I've often thought why the development gap between different parts of the so called New World exist. How and why is the United States, Australia etc rich and Colombia, Brazil etc poor? I always figured that amongst many problems the main thing was the elites in charge.

Well a new book has come out answering this question in rather more detail. I think it covers a great subject and should make good reading.

"Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United
States. Edited by Francis Fukuyama."

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Falling-Behind-Explaining-Development-Between/dp/0195368827/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1235651182&sr=1-2

"In 1700, Latin America and British North America were roughly equal in economic terms. Yet over the next three centuries, the United States gradually pulled away, and today the gap is huge. Why did this happen? Was it culture? Geography? Economic policies? Natural resources? Differences in political development?"

The contributors dispute the view Latin America's problems stem from the allegedly stifling effects of Spanish centralism, Catholic absolutism, geography, climate, greed of the Spanish conquerors etc Amongst the ten essayists Robisnson argues Latin America is still ruled paternistically, as it was in the colonial period, by deeply entrenched elites and nothing much ever changes as a new elites steps into the shoes of the old one, the rule of strongmen continueso prevail over the rule of law leading to, "...insecure property rights, non level playing field, lack of constraints on political power and the concentration of that power into the hands of a relatively small subset of the population."

"Under this hierarchical straightjacket a major segment of the population does not realize its potential and warring elites play what Riordan Roett and Francisco E. Gonzalez describe as high stakes, zero sum politics."

I'm interested in what you think?

Posted on February 26, 2009


You might also like:

Comments:

For me that last effect is key, a major segment of the population does not realize its potential.

Then they also do not realize their countries potential, how great it is, and I don't mean via nationalism.

Posted on February 26, 2009


"This indispensable book ends the debate over why we Latinos are not rich Americans: It's not our culture, religion, intellects, or even the U.S. that keep us behind. It's our defective institutions. So let reform begin. Thanks to Fukuyama and his distinguished colleagues, governments have no more excuses to avoid legal change."--Hernando de Soto, author of The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else

Posted on February 26, 2009


t shirt...nice post and undoubtedly a good read. i majored in econ in my many years in the 'box' and after living in colombia for many years and having travelled and worked in mex. central america and south america....the reason that latin america never grew out of it's stiffling colonialism was'/is exactly that...elitism. the vast majority of the population has no clue as to their potential. they are un (der) educated, economically held back from participating in the 'system' and all but voiceless in what goes on.

since the colonists landed, they've plundered the land, it's peoples, it's resources and shipped it abroad...to this date, the ruling elite sacks the land and sends it abroad to off shore accounts, and foreign investments and property holdings in europe and north america.

just like the colonists before these present day rulers, they take the GDP, and don't allow it to circulate within it's home economy, and send it abroad. before it was to the king, the pope, and relatives. now it's personal greed, but the results are the same, the economy cannot flourish, as it's product does not circulate within itself.

the sad note to this is that the priviledged classes have NO INTENTION of changing this status quo. so i hope noone is holding their breath for a change anytime soon.

dw martin

Posted on February 26, 2009


It was eye opening for me when I read about who the Spaniards were. It seems that most of them were the second ( or later) sons who were shut out by the feudal system at home and imposed it in the new world. The Puritans were reformers at heart, mostly from the common man. The Southern Gentlemen, who were from the English elite, had their attempt at establishing feudalism stopped by the Civil War.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Another good book for those who try to understand why Latin America (in general) is poor while North America is wealthy:
Open Veins of Latin America" by Eduardo Galeano.
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Posted on February 26, 2009


Thanks for the post. I'll take a look for the book. I've slowly becoming to that idea while living in Colombia, that elitism just doesn't work as a social system - and must cause loads of problems.

It's crazy that the top people in Colombia have to work 10 hours a day when so many people are unemployed - surely education of the masses and less working hours at the top would be better? (because the work could be spread out between more people).

Posted on February 26, 2009


The United States is bankrupt, the very definition of poor. The difference in appearance of wealth is simply people are still willing to flow the US yet more debt. If somebody started showering Colombia with 100% of GDP a year in "loans" for a decade they would start living better too. For a little while. We'll all be equal once the IOUs are due.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Thanks to you all too.

The point I never concurred with was the pointing of the finger at external powers robbing these countries. I know colonists went to grab the riches, and I think today that external countries are happy for the current situation to continue where money flows from there to them and Colombai, Brazil etc to remain poor.

But it does so beacuse of the internal and considerable powers WITHIN Colombia, Brazil etc

Fukuyama points out in his conclusion, "no political system can work can work without the support of informal norms. If politicians are willing to bend the rules to get their way, if judges and lawyers routinely accept bribes in return for certain outcomes, if the police look the other way... then no system of rules and incentives will function properly."

The elites in Latin America are entrenched.

Does it suit these powers to have no more slums?
Does it suit them to have an educated population?
Does it suit them to have no more corruption?

Posted on February 26, 2009


I remember reading Mitchner's "Caribbean" and he showed how the conquistadors used a system based on family security before country. So as people gained power they would immediately abuse it with corruption to give their family the financial security that would make their name important. Hence the reason for two surnames. To show who your heritage is. Most of the first governors of New Granada were hanged for corruption. But their families became rich and powerful.

To some extent that system is still in use today in the Americas. The elite assume and accept corruption as a form of gaining wealth and power. The ones who get caught are not looked at as we do in North America. They are in a way, revered for doing what they could to help their family become important.

Posted on February 26, 2009


the founders of north america...the colonists had one thing on their mind...separating themselves from the royal families, the church and anyone else abroad. as a result, the product of the north america remained within and was allowed to multiply and continuing to do so til today. things are changing now with the so called 'global economy' wherein the world's priviledged elite once again seek to dominate wealth and power. the result of this is a bankrupting of world economies for the further enrishment of the already priviledged.

Posted on February 26, 2009


The arrested development of Latin America is due to BOTH internal and external factors. Galeano explains that perfectly well in his book. The colonial tradition is still bearing its retarded fruit: a Colombian man of a good family is still a HIDALGO, a gentleman of leisure when it's time to do some manual labour which is underneath his dignity (except when removed from his ambiente and transplanted on a foreign shore or married to a gringa who are notoriously good at putting their momma's boys Colombian husbands in the kitchen with a mop and a pail of water and it's no problem because we are so special).

Thus, the class society perpetuates itself and a Latino of good family looks down on working classes and consider themselves somehow better even if they can't change a light bulb. The people of upper classes see themselves as something very different from the general populache, the cohesive social glue that makes people feel like a community is sadly missing between the different sectors of the society.

Posted on February 26, 2009


people do not realize their potential - I was eating supper in the food court of a mall last night at around 7:00. I had a couple of observations. first, the prices there are ridiculously high in comparison to normal colombian places to eat, so most people can't afford to eat in these places. second, the place was almost empty. everybody restaurant had 2 or so employees and pretty nobody was doing anything, just standing there. I've seen the same thing in Exito. so here's how the system works - businesses can pay dirt wages and since their profit margin is so good, they afford to do very little business and pay their employees to stand around for hours doing nothing (because they're getting paid about nothing).

this kind of behavior can't be good for an economy.

Posted on February 26, 2009


tropicalshirt

I think Colombia is one of the richest country in the world. Perhabs not in money but in happiness. What`s more important? Happiness or money?

http://www.happyplanetindex.org/listactual.htm

Posted on February 26, 2009


i wouldn't invest my retirement in that conclusion, makopp.....yes indeed, colombians have a resilience that is most admirable...they're able to smile and go on, in the face of horrible adversity and poverty. they take the boot on the neck and keep on going.

but remember this, this hard working good natured campesinos will be major domos in the day and dawn camoflage at night and bomb energy towers, dams and other meyhem in contempt of their lot. they have an old, deeply ingrained axe to grind and grind they will. the priviledged need to keep at the forefront of their mind, that revolution is just a gun shot away.

Posted on February 26, 2009


"businesses can pay dirt wages and since their profit margin is so good"

Span Colombia

Very interesting, I noticed the same thing when I was in Cali's malls. But tell me, how can the profit margin be good when most people can't afford to pay those prices?

Posted on February 26, 2009


the rich can, the poor (the average colombians) dont even go in these malls. just another pathetic way the priviledged emphasize the distinction between themselves and the lion's share of colombia. always putting it in their face. a real tragedy. i pray for an early change in this wretched old way.

Posted on February 26, 2009


great synopsis, gato.

Posted on February 26, 2009


gato, my 75 IQ can't understand what you just said.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Gato may I quote you on that?
(I'm talking with somebody else about that book)

Posted on February 26, 2009


He pretty much said that Fukuyama is a crazy mo'fo'.

Posted on February 26, 2009


It's probably a worth a read if only to balance Galeano and some of his far left/Marxist ideas.

Both authors/editors were pretty hardcore in their day. Fukuyama seems to be distancing himself from elements of the neocon philosophy, maybe Galeano is wising up in his old age, too?

Posted on February 26, 2009


Desi

I always looked at Brazil, that is the place I know best, and thought that the elites in Brazil together with the Westerrn Governments, were together getting rich from Brazil and neither were interested in creating a fairer Brazil. I'm sure this is true.

But should you foremostly look within the country and question what is going on? On whom do you place the responsibilty for the creation of a fairer country? That country itself or other countries???

In 2003 I was living in Brazil when the Iraq war started. The media coverage was huge and it led to literary every second person asking me, "What did I think of THE war?" Well I knew of a few wars going on at that time, the largest being in the Congo with 3 to 5 million attributal deaths, so whilst that is a global media issue, I used to respond, which war? (i'm one for conversation no doubt...) and tell them I'm more interested in Brazil.

The public protests I saw all over Brazil and the constant focus by the people on Iraq was never remotely matched by anything I saw in Brazil on any Brazilian issue. And there are a few. But look, change can happen when the people show this type of mass committment to something local. It happened in Brazil when the people put the pressure on President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. It just has to be an issue in this way. The problem being, as this book tells it, one elite is replaced by another. Brazil did get Lula in the end, but his promised TAX REFORMS (important) etc??? They look doomed.

From what I have looked at I think this book differs from the Galeano book and fits better with my experience and views of Latin America, a place I like more than England or any other European country.

I haven't read the Galeano book and thank you for pointing it out.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Gato

I'm not a fan of Fukuyama and the end of history line. But Latin America is an area that has gotten such little media attention in recent years and I'm glad to see a book like this bring up the region. Apart from a shimmering play of chaos math vectors and valences, I would be really interested in what you think the answer to the question is?

Posted on February 26, 2009


makopp5

You could write a post Why is Colombia happy but as Fagin says in the musical version of Oliver Twist, "In this life one thing counts, money in the bank, large amounts."

Give me happiness anytime and a beautiful woman (with lots of money).

Posted on February 26, 2009


I don't think any one of those two guys have it all pinned down; I still believe the truth is somewhere in between or a mixture of both, internal and external factors. I'm not a Marxist myself, but I have to admit that reading Galeanos's book shaped my vision on the development of LA societies for all eternity, perhaps because it was in the same period I watched Costa Gavras' film State of Siege.

A dear friend of mine, a staunch supporter of Mr. ?ribe and very conservative Colombian, has beeb trying to make me read books written by neolibs and globalists, especially this one: Cuentos chinos: El engaño de Washington, la mentira populista y la esperanza de América Latina but I tend to get bored somewhere after page 50.

Must be that I'm getting old.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Hey! I love that book by Andres Oppenheimer, he tells it like it is!

Posted on February 26, 2009


:)
I'm not surprised you think that. You would.

Posted on February 26, 2009


I'll take that as a compliment.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Do that.

Posted on February 26, 2009


this issue of fault. it's like self help seminars...there is no "they" it all begins and ends with 'me'. colombia cannot blame it's failure to rise from the ashes of colonialism and elitism on any one but itself. clean up the house first. and the yard work afterwords is a snap.

if all the priviledged and elite in colombia had a change of heart today, i'm telling you, tomorrow would really be a new day. colombia would sour like the phoenix. she would fly from this peutrid lethe and glow like angels in the sun.

given social and educational equality in colombia, there'ld be no stopping her. she would be at the top of the world economically and socilally...not unlike switzerland, but with a far better climate.

if the rich and priviledged would just wake from their greedy stupor, they'ld discover wealth and fullment they never imagined. that individual and collective greed that pollutes everything it touches runs rampant...not just in colombia, but about the world. defeating this demon, means peace and equality on earth.

d

Posted on February 26, 2009


While I read Oppenheimer and even email him on Occassion(and he does return emails to my surprise) on his miami herald Columns, his viewpoints are pretty one sided. His recent columns on Illegal Immigration is but one recent example of his biased reporting and he is constantly called on it in his Miami Herald columns.

Posted on February 26, 2009


And better beaches than Switzerland too, lol!

Great post Dwmte!!

Posted on February 26, 2009


boy are you right on on that brother.....i love switzerland, but it's fricken cold all year long, and her beaches...somewhere up about 10,000 ft are freezing. surf ain't up. gimme paisanos or give me death.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Oppenheimer is the man! He always denounces corruption, injustice, impunity and all the other ills of Latin America! He's one of the good guys!

Btw, if you want to contact Oppenhimer, he chats live with readers every Thursday at 2 pm on MiamiHerald.com, which means he's on right now!

Posted on February 26, 2009


Not my cup of tea. Gimme Noam Chomsky any time:))

Posted on February 26, 2009


colombians are the bloody best. i have so many many wealthy friends...they're great folks, love em, party with them, live with them...but they are fuckin blind to their own blindness.

back about 96-97, when the entire economy tanked, bankruptsies were rampant, joblessness was at an all time high, businesses closed like shutters at the end of the day, coltejer collapsed...the whole damn country was 'tits up'. so many of my old friends lost their businesses and homes. it was a nightmare. the bright side of that, was that everyone =was in it together. the rich, the poor, they were all hungry. many found themselves in the street. it was like the usa in the 30's. real scarry. what did we do? we all got together, campesinos, workers, land owners, business men...and we hooked up together...we'ld go to fincas the rich and the poor. we'ld have huge bonfires, people with their children would camp out, we'ld stay there for days. everybody on an even playing field. we'ld sit around the fire and share the hardship that we all shared...that was crippling the countryl. one would donate a chicken, other's produce from their gardens, occassionally a pig. everyone shared. i tell you, it was the best two years colombia has experienced in the last one hundred.

people got to know each other. apologies were voiced, commonality was shared, hearts were laid bare. families who had been priviledged for countless generations, were washed out. they got to know their major domos and their families and the other workers for the first time. really know them. sit and cry, drink, eat, sleep pray together. one hell of an experience. i felt priviledged as a foreigner to be right in the heart of the experience. me, my dogs and my two chickens ate nothing but potatoes for two months straight. i mean nothing but...and they were a gift from a neighbor whom i helped with his building and gardenering. that's exactly what he and his wife and kids ate too.

now, the economy has much recovered...to say the least...and the walls have gone back up. but once one tastes honey, well...that's the beginning of the end. there's better days a comin.

d

Posted on February 26, 2009


"Despite the crisis, the US is a giant in development terms- even in comparison to Brazil it is in an entirely different category, orders of magnitude beyond"

I don't know about that. I've seen pics of Sao Paolo that make most large US cities look like Smallville. Rio, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Fortaleza, Recife, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, etc. are also very impressive. Nada que envidiarle a EEUU. Much better weather too.

Posted on February 26, 2009


simon...another thing brazil has....some of the biggest, greediest pricks on this planet. they have scam running down to a fine art. i'll never go back.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Yes, it is the country with the greatest gap between rich and poor on Earth.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Kazakhstan is a very beautiful country and to judge it based on 'Borat' is as ridiculous as judging Colombia from 'Collateral Damage' or 'Clear and Present Danger'!

Posted on February 26, 2009


I wasn't referring to Brasil's natural beauty, but it's very modern cities.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=549010

Posted on February 26, 2009


http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=251315

Posted on February 26, 2009


gato

Thank you for your very informative and intelligent reply. I agree completely with your comparison of Canada being more apt, I was thinking of Australia as a better comparison, though perhaps you can compare the United States on a more historical study than its present position.

I don't agree with what you propose as the reasons for this chasm though. You do mention the power of the elites being centralized in an incredibly small number of families which is the main point of what I think. I believe more in the grand forces and the power that it wields.

What is more interesting than this is what has not been mentioned yet. The racial factor. Look at Latin America and of course this elite is white. In Brazil and Colombia the majority is not white. In Canada and Australia the majority are white. Look at how Australia and Canada treated and treat their indigeniuos people, not good. And sure Brazil and Colombia has treated its native people very badly in pursuit of development. But Canada and Australia remain predominantly white whilst both Brazil and Colombia are not. The view of these elites of the majority of their populations is I would argue negative. If Canada and Australia were in the same position I'm sure their elites would be just as ugly.

What I am saying is that Brazil and Colombia are poor because the elites look at their populations and don't want them approaching anything at all near educated or developed.
They don't give a fuck for them.

Posted on February 26, 2009


dwmte7

Colombia sounds good like you write it! But I am saddended by your view of Brazil. Its not true. I hope you find out.

Siempre nordeste meu amigo, e siempre nordestinos!

The best.

Posted on February 26, 2009


brother, i spent 35 years of my life travelling and working all over the world. trust me, i have one hell of a memory of rio. it's not worth telling, but it's bad enough to keep me from ever going there again.

when i ended up making trails around the globe, i ended up in colombia. and she's good enough for me. i stand up for her, i defend her, i love her and live to see her grow into the new world order as a 'super star' shining example.

d

Posted on February 26, 2009


dwmte7

RIO! RIO! RIO!!! Forget Rio! Its not Brazil, its no good!

That cristo looks down on a city that is 100 times faster than Cartagena, has 100 times the sin of Cartagena and 100 times the scams of Cartagena. It makes Cartagena look like a village full of hicks. Its a unique place, the locals (Cariocas) are interested in one thing, there is no other city in the World where the people think the same. And they want to get the money for that life which dosen't involve working 9 to 5.

When you feel that samba beating up through the ground of Lapa and when the next day comes and you can still feel it though the music has stopped you are close to feeling the African soul of Brazil, but in Rio nothing more.

The real Brazil is the northeast, on the coast and inland. Go to Joao Pessoa, Recife, Sao Luis, Teresina, visit the beaches of Ceara and Alagoas, go inland to the Sertao and eat bouchada de bode and take in Juazeiro do Norte. Keep going west.

I've said this before on this board.

But dwmte7 I IMPLORE YOU!!!

NORDESTE DO BRASIL

e que mais, minais, amazonas e mais!

Posted on February 26, 2009


i possess no doubt that brazil has seduced you with her wonderous culture and charms.

now, i'm too old to stake out new horizons. it will be enough for me to see mother colombia come into her own. blossom and flourish. see her chicks, well fed, educated, employed, clothed,housed and disease free. this is my dream. that to a man and woman, colombia steps to the forefront of the world, under humane, compassionate leadership,and demonstrates what wonders are possible, when all move forward and upwards together.

she has the capacity and the people.....now all she needs is to do it in unison. one body colombia, together,united not just hollering "COLOMBIA" in the streets, but on a global scale, demonstrating to the world, what can be done, when done together.

d

Posted on February 26, 2009


dwmte your vision would DESTROY Colombia as a nation.

Colombia USED to be like that, ruled by a small cadre of inbred morons with the sanction of a corrupt religious institution. It has changed a lot in the past couple generations, and will continue to go forward.

But make no mistake, there is no real progress without winners AND losers. Everybody can't be a winner. Nature just wasn't designed that way. In order for one person to eat well, another has to starve.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Colombia is poor because of corruption,bureaurocracy,nepotism,vested interests and restrictive practices.And you know what?We gringos are not going to change anything,so sit back ,live your lives and enjoy the sunshine.

Posted on February 26, 2009


good brother, i couldn't disagree more. who could possibly want to fill their plate, knowing that some one else HAD to die/starve? and i made no inference that the guidance be in the hands of the long line of "inbred morons" you referenced.

it needs be no more than TRULY democratic, that is enough. education must be for all, not just the elite. food, clothing, shelter and medical attention for all, not just the elite. to disagree with that is to foster a stratified society that gives only to those priviledged few at the top. and that's exactly what exists now.

ive lived in colombia twenty years and know full well how its stratisfied and how distribution works. for colombia to cease being nothing more than one more third world country...all that must change. if not now, some day. preferrably sooner than later.

and londoner, if you want to call colombia home, participation is a requisite. one can't simply sit back and say, business as usual. because, 'business as usual' is not good enough. we can and should work for and expect more.

dw

Posted on February 26, 2009


A combination of factors:

- Spanish colonization: the wave of spaniards that colonized Colombia, their loyalty to the spanish crown followed by....
- The legend of riches: Spaniards plundered the land looking for gold
- Catholicism
- Racism
- Classism
- Corruption

Colombians must begin to believe in ourselves as a nation before we can take the next step.

Posted on February 26, 2009


"Thank you for your very informative and intelligent reply. I agree completely with your comparison of Canada being more apt, I was thinking of Australia as a better comparison, though perhaps you can compare the United States on a more historical study than its present position.

I don't agree with what you propose as the reasons for this chasm though. You do mention the power of the elites being centralized in an incredibly small number of families which is the main point of what I think. I believe more in the grand forces and the power that it wields.

What is more interesting than this is what has not been mentioned yet. The racial factor. Look at Latin America and of course this elite is white. In Brazil and Colombia the majority is not white. In Canada and Australia the majority are white. Look at how Australia and Canada treated and treat their indigeniuos people, not good. And sure Brazil and Colombia has treated its native people very badly in pursuit of development. But Canada and Australia remain predominantly white whilst both Brazil and Colombia are not. The view of these elites of the majority of their populations is I would argue negative. If Canada and Australia were in the same position I'm sure their elites would be just as ugly.

What I am saying is that Brazil and Colombia are poor because the elites look at their populations and don't want them approaching anything at all near educated or developed.
They don't give a fuck for them."

tropicalshirt i have to agree with you on that one, an example for that is South Africa, the white live in the first world while the blacks live in Africa of course...

Posted on February 26, 2009


but then again why is Argentina not rich? or Uruguay? or Costa Rica? perhaps we should talk about some countries in Europe too, Croatia anyone? i mean these are white countries administrated by white people but they are poor too

Posted on February 26, 2009


"What held it back? The freaking terrorists...once the three million displaced are no longer a major social and government issue...this place going to take off for the stars...knowing history just keeps you from repeating it...it doesn't mean it is completely culpable for the present."

having 3 million displaced from their land, and the unhemployment is about 3 million people, that make me wonder what will happen if all that people could go back to their land and farm it? i mean unhemployment down to 1% and the poor strato 1 barrios which are 99% displaced would desapear, i could say that Colombia would be a different thing.

azunoman you got it right!

Posted on February 26, 2009


"Spanish colonization: the wave of spaniards that colonized Colombia, their loyalty to the spanish crown followed by....
- The legend of riches: Spaniards plundered the land looking for gold
- Catholicism
- Racism
- Classism
- Corruption"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How the hell is 'Spanish colonization' or 'Catholicism' a factor? As if the English puritans who colonized North America were a bunch of saints!

Posted on February 26, 2009


How do you know, were they given a literacy test?

Posted on February 26, 2009


"85% of the of those first coming over from merry old England could read and write"

I'd like to see some documentation to back that one up, doubt much more than that percentage can do so today.

Posted on February 26, 2009


"Why Colombia is poor"
It??s very simple and we not even need to go into ideologies to find out why Colombia is poor.
Colombia is poor because they have the most corrupted and Greeted politicians and they do not care about the rest of Colombia.
If they have a chance they would sell the whole country just to make some extra bucks and at the expense of the misery of the rest.
Colombia is poor because they practice the very same principles that the bank CEOs in states have been doing in the past years.

Posted on February 26, 2009


I agree with Monpirri!

Posted on February 26, 2009


Colombia is so wealthy but the wealth is not distributed for all. The corrupted politicians and many of them are from the big cities in Colombia, they love to take care of themselves and screw the rest!
Colombia needs freedom from dominating religion
Colombia needs to create more jobs
Colombia needs a president like berraco Obama!

Posted on February 26, 2009


Le envié un mail con una pregunta a un amigo colombiano,
que radica en los EE.UU. ¿Por qué los colombianos somos pobres?

Respuesta de mi amigo que vive en EE.UU.:


Hey viejo man, cómo se ve que los árboles no te dejan ver el bosque.
Cómo puedes llamarte pobre, cuando eres capaz de pagar por un galón de
gasolina más del triple de lo que pago yo.

Cuando te das el lujo de pagar tarifas de electricidad, de teléfono y
celular un 80% más caras de lo que me cuestan a mí.

Pagar comisiones por servicios bancarios y tarjetas de crédito del
triple de lo que aquí nos cuestan, o cuando por un AUTO que a mi me
cuesta 2,000 dólares tú puedes pagar por el mismo el equivalente a
20,000 dólares. Porque tú sí puedes darte el gusto de regalarle
$18,000 dólares al gobierno y nosotros no.

No joda, NO TE ENTIENDO!

Nosotros somos pobres, los habitantes de La Florida. Por eso el
Gobierno Estatal, teniendo en cuenta nuestra precaria situación
financiera, nos cobra sólo el 2% de IVA (hay otro 4% que es Federal;
total = 6%) Y no 16% como a ustedes los ricos que viven en COLOMBIA.

Además, son ustedes los que tienen 'Impuestos de Lujo' como son los
impuestos por gasolina y gas, alcohol, cigarros, cigarrillos, cerveza,
vinos, etc. Que alcanza hasta el 320% del valor original, y los otros
como :

GANANCIAS (impuesto sobre las utilidades y sueldos), Impuesto
sobre automóviles nuevos, IMPUESTO A LOS BIENES PERSONALES (impuesto a los bienes de las empresas), Impuesto por uso de automóvil. Y dichoso que todavía te das el lujo de pagar un 16% de IVA por estos impuestos, además de todos los tramites y pagos nacionales y municipales.

Porque si ustedes no fueran ricos, ¿qué sentido tendría tener unos impuestos
de ese calibre? ¿POBRES?, ¿de dónde? Un país que es capaz de cobrar el
IMPUESTO A LAS GANANCIAS Y A LOS BIENES PERSONALES (mediante anticipos) POR ADELANTADO como COLOMBIA necesariamente tiene que nadar en la abundancia, porque considera que los negocios de la nación y de todos sus habitantes siempre tendrán ganancias a pesar de saqueos y asaltos, mordidas, terremotos, sequía, invierno, corrupción, saqueo fiscal e inundaciones y por supuesto de seguro que todos deben de ganar muchísimo.

Los pobres somos nosotros los que vivimos en USA que NO pagamos
Impuesto sobre la Renta si ganamos menos de $3,000 dólares al mes POR
PERSONA (más o menos $ 6.000.000.- pesos colombianos). Y allí pagan
guardias privados en bancos, condominios, municipales, etc. mientras
que nosotros nos conformamos con la pública. Allí hasta envían a los
hijos a colegios privados y mira si seremos pobres aquí en EE.UU., que
las escuelas publicas te prestan los libros de estudio previendo que
no tienes con qué comprarlos.

A veces me asombra la riqueza de los colombianos que piden un préstamo
cualquiera, y son capaces de pagar 18% anual de intereses, como
mínimo.

¡¡¡ ESO ES SER RICO!!!

No como aquí, que apenas llegamos al 8% (generalmente 7.8%),
justamente porque NO estamos en condiciones de pagar más.

Supongo que, como todo rico, tienes un AUTO y que estás pagando un 8 o
10% anual de seguro; si te sirve de información, yo pago sólo $345
dólares por año. Y como te sobra el dinero, tú si puedes efectuar pagos anuales de MAS DE $300.000 PESOS por concepto de eso que ustedes
IMPUESTO AL RODAMIENTO, mientras que acá nosotros no podemos darnos esos lujos y cuando mucho pagamos $15 dólares anuales por el STICKER sin importar qué modelo de auto manejes, pero claro, eso es para gente apretada de recursos que no puede erogar los enormes flujos que
ustedes los colombianos manejan.

Saca la cuenta. ¿Quién es el rico, y quién el pobre? Por ultimo, más
del 20% de la población económicamente activa en COLOMBIA NO TRABAJA , aunque el DANE diga otra cosa, porque le llama trabajo a los
vendedores ambulantes y a los que 'ensucian' los vidrios en los semáforos.

Aquí, en cambio, sólo hay un 4% en la misma situación. ¿No te parece
que el vivir sin trabajar es un lujo que sólo los ricos se pueden dar?
Vamos hermano, te quedaste en COLOMBIA porque eres RICO. Son los
pobres como yo los que nos vinimos a probar suerte a otros lados.

Me contaron también que a los funcionarios oficiales les paga el pueblo un MONTON de sueldo. Sin contar coimas, etc... Qué envidia ¡¡ESO
SÍ ES VIVIR EN LA RIQUEZA!!

Bueno viejo man te mando un abrazo y ahí luego me cuentas cómo les va
con el nuevo presupuesto y las nuevas elecciones lo que sí es seguro
es que les aumentaran más los impuestos. Pero no te preocupes, que la
inflación te los va a diluir. Pero bueno eso es lo de menos cuando se
tiene la plata para pagarlos.


Además eso es lo que hay que pagar por vivir en el mejor lugar del
mundo y tercero donde la gente se siente más feliz en el planeta.


Atentamente:

Tú pobre amigo inmigrante.

Posted on February 26, 2009


How the hell is 'Spanish colonization' or 'Catholicism' a factor? As if the English puritans who colonized North America were a bunch of saints! -- Simon

No Simon, they weren't, but ruthless as though the brits and the french were the spaniards and the portuguese take the cake on cruelty toward the very people they colonized. Do you know about the encomienda system whereby the natives were forced to work as slaves? Do you realize the Incas were used to mine minerals that would be shipped off to Spain? It was the system of land tenure and certificados de blancura that gave birth to the white aristocracy that runs most Latin American nations.

How is catholicism a factor? Do you really want to delve into history? From the time of the inquisition catholicism became a religion that believed in forced conversion of heretics. Do you know about the speeches of requerimiento (a speech that required the listener to submit to the authority of the spanish crown and to catholicism so they would be bludgeoned to death instead of being burnt). Do you know how atahualpa was killed? Have you read the writings of Bartolome de las casas (first catholic priest ordained in the "new world" and an outspoken advocate for the indians).

I am not saying that catholicism per se is a bad religion (there is no such thing). It is the way it has been carried out and disseminated that leaves a lot to be desired.

Just because the english were ruthless it doesn't absolve the spanish of their wrong doings.

BTW, I am colombian and my paternal granfather was from Cordoba Spain. I have spanish blood coarsing through my veins, but I still think the particular wave of spaniards that conquered Colombia were a wave of magnificent bastards. Countries like Uruguay were colonized by a latter wave of spanish and italian anarchists, and lo and behold, it's one of the most stable countries in the region. (we can get into the stories of forced "blanqueamiento" of Uruguay and Sarmiento's Argentina but I think that would be a different topic).

Food for thought Simoncito. BTW, have you been to Spain? I have and I tell you, they aint' got much love for Sudacas over there.

Posted on February 26, 2009


"spaniards and the portuguese take the cake on cruelty toward the very people they colonized. Do you know about the encomienda system whereby the natives were forced to work as slaves?"

As horrible as slavery is, at least they allowed the natives to live. The English flat out carried out genocide against them!

Y no me sorprende para nada que sea Colombiano....eso de pordebajear lo criollo...tipico Colombiano!

Posted on February 26, 2009


Explicame por favor como es que estoy "pordebajeando" a lo criollo. Ahora resulta que los españoles son criollos?

Si algo, estoy enfatianzando los capitulos mas "malucos" de nuestra historia. Solo analizando nuestro pasado podemos entender nuestro presente... no podemos seguir arrastrando las cadenas de un legado obsoleto.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Uno jamas escucha un Estadounidense hablar mal de sus colonizadores Ingleses. Pero por que sera que los Colombianos acomplejados se la pasan achacandole sus defectos a los Espanoles? Es hora que asuman sus propias responsabilidades por la condicion del pais y que dejen de culpar a los demas!

Posted on February 26, 2009


I could never understand why Cristobal Colón is worshipped here in the Americas as a hero. Talk to many Indios from latin America and he's not the Hero he is portrayed to be, far from it! Bet a lot of Indigenous in the Americas wish he never set sail for what followed after he landed in their homelands.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Yo no estoy achacandole nada a nadie. Si relees mi parrafo, veras que dije que solo analizando nuestro pasado podemos entender nuestro presente... y labrar un mejor futuro.

Porque tan peleon conmigo? Solo estoy expresando mi punto de vista.

Posted on February 26, 2009


I wish I was young and idealistic and thought I could change things for the better in Colombia.But the truth is we gringos can,t change anything ,so best keep your head down below the parapet.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Ain,t no faster way to the cemetery than a gringo coming to Colombia and advocating political change.

Posted on February 26, 2009


Londoner says on Feb 27, 2009, 02:28 (today): flag

Ain,t no faster way to the cemetery than a gringo coming to Colombia and advocating political change.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Or in other countries in the Americas as well. Recall the Murdered Catholic Nuns, priests in Guatamala, El Salvador and most recently in Brazil where Nun/Activist Dorothy Stang was shot between the eyes a couple years ago. Best to keep your Political leanings to yourself and God when traveling abroad,,,

Posted on February 26, 2009


brother simon....WRONG! the blacks were freed early on because the crown and the church felt that they had an endless supply of indigenous to 'dispose' of. in the first 100 years of colonization....a paltry 50,000,000 indigenous went to the wall. that hardly qualifies as 'letting the indians live'.

as stated above, the spaniards, portuguese and french were some real mean modofoques.
d

Posted on February 26, 2009


There was recently a book about how the terrain had everything to do with success. That in North America the terrain allowed for the harvest of crops that could be regrown year after year. Whereas in Central and South America the terrain does not allow for this kind of harvesting.

I never read the book but the theory (which is much more detailed than I tried to lay out) seemed interesting.

Posted on February 26, 2009


"Uno jamas escucha un Estadounidense hablar mal de sus colonizadores Ingleses. Pero por que sera que los Colombianos acomplejados se la pasan achacandole sus defectos a los Espanoles? Es hora que asuman sus propias responsabilidades por la condicion del pais y que dejen de culpar a los demas!"

i agree 100% with you Simon, i actually made an speech about it on my college

Posted on February 26, 2009


Nah casa, I think you just got suckered :)

Posted on February 26, 2009


"There was recently a book about how the terrain had everything to do with success. That in North America the terrain allowed for the harvest of crops that could be regrown year after year. Whereas in Central and South America the terrain does not allow for this kind of harvesting. "

Now that's complete BS if I ever read any! The terrain in Colombia, Brasil, etc is blessed. You can grow just about anything in our tropical lands of varying altitudes which aren't frozen half of the year like in the north.

Posted on February 26, 2009


OK that is just retarded and unbelievable.

Simon, wherever you are you are in ONE BIG BUBBLE if you think Americans don't speak badly of the Puritans. Most of US are ashamed of them like you wouldn't believe, and ashamed of the awful things they believed and did, ashamed of the witch hunts, and disgusted by the way they treated the indigenous. You must be hanging with a VERY right wing crowd to say that. Man, I DARE you to say something positive about the Puritans anywhere in the Bronx, or about Columbus, OR even Washington or Jefferson for that matter. You'd be lucky to only get tarred and feathered!!!

Ojbarberena, that is just not true anymore, it might have been true 10 years ago when it first circulated. We've also seen it several times.

Dwmte, I'm not sure about democracy but what I really want to see in Colombia is a MERITOCRACY. Where ANYBODY in society IF they prove themselves worthy get all they need and want to actualize themselves to the highest level. And where the bottom segment of society literally starves and freezes to death. I want the punishment for failure to be death. THAT is the way nature intended it. We should not try to speed it up but we should also not interfere either.

I don't like the idea of poor people being denied opportunities either, I'd actually like to see it easier for the rich to lose everything, wait THATS WHATS ACTUALLY HAPPENING NOW!

As for the Spanish, there IS a difference. The fact is, the English and the Dutch were the most cruel in the New World, but they were also the most SUCCESSFUL. They were brutal and proud of it and did a real good job of conquering and subjugating. The French were the absolute worst at it, look what happened in Haiti. They had no sense of human nature whatsoever.

England was a SOLVENT and STABLE world power for a good few centuries, they are actually one of the worlds longest enduring world powers. The US is already losing its grip after not even a century.

The Spaniards around the time of Columbus were at or near the top of the ladder, but were so disogranized and airheaded with their insane preoccupation with religion and generally totally anti-pragmatic they managed to bankrupt themselves SEVEN TIMES within FIFTY YEARS. Which is why the Dutch got theirs in in the first place, they were the ones holding all the debt!! You need to know your world history a little better my little green friend!!

It is a reality that this cultural malaise has unfortunately migrated to Colombia, and kept it in stagnation or a low level of development for centuries. It is surely one of the big causes if not the main one. But the good news is that Colombia is rapidly throwing off the shackles of its past and embracing a new future. That's why Im here.

I just hope they don't go in too much for imitating the gringos. That would be like buying a passage on the Titanic right about now!!

Posted on February 26, 2009


makopp5, i agree with you hapiness more important then money, I think people in brasil are also high on the ranking of happy people!!
the people are different, but yes colombia is not an unhappy place to be! (understatement)

Posted on February 26, 2009