July 19th. 2006
Sent to but not published in the Boston Globe
In Jacoby's fulmination against government projects (O'Neill's crumbling legacy, Boston Globe, July 17th. 2006. page: A9), the only evidence of corruption that he cites is the, as yet unproven, charges against managers of a private sector concrete provider. Yes, that is a private sector potential delinquent, not a public sector one.
Jacoby argues that the problems of the big dig were due to the lack of government oversight. I would remind him that oversight and inspections are only a second line of defense. The first line of defense is having the work done properly in the first place. The people doing that work were the private sector contractors hired by the government to do the work -- and the oversight was also carried out by private sector firms.
It is not government that is at fault. It is the culture of greed and "me first" that pervades top management in the private sector these days.
It is a pity that Jacoby cannot see that.