Cost of Cement

A previous post chewed on the vast discrepancy between a $300,000 Iraqi estimate to repair a particular bridge and an American bid to repair the same bridge at $50 million. Today, Gilbert sends along a Washington Post piece that helps put such cost discrepancies into perspective. It’s not that the American bids are without greed, but much of the cost difference is taken up in cultural differences. Americans see a bombed out cement factory and see the need to basically scrap it and rebuild from scratch. Iraqis, accustomed to doing a lot with a little, see a chance to clear out the rubble and get the darn thing online, even if at lowered capacity. The Iraqi improv may be more of a Band-Aid than a long-term solution, but still, cement does come out the other end. Then factor in things like insurance – Halliburton has had to waive subcontractor requirements such as hazard insurance, which isn’t even available in Iraq.

Everything is simpler than it seems. No, I mean, more complex.

Music: Bill Laswell :: A Screaming Comes Across The Sky

2 Replies to “Cost of Cement”

  1. Iraqi are now married to the U$ dollar (Euro est verboten).

    I presume the engineers learned some of their adaptive techniques
    during their most recent UN sanctioned holocost. Clever humans.

    Kind of reminds me of Cuba where the people are fobidden
    many pesticides due to the embargo and have more
    organic farms per capita than any other nation
    as a result. People adapt. (even Americans)

    A big clue for Viceroy Bremer should be that an employed Iraqi is
    far less likely to have the time or desire to fight Americans.

    I sure don’t trust Bectel’s spokesperson very much,
    as they have a reason to lie, and their recent record
    in Bopal (sp?, India) is ugly….but hopefully some
    Iraqi people are really being employed.

    Hazard insurance doesn’t exist because even Halibushton isn’t
    crazy enough to insure some place where the Red Cross bailed.
    “major combat operations” and all that, hmm we dropped
    a few more 1/4 ton bombs yesterday.

    “they know how to make things cheaper and more efficient”

    Bwahahah! Fast, cheap, & quality, you may choose two.

    Personally, it disgusts me that we un-democratically chose
    our U$ friendly multi-national corporations to invade and
    profit before peoples corpses had even decayed.

    Simple as physics.
    Simple as making or taking a baby.

    Daddy, daddy – tell me the answer
    What is DU and why do I have cancer?

    Good article though, thanks Scott.

  2. John’s comments i found very pertinent and refresshingly flip.

    i mean how do you soberly discuss business models in a country that has been bombed to smithereens w/ insanely toxic material!

    for those who care to understand,
    it helps to keep up w/ the iraqi blog

    Re: the question of Bechtel:
    this group has a long history of dishonest
    practice furthered by its nefarious connections
    in “high places”. and their incompetence is staggering.

    For horror and amusement you can read

    Dr. Michio Kaku:
    Speech at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station…

    “This Bechtel engineer then got very angry when I mentioned that Diablo Canyon was actually the second reactor in Calif. installed backwards. The 500 ton reactor vessel at San Onofre, south of LA, was also installed backwards, and this time the engineers simply put in the control rods and fuel rods backwards, and changed the computer program to operate a backwards reactor. Well, this senior engineer’s face was getting redder and redder. Finally he pounded his fist into the table and said, as loud as he could, “Dammit! Sure we put in Diablo Canyon backwards. Sure, we put in San Onofre backwards. BUT THOSE ARE THE BEST DAMN REACTORS THAT WE HAVE EVER BUILT!”

    this is what we’re exporting thru the barrel of a gun

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