Letter: Our structural deficiencies
The I-35W bridge that collapsed has been termed "structurally deficient." That term begs for an explanation, and leaves unanswered the question about why it was structurally deficient. I wonder if the support problems of the bridge may not be in ...
The I-35W bridge that collapsed has been termed "structurally deficient." That term begs for an explanation, and leaves unanswered the question about why it was structurally deficient. I wonder if the support problems of the bridge may not be in steel and concrete, but in our mirrors.
Perhaps our political system may be structurally deficient. For example, the governor vetoed a bill approved in the last session of Congress to fund transportation costs in Minnesota. The Legislature approved a bill the governor had indicated he'd veto. The year before, both groups presented to the citizens for their approval a constitutional amendment. It required a convoluted formula for funding transportation. That's a lot of structural deficiency. Other examples of structurally deficient political decision-making can be identified at the national and local levels as well.
My suspicion is that many elected officials realize our country, state, county, and city need to spend more money on critical infrastructure. I also suspect that they have resisted doing that because of the fear that increasing budgets and raising revenue would not be popular with the voters.
So perhaps what is structurally deficient is the public's stance on governmental expenditures. We need to tell our elected officials it is OK with us to spend money on necessary safety needs. While democracy may not be the most efficient form of government, its freedom and values far outweigh the alternatives.
Democratic government starts with the citizens. We need to tell our leaders we will not run them out of office for building safe bridges and other necessary items of supportive government. As scapegoats are identified in weeks ahead for the bridge collapse, let's not overlook our own role in the process of maintaining public facilities. Let's identify and elect officeholders with the courage to lead us into renewed infrastructure for our country.