Friday, April 22, 2011


Here's how they used to build places of importance (click to embiggen):

US Pension Office
That's the US Pension office, built in the late 1880s to administer to wounded civil war vets.

And this is how we build offices now:

Modern Office Interior
Sure, building those old places was expensive, but its not like they aren't spending that money now, it just isn't going into beauty. They're busy spending that money on cowboy poetry, $1500 hammers, and paying bureaucrats to come up with more regulations to control your life.

1 comment:

Alex VanderWoude said...

I have never believed in the $1500 hammer. That is, I doubt very much that any government has ever bought a hammer at such an inflated price (or any other thing for that matter). Granted, governments often pay more for stuff than they need to. After all, they are spending other people's money and therefore aren't as frugal with it as they could be -- and the suppliers know it.

A more plausible explanation arises when one considers that there is no section in the budget labeled "Espionage and Black Ops". Obviously lots of money is spent on such activities, but it cannot be listed in the budgets released to the public. Therefore the costs must be distributed among all the above-board items. It tends to be buried in aggregate amounts, such as "building supplies". The hope is that the inflated dollar amounts will be glossed over. Only when someone does some drilling down into the numbers do they come up with conclusions about hammers.