It’s hard to know how to feel about this story. Loosely wine related but thoroughly government shutdown related, the articles below offer poignant insight into the pathetically contradictory workings of our government.
The final week of the fiscal year is referred to by those “inside the Beltway” as “use it or lose it week.” During this week each year government officials place pricey orders for non-essential goods with the express intent of emptying their coffers and proving that the same budget is necessary for the coming year. After all, no one wants their budget cut because someone forgot to buy $5 million worth of custom glassware right? Fortunately for our embassies around the world, the U.S. Office of Acquisitions keeps a close eye on this type of thing and was able to “finalize the order for custom stemware on September 30th, just hours before nearly one million federal workers were put on unpaid leave as a result of the on-going budget dispute in Congress.”
While sustained patronage of American business and support of domestic manufacturing is essential to our national economic health, it is hard to imagine that one domestic product, fancy glassware, could impress foreign dignitaries enough to make up for the ongoing bastardization of our most American domestic product, Democracy.
Use it or Lose it Highlights:
-$5 million order for custom crystal glassware and bar accessories from Vermont-based Simon Pearce (glasses ranging from $65-$100 per stem)
-$500,000 spent by the Department of Veteran Affairs for artwork
-$178,000 spent by the Coast Guard repairing cubicle furniture
-A six-figure order was placed by the Department of Agriculture on toner cartridges