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USVI Vision 2040

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jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member
Posted by: @gators_mom

Let's then blame the colonizers when nothing changes.

I’m not sure I understand this comment.  Governments can be a strong catalyst for positive economic change, just as they can be a strong catalyst for negative economic change.  It’s always about leadership, it’s not complicated.  The policy of the current government seems to be do nothing, maintain the status quo, while trying to explain away the lack of progress by complaining about a lack of support and cooperation.  Unfortunately this is simply a lack of effective leadership.  So why would we want to give more power to the government, while taking away the liberties of our citizens.

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Posted : March 31, 2021 10:43 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

you may not talk much to ‘native virgin islanders’ who are blaming the current woes in the VI on the influx of mainlanders moving to the islands. We are colonizers that’s the term used. 

VI government needs more revenue to accomplish those things and services governments do everywhere. Biden plan may help bring some new federal dollars to the VI to fix stuff but that will not be sustainable.

The end result of low taxes is broken infrastructure. And wide spread poverty. Structural debt is no answer. VI can’t bring in new business without fixing roads hospitals safety and public utilities.

that bootstraps theory of self reliance is a core value of white culture and a relic of by gone days. The world has changed while the pandemic roared.

trickle down economics doesn’t work. 

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Posted : April 1, 2021 5:09 am
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

@gators_mom definitely got this one right. 

A couple of things strike me on a few FB posts that continuously get brought up, maybe I'm wrong, but people are complaining that live here that they didn't get their stimulus money, but in reality why would they get it if they never paid the federal government any taxes?  So again adds to your argument, they are always waiting for the States to bail them out.  Another complaint is that us "state-siders" want to make the USVI more like the states and we should accept the culture.  We don't want to change the culture, unless you mean fix the issues (business, crime, health care, education, infrastructure, etc).  That's why things never change as you said, the USVI loves the status quo, no shaking things up here, cause we got our "culture".  

As for raising taxes, unfortunately this is the only way to do it, but there needs to be some outside government watch dog to ensure the monies are spent correctly.  If I knew it was going to be spent on fixing issues, I wouldn't take my homestead exemption (which imo is the most insane tax break) and would be ok if my taxes were slightly higher 

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Posted : April 1, 2021 8:36 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @daveb722

@gators_mom definitely got this one right. 

A couple of things strike me on a few FB posts that continuously get brought up, maybe I'm wrong, but people are complaining that live here that they didn't get their stimulus money, but in reality why would they get it if they never paid the federal government any taxes? 

So again adds to your argument, they are always waiting for the States to bail them out.  Another complaint is that us "state-siders" want to make the USVI more like the states and we should accept the culture.  We don't want to change the culture, unless you mean fix the issues (business, crime, health care, education, infrastructure, etc).  That's why things never change as you said, the USVI loves the status quo, no shaking things up here, cause we got our "culture".  

As for raising taxes, unfortunately this is the only way to do it, but there needs to be some outside government watch dog to ensure the monies are spent correctly.  If I knew it was going to be spent on fixing issues, I wouldn't take my homestead exemption (which imo is the most insane tax break) and would be ok if my taxes were slightly higher 

Residents of the VI, as legal US citizens and residents, qualify for the stimulus money. However, at least prior to the most recent payment, the monies were sent to Puerto Rico which then divvied up the VIs share. And then they have to process paper checks to mail with what I imagine is computer equipment not meant for high volume processing. 

The US government does provide a lot of support for the VI. The VI qualified for significant grant funding from FEMA and such following the storms. These grants are not free money and are monitored at least quarterly by the federal agency granting the funds. The vast majority of federal grants require 1:1 matches from local funding, which is a problem when locally sourced funding is just not available - you can't match federal money with federal money. You can go to grants.gov and look up these grants and how the VI government reported on them. 

There are huge trust issues in the VI. I think 'culture' is a safe term to reference the racial divide and protect the status quo from 'white outsiders.'

The FB thing is fascinating - as was the Vision 2040 process that gave equal or even greater voice to diaspora 'native Virgin Islanders' who haven't lived on the islands for years and years compared to us 'outsiders' who are investing our lives in living in the VI. 

And more fascinating - the Vision 2040 plan hinges on attracting 10,000 more full-time residents to the VI to open new 21st century businesses in this decidedly analog place. I wonder - what do they suppose these people are going to look like? 

But it is a very white colonizer thing to use money and investment as our vote of commitment to the islands. Do you know the terms logical and rational are codified white words? (seriously - employers are spending big money on consultants to tell them that).

Nonetheless, lots of angry black and brown people all over the US finding their voices for sure. And old white people are the target of much of this anger - deservingly or not.

 

BTW that homestead exemption is pretty standard everywhere- but when you're only paying $1100 to start with is there meaning in subtracting another $400? I now pay $700 a year in property taxes on my East End A house. My house in FL - same value - was $7000 a year after homestead. 

 

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Posted : April 1, 2021 10:27 am
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

@gators_mom In NY we didn't get a homestead exemption 🤣 🤣 Just lots of taxes.  8% sales, 7.25% state income, my property taxes were about 5k when I left (we paid town and county), but I lived in a small town that had some of the lowest taxes in WNY.  I looked at a home and they were 11k back in 2005 when I originally bought my house there, I'm sure today they are 13k or so.  I was being a bit sarcastic about the stimulus, I know that we are all residents, but I think a lot of people don't realize they are getting money from something they may have never paid into.  I guess the USVI can be considered a welfare state in that regard.  

I haven't read the report yet, just read the article, probably read it next week when I have some time.  

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Posted : April 1, 2021 3:55 pm
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member
Posted by: @gators_mom

trickle down economics doesn’t work. 

All economics is based on wealth creation, without it we are alone and fending for ourselves. Even the barter system is dependent on someone producing more than they consume, the basic definition of wealth.  Governments don’t create wealth only the private sector does so without a thriving private sector there are no tax revenues, it’s the basic building block of any economic system, which intern is the foundation of any society.  All economics is “Trickle Down”, it’s only a matter of the mechanics which are ultimately dictated by government policy.  Economy’s are also efficient so when government policy isn’t friendly to the private sector, the wealth creators leave to find a more welcoming environment.  Once the wealth creator are gone you have poverty and government corruption.

As a modern day colonizer, simply defined as the last to arrive, I’ve freely invested wealth not created in the USVI.  If that’s unwelcome by those who simply came to the island before me, well, I don’t see this as my problem, rather I see this as a limitation on their part.  Life is short and we all only get one shot, I’ve lived my 64+ years by the golden rule (I simply don’t care about anyone’s race/gender/religion/sexual preference or age as we’re all humans) while doing everything I can to get the most out of my brief stay on the planet.

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Posted : April 2, 2021 9:47 am
rewired liked
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

My homestate Kansas was financially gutted by former Gov. Sam Brownback's Reaganesque policies backed by the Koch boys from Wichita. Kansas spent all of its substantial rainy day funds and then took on structural debt in 6 short years (2012-18). 

Kansas lowered taxes for businesses and the wealthy to the point the state courts were forced to closed for lack of money to all but criminal cases in one of the wealthiest counties in the US. No probate no family no civil court - no torts.

Descimated the state's K-12 and higher education institutions - which were at one time ranked among the predictibly good in the US.

State roads have crumbled.

Trickle down economics as defined by the once and future Republican party is non functional in reality (not theory) - and worse sets the US for knee jerk socialism in response. 

Anyway, the new world of diversity, equity and inclusion will run over all y'all no matter. The unsaid that 'we' don't want to pay taxes toward social support for 'them' is no longer unsaid. 

Kansas experiment - Wikipedia

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Posted : April 2, 2021 11:00 am
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