in Local News

it wouldn’t be fair

so america’s real estate bubble has burst, the dollar’s getting its ass kicked, fear has gripped Wall street, Americans are drowning in debt, and tapping their retirement savings to remain solvent.

what to do? many are betting on Panama. dial up any travel website, or Pick up any magazine for retirees and you’ll find an article extolling the delights of this tropical paradise.

Michael Fernandez economic director of an industry group, says “there’s no bubble” in panama. he adds that it’s unlikely Panama will “experience a real-estate bust similar to the one that’s occurring in the U.S.”

there are over 200 high rise buildings bubbling up around Panama City. next to the panama canal, the construction industry is fastest growing part of the economy. an economy that government minister hector alexander says is growing at a healthy 9%.

with more and more Americans wanting to opt out of their costly downward spiral, panama, with its cheap labor, cheap health care, cheaper real estate, and cheap rum, is looking pretty sweet.

but if you’re a poor native this is not necessarily good news. Panama is slowly being invaded by wealthy foreigners. gas and food prices are rising. and as the majority get left behind Panama’s economic boom, anger and frustration builds.

recently i was asked to take part in a protest for workers rights. but it felt like they were way more committed to helping the poor than i am. some of these labor activists are getting beaten and shot by police.

hey, screw that. i care about the poor as much as the next man. but it wouldn’t be fair to my readers if their beloved cojito was gunned down in the street.

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11 Comments

  1. let's send all the "wealthy foreigners" home with all that bad money they are spending. i'm sure the economy will immediately blossom. no doubt the "poor" will not miss the extra jobs all those bad foreigners created with their bad money. certainly all those food and gas prices will immediately drop — since they have been driven up, worldwide, by those fucking wealthy foreigners in panama. glad to see marxism is alive and well now that you are majoring in economics and OKKE is back preaching his simplistic bullshit.

    ps who's getting paid to build those 200 high-rises? which high-paying jobs did they leave in order to let the evil capitalists exploit them?

  2. lol you're arguing with the wrong man marco.

    i think foreign investment is good. I've never preached against the evils of capitalism. nor did i opine about economics in this posting.

    i wrote an article. i noted that while the economy's booming, many natives are worse off. some of them can be found in the streets.

    how does that make me a marxist?

  3. you are kidding right? you clearly stated that all the growth and influx of foreigners is "not necessarily good news" because it is apparently "causing gas and food prices to rise." you have juxtaposed growth and the influx of foreigners and capital with the "majority" getting "left behind". that is classic marx at his best–the poor and the "workers" are continously ground down, exploited and "left behind" by the greedy capitalists.

    the influx of foreign investment capital has given panama the highest standard of living and the lowest level of unemployment in central america. it's government may be steeped in corruption (like every other government) and the rabiblancos may have appropriated a lot of unearned wealth by manipulating it, but that does not mean that the economic system itself creates the problems you point out… if you want to talk about destructive economics just ask a few of the hundreds of venezuelans escaping to panama how they like "workers rights" and "helping the poor" that suntracs is all in a huff about.

    i happen to know that you, in spite of your "derelict" facade help the poor in panama in a way that is much more effective than any demonstration for "worker's rights" ever will be.

    and yes, when you claim that captial investment and economic growth causes the "majority to get left behind" you are absolutely opining about economics and you are absolutely presenting a marxist argument.

  4. lol am i kidding? sure. i was kidding about getting invited to a protest march. i'm still in Arizona.

    here's what i wrote: "if you’re a poor native this (the economic boom) is not necessarily good news." – fact

    "Panama is slowly being invaded by wealthy foreigners," – fact

    "gas and food prices are rising." – fact

    "and as the majority get left behind Panama’s economic boom, anger and frustration builds." – fact

    4 statements of fact. you can argue that my facts are wrong. but you can't add "because it's apparently causing" to those statements to fit your marxist conspiracy.

    i made no argument, nor did i opine about why it appears the poor are being left behind. seriously, it's all in your head. :)

    but i'll tell ya what i'll do. i'll swap out the comma and throw in a period to make it clearer that i'm not arguing marxist theory.

  5. so spake the serious one. to come here and offer up comments like that, well, isn't is a bit like complaining that the economist or bloomberg isn't humorous enough?

  6. "Have/havenot" chasm is increasing–third world countries, second world, isn't it evident in first world? And aren't countries in tourist environs slightly better off than ones that never see the capital of wealthier prey? What about the beginnings of hopeful attempts in some areas in Central America(having just returned from Guatemala) at empowering native populations with business opportunities, with school support, microfinancing, etc. by tourists turned "almost" natives and wealthy natives by commitment. Just thought I would add fuel to the fire with an endless wick…..(seriously, cojito–a donkey?)

  7. a cute ass?, then OK–I am pretty liberal–guatemala needs a different forum….llamame si you are still en los estados unidos…hay mucho a contarlo(???)….

  8. doramefahsowhat

    u r absolutely right. it's taken me a while to realize that i don't belong here. as robert duvall said in assassination tango –"adios motherfucker!"

  9. Gosh…Colombia is looking more inviting all the time:). Too bad my dollar keeps getting crunched by their peso. It now costs me 40% more for a hotel room than it did 18 months ago in Colombia. I dont think it has anything to do with Marxism…or capitalism for that matter. Its called manipulated markets by the super rich and corporate industrical complex that benefits whichever way it goes. Their money busts down any borders or trade barriers while we "little guys" cant compete and have to follow the rules. And yes…they continue to force us to pay upwards of $4 per gallon of gas for the gas guzzling cars they FORCE us to buy:). Ohh…I'm getting a headache. I think its time to take a stroll down to Habanos Bar…