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68936f74 — Tom Update 2 months ago

#layout: post title: It's time to reflect and rebuild date: 2020-08-02 09:30:00

Construction skyline

I only recently got the chance to read Marc Andreesen's widely discussed post titled "It's time to build". In the post, Andreesen describes how due to a failure of action people around the world were totally caught off-guard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The tact of the post is to say that old methods of doing things is holding back progress, and this is an issue that has been prolonged by both sides of the political spectrum - the right not aggressively investing in new industries and technologies (rather sticking to what they know), and the left holding a bias to "protect" public institutions (rather than prove that they are superior to their private counterparts).

I sympathise with the general message Andreesen is addressing here. While I don't necessarily agree with all his points regarding the public sector, especially with regards to healthcare, other aspects I can favour more and work with.

For example, the public transport system here in Auckland is an absolute mess. The decisions made by public bodies is often questionable at best and downright laughable at worst (an example being taking over 20 years to build a railway from the airport to the CBD). Housing has also been a great issue, with prices skyrocketing due to limited supply and speculation, not to mention a lack of a capital gains tax preventing those with massive properties portfolios to use houses solely for investment purposes.

As a citizen it is frustrating to live with all of this. I have voted for politicians based on their policies regarding housing and then been totally left behind when it came to deliver. Half of the MPs who supposedly represent me have their own multi-million dollar property portfolios so implementing a CGT would hurt their bottom line too much.

In answering Andreesen's call to build, I say we should take some time to reflect first. Let's think about the mistakes we have made before steamrolling ahead with building new things. Maybe it isn't even a matter of building new things at all, but rather fixing what we already have and making that better.

Don't drown in doubt,

T.