Jump to content

Recommended Posts

The USA is increasingly becoming a 2nd or 3rd world nation in many ways now that corporations control our government and NAFTA, CAFTA et al have had their effects.

 

Here is a recent article showing that the USA is right down there below Costa Rica and Mexico in terms of income inequality, which is one of the markers indicating a 3rd world nation (high income inequality). The article points out (accurately I think) that the USA is going to continually slide down the chart in this area.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/27/us-income-inequality-wors_n_2561123.html?show_comment_id=234450250#comment_234450250

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, oso, a major note first that this is JUST MY OPINION, but if the US returns to providing support to all the states for education and other things that benefit society as a whole, the US can return to being, if not first, at least catching up with what I fear will be its more prosperous neighbors.

 

People in the US really have to make up their minds if it's low taxes at any cost or if they're willing to pay for things like education, funding for scientific research, and infrastructure (think of the jobs!). But you cannot have a first class educational system, high quality roads, bridges, dams, public utilities, etc, unless you have a certain level of taxation. And if Americans don't get this fairly soon, it may be a road of now return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

salish, I agree with you that the USA has to invest in education and infrastructure. I fear that this will not happen because the people are no longer a priority of the US government, the government's priorities are their corporate masters, those who pay for their elections and re-elections.

 

This relates to Costa Rica I think because I see Costa Rica following the footsteps and lead of the USA. I see now they have more traffic cops and high traffic fines to make $, I see they have more banking bureaucracy as required by the bankster masters, I see they are following in the (unwise) footsteps of the USA and I hope they stop doing this, start exerting their independence and care more about their people than about rules, regulations and greed.

 

The traffic fines is a case in point. I was absolutely dumb founded to see that Costa RIca is charging over $500 fines for things such as talking on the cell phone while driving, u-turns, etc. While I am all for traffic fines that discourage people from driving dangerously, this is way out of line with what the average working Tico can afford. Even here in the USA often our fines for things such as making an illegal right turn or u-turn is way out of line with what people can afford to pay, but it is magnified in Costa Rica since the average person makes much less than we do, and even here in the USA $500 is an outrageous fine for these things.

 

What this has to do with income inequality is that only the rich can afford such fines in Costa Rica and I fear those who made these traffic laws, (as one example) are out of touch with the average Tico much in the same way the USA's Congress and President are out of touch with the average American - thus the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

 

trafficfinesCostaRica_zps4029de49.jpg

Edited by elosodelcerro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

elsoso: Keep in mind that those very high traffic fines are no longer in effect, having been struck down by the Costa Rican Supreme Court. The Assemblea is trying to put together new traffic laws that are not quite as harsh but harsh enough to deter people from doing things like driving drunk. Also keep in mind that during the period of time when the fines were in effect, fatalities from traffic accidents were significantly lower. Which is the goal of the new legislation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

elsoso: Keep in mind that those very high traffic fines are no longer in effect, having been struck down by the Costa Rican Supreme Court. The Assemblea is trying to put together new traffic laws that are not quite as harsh but harsh enough to deter people from doing things like driving drunk. Also keep in mind that during the period of time when the fines were in effect, fatalities from traffic accidents were significantly lower. Which is the goal of the new legislation.

Hi, and thank you for that information. What I had heard was that the court was considering striking them down, but I hadn't heard it had happened yet.

So what are the fines currently? Where would I find that out?

I think they have to strike a balance between a fine that punishes sufficiently and a fine that is too light to do any good.

I know here in the USA many fines are way out of line, even parking meter fines are way out of line. But of course here in the big city I live in the parking fines are given not by the police but by a corporation who is contracted by the city so it's all a money making operation, not a law enforcing operation first and foremost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see..... I could do a search and find out what the current fines are and then copy that and then come back here and paste it so you could see.

 

Or....

 

You could just do it yourself! ;)

 

Maybe before you go off on a big rant about various things, you could find out first what the reality is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The traffic fines is a case in point. I was absolutely dumb founded to see that Costa RIca is charging over $500 fines for things such as talking on the cell phone while driving, u-turns, etc. While I am all for traffic fines that discourage people from driving dangerously, this is way out of line with what the average working Tico can afford. Even here in the USA often our fines for things such as making an illegal right turn or u-turn is way out of line with what people can afford to pay, but it is magnified in Costa Rica since the average person makes much less than we do, and even here in the USA $500 is an outrageous fine for these things."

 

I think you are missing the point: The fines are set high to DISCOURAGE such behavior, not so someone can afford to pay the fine. Some of the fines are no higher than in some US states. You must be aware that there are plenty of people out there that think if they can afford the fine, then they can afford to run red lights at 60 kph while talking on the cell phone. And they will do so. But if they think that they will not be able to afford gas for the car for a few months because of the fine, then perhaps they will not break the laws.

 

And so far as I can tell, CR has not adopted the "speed trap" mentality of so many US towns & cities that are trying to balance their over extended budgets with enhanced traffic enforcement and other "law enforcement" means.

 

Oh, and the rich hate paying traffic fines almost more than anyone else I know.

 

Dana

Edited by DanaJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see..... I could do a search and find out what the current fines are and then copy that and then come back here and paste it so you could see.

 

Or....

 

You could just do it yourself! ;)

 

Maybe before you go off on a big rant about various things, you could find out first what the reality is?

eleanorcr I don't speak harshly to you, and would appreciate it if you don't speak harshly to me. I even thanked you for setting me straight re the fines no longer being in effect. I merely thought someone might know what the current fines are, or might have a link bookmarked or something. This is a forum after all. In any case you are welcome to ignore my request for info. God forbid someone on a forum ask a forum member for info.

 

Being that I was just in Costa Rica and since that sign was posted in the car rental place I had every reason to believe the fines were still in effect. I don't have time to read Costa Rica news every day so I get my info here and there.

Edited by elosodelcerro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The traffic fines is a case in point. I was absolutely dumb founded to see that Costa RIca is charging over $500 fines for things such as talking on the cell phone while driving, u-turns, etc. While I am all for traffic fines that discourage people from driving dangerously, this is way out of line with what the average working Tico can afford. Even here in the USA often our fines for things such as making an illegal right turn or u-turn is way out of line with what people can afford to pay, but it is magnified in Costa Rica since the average person makes much less than we do, and even here in the USA $500 is an outrageous fine for these things."

 

I think you are missing the point: The fines are set high to DISCOURAGE such behavior, not so someone can afford to pay the fine. Some of the fines are no higher than in some US states. You must be aware that there are plenty of people out there that think if they can afford the fine, then they can afford to run red lights at 60 kph while talking on the cell phone. And they will do so. But if they think that they will not be able to afford gas for the car for a few months because of the fine, then perhaps they will not break the laws.

 

And so far as I can tell, CR has not adopted the "speed trap" mentality of so many US towns & cities that are trying to balance their over extended budgets with enhanced traffic enforcement and other "law enforcement" means.

 

Oh, and the rich hate paying traffic fines almost more than anyone else I know.

 

Dana

No, I didn't miss the point at all. I know that the fines are meant to discourage bad driving.

The thing is, in my opinion the fines are (were) completely out of line with the ability of the average Costa Rican who makes a MISTAKE to pay for them. Apparently the court agreed with me, and for what it's worth a Tico Times poll showed that 52% (vs. 46%) agree with me that the fines are STILL too high. Fines should not force Ticos to have to take out a loan to pay them. Since the fines are in some cases one month's salary for Ticos, that is exactly what is happening and I was told that an entire industry of loan sharks has been given birth from these new laws.

Edited by elosodelcerro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that Tico incomes are quite low, but that knowledge leads to this question: Who drives all those new expensive gas-guzzling cars I see everywhere I go? I am frequently driving the oldest car on the road wherever I go (26 years). There are not enough expats in the entire country to own all those expensive vehicles, so there must be a LOT of ticos who can not only afford monstrous car payments, but who also can afford the fines. I can't believe the wealth that is displayed on the road and really can't figure this out. Can anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that a lot of the problem with the traffic fines is over reaction by the legislature. For years and years the traffic fines in CR were rediculously low. Like ¢5 mil for speeding, etc. Thus, drivers here simply ignored the laws because the fines were chump change. Now that they have all developed bad driving habits the fines have increased to back breaking amounts. The govt. here is trying to change the driver's bad habits by increasing the fines. Sorta like closing the barn door after the horse has left. They should have adopted stricter enforcement and more reasonable fines years ago but they didn't.

 

I can sit in front of my house on any day and watch the cars drive through my neighborhood. Probably 50% of of them could be stopped for some infraction. Speeding, no seat belt, talking on cellphone, motorcycle with no helmet, 3 on a motorcycle, child under 5 yo on moto, moto with 3 passengers, one a child under 5 yo w/o a helmet! The list goes on and on. These people know that they are breaking the law but they also know that they are unlikely to be caught. When was the last time you saw a Transito patrolling your neighborhood? These people have been driving like this for years with no consequence so why stop now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark you make a good point: OVER REACTION describes the situation well I think.

 

No doubt Costa Ricans drive very badly in general, especially taxistas. The taxistas drive like MANIACS. I can't tell you how many times a taxi driver has scared me with his crazy moves in traffic. THOSE guys should get tickets! The point that before, the fines were too low to discourage bad driving, is well taken. Now it's swung the other way. I'd like to see it back towards the middle a little further.

 

In general I think the laws are mostly reasonable now (though a couple are still much too high in my opinion). See my other thread for the most recent info on fines, at the bottom of page 1, and further discussion of fines:

Traffic fines in Costa Rica - are they fair?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to income inequality, people need to look at this in the USA and realize that the middle class is being systematically wiped out:

(control-click to open in a new tab):

http://tinyurl.com/middleclassarticle

 

Elos ... I am tired of fighting against losing my liberty, corporations, government spending, fiat currency, endless wars, zombies, overbearing government regulation, and income inequality .... sorry, but I fought for a better world for 60 years and now just want to live out my remaining years some place warm and peaceful live CR. I am going to have to let you fight on alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elos ... I am tired of fighting against losing my liberty, corporations, government spending, fiat currency, endless wars, zombies, overbearing government regulation, and income inequality .... sorry, but I fought for a better world for 60 years and now just want to live out my remaining years some place warm and peaceful live CR. I am going to have to let you fight on alone.

Jim, I can see your point. I also am tired of all these negative things that are going on in the USA and the world and often feel that it's a waste of time to point them out to people or talk about them or waste even one moment thinking about them.

 

But then there is part of me that still wants to wake people up from their slumbering ignorance. Many people have not a clue as to what is going on, and it's those I most feel the need to wake up.

 

Will it do any good to wake them up? Perhaps not. But sometiimes I still feel compelled to try.

Soon I may join you in just letting it all go to hell because it is probably going there anyway, with or without me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.