Monday, May 31, 2010

What has Google cost us? (FPOTD-Solved)

Today I was reading a MacRumors post about the Google Pacman Doodle.

Some joker posted on the thread the following:
"Oh man, I've been playing all morning. I'm glad the gov't doesn't block Google! I feel bad for wasting your tax dollars. Okay, I won't play any more. Back to work.

Okay, just kidding. I only played one game."

--- A. Joker

Of course, there is always some wanktard on just about any discussion board that wants to whine about how much they hate the government:

"I'm not gonna start on how much I loathe government employees in all areas for reasons like this, so I won't go into the "Nobody Does Their Job" speech. No, the Gov doesn't block that on their computers, but that doesn't mean you should be playing games while you SHOULD be working, and working off of taxpayer dollars I may add. The Gov is the joke it is today thanks to things like this.

I did come to this thread, however, to say how they should leave it like this permanently, but I think I retract that now. People that should be working aren't, because Google turned a standard search function into a game. I know in my mind too, that no one I know is going to pass by it without playing... Sad. "

--- A. Wanktard. 

Somebody later posted the thought that in the grand scheme of things, a government employee playing 10 min of Google Pacman was in-consequential.

But the question to be asked, and the Fermi problem to be considered, is how much did Google cost us?

I posted the following to the discussion, then went back to doing some federally funded physics.

----- Start Fermi ----


About 3 million government employees, not counting shadow hires.
Average annual salary lets assume around $40k, or about $20/hr or $.33/min.

10 min of play costs, just in direct pay, $3.33. Lets not forget the massive overhead costs, assume about 3 times direct pay and those 10 min cost about $10.

If every employee played for 10 min, that is $30 million spent.

Remember that most full time salaried workers in most states are allowed by law two 15 min paid breaks, and we can see this is not a big deal. Just install Pacman in every bathroom stall and save on costs!

Now, of course not every employee is going to spend 10 min, and in fact most of them will not play at all for whatever reason. Lets assume 1% of all government employees played for 10 min, and that comes out to a paltry $30k of time spent.

There are about 300 million people in the USA, lets say 1/2 are of tax paying age.
This means that those employees playing Pacman for 10 min cost each of us $0.0002.

I think I would rather pay for that than for many other things the US government uses my tax money for.