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RE: ADA (was Re: Building Codes on-line)

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Everything has a cost. Every dollar that is added to the cost of a housing project, for instance, means it is that much less likely it will be built, and that much less affordable if it is. The public policy question is one of balance, weighing the needs of disabled individuals against the needs of other constituencies such as prospective home owners and businesses. You can stand behind a person in a wheelchair and lecture about compassion and someone else could stand behind a person who can't afford decent housing and lecture about compassion. I think what got the response that your post did was not so much your defense of ADA, but your apparent defense of compasion at any cost (when it suits your opinions), and your condenscending tone to suggest that anyone who questions ADA can't possibly know what they are talking about because they (you assume) aren't disabled. Telling someone they are not allowed to question your opinion is the surest way to guarentee that someone will. It's fine to say that you accept the trade offs that policy decision necessarily imply, but it is a tad arrogent to tell people who may be negatively affected that they have no right to complain until they have been in the other person's position. That assumes, without you showing them the same courtesy of walking in their shoes, that their concerns are less valid, and that their inconveniences and losses are less important. By avoiding a serious discussion of the need or the cost, neither of you make a very good case for your positions, in my opinion.

Regis




From: Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: ADA (was Re: Building Codes on-line)
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 23:32:01 -0400 (EDT)

And I am sure that this is where you and I will differ...

Since many companies focus only on what is in their finacial best
interest, it is up to the government to "force" to do what is right at
times.  Thus, to me it has everything to do with whether or not we ought
to make buildings and facilities wheelchair-accessible and such.  To me,
one of the essential roles of the government is to ensure that everyone
have has equal an opportunity as possible.  If it so happens that
companies and other private interests were able to prove that they could
do the "right thing" without being forced to do so, then the government
not be in a poistion to create "...bloated bureaucracy and a
steadily-increasing role of government in every aspect of the life of the
individual citizen."

It seems to me that people who complain about bloated bureaucracy
frequently really just don't like things that seem to inconvience them and
not directly benefit them, yet don't seem to mind the bloated bureaucracy
when it helps them.  To me, the only difference between republicans and
democrats in Congress is what they like to spend money on...both sides
often pass legisation that wastes money or only benefits small portions of
the country that I am sure other parts of the country don't view as a wise
way to spend money.  A prime example is all the moeny that the
adminstrator of hte Houston Port Authority said that Tom Delay was able to
get for Houston (per an article in the Houston paper that I saw while
visiting a friend in Houston last weekend).  I am sure that many people
who live outside of Houston or even Texas would not see any direct benefit
to that money being spent and even consider it wasteful.  It is all a
matter of perspective.

Thus, to me, all you see is the government telling you what to do and you
don't like it...and you seem unwilling to try a look through the eyes of
someone that may truly benefit from and need the ADA.  So, we should just
agree to disagree, let the subject go and get back to engineering
subjects, and then you can thank to stars or God or whatever you wish that
you are not in a position to need the benefits of the ADA (I know that I
will).

Respectfully,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Thu, 10 Oct 2002, Bill Polhemus wrote:

> Scott, it has nothing to do with whether or not we ought to make buildings > and facilities "wheelchair-accessible." It has everything to do with bloated > bureaucracy and a steadily-increasing role of government in every aspect of
> the life of the individual citizen.
>
> In short, it is about "doing what is right" becoming MANDATORY under threat > of fine or imprisonment--and "right" being defined in narrow terms by people
> whose real aim in life is to have just such intrusive power over others.
>
>
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