Poverty and the Transparency show

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Angelica Maytín is the local boss of Transparency International (TI), and as such a marionette of I. Roberto Eisenmann, who is an oligarch. TI is a cartel of "bribe payers who want to reduce their pay-outs -- but not eliminate them for the edge they give over honest businesses", as journalist Greg Palast put it. And in exchange for being Eisenmann's barbie doll, la Maytín gets to be in the limelight every now and then, with press conferences where she can babble her heart out. Every year, for example, TI publishes this "Corruption Perception Index", which is a sort of a poll on how corrupt people perceive their country to be. More corrupt means, "lower your bribe tariffs!"

Panama goes up or down a few places every year but always comes off really bad - an indication that doing business here is too expensive, bribe-wise. And every year they make this show of presenting the index, with la Maytín providing analysis and other comic relief.

The real news, however, is that Panama is miserably failing to accomplish any of the Millennium Goals agreed under the banner of the UN, notably the reduction of extreme poverty.  According to the UN, 16.6% of the population lives off less than $1 a day, and this figure has been more or less stable for many years now.

Yes, you read that right: Despite all the bullshit about Canal expansion, economic growth, "vamos bien", trickle-down, economic development zones, a government of entrepreneurs and so on and so on, NOTHING has been accomplished in terms of poverty reduction.

The UN is urging, no, begging Panama to at least make an effort to accomplish half of the set goal. There is enough wealth in this country to end poverty, they say, and of course they're right. But the bribe cartel doesn't care, because poverty guarantees low labor cost and that is seen as a good thing by our entrepreneurial class and the ruling oligarchs. Similarly, the poor don't care much about Maytín and her index. If you have nothing to eat, would you be interested in how much payola the Eisenmanns have to shell out to do business?

2 thoughts on “Poverty and the Transparency show

  1. Their solution should be free government funds so every home, apartment and live in business site could all have their “cuarto de empleado”

    This way the poor could all be employed like the rabi blancos do with their “freed slaves”.

  2. Panama will not and can not repay the huge amount of Public Debt accumulated(over $60 Billion and climbing)just in the last two years by this Criminal Martinelli Government!

    With all the previous government debts of Panama combined!

    Each and every Citizen of Panama now owes over $67,000.00 each!

    With the average Family of five and a combined income of $350 to $450 Average before Taxes.

    Over half of the people of Panama are suffering from Malnurthtion!

    Over half of the people of Panama do not have safe clean drinkable water on a daily basis, which has now has turned into weeks, which have now turned into months and now in some areas years.

    Without basic Infrastructure you do not have growth or hope!

    Panama will now have to import over 60% of it Food!

    Food costs have risen over 12% this year alone, over the last five years it has risen 65%.

    The real actual wages for the average Panamanian has only increase less than $100.00 in the last five years.

    When you are the drug money Laundering Capital of the world what is a few $Billion among friends!

    “Panama where the numbers never add up”

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