forced labour, megacities, etcMay 20 2011 at 6:28 AM
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Response to Re: Transportation Is Vital
Two things I think I need to point out here:
1) Rice is not grown because it is too labor-intensive???
I had to reread that twice. We have an abundance of labor, not a shortage of it. If rice is labor intensive, then let us employ the idle labor in cultivating it. That way we kill two birds with one stone: we reduce formal unemployment and increase production of a good in high demand.
- You mean forced labour. The large turnover in job holdings in PNG is indication enough that people still have the freedom not to work, unlike in Oz etc. In most places where there's an option, agriculture is the least favourite job of people. The only way to get people to do such hard work at low pay (it is at the bottom of the economic pyramid so it will always be low pay) is to import desperate people from another country willing to work super hard for very little. Surely you don't want PNG to get into that situation?
2) The idea to build two supercities overlooks a lot of practical realities. The most important are:
- PNG is not like Japan or England where the population is homogenous. If you take someone from the North and South of both countries, and ask anyone to tell you - just by looking at them - where they are from; they will be very hard pressed to do so. In PNG, if you take someone just a few tens of kilometers away in some cases, you can immediately tell the differences.
Trying to plonk all this humanity with very, very different cultures and rates of development into a "mega city" and then hoping somehow they will mesh is crazy and misguided. You will compound the problems of Port Moresby (and Lae) a millionfold.
Over time, the mega cities are exactly what knocks down the tribalism. Urban people see so many different types on an everyday basis that they become more tolerant over time. Example-you'll always see the strongest gay rights public support in urban areas. That tolerance extends to different races, tribes, etc.
--> The influx of people in the city must be stemmed:
- Bring basic goods and services to the people in the villages and towns:
This IS difficult because it is heaps heaps and heaps more costly to deliver services to low density populations than to high density populations. That's why it isn't done extensively or well, both in PNG and elsewhere. Many of the developed countries used free or very low cost labour during economic collapses to build their infrastructure. During economic collapses the majority of jobless (who were always landless in those countries) were willing to build infrastructure for almost nothing.
--> The current populations in the settlements must be resettled - a moratorium on sale of customary land and an investigation into the lands department. Bring in Australian and New Zealand auditors to audit the lands department and suggest an equitable system to manage the 3% of land owned by the state. We have failed and are incompetent. Admit it and ask for help.
The reason why it's a mess is because there ARE legtimate counterclaims to most of the land in this country. Before you could at least narrow it down on the basis of traditional stories on land use. Today those stories are either gone or corrupted.
Look at the HDB scheme in Singapore -- all those pollies travel there, hopefully they are learning something at our expense -- yeah we pay taxes dammit -- land that is being squatted on should be sold to REAL developers who will build HDB-like flats (what the hell is a HDB??? use Google and do some research buddy) that are several stories tall (land is at a premium in Port Moresby, let's learn something from Manhattan) and rents will fall as the supply of housing increases. These flats are subsidized to some extent and will primarily be for "working-class" people in the settlements who need formal housing.
Much of PNG's squatted on land is freehold land that the government owns. The customary landowners who were deprived of that land have a right to take it back.
- re - Anonymous on May 23, 2011, 2:58 PM