WHILE PANAMA continues to have the highest growth rate on the American continent and a GDP that has ensured a boom in luxury homes, vehicles and foreign travel, the effect is still not reaching a fifth of the country’s population who are listed "in poverty."
Over 10 percent of the population remains in "extreme poverty".
The figures come from a Thursday October 8 release from the Ministry y of Finance announcing a reduction in poverty rates over the past year.
"The conditional cash transfer programs promoted by the government of President Juan Carlos Varela (120 at 65, Universal Scholarship Opportunities Network) Have reduced poverty rates in Panama, from 25.6% in 2014 to 22.3% in 2015, while extreme poverty or indigence dropped from 10.8% in 2014 to 10.3% in 2015," said the statement.
"In March 2010, the proportion of people in poverty in overall stood at 29.8%, in 2011 it dropped to 27.6% in 2012 to 26.5% in 2013 to 25.8% in 2014 to25.6%. In March 2015 it was reduced to 22.3 %. From March 2014 to March 2015, 83,331 Panamanians came out of poverty, " the announcement concluded.
There was a nearly 13% drop in poverty in just the last year, from 2014 to 2015. That is a downward slope, not a plateau. The decline in the past 5 years is 25% -- a claim any US president wishes he could make.
That's a 25% drop of those living in poverty in just five years. That healthy trend is the opposite of what's happening in the USA. Something is working in Panama.
How has the U.S. War on Poverty worked out so far with all the tax money allocated? No matter what scheme the world leaders come up with (or redistribution of wealth, as the term is vogue today in liberal circles), there will always be poverty. Feeling sad about it is not going to eradicate it any more than pumping money into government programs. I think the government should step away from the monstrous mess they've created in their efforts of poverty relief (and stop taxing for it) and let the good citizens unite as a community to help out the truly poor. When the government says it's going to "take care of something", most people have a tendency to see a bad situation and think: "it's the government's problem, let them take care of it" and walk away guilt free because they paid their taxes to combat the problem. Whereas in times past, people power stepped in because they had the extra cash in their pockets (untaxed money) and CHARITY sprung forth. Of course, the Liberals will tell you it's demeaning to have to take charity. Humbug on them.
It appears the numbers are going in the right direction but I'm sure to the very poor and truly needy, it is not changing quickly enough. It is indeed sad to see people living this way. We are seeing it in the States as well in spite of the multitude of programs available. Programs don't seem to be the solution but rather chains binding them to this lifestyle. What the physically able among them need is opportunity and in some cases a dose of ambition. I'm not sure how that can be accomplished.