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7.4.1: Introduction

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    The study of earthquakes is such a large-scale problem, with so many implications, that it seems impossible for the national government not to become involved. The government faces two difficulties:

    1. Defining the earthquake problem and dedicating the national resources to deal with it, and
    2. Informing the public about what has been done in such a way that the public can become a partner in reducing the earthquake hazards we face.

    A third difficulty, in an era when some politicians are arguing for less and less government, is convincing the public a long time after the last earthquake that the government ought to be doing anything at all. Schools? Public safety? Health care? National defense? Earthquakes? Take your pick.

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