The Centro Unido de Detallistas--the local Retailers Union--is the so-called representative of small businesses in Puerto Rico. While moistly trumpeting how small businesses are "the heart of the economy" and how the so-called Union represents "families versus megacorporations", the bottom line is that the Detallistas are a throbbing cancer on the throat of local economic growth.
Let's begin with its "leadership," most of whom cut their teeth on business issues when Roosevelt--Teddy Roosevelt--was in power. Cursed with an affliction caused by greed and self-serving hindbrains, known as "politics," the "leadership" of the Detallistas plays a game of Incontinent Musical Chairs: whenever one goes deaf, the president is changed. New blood, like at a vampire barbecue, is on the table, not in the chairs.
Then there's the sheer volume of their "woe is me" whine, coupled with a deep and abiding sense of total vulnerability to any outside force, be it rain, taxes or intelligence. The combination creates a constant stream of variations of their basic howl: "Protect me!" To listen to this flow of addle-pated diarrhea is to get the sense that the Detallistas see small businesses as soap bubbles in the hands of spastic cretins. As the Spanish proverb says: Ladrón juzga por su condición. A thief judges others based on himself.
Add all this together as we review the Detallistas' own take on current legislation pending in the Senate. On page 40 of their September 2005 issue--a magazine as visually appealing as vomit on a doily--is a list of bills submitted and the position the Detallistas squats on, along with their REAL position:
Senate Bill #458: To establish a wage subsidy of up to $2.75 an hour for new microbusinesses established in Urban Centers (downtown areas the C.U.D. screams about protecting.)
Detallistas Squat: "...study the issue to extend the subsidy to new businesses not located in Urban Centers."
REAL Detallistas Position: GIVE ME FREE MONEY! GIVE ME FREE MONEY! Rather than improve to compete, I will beg/plead/grovel/suck up/kiss ass, but GIVE ME FREE MONEY!
Senate Bill # 245: To allow private businesses to set up workshops and production centers, as well as hire convicts to do the work. [NOTE: The bill description implies that the hiring is to be done at very low or even "deferred" wages.]
Detallistas Squat: "The Centro Unido de Detallistas extended its congratulations to the legislators and approves of this bill, subject to our recommendations."
REAL Detallistas Position: GIVE ME SLAVES! GIVE ME SLAVES! Murderers and crack whores? Who cares! GIVE ME SLAVES!
Senate Bill 139: Extend the rest period granted to pregnant women.
Detallistas Squat: "The bill pretends to extend the rest period benefit based on theoretical expressions rather than evidence. It errs in equating the public and private sectors without considering economic factors, fund sources, business/industrial sector factors and, more so, the current fiscal reality of the Government and, by extension, our Country. The Centro Unido de Detallistas does not approve of this bill."
REAL Detallistas Squat: Free money? Let me at it! Prisoners as captive workers? Yeah, ba-bee! But extra rest for pregnant women? Uh, no, sorry, no can do. See, it's the government's fault. They screwed things up so, well, it's obvious we can't give our employees an extra 20 minutes, right? I mean, maybe pregnant women don't NEED extra rest. Where's the evidence? I mean, pregnant cows don't go around asking for extra rest, right? You gotta understand, these are workers and pregnant or not, they have to work. Family values? Hey, this is business! We're the heart and soul of the economy! If we don't produce, the country goes to pot! But while we're on the subject, the economy sucks, it might rain next week and I could use some free money and maybe a couple of them extra bodies to help me out at the store.
The Detallistas are a disgrace that gags the fullest expression of Our entrepreneurial power. They are Feebleminded Freeloaders. They are Fools. The sooner We are rid of them, the better.
The Jenius Has Spoken.