Rewarding incompetence

25 Aug, '12

Can someone explain to me why the hell the government’s picking up the tab on this one?

Isa Town market gutted by fire

Bahrain’s prime minister has promised “immediate compensation” to traders whose livelihood has been impacted by the blaze which destroyed Isa Town market last month.
Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa also said that the market would be rebuilt in “record time”.

He made the comments during a follow-up visit to the scene of the fire on Thursday, Bahrain News Agency reported.

He was accompanied by Dr Jum’a bin Ahmed Al-Ka’bi, the Minister of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, who urged authorities to provide an alternative location for traders to use until the market has been reconstructed. [Continue reading…]

Unless the government started this fire deliberately, why the hell is it now throwing money at this? Or is it an inherent admission of guilt?

For anyone who’s been to that decrepit market over the last ten or more years, they would be either blind or stupid or even both together for not deducing immediately that the place will burn down. It was a ramshackle, dangerous, narrow, completely unhealthy environment where nary a single safety precaution was taken. And if you just see what they’ve been selling there: from illicit and “hot” goods, to endangered animals put in disgusting cages and other assorted enclosures, to bare electrical wires to unsanitary surroundings, the government – if it was interested in doing it’s job – should have shut that place down a long time ago. It should have gutted it completely and threw the stall owners out! They should never have been allowed to set up “business” in such a manner.

Of course, none of those “businessmen” had any insurance against possible loss of income or other exigencies, and we know now that it wasn’t necessary at all in any case. Why expend some money when you know that the government’s going to come and pay good money – which could easily be employed in more worthwhile causes – to “rescue” you from your own ignorance. Why? I see absolutely no reason for this largess.

I – as do many people I know – budget for business insurance to cover for extraordinary events and treat that as a business expense. But I see now that I was, once again, severely mistaken and that I should simply await a knight in shining armour to come and rescue me and my business if anything unfortunate happen to either of us. In fact, I shall demand that my auditor insert that line in the balance sheet the next time I have to pay him for his professional services. Oh wait! Maybe the government could pick up that tab too!

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Comments (2)

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  1. Maybe the rebuilding project can include health and safety requirements and insurance cover. Thank goodness no lives were lost.

    What does the constitution say about this sort of issue?

    We have the problem of moral hazard too. You are not alone!

  2. Ali says:

    And which insurance company would have insured them?

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