What is the best joke I saw today? It is the shutdown of the New Jersey government. I sent the Chinese version of the news to Wendy immediately I saw it and shared the news with my friends when we had hot spot at dinner. “How can this happen?” I asked.
I know it is not a joke for people in the U.S., especially in New Jersey. I mean no offense at all. It is just something I could never imagine to happen in China. This shows a very different function of the government, and the way the government is organized.
I don’t know too much about this event – why it happened? Why the governor has the right to shutdown the government? What does the State look like after the State government stops all major services? When it will be back? I have no idea about the answers. Anyone can help to explain? Let’s just take it as a case study.
No Street Light in Saratoga
My other favorite case study of how government works in U.S. is the city of Saratoga, CA, U.S.A.
When we stood at the top of the mountain in Cupertino (Thanks Carroll and her husband) at night and looked to the east, we saw the dark area in the bright landscape. It was Saratoga. They wanted to keep the semi-rural feeling and keep commerce out of the city, they don’t have street-light. That is the reason the area is dark, although it is one of the richest area in the valley.
Saratoga also has a zoning code comparable to that of Los Altos, which requires that houses must be spaced farther away from each other and that trees must be properly taken care of to preserve a semi-rural appearance. Saratoga emphasizes its semi-rural appearance by foregoing street lights and sidewalks on most residential streets. This, in addition to the excellent schools, causes Saratoga to have very high housing costs. (Source: Wikipedia)
This case is quite eye-opening for me.
Disclaimer: I don’t think it is right to make decisions about which form of government is just the good way or the bad way. The series of articles I write on “West Meets East” are to discover the difference and explorer the reasons behind it, so people understand each other.