I, Michael Hudson, John Perkins, and a few others have reported the multi-pronged looting of peoples by Western economic institutions, principally the big New York Banks with the aid of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Third World countries were and are looted by being inticed into development plans for electrification or some such purpose. The gullible and trusting governments are told that they can make their countries rich by taking out foreign loans to implement a Western-presented development plan, with the result being sufficient tax revenues from economic development to service the foreign loan. Seldom, if ever, does this happen. What happens is that the plan results in the country becoming indebted to the limit and beyond of its foreign currency earnings. When the country is unable to service the development loan, the creditors send the IMF to tell the indebted government that the IMF will protect the government’s credit rating by lending it the money to pay its bank creditors. However, the conditions are that the government take necessary austerity measures so that the government can repay the IMF. These measures are to curtail public services and the government sector, reduce public pensions, and sell national resources to foreigners.
- I’ve lived all over Latin America both on and off the gringo tourist trail and much prefer the latter. Why not live off the trail where the locals truly like Americans and thus where the “gringo advantage” is alive and well? That said, some expats(especially the new, fresh, green lightly traveled variety) just love tourist trail locations. That’s why today we list 10 good and positive reasons why some might prefer to live with other gringos “ON the tourist trail”.
-Some of the so called “expert” expat retirement mags and rags as well as expat living blogs now tout “up and coming” Colombia as the “next” Costa Rica. After hearing today’s rant, you’ll still want to visit the place but probably won’t want to live or invest there. However, with Sofia Vergara as Colombia’s unofficial cultural ambassador (with every lonely heat gringo convinced she’s the Colombian girl next door) you can bet the gringos will come, no matter what the underlying facts might be.
Dr. Haché is a graduate from the Quebec Institute of Naturopathy and completed his studies in Homeopathy. John graduated from Quebec’s leading school of Herbology where he became a member of the Quebec Association of Phytotherapists . Other training included Microscopy and Cryotechnology and stem cell research with Cryotech Labs. He received his Doctorate in Natural Medicine is a registered member of the World Organization of Natural Medicine Practitioners (WONMP). After founding two Naturopathic Schools, John continues to lecture on the principles and application of Homotoxicology, Homeopathy and Naturopathy throughout Canada for different professional organizations. Since 2000, John has lectured extensively throughout Europe and North America on the use of Interactive Neuro Stimulation as well as instructing for Neurotherapy and Biofeedback Certification Board and is currently President of the Biofeedback Association of North America.
-Some Expat auto owners weigh in with amusing stories describing what happens when Latin cops tried to shake them down for dough.
BTW: the car/vehicle paperwork shakedown situation is common around Christmas time (when most Latins are beyond dead broke).
-Latin cops love bribes (mordida). But they love free gifts too. That why long term Expats sometimes tuck certain special cheap giveaway items in their cars just to hand to cops pressuring for handouts. In the event you get pulled over, some key cheap items can work like a charm!
-In every Latin country there is a small group of 20 to 50 very wealthy “old money” families that own huge tracts of land along with many of the basic industries. Their last names and are well known to the rest of the working population- who generally revere them like minor royals. Often their snotty kids are unruly, abusive jerks. Even so, cops try to maintain a “hands off” policy. It’s sort of their Latin version of our “Gringo Advantage”…. though thankfully, few of us gringos come off like them in the pretentious jerk department.
-The parking situation in Latin America can be complicated. Today we compare Latin parking options to what you are used to up in Hartford and Cleveland. Some of what you are about to hear will sound a bit nutty, but that’s life in Latin America.
In the U.S., corn is our big crop: 94 million acres farmed in 2012. It’s followed by soybeans (76 million acres) and wheat (49 million acres). There’s also the 55 million acres used to grow hay for livestock. And keep in mind that the majority of this corn is being used to feed animals; the remainder is used to manufacture starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage and industrial alcohols, and ethanol. We also export up to 20 percent of the corn we produce. The soybeans we use for animal feed, to make hydrogenated vegetable oil, or export up to 40 percent. Wheat we use for flour, but the amount we grow in this country has decreased 30 percent since 1981 because of the financial incentives for farmers to grow corn; we also export up to 50 percent of the wheat still produced. Contrast this with the 4 million acres used for vegetables and 5 million acres covered with orchards. And the tiny 572,000 acres used to grow sweet corn. The kind of corn you actually eat. The kind of corn actually grown to be real food for people. Read
No, neither the Hebrew prophet Amos nor Priam’s daughter Cassandra inspires these thoughts, but the actual condition, ideological/psychological, of the contemporary American mindset, and its material foundations, an overly-ripened stage of capitalist development needing a constant infusion of power abroad, inner certitude at home, to maintain an acceptable rate of economic growth and the conviction that its military strength is sufficiently intimidating and in evidence as to provide for the unilateral determination of the global structure after its own wishes and image. Nothing short of that would satisfy, a nation running on (moral) empty, fear-ridden in extremis, unwilling and unable to adapt to the prevailing realities: its own deeds of commission, the principal war-maker, intervener, cause of human suffering, since World War II, which has in turn stimulated dislocations and engendered resistance, and the interrelated historical-political dynamics, partly in response, partly a function of independent industrial, technological, and scientific forces unstoppable as previously underdeveloped, exploited, countries, realizing their own potential and acting on it, demand a place for themselves and their people at the World Table. The US is no longer the sole determiner—if in fact it ever was, taking into account the incipient thirst for freedom of the persecuted
When US President Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu met the other day in Washington they tried to get along fairly well. The fundamental conflict between the US superpower and its political client state was watered down and rhetorically whitewashed. Obama has put up a brave front because he thinks of the day after leaving the White House and the election chances of Hillary Clinton. And Netanyahu was in great shape because he got all his wish fulfilled. A 50 % increase in subsidies, plus the most sophisticated warplanes in order to test them on the Palestinians and the neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Syria or Iran. For a foreign observer of US foreign policy, it’s elusive that a sassy leader of a teensy-weensy country who behaves like a political madman can push a US President around and gets amply rewarded for his sass. Just before Netanyahu set off for the US, his media adviser Ran Baratz called the President a “modern-day anti-Semite” and about Secretary of State John Kerry he wrote that he has the “intellectual acuity of a 12-year-old”. The political misery of the progressive institutions was demonstrated by the Centre for American Progress. The president
Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective.
– A conference on the Black radical tradition is scheduled for January 8th through 10th at Philadelphia’s Temple University. Dr. Anthony Monteiro, who was until recently a professor of African American Studies at Temple, is one of the conference organizers. Dr. Monteiro says it’s time for the Black liberation movement to get focused.
- Dr. Gerald Horne, the professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, is one of the most prolific Black scholars of modern times. Much of his recent work has focused on the origins of the United States as a bulwark of slavery and racist reaction. Dr. Horne’s news book is titled, “Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic.” Horne sees his book as an update on the late, great C.L.R. James’s 1938 classic, “The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution.”
- Two Black farmers organizations, one in the U.S. Deep South, the other in Central America, have been awarded the 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize. But, what is food sovereignty? We asked Beverly Bell, coordinator of Other Worlds and an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, in Washington.
-Today we discuss the low key artistry of certain very gifted Latins. Many are old timers carrying the final artistic torch. They often seem to be a world apart from us - living as they did in the 1960’s while staunchly preserving their (soon to be lost) art or craft. Today we highlight one particular guy who makes some of the finest custom 100% hand-built electric guitars and wood instruments in the world. When he gets an order, he does all of the woodcraft artistry himself then has a crack young 20 something electronics expert do the pickups and hot wiring.
-If your own expat business ideas involve exporting of rainforest hardwood or hardwood products, be aware that new, stiff, USA and European customs regulations on most all organic products can be so stifling as to make such efforts impossible to accomplish. Today we present an example…
-As more and cheaper Chinese made products enter Latin America, the locals down here are slowly forsaking their own fine local furniture and handicrafts for cheap particleboard junk. Sure it can look decent when new but also might falls apart in record time … sound familiar?
-The trouble with Latin American road construction and why no one down here seems to understand the basics of the problem…
-When first-world franchises first arrive in Latin America, they almost always succeed (the “Gringo Advantage” rides again). However, some of the first-world habits and customs that often tag along for the ride never really catch on down here, yet they still remain as anomalies. When something simple to us doesn’t catch on it’s generally because of a cultural disparity. Here’s a good example…
-In your quest in becoming an Expat, are you searching for a Latin country with a very low-level of perceived government corruption- like maybe Ecuador? Is that detail on your wish list?
Today you’ll hear a few top level corruption stories from Ecuador that will truly surprise you (or not). So does all that mean Ecuador’s not a good choice for Expats? Not necessarily, and here’s why…
-Which Latin countries have the best and worst human rights records? Which countries have the most race and class discrimination?
Sure, they all have sub-par, rickety social safety nets of one kind or another, but most are corrupt horribly underfunded and terribly administered. That said, are there any social plans/programs for the sweaty masses that are half way decent? You’ll be surprised…
-More on the Arab and Muslim contingent in Latin America and why it would be very rare for an expat to even see a Muslim down here. (You’ll never hearthis stuff in the main stream media!!)