The All Whites Gala and scrambled eggs
Have you ever been to a white gala ball and watched the young men, dressed in black tuxedos and the girls in white gowns, waltzing around in each other’s arms and the lights are turned down low, so that all you can see are the girls? At times it looks like there are only girls in white who like whirling dervish steal the show for themselves.
On most of the Caribbean economic dance floor, only one dancer is visible, like the girls in white. The shadow economy can only be sensed but have no doubt, like the boys in black waltzing in the dark, the shadow economy is present at all times. It may be an inconvenient truth but remains an un-escapable reality.
Turning up the lights is an option, but the entire gala party is definitely over when the floodlights are suddenly flipped on.
About 21 months ago a leading politician of Curacao was about to turn on the floodlights. It cost him his life. His truth was irrefutable and the dramatic effects following his threats, irreversible.
Many of his political friends and family were totally lost and tried to undo the events, but broken eggs can never be put back together, scrambled eggs never unscramble.
Island nationalism put up borders and barriers and created a huge grey economy run by undocumented immigrants. The present meltdown of the Venezuelan economy has added dramatically to the growth of migration and illicit economy. Borders are easily penetrated by corruption, and trade barriers ignored by extensive rackets of bootleggers.
Political leaders and administrators catering only to the girls in white booked extremely little progress, after all, it takes two to tango. Any call for improvement of the economic dance can only be effective when both dancing partners are addressed.
Corruption has undercut the integrity of political offices and procrastination of implementation of laws and regulations caused vacuums. In the eyes of the public governmenthas became a joke and regulations a challenge to be eloped.
Reluctance to turn up the lights at the ball, even just a little bit, will keep at least one of the economic partners in the dark, invisible, unchangeable and untouchable.