Cranes and Codes

Stick a pushpin into New York City on any standard desk globe, and my home would teeter on the precipice of the hole you made. So that gives me the right to have an opinion about the nearest Big City and some of its goings-on.

A large crane, the kind that’s assembled on-site to work on skyscrapers, collapsed yesterday, with four fatalities as far as we know.

News reported that there were 13 safety code violations. A few gave some perspective on that figure, saying that most similar operations actually have more violations.

What can we take from that? Every day, there are operations of all kinds by construction firms, operating in violation of one code or another, or perhaps dozens. And the work gets finished, and the owners are oblivious and happy.

So year after year, the legislators are seeing to it that code after code gets stuffed into the city charter, even while understanding that the more there are, the more likely a wink and a nod will be necessary for anything to get done in this city. The more there are, the less good they do. And this isn’t even considering the temptation to grease the wheels of progress by greasing certain palms.

I’d sooner have about 20 rules, clear and obvious and enforced by men with guns, than what we’ve got now.

And by “we”, I mean they. In the City.

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