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Expat Files – 01.01.16

-Examples how the USA has been forcing Latin countries to make their residency processes more and more difficult for US citizens. More proof Uncle Sam doesn’t want the sheep to leave the barn before shearing time.

-More tricky ways the USA state department can block or rescind your passport without you even knowing about it (eventually you’ll find out).

-Reports on how Mexico is seeking a kind of lame immigration revenge against Donald Trump

-Today we discuss how millions of illegal aliens in the USA have a system to steal valid Social Security numbers to get jobs. The secondary effects this can actually cause the IRS to block YOUR passport and travel privileges… effectively ruining your life.

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Expat Files – 12.27.15

-More stories of failed charitable freebee attempts by first-world “do gooders” to save the poor…

-How “do gooders” team up with corporate monsters like Mcdonalds to use so-called acts of charity. The secondary effect is simply to program poor kids into becoming future “Happy Meals” consumers.

-More unique traditions that show up during Latin holiday season (most of these totally unknown by first-world people)

-Reports on two criminal Latin Ex-Presidents: one (from El Salvador) under house arrest for stealing $15 million plus and the other (from Panama) now holed up in Mijami awaiting extradition from the USA.

-Today we discuss the root causes of the massive Latin real estate bubble and why deceptive advertising looks as if it’s keeping parts of it somewhat afloat (but not for long)

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Expat Files – 12.25.15

-Latins celebrate the Christmas holidays for virtually months and months at a time. That said, if you yourself are obsessed about the Christmas season you’ll be in great company down here.

-Because Latins go all out for Christmas, most of them are dead broke before the big event even arrives which, oddly enough, is why the local cops are ever so vigilant as the day approaches. Cops love the holidays. “Tis the season” for the cops to squeeze extra cash out of unsuspecting drivers who are perpetually late and in a hurry to get somewhere (it’s a manana society you know). Today we talk about what to do if you get stopped or pulled over. Right off the bat there will be definite signs that indicate a bribe request is forthcoming. We’ll also explain a few tricks you can use to try to get out of it.

-Today I’ll describe my own very recent traffic stop- Christmas bribe/extortion story. Not to worry, it does have a somewhat happy ending. Listen now to hear how it took me a half hour to wiggle my way out of a sticky situation, when confronted with some crooked cops.

-In a late breaking email, a gringo listener (with a Colombian wife) describes some of the more common and clever new neighborhood extortion schemes that have been popping up in working class residential areas in Colombia, specifically in and around Barranquilla. Could it happen to me, you, or other Expats to? Should we be worried?
Listen and find out…

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Expat Files – 12.20.15

– Which Latin currencies are the strongest and most stable? Which are apparently good risks to hold, and why?

-More news on the very high interest rates Latin banks are offering in both US dollar funny money and local funny money accounts too.

-What Latin banks are conservative, strong and worth dealing with? How do clueless gringos search them out?

-How to take advantage of subtle local variations in currency exchange rates.

-Which Latin countries have the fastest growing fat-ass government bureaucracies, and why?

-A sad but true Latin holiday story..

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Expat Files – 12.13.15

– Examples how a corrupt congress and O’vomit are making it harder and harder for us citizens to become Expats. Examples how the US State Department is also making it more and more difficult for Expats to get residency in a foreign country. Time is running out on the options, the doors are slowly closing so you must get your plan B in motion now.

-Do you need a work permit to get a grunt service job in Latin America? Technically and officially yes. Today we discuss the “real’ Latin work permit situation (for gringos) as well and some workplace tips if when working for the man (off the books of course).

-Expats in Latin America can live nicely on a measly SS check- but only when they’re off the gringo tourist trail. That system works fine for now. But what will happen to those same Expats when the US dollar is finally taken down (as it must be) on the international economic stage? What will happen to Expats in Latin America who depend on a govt check? What happens to their dollar purchasing power?

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Expat Files – 12.11.15

– When a few Latins have small casual business meetings they often meet up in the local greasy spoon or McDonalds. However, when a first-world person is involved in a meeting suddenly the climate changes. The Latin contingent will do a ridiculous “upscale” shift to Starbucks or the I-Hop. Why might that be? Could it be the “gringo advantage” or I-Hop disadvantage?

– Authorities might close down an airport for a few hours during a crisis or emergency. Last week such a shutdown happened at Tucuman airport in Panama (Central America’s busiest airport). You’ll never guess why, not in a million years…

-More on the teetering Latin real estate house of cards. Concerning Central America: it looks like the coming collapse will start with Panama…

-Argentina’s got a new President, and the old thieving one (Kirchner) is being a very bad sport about turning over the reins. Meanwhile the currency is collapsing and many Airlines are no longer accepting their steadily devaluing peso.

-There are 100 reasons why Chicken bus drivers have the most dangerous jobs in Latin America.

-What happens to gringos and expats when they get issued parking tickets and/or moving violations? Naturally the transit fine system is on manana time too, even so, should you be worried?

-What happens when Latin businesses try to copy first world businesses?

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Expat Files – 12.06.15

-There are many thousands, of US government slugs posted in Latin America; contractors, embassy personal, military support, security people, clandestine operatives and more. Most of these govt drones seem to be clueless about the severe problems within the Big Brother police state they are part of. In fact , most are just putting in their time waiting it out for that fat pension (while they bury their classist snouts deep in the public trough). But what about those few enlightened govt. insiders living and working in Latin America who know the system can’t last and is about to implode? Today we have a story of one such guy…

-Vigilante groups: occasionally Latin citizens get so pissed off at their lazy ass cops, they the law into their own hands…

-We all know people stateside who live day to day on their credit cards and are absolutely terrible with money. Unfortunately, today Latin America today, credit card mania has arrived with a vengeance (within the middle classes and above) and now the whole individual and family society seems to be on the edge of insolvency.

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Expat Files – 12.04.15

– How to determine if gringos have invaded or permanently spoiled yours or some other expat’s Latin Paradise

-Bad first- world trends that are slowly forcing their way into Latin America

-When clueless gringos (joiners) find comfort in mush-brained, pin-headed organizations like Democrats or Republicans abroad, it’s time to pack your bags and find another more sane Latin Paradise. Why people like that listen to this show I’ll never know. I get emails form them so I know that some do!

-Guess what? Under-educated, brain-washed gringos on the tourist trail in Latin America(and their wired, AD kids) can now get their multiple flu vaccines and Ritalin down here too.

-Some tips and suggestions regarding medical tourism in Latin America

-New, fresh expats are known for gathering good info well before they come down, but some are stubborn and just don’t follow good advice. Often excessively frugal gringos (former backpackers and do-gooders?) come down and make really stupid, life-altering, mistakes. Today we have some stark examples…

-Latin Restaurants: the Good, the Bad, and the moderately Filthy

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Expat Files – 11.29.15

– Some things you never knew regarding Latin American beaches and beachfront properties…

-An update on the Latin real estate bubble. Looks like the first place it’s going to pop in is Panama so get ready to scout out the deals..

-A discussion of Latin Airport departure fees. There seems to be a frantic race by Latin government pin-heads to gouge foreign air travellers

-In Latin Countries virtually no one has clean municipal tap water. 50% of the population has water pressure only part of the day and another 15% of Latins have no running water in their houses at all(they bathe and pull water from a river or lake). So what does all that mean for Expats living down here expecting flawless first-world water delivery systems? Should we be worried?

For example: Panama is #5 in the world for total yearly rainfall (out of 200 countries) yet half the population doesn’t have 24/7 access to water. Why? It’s just normal Latin lazy-ass corrupt government again: what else is new?
-Is Costa Rica the next Greece? Sure looks like…

-Ecuador has decided it wants to be a Big Brother state just like the USA.
You won’t believe what kind tough of BB surveillance laws they have been passing lately. But can or will they be enforced?
Well… this is Latin America, and technology and cameras do need maintenance. And the “M” word is not yet in the Latin vocabulary. So at first maybe there’ll be a kind of crack down while everything works, but after some months it may just revert to Latin business as usual. We’ll see…

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Expat Files – 11.27.15

– Today we visit to a massive Latin lumberyard where once again the “gringo advantage” comes in very, very handy.

-After settling in Latin America you will have a lot of extra time on your hands, maybe it should be used for your unrealized dreams and hobbies. That said, if your hobbies involve woodworking, making custom gifts and/or arts and crafts you really need to pay attention to this segment.

-An email from a very sane regular listener who lists some good reasons why he has decided never to move to Latin America… followed by my somewhat sane rebuttal.

-More advice to Gringos bringing down their school age kids as well as to Expats who plan on having families in the future. Some parents might be wondering what will become of their expat kids as they grow to become adults in Latin America. What of them and their future generations? Surrounded by all that Latin mediocrity and superficiality, will those Expat kid’s brains eventually get watered down? Well, my crystal ball has a nice crack in it, but I’ll give that teaser question a shot……