Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Needed: the right kind of pork

Taiwan's government, on both the legislative side and the executive side, loves to deal out the bacon. Who cares if the tax structure is leaky and the national debt is approaching legal limits -- roads to nowhere must be built! Artificial lakes must be constructed! Cable cars must run to the tops of the highest mountains!

You'll note that useless roads, destructive lakes, and moronic cable cars are all projects that create adverse environmental consequences. Now, I don't suspect the government of fouling the environment just for the fun of it, but they sure don't let nature stand in their way as they rush to spend public money on construction projects that make their cronies fat and happy.

Well, I've got an idea. Why doesn't the government, since it's so eager to divert taxpayers' money to contractors, finally invest in sewage treatment for every household, every place of business, every public facility on the entire island?

I don't have the figures in front of me, but Taiwan's sewage connection rate comes in at something like 30%. Surely, surely, correcting that national disgrace would cost just as much money as do these idiotic roads that create landslides, artificial lakes that only destroy habitat, and cable cars that would allow ramshackle Disneylands to be built on top of Yushan.

Fixing the sewage problem once and for all seems like a win-win situation. It would produce great public benefit while running through enough money to satisfy even the most corrupt member of the Legislative Yuan. The opportunity for kickbacks would be vast. The rivers would be so much cleaner.

Can anyone explain how I'm looking at this wrong?


chris said...

Development, what's it good for?

Lot's of people were excited by Jared Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel. Westerners are into guns. Germs, certainly worked for us, I'm from the U. S. Steel, means progress, right?

Mike, have you had a chance to read JD's Collapse yet? This explores the limits that man can have on his environment.

DogOfTheSouth said...

Who's Mike?