REPORT #308 June 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

Belize is not unique as a small country that continuously gets hustled by con men, entrepreneurs and get rich quick opportunists from abroad. All over the Caribbean the last forty years has seen a steady string of misfits with various promotions and ideas approach small island governments.

They all have something in common! They are either selling something. An idea, or piece of machinery, or some budding enterprise. They all want basically the same things too. They want a monopoly, ( Like Ashcroft with BTL ), or a garbage plant monopoly, or something else. They want the government to go into partners ( finance them), like in hydro dams, in which the government will guarantee a price that will show them a profit. Or a garbage plant that will be subsidized to show a profit by government tax revenues. And on and on and on. The schemes by hustling foreign con men never fail to amaze one living in Belize.

Was it last year, or this year, some guy on the list had a garbage plant system guaranteed to compact and disintregrate waste materials. But he wanted to sell it to somebody. Or get a fixed contract, or something, so he would not be a speculative entrepreneur investor, but an investor preferably without competition ( monopoly ), or a price guarantee, to see that he wouldn't lose any money. They keep coming these hustlers, in a never ending stream.

Take the garbage idea deal. Caye Caulker it has been announced is going to get some kind of new waste management plan to the tune of $390,000. The last plan was to use a backhoe and dig a big rectangular hole in the island by the airstrip, about half the size of the football field. The management was to use a pickup to take garbage from the houses to the hole and toss it in. Apparently, from the government announcement, the hole must be full now. The standard of living on Caye Caulker has risen so much, that waste is no longer organic and decomposes, but has lots of metal, plastics, glass and other cardboards that come with an imported food and living lifestyle. This creates a big problem for Caye Caulker.

Now what is needed is a garbage compactor and incinerator thingy, that was promoted by some guy on the list last year. Unfortunately, the guy wanted to sell it to someone. Who knows if it works? If it's so good, why doesn't he simply come to Caye Caulker and take in a local partner, form a company and go into competition with the hole in the ground method? Competition is what gets efficiency and lower costs. Investors are people who invest! Not look to the government, either village, or national government for monopolies, contracts, price fixes and guarantees.

What we need are hustlers who come in, bring their idea, their machinery, pay their own way and go into competition. Now, that is investment! The rest is hustling of one style or another. Investment means to speculate, it also means to take a risk! Eliminate the risk, eliminate the competition factor, eliminate the raising your own cash part and you are not investing in Belize. Your hustling mon! We don't need any more hustlers! A local partner for shares can get a Development Finance Loan if the idea is any good.

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