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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Trinidad Express: Caught up in Consumerism

From today's Express, a letter by Stephen Chan. Echoes of the 1980's?

There are many contributing factors to inflation, but the root of the problem is that demand far outweighs supply.

But when you examine the situation objectively you should be able to see major contributing factors, such as huge tax cuts, our ever-increasing laziness. And what about our increasing demand for all things foreign?

If you do some simple mathematics you should be able to account for approximately $800 million in increased consumer spending over a two-year period.

This is a direct result of reducing taxation on the vast middle class. If you couple this with the induced need for a majority of foreign products one can see where local industry has suffered because of increased imports.

Maybe Mr. Robinson had it right when he implemented a black list. Back then we did well without apples, grapes and Kelloggs. The question is, once we have experienced these imported guilty pleasures can we go back to doing without them? Can we go back to paying $800 million in tax? Can we do without cable TV and the various foreign icons of consumerism? Maybe we can, and as a bonus we can win back our children as well, because there would be no more foreign wayward children on the television for our own children to want to emulate.

Stephen Chan

San Juan

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