Debate and Discussion

Minnesota Bridge Collapse
Phantom Penguin at 7:26PM, Aug. 11, 2007
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Calling this terrorism is like saying the southeast asia tsunami a terrorist act.

My personal favorite quote from YouTube:

“there are so many things that are fishy about this. I believe that someone was behind it. The army has 3 videos, why would they have so many if they didntknow that anything was going to happen. I think that it was rigged, sure it may sound stupid at this point, but a bridge dont fall unless it is made to. The Tacoma Bridge wobbled for an hour before it fell and this one was not in any way wobbling, i dont know..i just want answers”
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
SpANG at 7:49PM, Aug. 11, 2007
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A bridge is only as strong as it's weakest point. Of course if one truss goes down, the whole thing will. This has nothing to do with purposeful destruction. I would even go as far to say that it's not shoddy construction either. Parts just wear after a while. And this bridge was never made for the amount of cars it takes these days. No, this is a simple case of plain old negligence/ignorance brought on by greed. Couple that with about 4 times more cars on that bridge than it was ever made for, and there you go.

There is NO quality control for anything anymore. Why would a bridge be any different?

Those of you that use bridges to get home, don't worry too much. Now that this happened, ALL bridges are undergoing more scrutiny than ever. For now. I can't say you'll be that safe in a few more years after everyone forgets this.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:52PM
Ronson at 7:24PM, Aug. 14, 2007
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Actually, it's statistically unlikely any of us will be on a bridge during a collapse. I would imagine it would be even less likely than lightning or certainly a car accident.

But the problem isn't going to be solved. The problem is that the government hasn't invested in America's infrastructure since Reagan took over. Probably before.

Many of the bridges and the roads in the United States were made at the government's expense. It was a way to give people good paying jobs, and every improvement of our infrastructure made businesses more profitable (an interstate is a good 20 MPH faster than a rural road, so delivery time can be stepped up, product can be moved around faster over a wider area … etc.)

This was part of FDR's new deal, part of Eisenhower's Interstate Act (also a boon to the military who would now be able to cross the nation in a day if necessary).

Then came the anti-government politicians. Reagan was famous for saying the scariest words he'd ever heard were “I'm from the government and I'm here to help.”

And people were dissatisfied with government for many and various reasons. Democrats had allowed it to get bloated and corrupt. But instead of fixing it, these new “conservatives” wanted to destroy it. To defund it.

So their politicians proudly declared “I'm going to cut taxes” and their opposition eventually gave up the “I'm going to spend your money more sensibly” approach and adopted the “tax cut” mantra.

Nowadays, few politicians can get elected if they suggest that taxes need to be increased - or even if they suggest that the tax program as it is is enough.

When FDR was President, tax on wage earners of more than $3 million was 92%*, before Reagan came into office, it was in the 70 percentile. Now it's near 15%. Where do you think that revenue has to come from now? The middle class. So we get squeezed, and we don't see the benefits, because the same politicians who claim that government is worthless do a great job of proving themselves right.

So we have the choice of giving money to a governmental system that is broken and hope they are together enough to actually give a crap about the infrastructure, or sit back and watch the infrastructure collapse into a huge pile of rubble.

Not exactly a great choice for anyone.
_____

* 92% is pretty high, I admit. Kennedy lowered it but tightened some loopholes so that it actually INCREASED revenues. The reason for the high tax was to prevent a moneyed elite from taking over this country. It was also to prevent the profit over prudence mindset that can take hold in corporate behavior. Did it work? I dunno, I'm not an economist.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
mapaghimagsik at 7:41PM, Aug. 14, 2007
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Ronson
But the problem isn't going to be solved. The problem is that the government hasn't invested in America's infrastructure since Reagan took over. Probably before.



I would go further back than Reagan, but under Reagan the idea that government couldn't do anything right was only reinforced by the fact that government was run by people disinterested in governing, and only interested in profits.

I know many faux conservatives want to whine about “nothing wrong with making a profit” but the fact is that you do your job well first, and then make a profit, not the other way around.

This was part of that whole “run government like a business” model, which has ultimately put short term profits above doing a good job.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Ronson at 4:57AM, Aug. 15, 2007
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Even now the explanations for the Minnesota bridge are turning towards “design flaws”…even though the bridge had lasted longer than it's design intentions without the required upkeep. This will be the new mantra about the bridge, you'll see. Republicans, conservatives and libertarians will all insist that it was the initial design that doomed this bridge, not our crumbling infrastrucutre.

They are so afraid that the proof that neoconservatism turns everything to crap will be exposed.

The governors of Minnesota have been on tax cut rampages for many years now. The same can be said of New York City mayors - where they just recently had a steam pipe explosion because a 50-year pipe that was installed in the 1920s broke.

The problem is that there isn't a direct correlation between tax cuts and infrastructure development. Prior to the tax cuts there was more revenue for the government, but the spending was totally screwed up. Infrastructure arguments aren't “sexy” enough to get you elected, you had to promise to spend money on new things.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
warren at 6:53AM, Aug. 15, 2007
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We should probably just be thankful things like this don't happen more often. In my area there are literally hundreds of bridges, and even before the collapse some of the bridges seemed pretty unsafe. Still use them, though.

On the “more often” thought, maybe we're at the beginning of a cycle where the infastructure does start to catastrophically fail. There is a lot of stuff out there that is past it's effective lifespan.

This could be good news for some of you out there. If the government actually desides to fix things, there will be a LOT of construction jobs 10-15 years from now. A nice lifetime of work.

Unfortunately, your great-grandchildren will see what we see now. We don't seem to learn.

(Assuming no global warming, we have a power source for automobiles, nuclear war or alien invasion never happens, etc. etc. etc.)
Warren

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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:48PM
7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 10:05PM, Aug. 18, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
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Oh, come on now, 13 deaths, nothing we haven't seen before. Of course, I show sympathy for those who know the dead ones, but there's no reason to get obsessive over it just because the news thought it would make a good headliner.


I agree. Why can't we get more Paris Hilton coverage?
Yeah, Maybe on E, I'm talking more about, you know, respectable channels.
i will also like to know you the more
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:04AM

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