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August 10, 2011

"Not Much Further We Can Cut" and my neighborhood. [ArthurK]

A few years ago, the city came by my quiet neighborhood and installed 4 wheelchair ramps at 4 corners.

Here are those ramps.


Ramps 1 and 2.JPG

Ramp3.JPG

Ramp4.JPG


I live in Hollywood, CA. Part of Los Angeles. LA is Broke. California is Boned. And the USA Borrows 40% of every dollar it spends. So, no matter what part of govt. paid for these ramps, it involved borrowing money.

I've got no gripe against wheelchair ramps. I enjoy living in a country so prosperous and compassionate that building wheelchair ramps all over the place is considered normal. But... take a look at this.

Alt Ramp 1.JPG

Alt Ramp 2.JPG

Not too far from those ramps are perfectly serviceable driveways which are an adequate substitute for wheelchair ramps.

I noticed that a few years ago when the ramps were installed and went, "eh, govt. What can you do?"

But today I noticed something else. There are 21 homes in the double cul-de-sac that make up my quiet neighborhood. Take a look at 3 very typical examples.


Entrance 1.JPG

*

Entrance 2.JPG

**

Entrance 3.JPG

The other 18 homes share the same feature. None of them are wheelchair accessible!

Ace pointed out today that Pres. Obama said "in both the area of defense and non-defense domestic spending, there is "not much further we can cut."

We need to do more than just cut spending. We need to change the attitude where govt. functionaries Just Don't Care how they spend money. It's one thing to waste money on 4 useless wheelchair ramps. But to borrow money to do it is CRAZY. Electing Tea Party types to Congress is a step in the right direction. But, assuming good results in the 2012 elections, there's a lot of work to do reforming the way govt. functions.

Here's the deal. You have people in charge of building wheelchair ramps. They're spending somebody else's money on something that has no effect on them. This is not likely to result in thrifty money management! Some people look at that and say, "Reform! Let's make the system work better!". I appreciate the sentiment but the reality is that taking that approach Never Works. There's too much inertia to overcome.

What about limiting govt? Hey, there's an idea! If it isn't the govts. job to bestow wheelchair ramps upon the nation, they won't waste money building unneeded wheelchair ramps. Take another look at the above pictures. This is a reasonably affluent neighborhood. If we REALLY wanted ramps, we would be able to build them ourselves - assuming we hadn't lost the money in taxes to the wheelchair ramp commission. And we wouldn't build ramps with usable driveways just feet away.

Govt. is good for a lot of things but efficiency isn't a quality ususally associated with it. The more you limit govt. the less ability it has to waste stuff.


*My humble abode.

**You may recognize this as the site of a ghastly murder! (in the movie, Halloween H20)

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:49 AM

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