How handing out Tax revenues can create economic dependency
When one navigates the economic landscape of St. Maarten, what you find is the use of tax revenues as a pacifier to quiet our peoples lack of involvement in the economy, especially in the private sector. This practice of handing out pacifiers unintentionally drives our people into a race to the bottom, and encourages an environment of low wages while at the same time discouraging the possibility of local business entrepreneurs.
The concept of using tax revenues as a pacifier signifies a reliance on government intervention to compensate for the inadequate engagement of the local population in economic actives. Instead of fostering a culture of entrepreneurial spirit and self sufficiency, this approach creates a dependency that stifles the growth of local businesses and compromised economic prosperity in favor of short term solutions.
The race to the bottom scenario also inhibits the emergence of local business leaders. When citizens rely on tax revenues to sustain the economy, we inadvertently discourage the entrepreneurial zeal which is crucial for the development of a vibrant private sector.
The analogy of a pacifier becomes even more poignant when considering the long term implications. Just as a pacifier provides temporary comfort but does not address the underlying issues, the use of tax revenues as a quick fix may lead to a precarious situation. Eventually, the bottom falls out leaving the very people who sought prosperity on the island becoming disillusioned and disheartened.
A striking parallel can be drawn to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, where the resilience of the local community was tested. Those who chose not to rebuild alongside us returned to their Country only after the hard work was done. Similarly, if we continue down the part of Tax revenues as a pacifier, we risk being abandoned by those who initially came seeking prosperity.
Article written by Melisa Molanus