Cautious Optimism / Fernando Dámaso

Photo: Rebeca

Small private businesses are beginning to multiply again throughout the city, including on my Tulipan Avenue, where just months ago they were wiped out. It’s like the weed that never dies, but in this case it is a good herb that should never die, and should become stronger and become leafy trees, with deep roots to resist the onslaught of the cyclone sure to come. Depending on what is available to each, some are better assembled than others, but all have the desire to succeed, something innate to human beings. To start over again.

We should look on their resurgence with optimism, but we cannot put too much confidence in their permanence. We have had several negative experiences (remember the operations Bird-on-a-Wire against artisans and artists in the Plaza of the Cathedral and Block-and-Hammer against the self-employed, and others, to cite just a few with quirky names). Reality obliges us to be cautious. Some people are already starting to blame them as responsible for the scarcity of products in the stores.

Analyzing the writings and talk about self-employment, its implementation was forced by the need to rescue the drowning, that, convinced of its advantages, we discover that on starting up a business, you must pay the state between 30% and 35% in taxes on earnings, spend (it’s estimated) up to 40% on inputs (which you must document with legal proof) and earn a profit of not more than 25% (on which you won’t get rich). On other words, the State appropriates 75%, in one way or another (expenses that include energy, inputs, etc. are all bought from the State, the only supplier, at the exorbitant established prices), and the self-employed person gets 25%. Not even the demonized savage capitalism works like this.

It’s as if someone who is drowning asks for help and their savior demands that the buy the rope and life jacket with which they will be rescued, and at a price set by him. It would be absurd. As we can see, the self-employed person, despite what it said, is still seen as an unwelcome traveling companion, an ideological enemy, who is utilized because there is no other choice, with the intention of dispose of him again, as soon as possible. They continue to believe in the failed socialist enterprise, which hasn’t worked anywhere it has been implemented. It is the contradiction between the efficient and productive and the inefficient and unproductive.

Despite these questions, it’s healthy that something has begun to move, although the movements are minimal and come with many strings attached. In short, the creature, if it can be strengthened and developed, will gradually be able to free itself from them and gain velocity.

July 29 2011