I will now amaze you with my psychic powers by revealing to you how events will unfold in the Minneapolis Bridge collapse.
Wait a minute…Let me concentrate…I have it!
Speak to me, oh, spirits!
The engineering investigation will reveal the bridge collapsed due primarily to design or construction flaws dating from the time of the bridge’s construction in 1968. Poor maintenance sometime in the bridge’s history will have played a role.
Wait…I think there’s more…
Politicians will claim that the collapse resulted because they did not have enough money to perform proper inspections or maintenance! They will ask for higher taxes.
Gee, spirits, you don’t have to be psychic to see that one coming…Ouch!…you didn’t have to do that!…wait, there’s more
If anyone actually looks at the transportation budgets they will see that far more money gets spent on politically flashy but relatively useless projects that benefit individual politicians than gets spent on inspections and maintenance. After a brief flurry of inspecting every span in the state wider than a culvert, inspections will return to their normal neglected state. Most of the money raised by new taxes will be spent on projects unrelated to improved safety.
Gosh, the spirits are cynical!…Ouch!
Government sucks at doing the boring day-to-day things needed to keep the world running, because doing so doesn’t rebound to the benefit of any individual politician. They can put off attending to such matters today because the consequences won’t show up until years down the road.
I think there is more…
Maybe governments should be forced to buy private insurance for systems like bridges, that will pay off damages to victims and fund repairs in case of collapse. Let the insurance companies inspect the systems just as they do for similar systems in the private sector. Just as in the private sector, the state will have to fix systems that can’t be insured otherwise. Individual politicians won’t have any say in the matter just like individual business people don’t.
Heed the wisdom of the spirits.