Published On: Mon, Oct 30th, 2017

The Djinni is out of the flask

“WILLEMSTAD - The Minister of Economic Development Steven Martina wants to tackle illegal trade over the internet, especially on social media.”

Jacob Gelt DekkerYes, Minister, it is unfair to all those who do apply for permits and pay taxes, but aren’t you a little late?? You want to create level playing field and equal opportunity in an economy that has long been hijacked by subversion.

The Djinni is out of the flask, or the lamp, how do you get him back in?? Right, no way! Or with another cultural metaphor, aren’t you opening a can of worms? Once the creepy crawlers are out the can, it is nearly impossible to get them back in.

Over a period of about twenty to thirty years, the economy searched and found a way around the corrupt, non-functional and expensive governmental authority structure of permits and taxes. Today, at least 30% of the economy of the Caribbean islands functions in the shadow. Why does the Minister think he will be able to get them under regulation and control again???

The Minister may be the scion of a well-established family with great political influence, but is he showing realism??

I doubt it. A very large part of the shadow economy has no option to join the regular economy since it is financed by narco industry capital. Roemer, former Minister of infrastructure reported that at least 10,000 buildings were constructed on Curacao without a permit. The money laundered concerned with illegal construction can be estimated at 1-2 billion NA guilders.

The Minister does not have to his disposal the legal or administrative apparatus and a team of reliable executives to fight this economic bulwark of subversion. Navarro, the former Minister of Justice put it so succinctly, “every branch of government is infiltrated by organized crime.”

So, the Minister of Economic Development’s call is no more than a paper tiger. The only option he has for creating equal opportunity and level playing field is by doing away with governmental permits and taxes altogether, for everyone.

A new VAT-tax would be far more effective to guarantee the government of sufficient income.

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