With over $14 trillion in debt and the country being run off a fiscal cliff, you won’t believe the 7 stupidest ways the government wastes our money. 

7. 

A raisin reserve. Yes, a raisin reserve. It’s one of many agricultural price fixing instruments that the Federal government uses to screw up commodity prices, in order to help those who buy them out. There’s currently a Supreme Court case regarding this. Here’s the background:

6. 

A strategic helium reserve…. why? It is left over from 1925, when we thought helium based aircraft were going to be important strategically. Well…. time to axe it? 

5. 

A $370,000+ study on whether mothers love dogs as much as their children. 

4. 

$10,000 for researchers to watch grass grow

3. 

The State Department spent $630,000 on buying Facebook likes for their page.

2. 

A $200,000 study trying to figure out why Wikipedia is sexist.

1. 

A portion of grant money designated for scientific research was used to study a shrimp running on a treadmill. You can read about how it worked out here (the researcher defends the situation), but please enjoy the video below.

  • Jools

    6.

    A strategic helium reserve….
    why? It is left over from 1925, when we thought helium based aircraft
    were going to be important strategically. Well…. time to axe it?

    To this, the only sensible response is “Are you fucking insane?” .

    Anywhere you need super-cooling, e.g. particle accelerators, MRI scanners, research into superconductors, etc., you need liquid helium and it’s a gas that is non-replaceable as it’s lost due to atmospheric escape.

    • J-

      The shrimp study was useful too. Shrimp are bottom feeders and a good indicator of the health of a region of the ocean. Sick shrimp run differently than healthy shrimp. By putting a camera and the ocean floor and counting how many shrimp run by sick vs. healthy, it is possible to gauge how well a region of the ocean is doing after major disaster like an oil spill. This is necessary for everything from determining if it is safe for tourists to swim to if regions of the ocean are safe for commercial fishing. These are billion dollar industries. The shrimp on the treadmill was the laboratory baseline to establish the bio mechanics of how sick and healthy shrimp run. The experiment itself have very useful practical applications.