The following is about the SoaT Index Rating System, a.k.a., the ShoaT Index Rating System. "SoaT" has two meanings: "Shrimp on a Treadmill" and "Snakes on a Train." For the latter, see Snakes on a Train.

The Shrimp on a Treadmill Government Waste Calculator is a program based on a sorting algorithm developed by Dozerfleet Labs, designed to help measure the ludicrousness of government spending on any one particular project involving allocation of taxpayer funds. It is named after the infamous Shrimp Running on a Treadmill video that was shot at Pacific University of Oregon, which sparked controversy about how Congress spends money on frivolous projects. The video clip in question has even featured on John Stossel's The Money Hole.

While not entirely scientific; the program does provide guidelines for understanding the wisdom (or lack thereof) of government spending on any one project or another. It's initial incarnation targets US federal spending projects, though modifications of the algorithm for local and international governments are in consideration. In 2016, the algorithm was modified into an HTML/CSS application that utilizes JavaScript to execute the algorithm, with a phone app being considered.

How to use

See also: Explaining how the calculator's algorithm works

In keeping with the algorithm developed in 2011, the calculator breaks spending into pre-defined brackets. The category/tier system is based on the reasons given for spending on a particular project. To operate:

  1. Find a project in the news that you are curious about.
  2. Select the appropriate spending reason category.
  3. Check the box based on private sector goods by domestic companies either increasing, decreasing, or being unaffected. If the private sector receives no benefit, or is hurt, or if only specific companies benefit but not the country at large (i.e., cronyism), then the box remains unchecked.
  4. Enter in the amount of money that the news source (or an official government source) states is being spent. If an undercover investigation reveals a different number, enter that number.
  5. Hit the "Calculate" button. The calculator will give a percentage of wastefulness assessment, as well as a moral evaluation of how wasteful the project is.
  6. Write down the results for as many variations of output as you can muster from spending projections provided by as many sources as possible. This allows for range, median, mode, and mean scores to be reported.
    • Note: Huge discrepancies may imply fraud or embezzlement has occurred.

Versions and release dates

Around 11:50 PM EDT on Saturday, October 8th of 2016, a web page version of an app for the index as a federal calculator was released. It was replaced around 9:14 AM EDT on October 10th of 2016 with a "version 1.1," that included CSS3 transitions for background color changes in the output fields.

Future versions

State and city versions that modify the algorithm to reflect realistic spending brackets at those levels are in consideration, as well as the option to create versions of the program that could be converted to international currencies; for citizens of other nations to measure their homelands' managements of tax funds.

Versions of the program as Android phone, Android tablet, iPhone, and iPad apps are also being considered - pending further research.

See also

External links


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