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Old 05-24-2011, 06:34 AM  
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One thing I think should be mentioned, is that you can buy a BRAND NEW car in China for as little as $3000 dollars. It is a give and take situation...

One thing I will add, (and this is a peeve of mine..) is that a newer car can be totalled out in a 5mph collision, while some of these older cars would merely have a bent bumper! These "safer" cars also result in cars that crumple like paper when hit (of course, it is to absorb the impact...to make it safer).
Again, a little give and take.....I could be mistaken, but I imagine that there are safer cars available in the countries without the regulation, they may come at a premium price. Basically the people may have a choice as to what they want to pay. What a concept!
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:40 AM  
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:13 AM  
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Unions and regulations have priced new cars out of my reach so any such discussion is moot!

A friend returned from assignment in the Canary Islands and bought his dream property, an old farm house near Annapolis, MD. His plan was to raze the house and build his dream house. He could not obtain a permit to raze the house so decided to live in it while he built his house. They would not give him a permit to build a second house even though there was enough land. He did some research finding a regulation that permitted such action, but when he attempted to use it was told that it was a grandfather clause for one-time use and that a previous owner had already done so. He did further research finding that he could subdivide the property into two or more lots. When he tried to do so was told to bring in his engineering plans for streets, sewers and storm drains. He gave up and totally remodeled, actually re-built, the house from within so as to require no permits and not raise the tax value.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:40 AM  
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Sounds pretty typical....


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Old 05-24-2011, 10:00 AM  
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The applicability of my being a PE is only that I can see the A&E effort and expense behind a do-gooder suggestion. A current example that I must address with some caution is a single family dwelling that is now serving some in need of temporary safety. There has to-date never been a handicapped person of this particular need in the community. However the threat exists that if the dwelling is not made to meet code for handicapped access it may have to close. On the surface the upgrade sounds simple but as a PE I know the simple ramp and widened doorways you might use at home will not hack it for public access. The cost for this particular dwelling would be in the thousands to meet code.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:13 AM  
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post


Great point! When people are too stupid to think, then someone has to hold their hand and guide them. It's not the governments fault, but the idiots who ruin it for all the others. Kinda like people who let their dog crap in the park and don't clean it up, or fail to control their dog and it runs over and bites a kid. Now we can't have our dogs at the park. That sort of thing.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:35 AM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
Unions and regulations have priced new cars out of my reach so any such discussion is moot!

A friend returned from assignment in the Canary Islands and bought his dream property, an old farm house near Annapolis, MD. His plan was to raze the house and build his dream house. He could not obtain a permit to raze the house so decided to live in it while he built his house. They would not give him a permit to build a second house even though there was enough land. He did some research finding a regulation that permitted such action, but when he attempted to use it was told that it was a grandfather clause for one-time use and that a previous owner had already done so. He did further research finding that he could subdivide the property into two or more lots. When he tried to do so was told to bring in his engineering plans for streets, sewers and storm drains. He gave up and totally remodeled, actually re-built, the house from within so as to require no permits and not raise the tax value.
Okay, first off, I need to laugh at this one...........Sorry, but are you trying to suggest that a retired professional engineer cannot afford a brand new car? Please don't tell me that a retired engineer makes so little that you can't afford a new car! Please say it isn't so! Also, environmental regulations and little goodies such as air conditioning and power windows have contributed to high car prices too, remembering now that the American auto industry has been unionized since you were a teenage! As regards the house, there are so many factors that come into play, I mean who could know the full extent of why they make these rules. Flood planes, environmental impacts, dwelling setbacks the list goes on and on. As an engineer, you should know that one thing being changed affects another thing which affects another thing. I'll grant you that in my area, in the mid to late 1990s, our local building code was among the strictest in the nation. It bordered on obsurd. These guys would show up and comb over a house for an hour.....looking and looking and looking. Good gawl. We started leaving a sheet of wall sheathing partially un nailed. They'd find it and leave! However, on the flip side, our county back in the 1970s and early 80s, never enforced the building code (UBC) and as such, we have houses here that fail structurally over time and need to be worked over, homeowners buy homes that have issues and they wind up spending thousands of dollars on things like asbestos or mold abatement! At the beginning of the 20th century, a person could just buy a car and drive on either side of the street, blow through intersections, speed.... you name it! As people were killed, we developed laws that required folks to drive on the right side of streets, stop at stop signs and traffic lights, maintain a regulated speed, and then there's the issue of insurance........... Sure, I'd love to do 80 in a 45 zone, but those pesky darn government regulations and expenses of a drivers license, plates and insurance make it impossible for me to drive and so hence the reason why I walk to work! The last part was a joke........
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:58 AM  
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This engineer must have pushed bottle's button, he's beginning a rant!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:23 AM  
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Originally Posted by Musicinabottle View Post
Great point! When people are too stupid to think, then someone has to hold their hand and guide them. It's not the governments fault, but the idiots who ruin it for all the others. Kinda like people who let their dog crap in the park and don't clean it up, or fail to control their dog and it runs over and bites a kid. Now we can't have our dogs at the park. That sort of thing.
I think you missed the point (intentionnaly?).. It is not the governments responsibility to protect one from their own stupidity.
One of the problems today is that we are generally unwilling to watch people suffer the consequences of their actions.

Example (sort of a tribute to your pet analogy): I live in the country, and I have neighbors that who let their dogs and cats wander around freely which I can't stand! Do I think there should be a law against it? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! But, on the flip side, I should have the right to shoot them if I don't want them in my yard. (Not that I do that!) See, then maybe people would contain their animals for the animals' safety, not because the government said to. See, no government intervention. There are right reasons to do the right things.

As far as housing, I like the idea of knowing that if I buy a house, then it was likely built by some sort of standard. BUT, I think that there would likely be some sort of standard in place even if the government didn't require it. I believe the free market would offer options for inspections, and building associations to establish standards. Now, would there be folks who would CHOSE a potentially less expensive house, and forego the OPTIONAL standards and inspections? Probably. So would there be crappy houses? Probably. And the folks would HOPEFULLY learn from their mistake.
(again, we are generally unwilling to watch people suffer the consequences of their actions and choices.)

This is where the country (big government) is slowly removing accountability and personal responsiblility. Unfortunately, the more those are taken away, the stupider people get and the more people don't WANT to be responsible, and thus vote for the same guys who remove the personal responsibility... In other words, the path we are on is a hopeless one.....
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:04 PM  
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
I think you missed the point (intentionnaly?).. It is not the governments responsibility to protect one from their own stupidity.
One of the problems today is that we are generally unwilling to watch people suffer the consequences of their actions.

Example (sort of a tribute to your pet analogy): I live in the country, and I have neighbors that who let their dogs and cats wander around freely which I can't stand! Do I think there should be a law against it? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! But, on the flip side, I should have the right to shoot them if I don't want them in my yard. (Not that I do that!) See, then maybe people would contain their animals for the animals' safety, not because the government said to. See, no government intervention. There are right reasons to do the right things.

As far as housing, I like the idea of knowing that if I buy a house, then it was likely built by some sort of standard. BUT, I think that there would likely be some sort of standard in place even if the government didn't require it. I believe the free market would offer options for inspections, and building associations to establish standards. Now, would there be folks who would CHOSE a potentially less expensive house, and forego the OPTIONAL standards and inspections? Probably. So would there be crappy houses? Probably. And the folks would HOPEFULLY learn from their mistake.
(again, we are generally unwilling to watch people suffer the consequences of their actions and choices.)

This is where the country (big government) is slowly removing accountability and personal responsiblility. Unfortunately, the more those are taken away, the stupider people get and the more people don't WANT to be responsible, and thus vote for the same guys who remove the personal responsibility... In other words, the path we are on is a hopeless one.....
Gosh, where do I start........ On houses, the local state and federal governments insure that each house or public building, bridge or tower maintain a minimum standard. This is why countries like Japan, for instance, suffer much less loss of life and property than does say....... Romania if ever they got hit with an earthquake. Private inspections are one thing, but what if someone decides they don't want an inspection on their home as it's being built? The codes and code enforcement just means that each home has met a basic minimum of structural requirements is all. Can it be overbearing at times? YUP! But you still need some form of enforcement. My wife was a meat inspector for the USDA. You'd be amazed at the stuff corporations will try to pass. Many factories employ Mexican workers that know nothing about bacteria for instance. My wife would catch workers hosing off puss from a pigs inside as the result of an absess, not realizing that the bacteria cannot just be rinsed off with cold water. Hence regulations and inspectors. As regards the animals in the park, hate to say it, and as a fellow pet owner myself, with 5 well behaved dogs that I DO clean up after, I get pissed that irresponsible a holes ruin it for people like me. Rules are genralizations, but I do believe that the government needs to step in and protect people from themselves in certain instances, such as drunk drivers or someone mentally ill with a gun. Sure, that guy might blow his head off, but I'd feel more comfortable with the guy in a government run facility with padded cells than have the guy end up in a supermarket parking lot with a government representitive giving a speach. Look, I wish that we could return to the mindset of the Colonial period in America, where I could do whatever I pleased, but with more and more people, and the problems that arise with the increase in population, there needs to be rules put in place. You can open up a shelter as you see fit, but if the place burns down as a result of no sprinklers or people die as a result of some form of neglegence, then here comes the lawsuites and people begin saying as they did with the Titanic, why weren't there regulations in place, why were they allowed to build their homes on a prone mudslide, why wasn't that inspected by someone? I'm just saying that regulations are now a part of our lives. Get used to it!
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