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Government oversight. Is it as valuable as people like to think?

May 29, 2013

If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you’ll know my answer will be no.  Not just no, but HELL NO!!

You can tell that the whole permit, fee, inspection process is complete crap when you find out that when there’s a problem, that the governmental entity cannot be sued.  Hmmm.  If their services are so valuable, wouldn’t they be willing to have some culpability?  The truth is, it’s just a sham.  A scam.  A fleecing.

Check this article out.

http://news.yahoo.com/trucker-bumps-5-bridge-sees-tragedy-behind-him-222303155.html

It’s about a trucker driving a high load who purportedly hit the bridge superstructure and knocked it down.  Here’s the pertinent bits.

“Ed Scherbinski, vice president of Mullen Trucking, said in an interview with The Associated Press that state officials had approved of the company’s plan to drive the oversize load along I-5 to Vancouver, Wash., and the company hired a local escort to help navigate the route.

Mike Allende, a state Department of Transportation spokesman, confirmed the truck had a permit.

“We’re still trying to figure out why it hit the bridge,” Allende said. “It’s ultimately up to the trucking company to figure out whether it can get through.”

State officials approved the trucking company to carry a load as high as 15 feet, 9 inches, according to the permit released by the state. However, the southbound vertical clearance on the Skagit River bridge is as little as 14 feet, 9 inches, state records show. The bridge’s curved overhead girders are higher in the center of the bridge but sweep lower toward a driver’s right side.”

So, all the oversight, all the fees, all the regulations and in the end, the State Bureaucrat pushes it back to the truck driver saying “It’s ultimately up to the trucking company to figure out whether it can get through.”  Stupid ass.  If it’s ultimately up to the trucking company, why have all the red tape?  Liability is the way to handle this, not regulation.  If this truck driver knocked down the bridge, then they should be forced to pay for it.  If the State approved them to drive over the bridge with a high load and failed to catch this, then the State should be forced to pay for it.

Here’s a handy rule of thumb: if government isn’t on the hook when something fails, they really aren’t creating any value by regulating, permitting and inspecting.  It’s just a racket.  If it were being done by the mafia, it’d be called a shake down.

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