Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Big Dig Out

The Big Dig, often held up as example of a successful government project (despite the years of delays and millions of dollars of cost overruns – shrug, you figure it out) has had a partial collapse with 12 tons of debris falling on unsuspecting commuters.

It’s hardly surprising that a project run by the government would experience such a failure – after all it costs them nothing.  If the tunnel needs more repair they will just get more money, it’s as simple as telling taxpayers that they have to open their wallet.  There is no need to justify the expenditure to shareholders or need to show value – just do what you want.

Government bureaucracy has no incentive to do things the right way the first time.  The people (mostly) don’t intentionally create risk, they just have no need to take the extra step to avoid it.

You can call it confirmation bias, I’ll simply call it predictable.

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