Saturday 9 December 2023

Jumping From Crisis to Crisis To Almost A Solution! Q Asks Why?

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9 December 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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Paradise does not have enough jails and not enough prisons to house its criminals, ergo they are released to walk freely and make crime a profitable

Every day I scan both the domestic and international news with a focus on Costa Rica. And every day I become a little more dismayed by the lack of forethought in Paradise. Moreover, the absence of responsibility and seemingly ironic sense of satisfaction for “A job well done” comes only after a catastrophe which is then repaired “Con mucho gusto.”

I mean, this is not a big country land wise nor in population. Yet we are a country ignored by our own people when it comes to safety, opportunity, crime and of course infrastructure.

The perpetual search for witches and evil does have a social value, a very large value at that. It takes our minds away from reality. The same as Ortega in Nicaragua uses international brinksmanship to form popular support in one of the most impoverished countries in the world.

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Diversion away from reality works!

Think about it! Paradise does not have enough jails and not enough prisons to house its criminals, ergo they are released to walk freely and make crime a profitable industry unto itself.  Not just petty crime, but drug trafficking, murder, political corruption and the list goes on.

This is serious stuff that is goes unabated.

Considering consequences and the future is almost non-existent beyond four years which is the term of an elected political party, unless reelected in which case that party has four more years to become reactionaries.

Saturday, January 26, 2013 as inconsequential as it might seem, La Nación, our leading Spanish language newspaper has claimed that Route 32, connecting the most important port in Limón to San José has been or is being resurfaced. However, the design and quality of asphalt being applied will last for approximately four years, until Costa Rica then needs to invest millions of dollars more.

Sorry for the condescending thought, but from a developed country the question becomes why not think this thing through to save the country money and indeed make it friendlier?

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Within a week, three people working in a small restaurant called a “soda” have died from faulty gas tanks. Only after these deaths has the government decided it should inspect and set national standards for these LPG tanks of death plus their contents. The same tanks and gas many use in their home BBQ and to a lesser extent in cars.

Carry this mentality to taxes and logistics and the scenario gets even worse.

To appreciate the US dollar, we need to depreciate the Colon (CRC), Costa Rica’s national currency. This will result in lower interest rates and a far better exchange rate making the dollar substantially more valuable and exports, our life blood, more competitive.

At the same time, a director of the OIJ (Our FBI) came with the statement that “Costa Rica is a paradise for money laundering.” Which is tad amount to major foreign currency importation. Exactly what the government needs to curb. (La Nación)

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The politicos and wealthy retort, “who cares? It’s profitable.”

To be clear, I argue that Costa Rica has become a country of knee jerk reactionaries and has little, if anything to offer on the initiative side of life except more endless rhetoric.

We have evolved into responders and lost our way as initiators. Even the arcane idea to control gun ownership is a copy and not a very good copy because the residents are afraid and will do whatever they can to protect themselves from criminals and the threats of police who have recently, finally, been accused also of being criminals.

The courts have a long history of reacting only after the fact. Each day, each hour, criminals are set free based on some technicality or just not enough room in the prisons thereby let loose to rob, steal and kill again.

On another level, the bridges connecting communities and destroyed by natural disaster also receive “after the fact” treatment.
Five die riding or walking across a bridge and then, only then does the danger reach the public and the government reacts with an “Oh my!” and the remedy is to stick up another temporary Bailey Bridge which is morphed into the permanent solution. It will also collapse and kill more people. Again, another Bailey! After all, people, our people can walk on it and a small truck can drive over this bridge, at least for a few years more.

Limón, in my personal opinion, is a killing field because its infrastructure and that little if any effort has ever been made to eradicate poverty. The reality has been ignored for more than 50 years. It just is, that’s all.

Perhaps the most beautiful location in Costa Rica, is Puerto Viejo, but take your knife; your gun to be safe only because there is no police protection until a rape, theft or killing takes place and even then, an investigation and arrest is limited. (The statistics prove me out).

The bottom line is that Costa Rica, a destination of tourism, the home of new business very much needs to think not only about today, but far more about the many tomorrows.

New business coming to CR cannot justify corruption, overt crime, excessive taxes, or the idea that once the deal is signed, the government will start negotiating the details.

We are committing social as well as economic suicide because long term, even mid-term critical thought is absent from the Costa Rica decisions makers.

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Juan Sebastian Campos
Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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