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Re: Tangshen - Response to Frank Lew

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Dennis S. Wish wrote:

>  My point was ecconomics - not life safety. Before
> you jump on the "Code only protects life" bandwagon - I'm saying that this
> is wrong and needs to be changed - period. We need to expand our preamble to
> protect building owners from unnecessary financial devastation.

Wait a minute Dennis.  What do you mean "We"?  This is a policy not a technical
issue.  In our form of government policy decisions are made by our elected
officials or by the people themselves at the ballot box.  While engineers have
an  important role and obligation in forming public policy by providing
appropriate and cost effective technical standards, the decision to implement
them when the issue is economics should be made by the people who will bear
their cost.  There are certainly practical non technical alternatives to code
changes - like insurance.  The National Flood Insurance Program is an example.
If the only alternative is, in your opinion, to make buildings "earthquake
proof"  then we might as well add tornado-proof, hurricane-proof and fire-proof
as well.  The result; the best damned houses no one can afford to buy.

"We" should not jump into dictating economic policy until the costs and benefits
have been carefully studied.

Bob Bossi