Temas Especiales

24 de Sep de 2020

Nacional

Trickle up effect and bus fever

But by the time the trickle reaches those who are facing foreclosure, or heading for the unemployment lines, the trickle will be too late.

But by the time the trickle reaches those who are facing foreclosure, or heading for the unemployment lines, the trickle will be too late.

The same trickle down effect is said to operate when big tax breaks are given to those in the highest income bracket. The problem is that those already earning a surplus are unlikely to rush out and spend their additional tax bonanza.

At the other end of the scale, those with low incomes who receive a raise, spend it on necessities. That is particularly true in Panama where, at last count, some 50 percent of the population is at the poverty level, some having to decide between shoes and food, electricity and food, transportation and food, education and food.

So even a few dollars more a month goes back into the system and, in spite of Newton’s discovery there is a trickle up. Tell that to Panama’s business community which was fighting against increases in the minimum wage. To pay their workers more would mean increasing the price of goods or reducing profit levels. As the latter is unlikely to happen, the fat cats shopping in the high end malls would end up paying more for their pleasures, another way of spreading the wealth.

DIABLOS ROJOS FEVER. All foreign nationals and Panamanians traveling out of the country must now be inoculated against yellow fever, a dreadful disease for which there is still no cure. But what can immunize the ordinary Panamanian citizen from the evils of our outdated American school buses, disguised as a transport system.

Yesterday, in the space of two hours I witnessed the results of three “accidents” involving Diablos Rojos. In each case the other vehicle sustained major damage. One accident on Via Espana, in Calidonia, blocked streets for blocks around, and in one location led to a chain reaction of collisions involving seven cars.

Daily car drivers have to drive with eyes all round their heads to avoid buses changing lanes with no signals, other than an occasional wave of the arm from the “pavo” standing on the step as the driver zooms into the sidewalk to pick up a passenger from a non-scheduled stop.

At night many buses drive with no lights. So what happened to the new vigilance by the transport police that was promised after the murderous bus fire that killed and maimed so many.

BEWARE GOUGERS. Panama has acquired a new dragon slayer in the form of columnist Phil Edmonston, who for years has taken on the automobile giants through his lemonaid books. Recently he helped consumers win a battle against General Motors, leading to a massive payout. Today, on page one, we carry a story of his first venture into uncovering gouging in Panama.

The gas pumps next?