Happy Holidays

Na Werki

I sent an envelope with Fed Ex on November 29th, paid Awg 147.51, and never heard a word from them.

My confidence in their system was so colossal, that I never bothered to track.

A week later I checked with the recipient, if my envelope arrived.

No, nada.

Over the next two weeks, I went on line to file in a formal complaint, called the 800 number, called Fed Ex in Aruba, but my package is still in Memphis, and why it is stuck there, is a mystery.

Earlier this year, I sent an envelope with UPS, to NY. For three weeks, until I followed up, the envelope lingered in the outgoing basket here on the island, and was never sent, I am not sure why.

Then the company never even offered any form of compensation of apology.

So I switched to Fed Ex.

I guess both companies are na werki.


The Informal Economy

One of my readers, Emiliano De Cuba, commented on a post, about being excessively taxed, in the following way: This will draw more individuals and businesses too into an informal economy where everyone will make a best effort to “get away” with not paying their “fair share”, and the government ends up NOT getting what it had budgeted for.

He is right, of course.

This column is not designed to ‘out’ anyone, but December is the month in which the informal economy is at its best.

Home industries of dessert, ayaka in the thousands, and many seasonal specialties are booming.

Take for example the popular flea markets, holiday bazaars and festivals.

Table after table of home-industries, cosmetics, jewelry, tee-shirts, handbags, salt, artisana, ornaments, desserts, popcorn, preserves and soap.

Some of the participants are well-established businesses that I believe run above board. Some are experimental startups and deserve a break, but will never get one, because the system here is rigged for survival of the fittest, and does not sweetly nurture and cajole entrepreneurs for their courage and determination.   

Of course once a year, if you hide a bit of income, I will leave you to your conscience, but in past years, the informal economy grabbed hold of our community, it is everywhere, in services and products, entrenched, and not going away.

I bet the informal GDP is in the billions.   


Wikipedia: An informal economy or grey economy is the part of any economy that is neither taxed nor monitored by any form of government.

Although the informal sector makes up a significant portion of the economies in developing countries, it is sometimes stigmatized as troublesome and unmanageable. However, the informal sector provides critical economic opportunities for the poor and has been expanding rapidly since the 60s.

Integrating the informal economy into the formal sector is an important policy challenge.

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December 24, 2019
Rona Coster