Government Hollowed Out, Destroys Market for Architects

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Government Hollowed Out, Destroys Market for Architects

Postby WalkerARCHITECTS » Mon May 06, 2013 2:45 pm

The Destruction of the Market for Architects has a Co$t.

Robert Reich has made an important observation; The West, Texas chemical and fertilizer plant where at least 15 were killed and more than 200 injured a few weeks ago hadn't been fully inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 1985. (A partial inspection in 2011 had resulted in $5,250 in fines.)

The families of the workers killed will not have enough money to file a law suit against the company. Unless they get help from others they will have to take whatever settlement is offered.

OSHA and its state partners have a total of 2,200 inspectors charged with ensuring the safety of over more than 8 million workplaces employing 130 million workers. That comes to about one inspector for every 59,000 American workers.

This is a system in failure.

There's no way it can do its job with so few resources, but OSHA has been systematically hollowed out for the years under Republican administrations and congresses that have despised the agency since its inception. They hate the idea that an outside agency has some jurisdiction inside someone’s company, keeping workers safe is a low priority.

Was it design error? What if the building was made unsafe by the management?

In effect, much of our nation's worker safety laws and rules have been quietly repealed because there aren't enough inspectors to enforce them. This is not a rare event it is very common. That's been the Republican strategy in general: When they can't directly repeal laws they don't like, they repeal them indirectly by hollowing them out -- denying funds to fully implement them, and reducing funds to enforce them.

The same strategy applies to a post on this forum, that certain people (Republicans) do not want others to read.

Consider taxes. Republicans have been unable to round up enough votes to cut taxes on big corporations and the wealthy as much as they'd like, so what do they do? They're hollowing out the IRS. As they cut its enforcement budget - presto! -- tax collections decline. Is this good for American’s?

If so…. Which Americans get an advantage, the top 10% with 90% of the assets or the 90% with only 10% of the assets?

Despite an increasing number of billionaires and multi-millionaires using every tax dodge imaginable - laundering their money through phantom corporations and tax havens (Remember Mitt's tax returns?) -- the IRS's budget has been cut by 17 percent since 2002, adjusted for inflation.

To manage the $594.5 million in additional cuts required by the sequester, the agency has announced it will furlough each of its more than 89,000 employees for at least five days this year.

This is costing the USA money. This budget stinginess doesn't save the government money. Quite the opposite. Less IRS enforcement means less revenue. It's been estimated that every dollar invested in the IRS's enforcement, modernization and management system reduces the federal budget deficit by $200, and that furloughing 1,800 IRS "policemen" will cost the Treasury $4.5 billion in lost revenue.

Architects do need to know why their market place is shrinking.

But congressional Republicans aren't interested in more revenue. Their goal is to cut taxes on big corporations and the wealthy. So the wealthy will have even more wealth.

Representative Charles Boustany, the Louisiana Republican who heads the House subcommittee overseeing the IRS, says the IRS sequester cuts should stay in force. He calls for an overhaul of the tax code instead. They will tax Architects and other workers more and the wealthy less if they take that approach.

This is a robust multifaceted activity. In a similar manner, congressional Republicans and their patrons on Wall Street who opposed the Dodd-Frank financial reform law have been hollowing out the law by making sure agencies charged with implementing it don't have the funds they need to do the job.

This is what they do, they work for those few who are wealthy and diffuse opportunity for the many.

The result, is that much of Dodd-Frank - including the so-called "Volcker Rule" restrictions on the kind of derivatives trading that got the Street into trouble in the first place - is still on the drawing boards. Architects need to know that this has not been fixed yet despite the bailout.

This is information that does belong in this forum.

Why is it that more than any other law, Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Yet despite holding more than 33 votes to repeal it, they still haven't succeeded. Architects need affordable health care. This issue is important to Architects.

But what do they do? They try to hollow it out. Congressional Republicans have repeatedly denied funding requests to implement Obamacare, leaving Health and Human Services (the agency charged with designing the rules under the Act and enforcing them) so shorthanded it has to delay much of it.

Deliberate obstruction is the constant effort of these people, if they can’t lie about it anymore they will work diligently to bury it on the back page.

There is more; Even before the sequester, the agency was running on the same budget it had before Obamacare was enacted. Now it's lost billions more.

They never stop the attack engaged to hold the working class down.

A new insurance marketplace specifically for small business, for example, was supposed to be up and running in January. But officials now say it won't be available until 2015 in the 33 states where the federal government will be running insurance markets known as exchanges. Republicans think that the people who die because the healthcare system has been deliberately delayed, are collateral damage.

These are the people who believe that the wealthy should not be paying more in taxes. Architects need to know what is going on and what is causing the market place for services to shrink.

This is a potentially large blow to Obamacare's political support. A major selling point for the legislation had been providing affordable health insurance to small businesses and their employees.

Yes, and eroding political support is exactly what congressional Republicans want. They fear that Obamacare, once fully implemented, will be too popular to dismantle. So they're out to delay it as long as possible while keeping up a drumbeat about its flaws. These Congressmen will suffocate the will of the very people they have sworn to serve.

Repealing laws by hollowing them out -- failing to fund their enforcement or implementation -- works because the public doesn't know it's happening. Enactment of a law attracts attention; de-funding it doesn't.

Moving the most relevant information about the nation’s economy and the failure of Design Intelligence to the back page is not good journalism for any credible source of news and comment. We believe that Design Intelligence is the most critical component of the current discussion. In every aspect of life the need for solutions is present and the demand for correction is expanding.

The Republican strategy also seems to bolster the view that government is incompetent. The need for Design Intelligence is imperative and Architects are well prepared to assist in the correction. If government can't do what it's supposed to do -- keep workplaces safe, ensure that the rich pay taxes they owe, protect small investors, implement Obamacare -- why give it any additional responsibility?

The public doesn't know the real reason why the government isn't doing its job is it's being hollowed out. Substance is critical to define the problems and deliver solutions and correction of error.
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