- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Santa Claus Principle

Is the Government like Santa Claus? Very interesting story HERE by a Financial Times related blog, suggesting that all this bail out of industry and finance may ultimately do more harm than good as industry comes to think that the government is a reliable Santa Clause who will come and bail them out when they want - until Santa has nothing left.

There is a lot at stake and the signs are not good. From the front page of Reuters today, just a week after the auto bailout, these stories:
Post Bailout Chrysler Still at Risk
Commercial Property Seeks Bailout Aid

Jeez, and people say they don't understand GenX or GenY ! The boomers seem to want to have their cake and eat it - and if there are any consequenses, they should be held off at all cost until the boomers are long gone. That seems to be the attitude.

At least Obama seems to be saying the right thing - promote the shift to a greener economy ASAP. I just hope it does not end up like the promises of so many NSW state premiers for so many rail and subway networks for Sydney that have never materialized despite billions spent on new roads and tunnels in the meantime.

ps - another article along a similar vein here on Reuters: Fed Unleashes Greatest Bubble of All

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