Keeping Perspective

by Colin Berkshire

When we judge policy making, or current regulations we often see things from our own perspective…….only.

There seem to be a lot of regulations in telecommunications. In truth, it is one of the least regulated industries. Build a new home and you will get perspective.

I was having an interesting conversation about transportation policy and what we should be doing. Eventually the conversation came to everybody paying their own way, and this individual’s belief was that cars don’t pay enough taxes. Also they lobbied for more bike trails.

I threw out that we really do need to impose a strict bike tax. And, we also need more regulations about bicycle safety. I proposed a $25 monthly tax on bikes to pay for bike paths and bike lanes in cities. And, I proposed that bicyclists should be required to wear padded suits. They must stop fully at every stop sign. And, I especially thought those blinky headlights needed to be changed to solidly lit ones.

The other person stood motionless for perhaps 30 seconds, or maybe a minute. They were stunned by my audacity. Why did I hate bicyclists so much? (I knew he was an avid biker.)

I said a liked bikes, and I was agreeing with him. Bicyclists should fund and pay for 100% of the cost of constructing their trails and lanes, just as car motorists actually do. I find seat belts confining, so it isn’t unreasonable to require a padded biking suit, which would only be a little confining and would save lives. Already bicycles legally must stop at all stop signs, so I am only asking for the law to be followed. And the only vehicles allowed to have flashing lights are utility and safety vehicles.

I only wanted that was fair and reasonable and the law. Bikes should simply pay their way, rather than being subsidized.

The person I said this to continued to look stunned. And dejected. And then angry.

You see, he was so locked into his perspective that bicyclists should get free roads and trails, that they need not take even the most basic safety precautions, and that it was “inconvenient” to fully stop at stop signs that these things has become his “rights.” He had lost perspective of the bigger picture.

So the next time you curse at the code requirements for fire stopped cables transitioning floors, and for expensive plenum wire, and for the need to have a low voltage wiring license I will suggest you not feel picked on. As industries go, telecommunications is remarkably unregulated compared to others.