seoulbrother on where the budget should be trimmed:
Here’s the thing: When they do make cuts in military spending, the government doesn’t make fewer missiles and bombs, they either freeze or cut pay and benefits for soldiers, sailors and their families. The soldier’s quality of life is unfairly held hostage by the defense budget as a whole.
A story I may have told before:
When I was in college, I helped the Design Program Director carry some things to his office one time. In the office I saw a closet overflowing with Wacom tablets, Apple displays, external hard drives, and scanners.
“Sweet!” I exclaimed, “when do we start using these?”
He shrugged. “They’ve been sitting there for months.”
I was confused and, on some level, personally offended.
“Why? We need all this stuff in the lab.”
“There’s no one to install it.”
“Uhhh… I’ll do it!”
“No can do. Must be done by authorized service personnel, to guarantee maintenance support.”
“So… Hire them!”
The Design Program Director sighed.
“There’s no money for that in the budget. As it is, our faculty are spread thin, handling way more classes than they really should. Here’s the thing: if I request thirty Mac Pros at the end of the year, they’ll buy them. But if I ask for a part-time lab assistant working 6 hours a week at $5.75/hr, they’ll make sour faces at me. See, the Mac Pro contract can go to someone’s cousin, and once they have these machines, they’re a great thing to brag about – “we added thirty state-of-the-art computers to the lab!” But ask for more personnel, or higher pay, or competitive benefits, and everyone sees CORPORATE WASTE, INEFFICIENCY, WASTED DOLLARS. So that’s why we don’t get to install all those awesome, shiny, brand-new electronics that are crowding my tiny office.”