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Spotting and eliminating "pork"

[ 2012-07-04 09:21]     字号 [] [] []  
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Spotting and eliminating Much of this is contrary to the public discussion of infrastructure. We see highway crews loafing, and instantly jump to assumptions that all government is overstaffed. And our obsession with spotting and eliminating “pork” can get in the way of making sure that what we build is built right, and kept that way.

My comments:

Pork in American slang refers to government money secured and spent to benefit special interest groups rather than the public in general. A lot of people eat pork as meat, which is more nutritious in some ways than vegetables and that probably lent to the idea that government money is fat meat for people who can get it to eat (and waste).

In the above example, pork refers to government featherbedding, the practice of keeping a lot of employees without actually finding employment for them, i.e. keep more people on the pay roll than is necessary. Yes, in other words and as a result, practically all governments are overstaffed.

Spotting and eliminating “pork”, then, points to efforts to eliminate people who don’t do much work.

One more comment, though unsolicited perhaps. Will “our obsession” with spotting and eliminating “pork” get in the way?

No conflict there, I don’t think. In fact, spotting and eliminating “pork” is a good start that will go a long way towards “making sure that what we build is built right, and kept that way”.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.