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  • There need to be a way to promote forum posts to the front page, this one is classic.

    Tax payer's money at work indeed.

     

    PS: How the heck can a software project cost these many millions (I can only assume that the hardware was there in the first place). 



  • @CapitalT said:

    PS: How the heck can a software project cost these many millions (I can only assume that the hardware was there in the first place). 

    Consultants. Lots of. And Outsourcing. Lots of. Who says 500 brillant people from Elbonia can't be more expensive than 5 "expensive" people who actually know what they do? 



  • @CapitalT said:

    PS: How the heck can a software project cost these many millions (I can only assume that the hardware was there in the first place). 

    Arbitrary overcharging to boost the profit margin. A government contractor usually operates at about a 5:1 ratio - so the software project costs $1.5m and the contractor makes $6.5m. (Military contractors go anywhere between 10:1 and 50:1, since there's no real competition and the bidding process is fake)

    The base cost is that high because a government contractor approaches every problem by throwing warm bodies at it. Most of the staff on the project will be massively unqualified and are there just to keep up appearances - by amplifying the cost, they amplify the total profit. Unlike any sane commercial venture, government contracts are cash-up-front, so there is no motivation for the contractor to keep costs down. Their priority is to look busy for visiting politicians, not to work efficiently, and most of the work done by the grunts will be discarded at a future specification change.

    The project fails because government contractors can't retain skilled staff. These things are horrible to work on, starting with a specification that asks for the moon on a stick (in order to secure the contract during the bidding process) and changes every other week (because it was written by politicians and had no resemblance to what they actually needed), and halfway through gets repurposed to do something entirely different from how it started (elections). They grind on for years until the project is finally axed, and whatever incomplete junk they had at that point gets forced onto a complaining userbase with no prospect of having any of the critical issues fixed. Most contractors can't keep their senior development team intact through even a single project - anybody who is any good usually finds a new company that isn't run by evil lizards.



  • LOL, here's something that ive now seen a lot: Why do sooo many Americans say the words "As a taxpayer",Doesn't everyone have to pay taxes or is there exemptions for extraordinarily rich people/politicians?



  • Getting any government contracts at all requires a great deal of work and expertise.  It's impossible for a novice to fill out all the forms.  You need lots of experts who know what the right answers to the questions are.  As with certain bad teachers in school, the "right" answers are often not the "correct" answers in any factual sense.  There may be an obscure law that requires one percent of the budget of every building project in the region to be spent commissioning a large-scale art work within or in front of the building, with the artist being a full-time resident of a county with a gross domestic product below the median for the state.  You have to know about that before answering the question "Will this project include a work of public art, created by a resident of an economically-depressed area within the state, at a cost of one percent of the total budget, OR is this project scheduled for initiation BEFORE January 1, 2008, OR is this project scheduled for completion after January 1, 2012?  Yes or no."

    It's no wonder that small efficient companies rarely land government contracts, or even try for them.

     



  • @Hitsuji said:

    LOL, here's something that ive now seen a lot: Why do sooo many Americans say the words "As a taxpayer",Doesn't everyone have to pay taxes or is there exemptions for extraordinarily rich people/politicians?

     

    i can think of two reasons. First, it is better than saying "as an american", as there are more taxpayers on the planet than americans, so you're speaking from a much more broad spectrum of people; and secondly... a lot of us, while in school, had to listen to the explanation of the importance of stresses in sentence structrure. How many of you remember this?

    *I* always pay *my* taxes.
    I *always* pay my taxes.

    etc etc etc. we're born tariff free, and become taxpayers in school.

    For the record, i don't pay very many taxes. If i lived in oregon, only service taxes would have to be paid. Like utility surcharges and long distance carrier surcharges and the like. so i don't count myself "as a taxpayer"; therefore i find it hard to get up in arms about the government "wasting my hard earned money" ... but that's just me.

     

    edit: you were referring to ""As a taxpayer, it's really disheartening," said DU management professor Cindi Fukami, " in that case there's an implied "but"

    Like: "as a taxpayer, these gross overexpenditures make me sad; but as the proprietor of a consulting firm, they make me happy!"



  • @GeneWitch said:

    For the record, i don't pay very many taxes. If i lived in oregon, only service taxes would have to be paid. Like utility surcharges and long distance carrier surcharges and the like. so i don't count myself "as a taxpayer"; therefore i find it hard to get up in arms about the government "wasting my hard earned money" ... but that's just me.
    VAT or Sales Tax (depending on which country you're in.) ?



  • @Hitsuji said:

    LOL, here's something that ive now seen a lot: Why do sooo many Americans say the words "As a taxpayer",Doesn't everyone have to pay taxes or is there exemptions for extraordinarily rich people/politicians?

    I think this is more the attitude that since you are paying for something you should have some say in the results.  There's the old story of the driver who tells the police officer who has pulled him over:  "I live in this town and I pay property taxes here.  All of the money that pays your salary comes out of the property taxes, which means that I am YOUR BOSS!"

     


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