Dear Santa: How About Giving Us a Break This Year?

Mon December 22, 2014 - National Edition
Giles Lambertson




“All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth,” begin the lyrics of the 1944 novelty song that children have enjoyed singing for 70 years. In the real world, workplace wants are more complex than dealing with lisping. Hereafter are some construction industry wish lists for Santa Claus:

Building contractors…Please, please, Santa, let the incoming Congress discover the wisdom that has eluded the esteemed body of lawmakers for so many years! May future stimulus bills actually stimulate the economy. May the highway fund become solvent again, and transportation bills become law with sensible priorities and systematic renewal schedules. And, oh, Santa, how about tax laws that reward good practices and encourage industry. Is that too much to ask?

Building employees… Jobs would be nice, Santa. How great it would be to have construction projects lined up for as far as the eye can see instead of working one job and hoping there will be another to follow. Oh, you might leave a bundle of wisdom in the executive suites of management: Too often guys and gals running the equipment and supervising the crews feel taken for granted. We don’t need profit-sharing, but a greater show of respect would be great.

Equipment dealers… I gotta tell you, Santa, our manufacturers have some geniuses for engineers. The equipment they come up with! But even they have struggled to comply with engine emission requirements. How about having regulators take a vacation from mandates so buyers can absorb the costs of all this environmental progress without wondering about another round? How about giving us a full year of selling iron without any more EPA mandates to scuttle the market?

Santa was making his seasonal rounds when most construction equipment was powered by horses, so he has heard all of this before. We should just keep believing in him and keep our fingers crossed. Miracles still happen.