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If the Lake Oroville Dam crisis in northern California teaches us anything, it should be that waiting until the last minute to fix something only makes things worse. This is true not only for dams, but for bridges, highways, and buildings in earthquake prone areas. I fully understand that paying for things before something bad happens isn't always politically popular, but I believe that it will save billions of dollars in the long run if we don't want to it's too late to fix something that needs to be fixed.
This could actually be a win-win for everyone involved if we think about the bigger picture. Fixing, replacing, and building new roads, bridges, dams, and buildings in earthquake prone zones will employ hundreds of thousands of people while also making things safer for everyone. It would also cost far less than waiting until a disaster strikes before taking action.
Is there any reason other than politics that we don't do this as a country? We built the interstate highway system in a matter of years, but upgrading it to be able to adapt to the 21st Century is politically toxic? That just doesn't make sense to me.