reeling it back in from too far out

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Escrito por ZihuaRob desde ( el día jueves, 27 de septiembre, 2007 a las 12:45:35 horas :

En respuesta a: Re: 6 degrees of Separation escrito por Laura desde ( el día jueves, 27 de septiembre, 2007 a las 09:05:54 horas :

Don't suppose either one of you listened to the excellent radio program this morning on Aquamarina 1410 (a local AM station with internet feed) where my friends and neighbors had a great discussion about the pier that included some of its proponents?

Of course, part of the discussion dealt with the jobs that would be generated by the construction project and the marine terminal services and the extra income from increased tourism the additional cruise ships are supposed to generate. Though I find that argument to have no other bearing on the pier proposal apart from propagandistic populist political purposes (the 4 P's?). It arose because of an article in one of yesterday's local papers that unemployment among youth is on the rise.

Historically such types of construction projects require skills not available locally, and the tendency of any large construction company here in Mexico is to bring most of their workers with them. Thus the local creation of jobs would be diluted by all the skilled workers and administrators that would be brought in, putting a greater demand on municipal services than there currently is, services that already cannot cope with the local population.

Our infrastructure is already failing and any city planning, growth and development can only be described as chaotic at best. Same with our traffic system. In our limited space between the hills we simply cannot grow any more without causing a severe deterioration in the quality of the environment and the quality of life, further straining if not eroding the fabric of the local community and probably driving away much our tourism except the weekend busloads. From the way they already flock to the Playa Del Puerto and even play in the canal (ewwwww) it seems those humble folks simply don't know any better and will swim in almost anything. But those tourists combined with the projected 100's of cruise ships a year are hardly the level of tourists that will maintain or improve Zihuatanejo's current standard of living. And when the cruise ship passengers start complaining of a foul odor coming from the water in the bay then even the cruise ships will stop coming, and if it's built we'll then be stuck with a useless pier that would quickly fall into neglect and deteriorate in the bay.

If the government were serious about wanting to create jobs locally it could easily put thousands of people to work building roads and infrastructure not only here but also in the forgotten and isolated communities of our mountain region. They could also support the farmers and help them modernize and develop new markets as well as attract new clean industries to diversify the economy.

But if the government were truly serious about creating meaningful employment they would first have to revamp the educational system and simply get serious. Teachers who don't work shouldn't get paid. Many are often on strike or take arbitrary days off or call themselves union administrators so that they spend little quality time in the classrooms if at all, often assigning homework without teaching lessons and spending more time on rehearsals for parades and presentations where it seems the "modern" dances they perform look more like table dancing than anything else. Our schools are failing and we can't expect much help resolving future problems from many children "graduating" from too many of our schools in the region. Of course too many still don't graduate at all, and illiteracy is still astronomical here.

A new pier or another tourist development simply isn't going to help us resolve any local problems but instead will certainly only create more problems. It is highly doubtful any of our local problems will be resolved until our public servants can clearly perform their jobs with professionalism, transparency, dedication, altruism and a sense of true civic duty instead of appearing to cater mostly to political and personal interests while ignoring the majority of their constituents, especially the benevolent counsel of respected community figures and leaders.

How's that for keeping on topic? ;~)

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