I’m both – but I border on moderate when it comes to Government participation in the economy. I believe that the Government must participate in the economy. There are times when an injection is required, a stimulus I guess if you want to call it that, but it’s definitely not the same as this Government makes out to be. Under FDR, he put folks to work, he didn’t just give handouts. We cannot do that anymore, apparently. We hear about it and read signs about it on our highways and by-ways, and the advertising is sure there, and they spend lots of money.
But take my home town. They’re doing a project right now to replace storm drains. They’re putting in long-lasting plastic pipes to replace cast-iron that was put in about 50 years ago. Was the old pipe bad? I doubt it. I saw one piece they pulled out (wish I had pictures) and it looked fine. But – get this, they’re doing one section of pipe at a time, about 50′ of pipe, and they have two, get that TWO Steam Shovels working on it! I saw the one shovel actually dig and then pour the dirt into the bucket of the other shovel so he could spread it around! Can you imagine?
Those things are like $2,500 / day rental – not to mention the drivers and all! And you know they’re UNION because this is California, so they didn’t work on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve (like the rest of us schmucks). And they’re abysmally slow, just like a road scraping project over by the office where I work. I actually work at home, but I have to goto the office a couple times a week for meetings and such. Anyhow, they scraped the road with diamond blades, pretty common practice these days – but then it was left scraped for nearly 2 months! Then, they finally repaved it just this past week.
I used to live in Colorado, and they had the process down, roads there need lots of maintenance due to the snow, but they would do 1/4mile sections of a major road at a time and get those done in a single day! That means they could do an entire 5 mile stretch of a major roadway in 5 x 4 working days or less than a month (a month has 22 working days typically). That’s what this project was out in front of my office. I ride a motorcycle so it was a terrible inconvenience for me having to ride the scraped roadway, and the dust and rocks…
Anyhow, the California roadway gangs are less than 50% of the efficiency of the Colorado dudes, imagine that? Anybody want to venture a guess as to why? They’re Union in CO too, I’m sure, it’s got to have something to do with the extra red tape in CA though, and the lack of expertise in roadway management. But 50% efficiency in comparison to other states is dismal performance.