Sunday, September 1, 2013

One of the Things

One of the things I like about government is that it enables the accomplishment of things I could never accomplish on my own - things like building freeways, battleships, and space exploration programs.  Sure, private enterprise plays a big role, and could do more, but I’m OK with government doing and/or directing the heavy lifting.

One of the things I don’t like about government is that it never stabilizes and just doesn’t know when to quit.  In the area of building design I find it inhibits the accomplishment of many things I could do much better on my own - things like orienting a building, selecting a window, or designing a guardrail detail. Historically the rational for micromanaging my work as an architect was safety… public safety, private safety, safety whether you want it or not.  Safety regulations continually rain down on us with no end in sight.  And we do get safer and safer, but at a price:  we pay for it both with our wallet and our loss of freedom of choice.  In and of itself this may be something to be concerned about, but to me there is a much bigger issue.

The old “A” word, accountability.  The more we are looked after and taken care of, the more dependent we become on the care giver and the less responsibility we inevitably take for our own actions.  If something goes wrong, too many of us too often first look around to see who we can blame.  I am concerned that as this emerging mindset becomes the norm our persona may weaken and overly dependent individuals may result.  Maybe that’s the way it has to be…we’ll see.

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