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Questioning SFPE Politics Regarding "Sprinkler Act Support" (CSE 05/04 p. 11), I think it is laudable that the Society of Fire Protection Engineers supports the idea of motivating building owners to install these life-saving systems. However, why support a five-year write-off of investment? Why not a write off in the year of retrofit? Where does engineering judgment enter the arena of taxpayer ...
By Staff July 1, 2004

Questioning SFPE Politics

Regarding “Sprinkler Act Support” ( CSE 05/04 p. 11 ), I think it is laudable that the Society of Fire Protection Engineers supports the idea of motivating building owners to install these life-saving systems. However, why support a five-year write-off of investment? Why not a write off in the year of retrofit? Where does engineering judgment enter the arena of taxpayer subsidy? This is a political rather than technical matter.

As an SFPE member, I disagree with their decision to enter this arena.

Manuel J. Delerno, FSFPE

No Future in Engineering

Jim, how can you betray your son by encouraging him to take up engineering? (Editor’s Viewpoint, CSE 5/04 p. 5 ) Aren’t you aware of the death of engineering in this country?

Because no one is yelling at this country’s engineers to defend their profession, and corporations are selling us out to the lowest bidder (offshoring), the Chinese and Indian engineers are going to swamp us.

Being 66 years old, the crisis does not affect me personally. But I am angry that the engineering societies are doing nothing about persuading their members to force our legislators to level all commercial fields before we become a third-world country. Offshoring is driven by nothing but arbitrage. We don’t have a chance when people in charge—including “W”—think of nothing but self enrichment and how easy it is to get richer by selling out. Our corporate executives will be ultra-richbut stateless from betraying the United States.

Thomas Friedman had a documentary on India the other day on the Discovery Channel. It was the first time I heard an Indian exec say they will be the most powerful country in 10 years.

But back to the point about young people and the profession. Youngsters are not entering the engineering fields because they see the writing on the wall and/or are too comfortable. So tell your son to straighten out and do something like retail merchandising or banking to have a future.

William L. Fell, P.E., Alpharetta, GA

Editor’s note:

We take the issues of education and offshoring seriously, and will continue to address both. Personally, I can’t argue against corporate greed, but in good conscience, I can’t tell my son not to pursue something he’s interested in, because just getting young people interested in anything is a challenge. I’m not sure my son will be able to endure a full engineering program. Perhaps he’ll eventually pursue something else. Either way, he has exploring of his own to do. At the same time, despite the state of the economy, young people are a good place to start for those that care about their profession and want to preserve its integrity.