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All About Meme's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by All About Meme

Comment 23 by djs56

While I agree that the USA does has a large defense budget, waste can be an amibiguous term. The new fastest supercomputer at Livermore is designed to model those weapons you speak of. I'm not sure that driving that technology is a waste.

It's unfortunate you chose the LLNL as your example. I worked there for close to a year, and I've never encountered a more wasteful engineering culture. Hundreds of highly-paid people near retirement just phoning it in, nepotism taken to a ridiculous level (i.e. husbands and wives sharing offices), useless "every day" status meetings, entitlement run rampant, 3-hour volleyball or soccer lunches every single day for many, cliques, backstabbing, and turf wars in every department. I arrived to a nearly empty parking lot at 7:45AM each morning, only to find my car virtually alone in that same parking lot at 6:00PM.

Printers and copiers constantly broken, bathroom lights that stayed broken for weeks, dirty carpets, and computer systems that were down weekly. The LLNL is a country club, plain and simple, for members only.

Yes, some of the technology they produce -- including the supercomputer you cited, is cutting-edge. But "wasteful" is the perfect adjective to describe the research environment such technology exists in. The semiconductor industry, by contrast, and I mean companies like Intel, could do the same work being done at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for a fraction of the cost.

I've worked at several aerospace companies in addition to my LLNL experience -- they're all wasteful. The defense industry, by and large, is merely a form of corporate welfare.

Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:08:46 UTC | #947920