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A Huge Waste of Time

A year and a half ago, a house burned down in town.  The husk of it remained standing until this past Friday, when it was finally knocked down and carted away.

Now it should be noted that this house stood on our main north-south route in this tourist destination and that it was very close to the center of our town.  It was, in fact, the first residential building when leaving town.

After the fire, it became clear in a few days that the house was beyond salvage.  Yet, there it sat, for a year and a half, through one whole summer tourist season and the beginning of this one, a huge frigging eyesore.

Why?  I don’t know.  Could have been dueling insurance companies, it could have been the Building Department (!).  Nobody seemed to be in any hurry to tear down the once-lovely structure or to reuse this prime real estate.  But I would be willing to bet, based on past experience, that there was at least one poor soul who had to jump through dozens or hundreds of administrative hoops before he was allowed to finish a job that was obviously needed for over a year.

So much of our time these days is wasted on such nonsense these days.  It took longer to approve the Pentagon rebuild of two wings in 2001 then it took to build the entire building sixty years before.  Our roads and bridges are in an increasing state of disrepair and actual new roads are a rarity.  Construction projects of anything more than a standard house take many years to approve and complete.  Approving a new drug can take longer, no matter what it might cure.  Yet it is hard to see where any of these time-wasters actually make us safer.

How do we get out of this death-spiral?  How do we revolutionize our productivity, to the betterment of all?  I don’t quite see the path.


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