Econ 12 (9:15) Extra Credit
Far away, there was a jungle. Inside the jungle, there were different kinds of animals living together. The king of the jungle is the Lion. There were four senators one level below the King. They were Eagle, Pig, Cow and Fox. The monetary unit in the jungle was stone with the Lion Official engraving. Animals living in the jungle were required to pay a certain amount of stones at year end to the Lion Government as public funds for the jungle. Funds for all public developments in the jungle required approval from the senators before disbursement.
The elephants dominated major labor force in the jungle because the Elephant Village was a poor village. Most youth elephants dropped out of the school before high school. They had no degrees and sufficient education to obtain good jobs. Therefore, labor force was the only opportunity for them to earn a living. The elderly elephants did not want their next generations continue working in the labor force; therefore, the elders submitted a proposal on improving education in the poor villages to the Lion Government.
After four months submitting the proposal, the elderly elephants got a letter from the Lion Government. The letter stated there was no enough fund left to disburse to the poor villages to reform the education. The elderly elephants were so confused. They wondered where all the stones they paid at year end had gone. They decided to talk about this issue to their friend, the bird reporter, and hoped he could find the answer for them.
After a week, the bird reporter flew back to the Elephant Village and told the elders his investigation results. “According to my investigation, the government funds were distributed effectively to the areas that needed help. However, I suspected why a great deal amount of stones went to the Pig Village for building muddy play grounds.” “Muddy play grounds?” the elderly elephants shouted out loud, “Was the muddy play ground more important than our education?” The bird reporter continued, “Apparently, the fund was approved by the Senator Pig. I interviewed Senator Pig. The Senator claimed by building more muddy play grounds helped their piggy kids to have happy childhood memories. It also helped to create jobs for the Pig Village and other villages in the jungle.” “What! Create jobs for the villages? The elderly elephants shouted again unbelievably, “But if the stones were used on our education, the whole jungle might be better off than just spending the stones on some piggy kids’ childhood memories." Without replying, the bird reporter continued, “I also interviewed the residents in the village, nine out of ten of the interviewers did not feel they got any benefits from the new construction of the muddy play grounds. They did not think they needed any more muddy play grounds. Most of them said they already got plenty of play grounds in the village. Moreover, they didn’t have that many piggy kids to use the play grounds.” The elderly elephants were so angry and mad on the inappropriate usage on the stones they paid to the Lion Government. They decided to write another letter to the King and ask for a meeting with him. They believed if the King were aware of this issue, he would try everything to help to reform education in poor villages.
Three months after the letter was sent out, the elderly elephants got a response letter from the King. The letter said, “Thank you so much to inform me on this issue. However, I got a very busy schedule, and I am afraid it would be impossible to meet with you. Moreover, the fund had already been disbursed. It was a done deal. There is nothing I can do about it.” When the elderly elephants were discussing about the letter and expressing their desperation on the response, the bird reporter visited the elderly elephants to do a follow-up on the investigation. When the bird reporter heard about the letter, he showed no surprise and said, “It is the way how government official do things. The only thing you could do is wait for me to report this issue to the public and hopefully the public will pressure the Lion Government to change. But let me warn you, this is going to be a long battle.”
After saying goodbye to the elderly elephants, the bird reporter flew back to his work station and left the disappointed elderly elephants sitting on the ground.