I'm glad that at least in the USA, there doesn't seem to be the tendency
to use public safety to support the economy.
Here in Manitoba, we have an NDP government, which is what Americans
would probably call pro-socialist, or borderline communist.
Whenever Manitoba falls on hard economic times, the government swings
into action finding ways of making the rich provide jobs. And, the
easiest way to do that is to pass laws requiring even higher safety
standards than we already have. For example, you simply pass a city
by-law requiring all apartment blocks to be retrofitted with sprinkler
systems. That keeps all the plumbers busy fitting old buildings with
water sprinklers. And, you pass a city by-law requiring smoke barrier
doorways to be installed on every floor before the stairwells so that
smoke can't get into the stair wells in the event of a fire. That keeps
all the carpenter's busy. And, of course, you pass a city by-law
requiring all smoke detectors to be hard wired rather than battery
operated, and that keeps all the electricians busy.
I'm all for safety, but from what I've seen, safety has been abused
where I live, and it's purpose has been to create jobs rather than
protect people, and it's a sickening situation where the government is
looking for ways to make the rich waste their money on unnecessary
improvements. Already Winnipeg has the highest fire safety standards
for apartment blocks in North America, and come the next economic
downturn, we will undoubtely have the highest earthquake safety
standards for apartment blocks in all of North America too. The fact
that Winnipeg is thousands of miles away from the nearest fault line and
has never had an earthquake is no arguement against ensuring that people
are safe if we do get one, and anyone who disagrees is just too greedy
to realize that safety should come before profits.