The calm before the storm...
Sure, there are corruption cases, economic woes, social disasters and political idiocies gallivanting across the Isle of Enchanment, but overall, We're in a lull. One of those cyclical downturns in Our media's over-reliance and obvious addiction to innuendo, confusion, anxiety and hysteria.
But unlike most other fallow periods, this one feels ominous. The sales tax debacle looms but two and a half weeks away. The impact of this single-digit number will hit with a delayed reaction and We, staggering already under incompetence and pessimism, will feel the punch some weeks later. And when We do, it'll rock Our little world.
Does it have to be that way? Of course not, but Our options are extremely limited:
1) Can We absorb the tax itself within Our finances? No. A 7% tax on most consumer goods (except food, medicines and most vehicles) will still hit Us in too many other areas to be easily absorbed. Take schoolbooks, already obscenely overpriced: add 7% to them and you have an average impact of around $25.00 more per child. Private school, of course. Those parents already pay twice for schooling, so let's squeeze them a little more, right?
2) Can Our businesses take this in stride and regulate prices? No. As noted before, costs for nearly every business in Puerto Rico will go up, because those who must handle the tax burden will pass on the cost of doing so to those who don't. So even if a business is exempt from collecting the tax (and thus dealing with its monthly hassle), that business will still have to raise prices or rates to cover their own payments to those who deal directly with the tax.
3) Will the government make good use of these monies? Hell no. Even if you ask a simpler question, one with a much lower standard, such as Can the government try to make good use of the tax monies?, the answer is still "Hell no." The tax monies are not collected for any other reason except to increase the power of the government to control the Island's plunge into a wrecked future. You want proof?
---The Electronic Lottery monies were to be directed to the department of education. Has the department improved at all, despite the 13-16 million "targeted for technology" dollars it has received for the past several years? No. In fact, We're losing Federal grants due to Our simian performance.
---The tollbooth fares are targeted for road repair and maintenance. Said tolls were raised almost 50% in the past few years, and yet, the overall condition of Our roads has been steadily downgraded by the Federal Department of Transportation, despite an influx of almost $30 million a year.
Now it is true that $45 million are not going to solve any or even major problems in education and roadways. But they are supposed to achieve some semblance of progress, because they were created and designed for a specific goal. In both cases, the stated goals are like the Moon and the programs are barely reaching higher than a latrine.
Given this level of incompetence and indifference, what makes anyone think that The Fools will take hundreds of millions of dollars and actually do something worthy with them? They might make a mistake once in a while and actually nail a good move, but overall, they are incapable--and unwilling--to do what's right.
Oh, sure, they might say they want to do what's right and, in fact, they are being honest. For in saying "I want to do what's right," The Fool is speaking a partial Truth, a half-lie, if you will. For the complete Fool phrase is "I want to do what's right for me."
"That's politics for you," I can hear some of you say. You're wrong. That's like having leprosy and saying "That's life." For like leprosy, this kind of politics is revolting, tortuous and...curable. In Our modern time, leprosy no longer casts a horrid shadow on Our lives, for it can be treated and eliminated. In the past, lepers were outcast, ostracized, sent away to live out their existence away from the sight of "Us decent folks."
If We aren't going to cure the leprosy in Our own politics, then I suggest We go back to what worked in the past and send away these lepers, these hell-bound plungers of Our Future, to keep them away from Us decent folks.
The Jenius Has Spoken.