Sunday, January 28, 2018

Dear Mr. Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

You are a man of superlatives.

Everything with you is the biggest, the best, the greatest, the highest, the strongest, the most.  That anyone has ever seen.  And NOBODY knows more about (insert random object here) than you do.

It makes for a great drinking game (the greatest that anybody has ever played).  And a good running joke (the funniest in history).  You will notice that, when you visit other countries, your hosts get in on the joke, and happily play to your love of self-aggrandizement.  That marching band in Davos was a hoot.  By the way, I hear the president of Egypt is planning to greet you with Cleopatra rolled up in a rug.

But even you would struggle to find superlatives hyperbolic enough to describe spending 23.7 million dollars on a couple of refrigerators.

$23,657,671, to be precise, which was the contract you authorized to Boeing to build these beauties for Air Force One.

Yes, I understand that the refrigerators will have "bespoke equipment requirements", which means "custom-made", and nice use of Brit-speak here.  Americans will accept anything a British person tells them.

And I understand that the refrigerators are going to be on an airplane.

And I understand that "the engineering required to design, manufacture, conduct environmental testing, and obtaining FAA certification are included in the cost."

But let's look at this rationally.

I have recently purchased a refrigerator.  It cost $500.  It keeps things cold.  And it does a very nice job. 

My new refrigerator holds enough food for about one week's worth of meals, approximately 21, a little more if you count the marinara sauce in the freezer.  The Air Force One refrigerators will hold about 3000 meals.  

I have a simple mind.  So, for the sake of argument, let's just scale up the cost of my refrigerator to 3000 meals.  If my math is correct, my refrigerator would cost around $75,000.  Two of them would cost $150,000, more or less.

Now let's subtract that number from $23,657,671.

And, given that you could get the environmental testing and FAA certification for cheap or free, we are left with:


To cover the cost of the engineering to design and manufacture.  

Which is making me want to pull my kid out of Harvard and send him to Refrigerator Engineering School.

Best deal ever,


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