On the intricacies of high finance

Tomorrow is Austria’s national holiday. In case you don’t know how that came about, it’s the day when we’re supposed to commemorate the signing of a treaty including the law of permanent neutrality (and a few other things). Since the signing happened 40 50 years ago (edit: Did I really write 40? Well, good thing I noticed it before anyone else did!), the government has decided to hold a big military parade. Because, as you are all aware, commemorating the anniversary of permanent neutrality practically screams for a display of military power. And that’s what’s going to happen tomorrow. According to the ministry of defense, tomorrow’s parade through Vienna [DE] will contain the following:

  • 4010 soldiers
  • 195 tanks
  • about 100 air-crafts (apparently they don’t know exactly, which is quite understandable, considering the fact that Austria’s aerial force is impressive like that. I looked up the precise numbers [DE], and they amount to exactly 163, including planes used for transportation and training purposes, for example this one here)

There won’t be any concrete numbers as to what the whole thing will cost, because according to the ministry, the costs for the parade are incorporated into the training budget. Which of course warrants a serious: “What the fuck?” I mean, apparently the Austrian military has a budget so bloated they can afford to parade practically its entire aerial and land force through Vienna.
What if universities had that kind of budget? How bloated would a budget for the University of Vienna have to be in order for them to organize a parade of all its staff through the streets of Vienna, just so people could gaze in amazement at the extreme number of people working in administration? Hell, in today’s seminar people had to sit on the floor because there’s just not enough space, and the government spends millions of Euros on useless parades of a useless military force. It’s a mess, it’s a damn mess.