I Waste Money More Efficiently Than My Government Does

 

I enjoy grilling out.  In much the same way as I enjoy bourbon.  Sometimes I think I have a problem.  But that feeling passes once I have some bourbon and smoked pork.  I have three Weber grills (three different sizes – so that’s perfectly reasonable).  I have a large smoker that can handle around 40 pounds of pork at a time.  And then last year, my wife reminded me of why I love her so much:  “I saw a Big Green Egg on Facebook Marketplace.  Includes the rolling table and all sorts of accessories.  All that retails for nearly $3,000, but they’re selling it for $1,000 cash.  It’s only an hour away.  Let’s go get it!

My beloved smoker was less than $200 at Lowes 20 years ago.  The Weber grills are cheap.  So spending $1,000 for a grill seemed, um, a bit extravagant.  The charcoal you have to use for it is $25 a bag.  On sale.  But I’m blessed to be sufficiently financially secure that $1,000 is not the end of the world.  So what the heck.  I went over and picked it up.  Well, my Dad and I and a neighbor kid who plays offensive tackle somehow muscled the thing up the ramps onto a trailer.  It weighs over 700 pounds.  So really, it’s cheaper than a Weber grill.  By the pound.  So that’s perfectly reasonable.

At first, I really wasn’t sure what to do with it.  Until a pharmacist friend of mine found out that I had it, and he was at my house that night to give me a tour of my new wondrous lifestyle accessory.  He enjoys his Big Green Egg the way I enjoy my bourbon.  And now, having used it for a year or so, I must say that I understand everyone’s enthusiasm.  It’s great for grilling steaks, baking pizzas, smoking chicken, and all sorts of other stuff.  Very cool gizmo.  Now, for $2,000-$3,000, I’m not sure.  A cynic might call that a waste of money.  But I would describe it at least as a glorious waste of money.  So grant me, at least, that I waste money well.  My government does not.

When I waste money, it’s on a $40 bottle of fancy bourbon.  Or a $75,000 Cadillac.  Or a $1,000 grill.  They’re all a waste of money, of course.  But I enjoy them, and I’m not hurting anyone.  In fact, I’m helping all those people that produce bourbon, cars, and grills.

But when government wastes money, it’s destructive.  They ‘invest’ heavily in preferred companies, thus distorting the marketplace, making the financial markets less predictable, less efficient, and less profitable.  They give money to people, creating inflation and destroying the individual initiative that makes our economy work.  They pump free money into things like education and medicine, making everything they touch less efficient and more expensive.

When government wastes money, it destroys everything it touches.

When I waste money, I create happiness, for me.  And wealth, for others.  Which those others then use to buy happiness, for themselves.

With my Woodford Reserve and my Big Green Egg, I have at least cured myself of sobriety and hunger.  And I haven’t hurt anyone else.

That doesn’t mean that my Big Green Egg was a wise use of my resources.  There are cheaper ways to convert cold chicken into warm chicken.

But at least it wasn’t destructive.

It’s not that government spends money unwisely.  Let’s face it – we all spend money unwisely at times.

It’s that when our government inevitably spends our money unwisely on our behalf, they destroy our economy, our souls, and our liberty.

We should starve our government.  Force it to do with less.

I am less concerned with taxes – less concerned with our government’s revenue – than I am with our government’s spending.  Every dollar the government spends shifts more power away from the taxpayers and toward the centralized control of government.  Taxes aren’t the problem.  Spending is.

Government spending creates government power.

We should discourage our government from wasting money.  And we should encourage our citizens to waste money.

This is important.  It’s more important than bourbon and barbeque.  And for me to say that, it must be very, very important.

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  1. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    When I waste money, I create happiness, for me.  And wealth, for others.  Which those others then use to buy happiness, for themselves.

    I think it’s OK for you to spend money to be happy.

    • #1
  2. hoowitts Coolidge
    hoowitts
    @hoowitts

    And then last year, my wife reminded me of why I love her so much:  “I saw a Big Green Egg on Facebook Marketplace.  Includes the rolling table and all sorts of accessories.  All that retails for nearly $3,000, but they’re selling it for $1,000 cash.  It’s only an hour away.  Let’s go get it!

    Boy howdy Doc…ain’t she a keeper! (And the wife ain’t half bad either ;-)

    • #2
  3. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    I agree with your main point, of course. But I submit that your extravagant indulgence in certain things is nothing that needs a justification or an apology. It’s a question of value for money, and value is extremely subjective. If your green egg makes you happy, it has a greater value. I have several things around here (mostly strange old firearms) that would not be considered “worth” what I paid for them, but owning them makes me happy, thereby increasing their value.

    • #3
  4. Some Call Me ...Tim Coolidge
    Some Call Me ...Tim
    @SomeCallMeTim

    Great post.  I agree that the government has a spending problem, but you won’t cure that until you reduce the amount they take in (i.e. reducing taxes).  It is a rare day when I will vote for a tax increase or to extend a current tax, like property millages, even for the most worthy cause.  I work on the premise that all levels of government have enough money, they just need to spend it wisely (I laughed when I wrote that last bit). 

    Was that the grill you used to cook our delicious hamburgers?  If so, it was well worth your money. 

    • #4
  5. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Have you had Woodford Reserve Double Oaked? Very good IMO, and you can waste even more money on it.

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Have you had Woodford Reserve Double Oaked? Very good IMO, and you can waste even more money on it.

    Haven’t tried it yet.  I’ve heard it’s awesome.  I’ll get some.

    • #6
  7. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    You waste money you earned.     Me,  I want a Traeger Wood Pellet grille.   But I am sick of having too much stuff to store, & organize so I probably will just stick with the Weber Gas Grille that my wife loves.

    • #7
  8. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I think it was Rita Rudner who observed that men don’t like to cook unless there is danger involved, especially fire.

    • #8
  9. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I think it was Rita Rudner who observed that men don’t like to cook unless there is danger involved, especially fire.

    I heard once that men are most of the professional chefs because what’s not to like?  They get to play with fire, sharp knives, and raw meat.

    • #9
  10. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Dr. Bastiat:

    And then last year, my wife reminded me of why I love her so much:  “I saw a Big Green Egg on Facebook Marketplace.  Includes the rolling table and all sorts of accessories.  All that retails for nearly $3,000, but they’re selling it for $1,000 cash.  It’s only an hour away.  Let’s go get it!

    My beloved smoker was less than $200 at Lowes 20 years ago.  The Weber grills are cheap.  So spending $1,000 for a grill seemed, um, a bit extravagant. 

    It’s all I how you frame it. Now, when may wife shows me things she bought at estate sales, she never mentions how much she spent, only how much she “saved” me. “This costs $500 new, so I saved you $300!” So, you didn’t waste $1,000, you saved $2,000. At least that is how my wife would put it.

    As for government spending . . .

     

    • #10
  11. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I think it was Rita Rudner who observed that men don’t like to cook unless there is danger involved, especially fire.

    I heard once that men are most of the professional chefs because what’s not like? They get to play with fire, sharp knives, and raw meat.

    I also like to wear my “I’m Hotter Than the Grille” apron.

    • #11
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I think it was Rita Rudner who observed that men don’t like to cook unless there is danger involved, especially fire.

    I heard once that men are most of the professional chefs because what’s not like? They get to play with fire, sharp knives, and raw meat.

    I also like to wear my “I’m Hotter Than the Grille” apron.

    You wear something?

    • #12
  13. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Got one 15 years ago. And loved it. But the ceramic interior finally cracked. And now have a big problem. How to get a 500 lb. used up grill to the sidewalk for pick up.  Will need to hire a few locals. My son’s replacement pellet grill much lighter so won’t have that problem again. 

    • #13
  14. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Grilling is fun.  You can cook anything on a grill.  And no pots!  (I hate washing pots.)  I have a Ducane SS medium model that is over 20 years old.  Ducane made the best gas grills, that was until it was sold to a private equity firm, leveraged, moved to a new state of the art factory, and then, the great recession.  Weber bailed out the PE firm, took over the factory to make Weber grills, adopted the Ducane burner system and killed the Ducane brand by using on their “cheap” line made in China.  The name was shortly abandoned.  

    That old grill (replacement parts are available from secondary sources; you can find anything on the interweb) still fires up to a temperature just short of “welding”, but alas, I use it only to clean my Traeger grate.  The Traeger fires up to 500F, which is fine.  It can grill, smoke, bake.  The pellets are a little pricy and you have to vac it out every couple of months, but it is awesome.  I heartily recommend it.  I have the internet connected model, which is overkill, but I do love it.  It has a temperature sensor that works and you can play with the pellet woods.  I go with an all purpose off brand at Lowes, $14 for 40 pounds.  It will last me a month grilling 4-5 times a week.

    Happy smoking!

    • #14
  15. Ford Penney Member
    Ford Penney
    @FordPenney

    Government wasting money is a ‘feature’ not a ‘bug’. How can they keep asking for more if they actually accomplish anything… so they just tell everyone that they are trying to make the world a better place… with your money.

    The real irony of this post, sorry ‘Doc’, is anyone having to even question how they spend their money.

    The government doesn’t actually  have any money… its all been taken from someone to give to someone else. The ‘racket’ is to be the someone they give it to… just say ‘lobbyist’… or ‘Clinton’ works too… even ‘Pelosi’ works.

    • #15
  16. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Ford Penney (View Comment):

    Government wasting money is a ‘feature’ not a ‘bug’. How can they keep asking for more if they actually accomplish anything… so they just tell everyone that they are trying to make the world a better place… with your money.

    The real irony of this post, sorry ‘Doc’, is anyone having to even question how they spend their money.

    The government doesn’t actually have any money… its all been taken from someone to give to someone else. The ‘racket’ is to be the someone they give it to… just say ‘lobbyist’… or ‘Clinton’ works too… even ‘Pelosi’ works.

    Yup.   As far as I can tell, government’s job is spending money.   I spent some college years in DC.  I had several friends who interned with various government agencies.   There would be actual parties held to celebrate the day their department spent all their budget.   I had occasion to attend a few as the intern’s ‘plus one’ so I am an eyewitness that these are real, not rumor.   The data back this up.   Year in and year out, the calendar month in which the most government spending occurs is September – the last month of the fiscal year.   Anything left gets shoveled out the door – office furniture, art, grants, travel…just get rid of that dirty money.

    After all, status in the bureaucracy is measured in budget and headcount.   It’s no surprise that those two get maximized.

    • #16
  17. American Abroad Thatcher
    American Abroad
    @AmericanAbroad

    Is it possible to waste money you actually earned?

    I would object to your BBQ menagerie if I was paying for it.  But I assume you are gainfully employed, so have at it.

    • #17
  18. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    American Abroad (View Comment):
    Is it possible to waste money you actually earned?

    A friend of mine contributed money to Biden’s campaign because he didn’t like Trump.

    • #18
  19. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    You should use Jack Daniel’s charcoal.

    I have several things I love to “waste” money on.  I love video games (got a couple dozen I haven’t played yet in the queue), firearms, good beer, and good liquor.  I’ve already had my fill of cars, although I’d still love to get that dream Porsche.

    I’ve thought about getting a smoker, but I’ve found I can make great BBQ in a slow cooker, and I use the oven for ribs.  My grill is gas, and it makes great burgers, steaks, you name it . . .

    • #19
  20. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Stad (View Comment):
    I’ve thought about getting a smoker, but I’ve found I can make great BBQ in a slow cooker, and I use the oven for ribs.  My grill is gas, and it makes great burgers, steaks, you name it . . .

    I’m flagging this comment as obscene.

    • #20
  21. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    I’ve thought about getting a smoker, but I’ve found I can make great BBQ in a slow cooker, and I use the oven for ribs. My grill is gas, and it makes great burgers, steaks, you name it . . .

    I’m flagging this comment as obscene.

    LOL!  I’d use my gas grill for BBQ, but the slightest breeze foils trying to cook on low temperature.  As for ribs in the oven, the head chef for the Angus Barn in Raleigh showed us in a cooking class how he does it at the restaurant.  He also gave us his recipe for BBQ sauce.  Unfortunately, I have to scale it down because the recipe is for about 20 gallons of the stuff.

    Here what the ribs look like cooked in the oven:

    • #21
  22. hoowitts Coolidge
    hoowitts
    @hoowitts

    Stad (View Comment):

    You should use Jack Daniel’s charcoal.

    I have several things I love to “waste” money on. I love video games (got a couple dozen I haven’t played yet in the queue), firearms, good beer, and good liquor. I’ve already had my fill of cars, although I’d still love to get that dream Porsche.

    I’ve thought about getting a smoker, but I’ve found I can make great BBQ in a slow cooker, and I use the oven for ribs. My grill is gas, and it makes great burgers, steaks, you name it . . .

    These three (my emphasis added) allow you to save face from that slow cooker BBQ comment, Stad. “C’mon man!” ~FJB

    • #22
  23. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    hoowitts (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    You should use Jack Daniel’s charcoal.

    I have several things I love to “waste” money on. I love video games (got a couple dozen I haven’t played yet in the queue), firearms, good beer, and good liquor. I’ve already had my fill of cars, although I’d still love to get that dream Porsche.

    I’ve thought about getting a smoker, but I’ve found I can make great BBQ in a slow cooker, and I use the oven for ribs. My grill is gas, and it makes great burgers, steaks, you name it . . .

    These three (my emphasis added) allow you to save face from that slow cooker BBQ comment, Stad. “C’mon man!” ~FJB

    Hehe . . . I should have taken a picture of a Boston butt after several hours in the slow cooker . . .

    • #23
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    “Public goods” only. 

    • #24
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Obviously, the main problem with any kind of oven or slow-cooker or any other non-grill/smoker cooking, is that any “smoke” flavor will be necessarily artificial.

    • #25
  26. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Stad (View Comment):

    hoowitts (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    You should use Jack Daniel’s charcoal.

    I have several things I love to “waste” money on. I love video games (got a couple dozen I haven’t played yet in the queue), firearms, good beer, and good liquor. I’ve already had my fill of cars, although I’d still love to get that dream Porsche.

    I’ve thought about getting a smoker, but I’ve found I can make great BBQ in a slow cooker, and I use the oven for ribs. My grill is gas, and it makes great burgers, steaks, you name it . . .

    These three (my emphasis added) allow you to save face from that slow cooker BBQ comment, Stad. “C’mon man!” ~FJB

    Hehe . . . I should have taken a picture of a Boston butt after several hours in the slow cooker . . .

    I bet this pic looks better than the one you might have posted for Boston’s butt. 

    • #26
  27. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    Mmmmmmm…….Woodford Reserve.

    • #27
  28. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    hoowitts (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    You should use Jack Daniel’s charcoal.

    I have several things I love to “waste” money on. I love video games (got a couple dozen I haven’t played yet in the queue), firearms, good beer, and good liquor. I’ve already had my fill of cars, although I’d still love to get that dream Porsche.

    I’ve thought about getting a smoker, but I’ve found I can make great BBQ in a slow cooker, and I use the oven for ribs. My grill is gas, and it makes great burgers, steaks, you name it . . .

    These three (my emphasis added) allow you to save face from that slow cooker BBQ comment, Stad. “C’mon man!” ~FJB

    Hehe . . . I should have taken a picture of a Boston butt after several hours in the slow cooker . . .

    I bet this pic looks better than the one you might have posted for Boston’s butt.

    That picture did more to open my eyes this morning than my coffee . . .

    • #28
  29. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Obviously, the main problem with any kind of oven or slow-cooker or any other non-grill/smoker cooking, is that any “smoke” flavor will be necessarily artificial.

    I usually marinate with balsamic vinegar, Kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper, and garlic powder.  Near the end of cooking for the ribs, I brush on a light coat of BBQ sauce, so it carmelizes before I pull the meat out.  Er . . . before I take the ribs out of the oven.

    As for the pulled pork, I don’t add BBQ sauce, which allows everyone to choose from one of several varieties I have on hand.

    • #29
  30. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I really enjoyed this, especially the early paragraphs. I’m glad you waste your money on what you do, Dr. B. It’s definitely more constructive than what the government wastes our money on. Kudos for an enjoyable post. 

    • #30
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