Honduran Taxes Prey on the Least Among Us

Raise the Idea of Resisting? Jail for You

The tax burden in Honduras surges as the government tightens regulations (<em><a href="http://lanoticia.hn/nacionales/la-dei-a-verificar-cumplimiento-de-impuestos/" target="_blank">La NoticiaHn</a></em>)

The tax burden in Honduras surges as the government tightens regulations (La Noticia)

Español Over 70 percent of the Honduran workforce operate in the informal sector, according to the World Trade Organization. As the Peruvian lawyer Enrique Ghersi explains, informality is a survival strategy among the poor, who can’t afford to comply with regulations, making this one the only reasonable alternative.

Honduran policymakers seem hellbent on forcing formalization of the workforce and enacting economic apartheid on those who resist.

The Honduran tax collection agency (DEI) has been implementing a new invoicing regime, promoted by its director Miriam Guzmán, which comes with several problems and a surge of costs for small business and the informal sector of the economy.

Currently, many supermarkets and other business offer goods purchased from informal entrepreneurs, such as small farmers, carpenters, or bakers. The new tax scheme will force companies to demand its suppliers to register and comply with the regulations, otherwise they will face a tax increase, and won’t be able to back the expenses with the corresponding invoices.

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Any Publicity Is Good Publicity for Donald Trump

GOP Candidate Less Interested in Winning Than Boosting Celebrity Status

EspañolWe have to credit Salvador Dalí for coining the phrase “what’s important is that people talk about you, even if they only say good things,” but it’s safe to assume Donald Trump did not have the Spanish surrealism master in mind on June 16 when he announced he was running for president of the United States.

Although his campaign launch was itself surreal — he even had his grandson there with the same hairstyle, as some sort of “mini-me” that has become the butt of jokes on social media — the difference with Dalí is that the Republican hopeful thinks what’s important is that people talk about you, even if they only speak bad things.

There’s no other explanation for the real estate mogul’s unfortunate statements about Mexico and Mexicans. He had already sparked controversy when he said, weeks ago, that the US-Mexico border must be completely walled — all 3,185 kilometers.

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Scarce Tampons Eat Up a Third of Venezuelan Salaries

Mandated "Fair Prices" for Sanitary Pads Spark Pubic Outcry

Fair prices are out of reach for most people in Venezuela

“Fair” prices are out of reach for most Venezuelans. (Twitter)

EspañolLast month, both Venezuelan men and women were shocked to find out the new prices of tampons, sanitary pads, and other personal hygiene products set by the national government.

Overnight, sanitary pads went from costing Bs. 70 (US$0.15 at the black-market rate) to Bs. 1,290 ($3, a 1,800 percent increase). To foreigners it may seem not much, but Venezuela’s current minimum wage of Bs. 7,421 amounts to barely $20. Considering an average woman needs two packs, this means a her period can consume one third of her salary.

Following public outcry in social media, two days later the government ordered the already scarce products taken off the shelves.

“Boss, I can’t go to work today, I’m in my period and I don’t have any sanitary pads.” #Venezuela these days.

However, the Maduro administration didn’t act fast enough to prevent officials from screwing up. Miguel Pérez Abad, president of the Venezuelan Federation of Small & Medium Sized Industries (Fedeindustria) and government commissioner in the industry sector, said “these [new] prices are fair because when we had a good oil revenue much of what we bought was subsidized. Now that the scenario has changed, we’re facing this reality […].”

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How Would I Vote If I Were Greek?

Pick Your Poison in Sunday's Referendum

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party have only led Greece from bad to worse. (Joanna)

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party have only led Greece from bad to worse. (Joanna)

By Jan Gajentaan

The wave of tropical temperatures in the Netherlands appear to have set my imagination in motion. What if I were a Greek, with my recruitment agency located somewhere in beautiful Athens and this week considering how to vote on Sunday in the euro referendum?

Would it be “no” (no to the aid package in exchange for reforms and austerity measures, and an endorsement of Tsipras) or “yes”? In the latter case, it would be voting down Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party, who have announced that they will pack their bags and leave if the yes camp win.

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Too Little Too Late for Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis

Alejandro García Padilla's "Radical Reestructing" Lacks Teeth

Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla. (Youtube)

Governor Alejandro García Padilla hypocritically warned others who might seek to profit from the crisis. (La Fortaleza)

EspañolListening to the speech by Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla on Monday, June 29, was an exercise in disappointment. The governor, who sounded nervous at the beginning of his speech, spoke in general of solutions, but once again avoided the necessary specifics. He mentioned some things that were a good start and some that were horrific.

First the good. He called for a radical restructuring of the Puerto Rican government. He referred to the problem as one of “math” which I have repeatedly suggested on my blog and at the PanAm Post. He called for bipartisan unity and he called for the creation of a special commission to report by mid August on the pathway forward.


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Central Americans Need Not Be Divided

Nicaragua Workshop: Common Problems Compel Common Solutions

Centro América representada desde Panamá hasta Guatemala con un solo objetivo: hacer mucho con poco. (Nicolás E. Noyola)

Young Central American leaders from Panama to Guatemala met in Managua, Nicaragua. (Nicolás E. Noyola)

EspañolWhen we hear of people gathering to discuss current issues and proceed with solutions, we might be tempted to think they share the same stance or political ideology. We are used to it, because people often do work like this in social activism.

But what happens when that’s not the case? When young people from different countries and political positions come together?

Asuntos del Sur, a think tank based in Argentina, has been organizing workshops like this called Mucho con Poco (Much with little) for several years. This time, they turned to the center of the continent to set up their truly innovative and productive approach, promoting dialogue between young activists who overcome the daily obstacles imposed by governments and political protocols.

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Why There Is No Libertarian Defense of the Confederacy

The Incoherence of Pleadings to Both States' Rights and Individualism

By Jonathan Blanks

There is a strain of libertarian contrarianism that holds that the Confederate States of America were within their “rights” to secede from the Union. Such contrarianism on this particular topic is detrimental to the larger cause of liberty because the logic of this argument relies upon relinquishing individual rights to the whim of the state. Indeed, as there is no legal or moral justification for supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War, it is impossible that there could be a libertarian one.

The legal argument against secession is straight-forward. Beyond the simple fact that most countries don’t provide for their own dissolution at the outset, the US Constitution is not silent on the use of force by the federal government. Article I Section 8 clearly grants Congress the power to put down insurrections, as the South was well aware. As recently as 1859, that power had been used by then-Union Colonel Robert E. Lee to put down John Brown’s mindless and bloody raid on Harpers Ferry.

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Breaking Up with Jack Hunter, Not the Rebel Flag

Political Correctness and the DC Beltway versus History

By Chuck Suter

Before I’m blocked by my old friend, Jack Hunter, I want to share this one last post.

I didn’t grow up a fan of the Rebel flag, in any of its forms, and I’m as close to being a Yankee as you can be while still being considered a Southerner. I felt all the guilt of slavery and what I was taught in “school” by the all-powerful federal government.

I moved to Manassas, Virginia, around the age of 21. All the history was there; I lived in a duplex that was once the “Old Town Manassas” sheriff’s office. My boss had one of the few houses in historic Bull Run. My wife got pregnant with our first child, and we moved to Culpeper, Virginia. In 2006, I started to learn of this old man named Ron Paul. Boy did that change everything.

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