Regulation

by Barry Drogin

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To The Editor:

How fortunate we are to hear from two letter writers who provide such a strong argument for government regulation! It is the existence of people like Mr. Rogers and Mr. Rawls, currently deprived of their senses of engineering ethics, that encourages the rest of us to be more acutely aware of the need for strengthened government involvement in engineering affairs.

Mr. Rogers points out that "Americans have been resourceful and productive" --- they most certainly have, and all at the same time. Nature could withstand abuse from single groups, but when attacked from all sides her resiliency broke down. We need government to keep track of the total number of plants dumping into a lake, the total number of cars in the highways, of the possible multiplication of dishonest or incompetent actions that could go into the building of such a complex entity as a nuclear power plant.

Mr. Rawls' scenario for community action during a nuclear accident (with radio and TV announcements and a radiation detection meter in every house) borders upon the absurd (or perhaps the sarcastic). Picking one's way through traffic with a CB is not the same as picking one's way through fallout with a meter --- especially when you're caught in a panicked traffic jam at the village gates.

Both writers place a great trust in their own visions of the common man (i.e., themselves). Well, I wouldn't trust Mr. Rogers or Mr. Rawls.

P.S. I could not imagine a more tragic step than the dissolving of the Social Security system. Isn't Mr. Rogers satisfied with his present accumulation of wealth? Or must we starve off the elderly (while cutting the taxes on his business to zero) to help Mr. Rogers increase his standard of living?

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Last Updated: August 4, 2007