Lifetime Supply

>> Saturday, July 28, 2012

You couldn’t make this stuff up: thanks to Harold Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and the power of “earmarks,” the Army has bought $6.5 million worth of “leakproof” drip pans “to catch transmission fluid on Black Hawk helicopters," reports the New York Times. Those pans were purchased from a company called Phoenix Products, whose owners, coincidentally, are contributors to the congressman’s political committee (and other Republican causes). Oh, and according to the Times, “the company has paid at least $600,000 since 2005 to a Washington lobbying firm, Martin Fisher Thompson & Associates, to represent its interests on federal contracting issues.” Anyway, do the math and you end up with a $17,000 Army drip pan -- and there’s one tiny catch: another company sells a comparable drip pan for about $2,500.
--TomDispatch, July 17, 2012

This reminds me of the days I spent, twenty years ago almost, in an inbound call center, taking orders for vacuums and vacuum parts. My friends and I were so bored, we decided to see who could sell the most air freshening units to those who called in. We were bored. The parts were cheap. And I often used that well-known catch phrase--"lifetime supply"--to sell large amounts of something most people certainly couldn't have used within a reasonable time frame.

Doesn't seem very different with those drip pans.

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