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Richard Rider

Governments are still running 40+ year software AND hardware

Want to know why the federal stimulus checks will likely be unnecessarily delayed?  Read the remarkable WALL ST JOURNAL article about how INCREDIBLY inept our government IT efforts have been for DECADES.

Not that we haven’t spent countless billions on our federal IT function.  Indeed, the feds spend a breathtaking $88 BILLION a year on IT!

What did they do with the money?  The rhetorical question is asked over and over in the article below.

Of course, state and local governments are too often just as behind the IT technology curve. California has squandered hundreds of millions on “new” systems that didn’t work right from the get-go.

The federal mismanagement is not always so funny:
A much-needed Covid-19 antibody test developed in January that was under review by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA]. Dr. Makary noted, “And we lost precious time when one of the original scientists submitted an application and was told that he had to submit it also by paper mail with a CD-ROM with the files burned on it.” CD-ROM? They might as well have asked for applications on a deck of IBM punch cards with audio on 8-track tapes.

Here’s more amazing facts from the article:
The Pentagon’s control of nuclear missiles and bombers until very recently ran on 8-inch floppy disks from the 1970s. Some of the weather-tracking systems of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service were programmed in Fortran, as far back as the 1950s. Or the National Institutes of Health, which stopped buying fax machines . . . in 2019.
And—yikes—remember the 2018 false alarm? “Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound to Hawaii. Seek Immediate Shelter. This Is Not a Drill.” And don’t forget how imploded in 2013.


Upgrade Our 8-Track Government

Squandered funds lead to ancient software. That gives us crashes and delayed checks.