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Expat Files – 09.11.15

-Bolivia is having all kinds of civil unrest. The steep 50% drop in state oil revenues in the past year has caused President Evo Morales to call a press conference asking the general population to officially tighten their belts. Yes, the public is being forced by necessity into doing that right now (like they needed his official proclamation, duh!) but you can bet that no government official will ever follow suit (yup, less 5 star hotels, champagne and caviar maybe?)

-People want to know why some Latin countries (Panama, Ecuador, Belize and El Salvador) use the US dollar as their official funny money. How do those Franklins affect local economies, and what about the dollar effects on the surrounding Latin countries who use their own homegrown funny money?

-With the Latin real estate bubble about ready to pop, it’s definitely a renter’s market. But fresh clueless gringos often don’t get in on the good deals. So then how can you get the best deal on rent? Today, frequent contributor Captain Mango tells us how he got his $650 a month rent sliced all the way down to $250 a month- a 60% reduction!!!

-A “boots on the ground” real estate and cost of living report from Medellin Colombia.

-Did you know that Colombia’s peso has crashed 27% against the dollar in the last year? It’s really causing havoc especially at the border towns. That means many gringo opportunities… but do look out for potholes!!

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Thyroid function threatened by bottled water containing lithium

Your total body weight is made up of nearly 60 percent water. Therefore, it’s important to hydrate yourself as water has many benefits for your body. In fact, pure water is an invaluable source for treating thyroid symptoms as it regulates body temperature, relieves dry skin, eliminates fatigue, boosts cognitive function, loosens hard stools, and aids in weight loss. Drinking …

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Expat Files – 08.23.15

-In Latin America, some countries like Colombia produce enough oil for their own use and have plenty to export as well. When the price of oil is high (like 2 years ago) government slugs, like pigs at the trough, expand and gorge on the extraordinary tax revenues, but boom times do end. So now that oil prices are in the crapper, Latin countries that produce oil like Colombia-with their very weak environmental laws- have found an easy but highly destructive way to increase those oil tax revenues again, by FRACKING!!!

-Did you know that a very recent study revealed that your average fat-assed deadbeat Costa Rican government employee took FIVE TIMES as many sick days in 2014 as did persons working real jobs in the private sector? Not only that, the report states that Costa Rican government pinheads make from 150 to 200 percent more than people working in equivalent private sector jobs. Sound Familiar? Yet another example of how retarded Latin Governments believe anything first-world is imminently desirable… no matter how ruinous, unknowingly copying every last disastrous first-world defect as well.

-More on those famous S.A. Corporations and Latin taxes

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Expat Files – 08.14.15

-Colombia is on the map as one of the latest, greatest retirement destinations- that’s according to nearly all of the popular retirement rags and blogs. But what most gringos and Expats don’t realize is that the country’s very heavily taxed business and manufacturing sector is forcing many medium and large companies to close or flee to more business friendly countries. Colombia now has a corporate tax structure with rates hovering around 75% and the country is rapidly de-industrializing.

– Gringo tipping anxiety in Latin America: a primer on restaurant bills/charges and common gringo tipping mistakes and false assumptions

-Ecuador’s socialist government is in an expensive growth spurt (some surprise, huh?) and now that tax revenues are way down (due to the big oil price slump) President Correa is preparing to substantially increase taxes on more productive sectors of society.

-S.A. corporations are alive and well in Latin America but much less than 5% of the population have one or even know anything about them or what they’re for…

-Here’s a stale, old Latin joke… but it’s true:

Pancho, “Hey Senor, where is the men’s room?”

Jose, “Anywhere you like.”

-CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL:

Follow the consult link on the main page at www.ExpatWisdom.com and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.

Study: When Human Consumption Slows, Planet Earth Can Heal – Lauren McCauley

Despite the oft-repeated claim that the recent decline in U.S. carbon emissions was due to the so-called ‘fracking boom,’ new research published Tuesday shows that it was the dramatic fall in consumption during the Great Recession that deserves credit for this drop. As nations grapple with the best strategy for decreasing carbon emissions ahead of the upcoming United Nations Framework …

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As Oil Money Flowed, Clinton Turned Back on Rights Abuses in Colombia: Report

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon in January, 2011. In her remarks, Clinton praised Colombia’s efforts in “reaching out to civil society to add their voices to a national conversation about human rights and labor rights.” (Photo: US State Department/flickr/cc) A new investigative look at the ties between big business interests in Colombia, former …

A Trip Behind the Labels of Your Ethical Cup of Coffee

After descending into Stumptown Coffee’s Seattle roastery, where bags of beans from different countries wait for their turn in the WWII-era roasting machine, we gather for the daily cupping: a sampling, by smell and taste, of coffee from five different farms. Today’s cupping features beans from farms in Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia. The production roaster, Jesse Hughey, describes the …

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Colombian Report on US Military’s Child Rapes Not Newsworthy to US News Outlets

An 800-page independent report commissioned by the US-friendly Colombian government and the radical left rebel group FARC found that US military soldiers and contractors had sexually abused at least 54 children in Colombia between 2003 and 2007 and, in all cases, the rapists were never punished–either in Colombia or stateside–due to American military personnel being immune from prosecution under diplomatic …

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Expat Files – 03.29.15

-When off the gringo tourist trail, one can’t help but notice the truly positive attitude Latin American doctors have toward not only their work, but their patients too. They actually seem to like the job (how refreshing is that?) In fact, any time you want to speak with a Latin doctor you need only show up at his/her office, hospital …

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Expat Files – 03.22.15

-Just like in the US, Latin governments are terribly corrupt… so the next duly (or unduly) elected chief thief nearly always finds the coffers empty. But no matter…. the next scumbag party chief thief in power does as every careless spendthrift government does and floats a new bond issue to cover the debt of the previous bond issue. Meanwhile, the …