I’ve always been of two minds about China products — the majority of what
Wal-Mart stocks. Globalization has unquestionably been a boon to the Chinese —
ordinary Chinese — which is so gratifying. Of course, globalization has been a
boon to most everyone else, too. But how do you tell which products from China
are free-labor products and which are slave-labor products — items from the
Laogai, or Gulag? You cannot, as far as I know.
I once interviewed a man
— a Falun Gong practitioner — who, between bouts of torture, was made to
manufacture Homer Simpson bedroom slippers. You placed your foot where Homer’s
mouth was. He also made Christmas lights.
Except -- just a few years ago, Taiwan's High-Speed (bullet) train experienced SIMILAR growing pains. And back then, Taiwan's pro-KMT news media fell all over themselves blaming former President Chen for the problems.
No doubt, the media's collective conscience will be stricken by the unfairness of their previous coverage, and we'll soon hear a crescendo of criticism directed at Taiwan's current KMT president about these Neihu mishaps.
POSTSCRIPT: As I said, no one's to blame for the Neihu MRT glitches, so I'll not ape the sleazy pro-KMT media and blast President Ma Ying-jeou for this.
One thing Mister Ma doesn't deserve a pass for though, is the Maokong Gondola, which was built on his watch as Mayor of Taipei. Hizonner wanted a piece of infrastructure on his political resume (which always looks good when you're running for president) so he rushed the project through.
Rushed it through -- without permitting an environmental impact study.
Ma's piece of crap ran for 3 whole months, then was shut down after a freak meteor strike utterly predictable typhoon-related mudslide undermined one of the support pillars.
(Typhoons in TAIWAN? Why, whodathunkit !)
Now, bear with me for a moment. Imagine you're an upper-middle manager in a major corporation. You're given 39.3 MILLION U.S. dollars for a project. A factory . . . or a gondola, let's say. So you cut corners, finish the job, and get that big promotion. Three months later though, your factory has to be shut down for safety reasons. The good news is, you've got your promotion. The bad news is, it'll take TWO YEARS to get the thing up to code.
Thanks to your fine managerial skills, the company's stuck with a 39.3 million dollar white elephant. At least if you'd stuffed the money under a mattress, the company would still have its capital. Better yet, if you'd put it into bonds, the company'd still have its capital, plus interest.
Instead, they've now got to throw good money after bad to fix YOUR idiotic mistakes. Heckuva job there, Sparky.
(Ma Ying-jeou on Maokong Gondola image from the Taipei Times)
Castle gossip has it that "Sir Ma" was unable to attend, due to a prior commitment. Out on one of those quests of his. One serving wench informed me he was out slaying a ferocious dragon, which I find quite improbable, given that we know Ma prefers to FEED them instead . . .