REPORT #470 March 2002

Via the Bz-Culture Mailing List from Susan Guberman-Garcia


Peter, it is YOU who is confused about "capitalism" not Niall, Jorge, or Terry (or me).

(Or perhaps you are not confused...perhaps you simply misstate on purpose....but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are merely confused or that, once again, you are engaging in verbal "random neural firings" driven by emotion, with no heed to whether your statements are accurate or not...)

What has occurred here is neither "capitalism" nor "free enterprise."

It is monopoly contracting driven by government corruption. It is the OPPOSITE of free enterprise and capitalism. The problems with "unfettered capitalism" are problems less of capitalism than of corporate welfare. The biggest abusers of capitalism are corporations who feed at the public trough and obtain corporate welfare (in the US, its HMO's and defense contractors and oil companies....). There is no "unfettered capitalism" in Belize. Business is highly "fettered" indeed -- if you are talking about those businesses who are not part of the monopoly system.

If the Belize government wished to adopt the principles of free enterprise, there would be NO monopolies. The government would simply get out of the way and allow any private provider of any telecommunications service (like Niall) to market its products and services to in Belize, and allow customers in the private sector to make their own choices. This is called COMPETITION and it invariably results in better service and lower prices.

For public customers (government entities, public schools and other entities whose expenses are paid by any branch of government), it would open each contract up to competitive bidding, allow the entity who is to receive the telecommunications products and services to set up a committee to evaluate the bids.

Moreover, the members of the evaluating committee would be required to have no stake whatsoever in the companies who are bidding. The entity would be free to contract with whoever was selected, up to the amount allotted for the goods and services.

THAT is free enterprise.

MONOPOLIES are not capitalism nor are they communism...but they offer the WORST features of both capitalism and communism and the benefits of neither.

You know full well that none of the people you rant against have ever supported monopolies, in fact, all of us have publicly and loudly lambasted the monopoly system and we have pleaded for its replacement by free enterprise.

What is the antidote for this problem? I think it starts with representative government and separation of powers and the adoption of the rule of law instead of "minister's discretion." Under such a system, it would be possible to put an end to monopolies. Failing that, a lot of hell raising by the everyone who is brave enough to do so wouldn't hurt. It won't change "the system" in general but it might bring a small modicum of relief on a given issue. And if it happens often enough, the quantity of people who demand change might reach critical mass and inspire a switch to democracy. That takes a lot of time why not start now?

Back to Main Belize Development Trust Page

Maintained by Ray Auxillou, Silvia Pinzon, MLS, and Marty Casado. Please email with suggestions or additions for this Electronic Library of Belize.