Government mismanagement comes at a high cost. We saw Argentina’s new president slash half of the useless federal administrations this week on his first day in office. Governments are incompetent to run even a gumball machine. These agencies come into the fold, create useless regulations, dish out contracts to their connections, and nothing gets done. The current construction on the Golden Gate Bridge is a great example of government incompetence.
A suicide safety net stretching the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge is nearing completion. The stainless steel mesh net spans across both sides of the 1.6 mile-long bridge. Nearly 2,000 people have taken their lives by jumping from the bridge since it was first constructed in 1937, and officials approved the construction of safety nets in 2014 and allocated a budget of $76 million. Due to the bureaucratic red tape, construction on the project did not begin until 2018 and they are still working on fixing the bridge five years later.
Spokespeople for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, announced in March that only 5% of the mesh had been installed. Officials suddenly changed the budget from $76 million to $206.7 million. Contractors and bridge officials are now in a heated legal battle as the new price tag is expected to cost over $400 million. Contactors insist the local government hid the deteriorating condition of the bridge which led to work delays.
The Golden Gate Bridge in its entirety cost $35 million to build in 1937, which would be well over $700 million in 2023. So now the netting for the bridge is nearly as expensive as the bridge itself. The trouble here is that the original budget was less than a quarter of what they will end up spending. This happens with EVERY project the government sets out to complete. Budgets are merely a suggestion to governments because they know they need not adhere to them or pass audits.