Thursday 16 September 2021

Things This Administration Must Do Now!

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PAC and the presiding President of Costa Rica are from the same political party but you would never know it by the news. President Luis Guillermo Solís is most certainly not anyone’s puppet and marches to the beat of his own drum.

But then again he is not the leader we need right now nor in the foreseeable future. To simplify, the rest of his political party are not dancing to the same rhythm as Solis.

For Expats, the ground is shaky being caught between tax collectors in Paradise and tax collectors in their home country. For nationals, jobs are limited and it is pretty sure that taxes, even existing taxes will be raised thereby pricing many out of the much needed consumer market place.

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And, we have no idea of consistency and least of all predictability.

The train, after making sure the universities are happy, promoting a number of social programs that cost lots of money and planning but do very little about valuable infrastructure is just not going to get out of the abyss. What we have is like the hundreds of Bailey Bridges in Costa Rica, they are good for awhile but not intended to replace or be permanent. “Masy God bless Sir Donald Bailey who designed this structure during WWII”.

Without a down and out fight, we are not about to raise more taxes such as the highly controversial VAT until the government puts in practice, not just words, a measurable austerity program cutting back its own massive expensive. This is a who goes first syndrome, government austerity or. more taxes.

“YES.” we understand that our social democracy has painted this country into a box. And we also recognize that PAC, with the leadership of Solis has to answer hard questions and make hard decisions before anyone is willing to cough up more money to reduce the deficit or even repair the roads.

Secondly, probably the most important on the agenda is for investors, expats and nationals to comprehend, with clarity, what are the economic policies of PAC and Solis?

We have an almost 10% unemployment rate, an un-measurable underemployment rate, kids dropping out of schools alarming rates, an exponential rise in crime and no foreign direct investment.

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Nationals, Expats and investors need to know what to expect and what is the program that might attract them to Costa Rica. “Yes,” we have the best educated in Central America but that is not saying much, besides Central America is not the competition.

We, “us” we are the competition and as well, we are also the enemy.

No company can live within yo-yo economics. For example, this week gasoline prices went up while the world of refined oil collapsed over the last three months.

But soon, gasoline prices will drop, as early as next week based on another three-month analysis. If the government insists on controlling prices, we need a weekly verifiable analysis and those of us who live here should be given the chance to understand the formula prior to implementation.

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How can anyone have a strategic plan?

Utility rates need to be cut. There is a monopoly and no excuse for rates to scare away developers and commerce. If ICE is a government-run institution then how come government runs scared from this mega-institution? If ARESEP who fixes public prices ranging from gasoline to bus drivers, why cannot a nation of leaders demand to know their measures and meetings which should meet global competition ?

For Solís to be honest, he must finally recognize himself and staff as academicians while the fiscal policy is built on reality.

Even money laundering has taken a hiatus not knowing what this administration wants to do.When criminals do not trust the government, we are indeed in trouble.

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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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