[SpamCop-Social] Re: Obituary
heybub at gmail.com
Fri May 20 00:06:58 EDT 2005
> Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common
> Sense. Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows
> for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in
> bureaucratic red tape.
In about 1980, the city fathers of Brookly decided to have a 100th birthday
party for the Brooklyn Bridge in 1983.
The bridge needed a paint-job to spiffy it up. Based on past experience,
writing the specifications, taking bids, evaluating same, awarding the
contract, fighting the lawsuits from all the losing bidders, re-advertising
for bids, etc., would have taken approximately eight years.
The mayor asked the public works supervisor if he knew of a reputable local
company with whom the city had done business in the past who had the
capability to paint the bridge. Well, yes, as it turned out.
The mayor called the company and asked them if they wanted to paint the
bridge at cost plus a small percent. "Sure," said the company. The contract
was issued within a week and work began within the month.
Of course every body who owned a paintbrush in three states went nuts
because they didn't get a chance to bid! "Sue us," said the mayor. And
several companies did. By the time the case(s) got to court, the bridge was
painted, the celebration held, and the venerable Brooklyn Bridge was well
into its SECOND century.
Here's a case where common sense worked. Want another?
Some years ago, a city of San Francisco public works supervisor discovered
it cost the city about $40,000 per year to take down and cart away dead
trees on city propery.
He made some calls.
Turns out there was a company that would PAY the city $40,000 per year to
salvage the wood in the city's dead trees.
Problem was, to change the system would take several years (write
specifications, put out for bids, get enviornmental sign-offs, etc.) plus
cost several hundred thousand for the paperwork, insurance, litigation, and
so on. Common sense, here, was thwarted.
Both of the above are from the book "Death of Common Sense - How Law is
Suffocating America" by Philip Howard.
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