not sure I want to eat cocolate covered brownies.
 
2010-05-18 1:54:31 PM  

Talondel: cted) suppliers.

The problem isn't the market's ability to meet the govrenments needs, the problem is the governments ability to take advantage of the market due to artificial barriers to competition.


bullshiat. The problem is that, with out some specification, contractors walk all over government purchases.

The free market is made to error sometimes causing a business in the wrong position to fail, but a correctly positioned business to win.

Government is not supposed to fail, so it must specify what "not failing" means.

You know this, you are just being obtuse.
 
2010-05-18 2:05:13 PM  
KJUW89:
Oh, and these pans ROCK!

[Baker's Edge brownie pan.jpg]

/too small for Barefoot Contessa recipe, but fabulous for boxed varieties...


Maybe the lasagna pan will work, then?
 
2010-05-18 2:06:51 PM  

mrlewish: So what sort of brownies would you get in MREs if there were no particular specs?


I dunno, but if they touch my goddamn lemon poppy pound cake, they gon' get shot!
 
2010-05-18 2:08:53 PM  

jdjoker: KJUW89:
Oh, and these pans ROCK!

[Baker's Edge brownie pan.jpg]

/too small for Barefoot Contessa recipe, but fabulous for boxed varieties...

Maybe the lasagna pan will work, then?


absolutely amazing: because using a knife to cut a lasagna is just too damn hard.
 
2010-05-18 2:10:07 PM  

Bill_Wick's_Friend: "Haw haw haw!", my conservative uncle crowed in the mid-90s. "The dummycrats buy hammers for hundred of dollars and I can just go to Home Hardware and buy the same hammer for $25!"

"But if you wanted to purchase 50,000 of those hammers you'd have to rent trucks, right?"

"...welll..yeah, I guess.."

"And if you wanted to run those trucks you'll need gasoline, right?"

"....sure, but..."

"and you'll need drivers for those trucks, people at both ends to load and unload pallets of hammers, a warehouse in which to store the hammers, some sort of QC before purchasing to actually ensure that the 10s of thousands of hammers you're buying are most appropriate for as the most number of tasks your people will require, someone in an accounting office to deal with 10s of thousands of pieces of paper to account for all the hammers and trucks and gas and manpower. Can you get all of that at Home Hardware and still stay within your $25 per hammer budget?"

"Shut up, stupid liberal."

I'm sure my equally-conservative aunt now has a brownie recipe that takes half an index card, "proving" the same point about government inefficiency.


Of course, somehow Home Hardware manages to buy 50,000 hammers, pay the supplier, pay the trucking company, pay for QC, pay for storage, pay employees to move the hammers, shelve the hammers at 500 locations from coast to coast and process / account for your transaction, and still earn a profit selling them for $25 a piece.
 
2010-05-18 2:15:10 PM  

Talondel: Aexia: This.

It'll never occur to the free-market cheerleaders at Reason as to why details specifications like this are so necessary.

The government can't figure out how to property research a supplier to make sure they're going to get the goods that they want, and somehow that's a market failure? Every outdoor supply company in the country can figure out how to order (and resell) a winter grade blanket without getting screwed, but the government has to write up a 40 page spec sheet that tells their supplier what a blanket is. Yeah, definitely a "free market" problem. Or maybe the problem is that the government tends to choose suppliers based on factors other than who can actually supply the best product (i.e. on who is the most politically connected).

See, e.g. The Tanker Fiasco (new window)


As a cost accountant for a company, I will say that private companies aren't great at finding suppliers either.

In a perfect world, you would do research and find the best company. However, in the real world that information isn't readily available for B2B-specific companies. Instead, they usually have to go through a few shiatty ones to find a good one. And then there's the issue of priority. Why chase after some vendor that farks up my blankets @ $20,000 per year when I have this vendor which is screwing up and costing me $700,00 a year?
 
2010-05-18 2:16:39 PM  
yngdaniel:
Of course, somehow Home Hardware manages to buy 50,000 hammers, pay the supplier, pay the trucking company, pay for QC, pay for storage, pay employees to move the hammers, shelve the hammers at 500 locations from coast to coast and process / account for your transaction, and still earn a profit selling them for $25 a piece.

and yet you failed to realize the actual point.

The government is a market with different pressures than your dad's need for a hammer to hang a picture on the wall.
 
2010-05-18 2:30:16 PM  

Smidge204: Bill_Wick's_Friend: "Haw haw haw!", my conservative uncle crowed in the mid-90s. "The dummycrats buy hammers for hundred of dollars and I can just go to Home Hardware and buy the same hammer for $25!"

More like:

"Well when your $25 steel hammer causes a spark that sets a multi-million-dollar aircraft on fire, or it gets too close a high power military radar/communications magnetron and you lose a finger and ruin a vital (and very expensive) piece of military hardware, you'll understand why they buy $500 beryllium alloy hammers instead."

=Smidge=


They are actually Beryllium Free but you were close enough.
 
2010-05-18 2:32:10 PM  

keithgabryelski: bullshiat. The problem is that, with out some specification, contractors walk all over government purchases.


Yes, but why? Why does business know they can take advantage of a government buyer, but that same business would never dare to do the same thing to Wal-Mart? Because Wal-Mart would drop them like a used rubber if they tried, but government can't and won't. Because government makes it's purchases based on politics. It hamstrings itself by drastically limiting the number of potential suppliers.

keithgabryelski: The free market is made to error sometimes causing a business in the wrong position to fail, but a correctly positioned business to win.

Government is not supposed to fail, so it must specify what "not failing" means.


If you go back and look at the original comment I was replying to, they were blaming the need for massive spec sheets on "war profiteers" and blaming it on "free markets." My point is that market forces are not what create war profiteers. Political forces do. Does Haliburton make all that money off of government contrats because they've cornered a market or established a monopoly on a good or service that government needs for the war effort? No, they get those contracts because they're politically connected. The only thing they have a monopoly on is political influence in certain areas. That's not a market failure.

You know this, you are just being obtuse.

What? What did you call me?
Son, you're forgetting yourself.

/it's not deliberate.
 
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