Seven Wonders of World-Class Wasteful Spending

1. The Great Pyramid of Giza

pyramid

Yeah, we get it Khufu, you were hot shit in Fourth-Dynasty Egypt, but… maybe you were compensating for something here?  The Pyramid has been able to keep it up for the past few thousand years; we’re not so sure about you, buddy.  Granted, the use of slave labor probably kept costs down, but… we’re not buying it.

 

2. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Hanging_Gardens_of_Babylon

This Nebuchadnezzar will always be #2 in our minds.  Do you know how much Hammurabi’s Code cost us?  Nothing, Nebuchadnezzar.  Nothing.  And it provided the basis for modern law.  Also, there’s no sign that you tried to recoup construction costs by charging admission or opening up maintenance to private contractors.

 

3. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Temple_of_Artemis

Go home, Greeks– you’re drunk!  Ephesus isn’t even in modern-day Greece– it’s near the town of Selçuk, Turkey.  Shows what a lot of good foreign aid does.  Amongst the ancient wonders, we give this one an Eph.

 

4. Statue of Zeus at Olympia

Statue_of_Zeus

Elaborate cedarwood throne ornamented with ebony, ivory, gold, and precious stones– and it was only 13m tall?  If you’re going to be wasteful, at least make us proud.  This is the Zeus we’re talking about!  You’d think with all that funding, they could have at least made him taller than the Temple of Artemis.

 

5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Mausoleum_of_Halicarnassus_2009

We pictured this one lying in ruins because, unlike most other of the Wonders, this was in honor of just one man, Mausolus.  Was he a tyrant?  Was he an emperor?  Was he a democratically-elected official?  Nope.  Just a satrap, and a subject to the Persian Empire.  Mausolus, you may be #5 on this list, but you’re Enemy #1 as we’re concerned.

 

6. Colossus of Rhodes

Colossus_of_Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes was actually a pretty good idea.  Giant statue.  Shows where the harbor is.  Brings praise both to Rhodes and the sun-god Helios.  All good for commerce.  But this being a publicly-funded project, of course they found a way to screw it up.  Within sixty years of its construction, an earthquake toppled it.  Gee, you think it was a no-bid contract to a friend of the ruler of Rhodes, maybe?  Talk about government pork at its worst.

 

7. Lighthouse of Alexandria

lighthouse

This one we actually have to give some credit.  A government project that helped private merchants get into port, probably increasing local commerce immensely, not to mention allowing triremes to move into open sea.  Perhaps this can shine as a beacon that small government can occasionally do some good.

 


 

My name is Adam, and I want you to be my Eve.

ADAM WEISHAUPT is a Professor of Law at the University of Ingolstadt.  His hobbies include rationalism, masonry, and opposition to Kantian idealism.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s