Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wisconsin Roadbuilders Have Bid Opportunity: the China Solution

No question that Wisconsin's roadbuilding plans are exorbitant; at the same time, the bought-and-paid-for Legislators from both the (R) and (D) parties will have a hard time cutting $100 million from the "pave it ALL" DOT plans.

Well, here's a solution. Next time DarthDoyle traipses over to PRChina on a 'trade mission,' he should take the Payne & Dolan executive committee. There's a little project over there for them!

China plans to build a highway on the side of Mount Everest to ease the Olympic torch's journey to the peak of the world's tallest mountain before the 2008 Beijing Games, state media reported Tuesday.

Construction of the road, budgeted at $19.7 million would turn a 67- mile rough path from the foot of the mountain to a
base camp at 17,060 feet "into a blacktop highway fenced by undulating guardrails," the Xinhua News Agency said.

Xinhua said construction, which would start next week, would take about four months. The new highway would become a major route for tourists and mountaineers, it said.

Rumor has it that labor cost is VERY competitive:

Few police are seen at bustling Zhengzhou train station in central China, where people traffickers are believed to have abducted young boys and others for use as slave laborers at brick kilns.

Uneducated and grindingly poor, China's 200 million migrant workers are among the most vulnerable to exploitation by phony job offers, and they are easily picked out by the animal feed or fertilizer bags they carry as improvised luggage.

The throbbing, chaotic Zhengzhou station and others like it in north-central China have emerged as links in the slavery scandal that erupted last week, dominating news reports and prompting President Hu Jintao to personally order an investigation.

Chinese media said the 568 slaves freed in raids last week worked at kilns in Shanxi and Henan provinces that were operating under the protection of corrupt local officials.

(OF COURSE they are "local officials" who are corrupt. The fact that the PRC honchos and their families comprise 350 of the 385 richest people in PRC has nothing, nothing, NOTHING to do with this!)

"This issue is about much more than illegal work practices," the Guangzhou Daily said in an editorial. "We see more bloody crimes through it, like kidnapping, abducting, beating, abusing, or even murdering. Behind all of those crimes, there is the misconduct of local officials."

The freed workers had been sold to kilns for $66 each by gangs that lured them with false promises of well-paid jobs or just abducted them from transport hubs or the street.

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