Monday 27 June 2022

[OP-ED] Where Oh Where Has All the Business Gone?

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25 June 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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We could not wait to vote for “change” and that’s what we have. This Administration is different, perhaps strange would be a better choice of words.

Do to the excessive costs of doing business, the excessive costs of utilities, not having a clue what this Administration plans on doing in the near term; business is shutting the doors or moving out of Paradise altogether. Already it was announced by the Mininsterio de Trabajo (Work) that there are at least 6,000 people who have lost their jobs since PAC, led by President Luis Guillermo Solís took office. And, let’s not blame Laura for all of it, or even most of it. It is the man in the mirror syndrome and his whimsical policies that a university professor is not supposed to have are resulting in head scratching wonderment.

Former candidate Johnny Araya saw the writing on the wall and pulled the plug on his campaign. His party, Liberación was rife with in-fighting and lost its focus. If that sounds familiar, so has PAC who won the election and is presently in an out-and-out brawl for control, with itself.

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Meanwhile, as a nation Direct Foreign Investment is almost nonexistent and domestic investment is nonexistent. Just keeping larger employers from running off has been a political victory for PAC. Then there are those dozens of small to medium size businesses who are closing their doors or at least reducing costs, mostly by cutting staff because there is little if any continuity with this government.

To bring business back into the fold, what is required is not just jawboning and having coffee with the neighbors but rather a clearly defined, long term direction. Even one that is disagreeable but yet is definable would certainly help our sagging economy.

As Socrates once said, “If a man knew all there was about a situation, he would always make the correct decision.” In our case neither business or consumers have any idea what the variables are or will be that allow for reasonable economic decision making. All we know is what we feel in the pit of our stomachs and that is life is going to be more expensive and jobs will remain hard to get.

It has been almost six months now since we inaugurated a new president and if one wants to call confusion as “change”, we got what we elected. It started when Luis Guillermo named a Lutheran Bishop as his chief of staff and the conflicting or non-decision making policies of their road show.

“Business, please stick around. It is only 3 ½ more years.”

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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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