70 in a 65

70 in a 65

Imagine you are an engineer (work for a private firm, or maybe retired) and the city where you live posts plans for a new bridge. Upon review, just for professional curiosity (or maybe you bid on the project), it is clear the bridge plans are unsound. The bridge will fail. Maybe not in the first week or year, but eventually, due to science and math, it will fail. It is not a subjective observation; it is based on math and your professional opinion?

What would you do?

Tell a few people you know and love to take a different route, or move? Go to the city and request justification for identified issues? Keep quiet and remember that teacher who often told the class the bell curve was real.

What if wasn’t a bridge, but some other project where years of knowledge and expertise are clearly being ignored and obviously (to some) indicate someone missing critical thinking skills was put in charge. A college education does not create an expert, or expertise. Neither does years of experience, but I’ll choose the later over the former. What should happen?

What if a professional saw flaws in financial products, or processes, that could significantly damage the economy? What should happen? What if these were illegal, but everyone was doing it? Nobody goes the exact speed limit and a little bit over is ok, right? What if a worker sees something being done (or not done) that is not right? Nobody likes a snitch, but when does the public good override being a whistleblower? When is illuminating mismanagement a civic duty, or just common sense?

Selective enforcement is not new, but it does seem to be getting worse. Maybe this is due to the volume of infractions, but it could have something to do with individual personnel.

Some people, and this has been going on for a long time, see things are being mismanaged and voice concerns. It becomes the boy who cried wolf or the speed limit scenario. People can only process so much is a common fallback and the lack of reporting by the news media is another excuse, but whatever the reason, people need to hear these issues.

The financial collapse of 2008 is a great example of a few people seeing problems (and making a ton of money on them) and nothing being done about it. After the fact, several people offered to explain to policy leaders how policies may be changed to prevent future calamities. Few listened and even fewer could be bothered. It was ancient history and would never happen again. Sounds like something Custer would say.

Why is debate being silenced? Why is government unresponsive to not only blatant violations of law, but to policies that perpetuate mediocrity? Debt, border, drugs, social programs, education, and health care are but a few policies where progress is not being made, but policies continue unabated. People know it is wrong, but believe any voice of opposition is accompanied by name-calling, belittlement, or worse. It may result in job loss or attacks on family members. How come those trying to help (Dr. Burry, Dr. Malone and countless others) are ignored. If those prestigious experts are ignored, the hope of others being heard diminishes.

It is high time we gave the average citizen, and certainly citizen experts, some podium time.

Categorized as Policy

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