Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Things Fall Apart

"We are people who don’t do things unless someone is there to make us do it," said Essam Qassem, a cabdriver fighting his way along Hassan Sabry Street in the well-to-do area of Zamalek. "We don’t comply with rules on our own."

But people here say drivers’ lawless nature is not without a reason. These same traffic police officers assigned to make traffic move are also ordered to make traffic stop. They close the streets so Mr. Important does not have to tolerate the indignity of traffic. That makes people mad.

That sense of injustice, felt by the common man stuck for hours in deadlocked traffic, fuels disregard for the law in general, people said.

"The problem of Egypt is not that the Egyptian people do not like order," said Salah Eissa, editor of Al Qahira, a weekly newspaper published by the Ministry of Culture. "It is the problem of making exceptions in enforcing this order -- and this applies to traffic. It is something that provokes Egyptians and pushes them to think that since it is all a question of bullying, then every man to himself and everyone becomes a bully."
The corrosive effect of different rules for the rich and well-connected....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The corrosive effect of different rules for the rich and well-connected...."

Absolutely. Now can we apply this lesson to the widening income gap in this country? This dynamic is exactly why it is important. Why? Because, in our society, money buys privilege, access, and freedom itself. Once enough people see a wealthy elite with all those benefits, which they themselves are denied, all the gated communities in the world will not save the rich. It has always worked this way. It is only a matter of time.

I'm not trying to get all Marxist here. Just pointing out the importance of having a large middle class and social mobility.

7/17/2007 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and commuting Scooter's sentence doesn't help either...

7/17/2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The corrosive effect of different rules for the rich and well-connected....

From TimesOnLine, 6/28/07:

"Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, has criticised the US tax system for allowing him to pay a lower rate than his secretary and his cleaner.

"Speaking at a $4,600-a-seat fundraiser in New York for Senator Hillary Clinton, Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion (£26 billion), said: 'The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.'

"Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent."

7/17/2007 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The solution is more car bombs.

7/18/2007 12:10 AM  

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