Saturday, November 07, 2009

Get the lead out...

I've seen a lot of changes since starting a construction company 35 years ago. Some of the materials we use in the business is better than it used to be, and some of it is worse. Some of it isn't even in existence anymore. Some of the tools we use have also changed, again, some for the better and some for the worse. Some haven't. They're all a lot more expensive than they used to be. I have managed to keep the same hammer for 35 years, although I've had to replace the handle 3 times and the head twice.

Some things are pretty constant. There are still a lot of good people to work for out there, and even in the worst of times, there is always somebody that needs something done. It's also a pretty safe bet that there will always be someone out there trying to add another layer of regulation on all of us. Earlier this year, a local builders organization was lobbying to make sure that anybody wanting to work in Wayne County was licensed. Last year, the Department of Natural Resources notified us that if we uncover any signs of certain past human activity on a job site, we would be required to shut down the job site until the DNR had time to come out and investigate.

The latest silliness comes from the Environmental Protection Agency. Starting next April, federal law requires that any company that "engages in remodeling and repair/maintenance, electrical work, plumbing, painting, carpentry, or window replacement that disturbs 6 square feet or more of paint per room inside, or 20 square feet or more on the exterior of a home, child care facility or school built before 1978 must have at least one worker in the firm that is a certified lead renovator."

Ayn Rand said that "The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

I don't imagine most people will pay anymore attention to the new EPA regulations than they do to the old DNR regulations, so I'm guessing the government just created another group of criminals.

There's also a $32,500.00 fine that goes along with non-compliance, so I'm planning on laying low until this all blows over, just in case I ever have to buy another hammer.

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