A new Costa Rica president was recently elected. What was it like? Well, have you ever seen someone riding in the back of a pickup truck? Of course you have right? And no matter what they do, how they dress, or how important they try to act, they don’t look cool. You just cannot physically do it. I have seen people sitting in plastic chairs, with cowboy hats, drinking beer and playing music, and people still chuckle and laugh at them. In Costa Rica you see all kinds of crazy stuff in the back of pickup trucks, from horses and cows, to goats and pigs; Mariachi Bands and parades; even entire families having a picnic while they are driving down the highway. It is truly mind boggling sometimes, but it keeps you entertained, that’s for sure. Over the last few months, we have seen a tremendous amount of Political advertisements in the back of trucks, along with actual politicians speaking to the towns on microphones as they drive down the street.
You see Costa Rica just had its Presidential Election and after 6 months of the usual banter you would expect, the 47th Costa Rica President took office this past week. Costa Rica became an Independent Nation in 1838 and has enjoyed relative stability ever since.
Our newest Costa Rica President, Luis Guillermo Solis, took office after a landslide victory, receiving close to 78% of the total votes and was inaugurated May 8 2014 along with his two Vice Presidents. People ask me all the time if I voted, and the answer is no. I am a Permanent Resident of Costa Rica, not a Naturalized Citizen, so I have every single right that a Costa Rican has, except that I cannot vote. Personally, I don’t think gringos should be allowed to vote; Ever!!! Let’s face it, we already screwed up the greatest country in the world, let’s not come here and mess this one up too. I have always said that I LOVE living in this amazing paradise, but it is their country, not mine, and they should decide how they want it to run. Right now I think it is an incredible place to live, and I plan to stay here forever. If one day I wake up and I don’t like the way it is going, then I will leave, but I don’t think I should have any say in that decision. I am blessed that the Costa Ricans allow me to stay, live and earn an income here and I am truly thankful for the opportunity.
Solis is a very unique man, being a Historian and a political scientist. He is young, at 56 years old, and comes from an Independent Party, the first time someone not from the traditional two powerhouses has been President. Maybe that is what the United States really needs, a fresh new look and approach instead of the same old same old. He has promised to fight corruption, stand up for Animal Rights, continue building green energy and promotes foreign investment; and one of his main goals is to reduce the deficit, which stands a mere 6%.
Personally, I like the fact that he isn’t married, so at the end of a hard day playing boss, no one is going to make him do the dishes, take out the trash, or change the channel on the TV from the soccer game to The Voice. He truly is a man in charge. I think I have personally made some of my most important decisions, while lounging in my Lazy Boy, sucking back a cold Pilsen and watching a ball game all by myself.
One of the most common questions that I get asked is if I think the Costa Rica President can really make a difference here. Obviously, this person has a tremendous amount of respect and power, as they are the leader of this great little nation. But so much of Pura Vida is going to continue to run the way it always has, regardless of who is living in the Presidential Palace. I think Costa Rica is a lot like the Baltimore Ravens of the early 2000’s. No matter who was Quarterback, the defense won the games. They would say to Trent Dilfer “just manage the game, don’t try to do too much, and please just don’t throw an interception” and everything will go along just fine. One of the things I love the most about Costa Rica, is it is NOT the United States of America.
I will never go back and live in the USA again. I just couldn’t do it after experiencing such a better way of life. And on top of it all, the country has way too many problems and I don’t ever see it returning to its glory years, because the Government has its hands in too many pies. There is no more Live and Let Live in the USA, the way it is in Costa Rica. It is all about rules and regulations, and wanting people to think a certain way. I will give you two examples.
1. We are advised to not judge All Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge All Gun Owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works isn’t it? Not that I have anything against Muslims, I have personally met many who are beautiful people. I also know thousands of gun owners who wouldn’t hurt a fly let alone shoot up a movie theatre or school. And here is another one worth considering
2. Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. How come we never hear about Welfare running out of money? What’s interesting is the first group “worked for” their money, but the second didn’t. Now I am sure there are some individuals on welfare, who are truly down on their luck and just need a helping hand to get back on their feet, although I have personally never met one in my entire life. How come the retirees have to make sacrifices? Why don’t the President and the Senators lose their salaries first? We spend billions of dollars helping countries who hate us, and building weapons we will never use. We give millions more for stupid agricultural laws and special interest groups, but don’t have enough money to hire more police and fireman. We can rebuild any nation in the world, except our own, as the bridges and highways across America are falling into rivers. Recently we just sent a team of investigators to try and find these missing Nigerian girls. Don’t get me wrong, what happened over there is a complete tragedy, but have you seen the faces of missing kids on OUR milk cartons lately? Where is the task force for that?
This is why I left the USA and I won’t ever go back. The USA does this stuff because it always has a Political agenda. Costa Rica doesn’t have an agenda, and sometimes I think they don’t even have a clue LOL. That is what I love about it. They are riding in the back of the world’s pickup truck, sitting in rocking chairs and they could care less if people think they’re cool or not. They are happy.
Costa Rica isn’t perfect but it beats the alternative. This country takes care of itself, not the rest of the world. They have their issues, and their government can be dumb as a rock too but everything is on a much smaller scale and sometimes it is almost laughable.
Recently Costa Rica announced that they are putting a satellite into space. I put this on my Facebook, just to see some of the responses, and it was hilarious. Here are a few.
How about buying another garbage truck for the Municipality first? Can you say Priorities?
They will have someone else put it into space and take all the credit for it!
It won’t work and they can’t go back for a year.
When it breaks, No one will be willing to fix it. It won’t have a warranty, and they will charge you for the inspection.
Then when they do send a team to repair it, they will arrive with the wrong tools and ask you if they can borrow yours?
If it is small enough to put into a back pack, someone will steal it!
Hilarious! God I love Costa Rica!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Life is miserable if you can’t make fun of yourself.
Speaking of miserable, there was recently someone who decided to return to the USA because they said the socialized free medical care here wasn’t very good. Hello!!! The key word in this sentence is FREE. That is what is wrong with America. Everyone wants everything, they want it to be amazing, they want it to happen NOW, and they don’t want to pay a penny for it. The biggest complaint you will hear from people who have lived a long time in Costa Rica is that it is getting more expensive to live here. Wake up people, the whole world is more expensive than it was 15 years ago. But if you compare the cost of living in paradise to someone just moving here, who has seen the prices in the USA or Canada, most of them will still tell you it is very inexpensive. But it goes back to that same thought process. I remember when I moved here 11 years ago, nothing worked. NOTHING. But it was cheap. Now, we have everything and a lot of it is better than most countries in the world. We have amazing roads, airports, infrastructure, internet and cell service, new police cars and fire trucks, ambulances and hospitals, grocery stores and restaurants. But this comes with a price, in the form of increased costs and taxes.
I remember back in the early days we had a fire in Playa Hermosa. The pumper truck showed up but they didn’t have any water and of course there weren’t any hydrants around either. So the fireman all sat around, eating their beans and rice out of their little plastic lunch pails, watching the guy’s house burn to the ground. I remember when the police would come around, back in 2003 and ask for gas money because their police cars were empty. Personally, I love taxes, as long as they are reasonable and you can see your dollars at work. You still want cheap? Go to Ecuador or Nicaragua. But be prepared to live in a rat hole. That’s why it is cheap. Nothing works, there is no infrastructure and nobody speaks English. And on top of it, the country is not a democracy; it is run by the military, so I hope you like M-16s in your face at every intersection. Remember Costa Rica has no army and the highest literacy rate in the Western hemisphere.
What about medical care? Some of the best on the globe and my private insurance only costs me 1/7 of what it used to run for my Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. My right hand man Joseph recently had a heart attack and was rushed to the CIMA hospital in the middle of the night. They performed emergency surgery, put in three stints and he was back selling houses a week a later. He said it was some of the best care he has ever seen in his life, and his insurance covered almost every single penny. All I can say is Thank God for our doctors and nurses. We love you Joe and glad to have you back buddy. Let’s take it a little easier now, ok?
Costa Rica is on the verge of another amazing boom. Billions of dollars in foreign investment is heading back this way. There are 70,000,000 baby boomers and some of them would rather live surrounded by palms trees than Christmas trees so you can bank on a bundle of their cash coming here.
Read this from American Express Departures Magazine https://www.tanktopsflipflops.com/costa-ricas-new-chic/
Ten years from now, people are going to be kicking themselves that they didn’t act when they had the chance, when the getting’ was good and it was a buyers’ market. But whether all this investment comes or not, it won’t really matter. Costa Rica is very happy and it is an incredible place to live. The wild life and nature is second to none, the beaches are some of the nicest you have ever seen and the people are the friendliest in the world. No matter what the new Costa Rica President does, our defense will still win the Championship.
“Manage the game Mr. Solis, don’t try to do too much and whatever you do, please just don’t fumble the ball, and we will be OK.”
I wish you all the luck in the world sir. It is tough to be President, I wouldn’t want the job.
Hope to see you soon.
PS – About 2 hours after I finished writing this I turned on the TV to one of my favorite News shows, Stossel, which highlights current consumer issues and makes us realize what a complete joke government can be. I also like John Stossel because he is a Libertarian who doesn’t have a problem attacking either side of the Political fence.
His show was about a 14 year old girl and her 10 year old sister who tried to start a Lemonade stand in their front yard selling it to neighbors. It reminded me of when I was a teenager, as I was always hustling for a buck. I guess that entrepreneur spirit has always burned in me, because I would do anything for extra cash. I washed cars, mowed lawns, raked leaves and shoveled show. I had lemonade stands, paper routes, baby sitting and dog watching services and as I got older I even scalped concert tickets.
It seems the girls were visited by police offers who told them to shut down because they didn’t have the proper permits. I am not making this up. The Police Chief in Midway GA explained “We were not aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade and of what the lemonade was made with.”
Unfortunately this is happening all over America, as officials in Hazelwood Illinois recently ordered little girls to stop selling Girl Scout cookies. Want to open a business in America? It isn’t easy.
So Stossel proceeded to try and open a simple lemonade stand in New York City, and here are some of the requirements one has to go through before they can sell their first cup.
Register as sole proprietor with the County Clerk’s Office (must be done in person.)
Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number.
Complete a 15 hour Food Protection Course.
After the course, you must register for an exam that takes 1 hour. You must score 70 percent to pass the test. (Sample question: “What toxins are associated with the puffer fish?”) If you pass, allow three to five weeks for delivery of Food Protection Certificate.
Register with the sales tax office for a Certificate of Authority.
Apply for a Temporary Food Service Establishment Permit. Must bring copies of the previous documents and completed forms to the Consumer Affairs Licensing Center.
Then, at least 21 days before opening your Lemonade stand, you must arrange for an inspection with the Health Department’s Bureau of Food Safety and Community Sanitation. It takes about three weeks to get your appointment. If you pass, you can set up a business once you:
Buy a portable fire extinguisher from a company certified by the New York Fire Department and set up a contract for waste disposal.
Stossel couldn’t finish the process as it would have taken 65 days to do it legally, so he sold lemonade anyway, looking pretty stupid hawking it with a giant fire extinguisher on the table.
Tourists came by telling him they thought it was crazy that he had to get all those permits. A Pakistani man said “That’s crazy!!!! You should move to Pakistan.” Guess what? That is what all the American businesses are doing, moving out of the USA.
And you should too, before it is too late.
All I can say is I am glad I am not a teenager today and Thank God I live in Costa Rica!!!!