Luis Alberto Moreno's teetotum

The President of the IADB has advised Costa Rica to make a tax reform to raise taxes arguing that today the teetotum indicates "everyone gives".

Thursday, August 13, 2015


The use of the old fashioned game of a faceted spinner by the head of the hemispheric institution as example, deserves to have the whole story told: the person who spun the teetotum was the Costa Rican government, the same participant of the "game" who on their previous turn benefited from the teetotum when it landed showing "TAKE ALL". Luis Alberto Moreno is saying that the serious fiscal crisis which the country now finds itself in means that now everyone must contribute to its solution. That means aproving more taxes.

The lightness of the example used by the president of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) is offensive, especially for those who will have to work harder to pay more taxes, which is no game at all.

At the press conference in which Moreno spoke so happily about the game of chance deciding the future of the economy of a country, he was beside the president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, perhaps a fan of the teetotum, but not very fond of taking the advice from the chief of the IDB. The "EVERYONE GIVES" message could imply that the Costa Rican government employees should reduce their privileges, which Solis has already said it is not a priority.

Both Luises are civil servants, one national and one international. Both receive their salaries at the end of each month, no matter what the results of the economy which one leads and the other has to provide advice. Both in turn will retire and collect hefty stipends for life, whether the economies over which they had influcence during their terms go well or badly. The worst that can happen to them is not being re-elected. They will always have money in their pockets, because for them -like all their state official colleagues - it is an "acquired right" that the teetotum never says "GIVE ..." and that it always tells them to "TAKE ... ".

This is not the case for entrepreneurs in the real sector, those who produce wealth. They do not play the teetotum, but work all day, and often do not sleep - so that it is not luck the one deciding the future of their companies. And for those citizens who are not officials in the governments of the countries of Luis Alberto Moreno and Luis Guillermo Solis, but who instead have to depend on the success of the companies they work for in order to get a pay check every month, there are no "acquired privileges".

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