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    The Broken Sidewalk Parable

    The Broken Sidewalk Parable

    You know about the sidewalks of Warren, Rhode Island, where millions were spend on replacing miles of sidewalks hardly anyone walked on, and which, in the rush to spend Stimulus money, were constructed improperly.

    You also know about the sidewalks to heaven of Lincoln, Rhode Island, and the sidewalks to nowhere of Boynton, Oklahoma.

    Now I present to you the sidewalk fiasco of Lincoln, Nebraska, where Stimulus funds were used to replace hundreds of wheelchair ramps which now must be replaced because the federal interpretations of rules for the slope of the ramps changed after the project was approved but before it was constructed.

    As reported by the Lincoln Journal-Star, A mindless waste of money:

    The story starts with congressional approval of federal stimulus funding that  pumped more than $800 billion into the economy for various projects.

    In Lincoln, some of that money was designated for construction of sidewalk  curb ramps…. The ramps were designed according to specifications that were approved by  both the Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Justice.

    But when the federal inspector came along to make the final check, the work  was rejected.

    Turns out the interpretation of the federal rule changed from the time  Lincoln’s designs were approved in early 2010 and when the curbs and ramps were  inspected later that year….

    Appeals to reason have failed, leading the Journal-Star editors to conclude:

    Councilman Jon Camp termed the replacement project an “absolute waste of  money.” Councilman Jonathan Cook pleaded, “At some point, there has to be a  reasonableness standard.”

    But as too often is the case, the voices of common sense found themselves  powerless to stop the bureaucracy that continues to grind with mindless  disregard.

    The Editors don’t get it.  This is job creation, twice.  Once to build the ramps, then to tear them out and rebuild them.

    This is good.  This is Paul Krugman good.  This is broken window good.  This is Hurricane Irene good.

    And when you rebuild them, tear them out, and build them again.  In time for the November 2012 elections, Obama needs the help.


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    WarEagle82 | November 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    The government does nothing well! Why in the world is the federal government telling cities how to build sidewalks and ramps! It is almost like the Constitution has only 8 amendments or something.

    We need a candidate who will end this nonsense and restore the proper balance between states and the federal government.

    WarEagle82 | November 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Evidently, Barack Obama and $800 billion won’t get you a cup of coffee or a sidewalk to beg on…

    An older acquaintance of mine in California has a couple of in-vitreo kids, diagnosed as autistic, which he says is a marginal diagnosis, but it allows for state assistance and it gives him a handicapped sticker, so that he can park close to his office, even when the kids are not around.

    LukeHandCool | November 14, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Off topic, sorry.

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Lesley Gore this week.

    She’s so evocative of the early 1960s. What pipes. She may be gay, but I’ll always be attracted to her. After so many boy-hurts-girl hits I hope she’s found happiness with her partner. Uncanny how much she looks like my sister. They don’t make ’em like her anymore.

    My only question is … why did she choose the stage name Gore? Why couldn’t she have chosen a name like Reagan?

    […] William Jacobson: Boy, those stimulus funds really f’ed up our sidewalks! […]

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