Notifications
Clear all

USVI Vision 2040

Page 2 / 2
 
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.

ReplyQuote
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. 

ReplyQuote
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 

ReplyQuote
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. 

 

ReplyQuote
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.  

ReplyQuote
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.

ReplyQuote
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

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 2, 2021 11:00 am
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member
Posted by: @gators_mom

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.

Trickle down wasn’t invented by Reagan or anyone else, it’s been around since the beginning of time.  Without some subset of the population creating more value than they consume you have nothing, you can only tax someone that has a surplus.  Again, government doesn’t create wealth, it only consumes it.  The mechanics of the Kansas Experiment were obviously wrong, that in no way makes a conclusive statement about trickle down being valid, it simply shows that the policies of the experiment didn’t deliver the anticipated results.  I do agree that the pendulum swings, that any failed policy, either conservative or liberal, will result in a backlash that lasts until the next set of failed policies reaches it’s breaking point.  As our government spending and therefore debt spirals out of control and interest rates inevitably rise to support the ever increasing borrowing of the federal and state governments we will reach such a breaking point.  I’m predicting it won’t be pretty when we reach the point where additional borrowing is impossible and it will hit those at the bottom of the economic ladder the hardest.  I worry that over the next few years the USVI economy with it’s heavy debt levels may well serve as a ‘close to home’ experiment in what not having a balanced budget and over borrowing yield.  It’s the Territorial Government that has crippled the government employees pension system and without Uncle Sam stepping in with a last minute bailout a lot of good people will be seriously hurt, through no fault of their own.  The basic laws of economics are immutable, with two the most basic being the need for wealth creation and the need for frugality, modern day financial engineering in the long term, I fear, is just a placebo.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 17, 2021 3:59 pm
Darkmuse liked
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Trickle down as a way of absolving the wealthiest in the US from paying their fair share of taxes was and is a construct of Reaganism. 

The Koch boys who own Kansas politics used their home state as an experiment to prove trickle down economics would work in a modern system. It did not because you have to have taxes for government to achieve what it’s tasked to do. Public education is high on that list. As are roads, law enforcement and courts.

https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-the-laffer-curve-explanation-3305566

And yes, if you want nice things like an educated populace, smooth roads and a functional pension system, you have to increase taxes even in the Virgin Islands.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 18, 2021 6:29 am
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

The top 1% paid 40.1% of all income taxes for 2018 and the top 5% accounted for 60.3%, that doesn’t sound like the so called rich aren’t paying their fair share.  Conversely, 95% of the tax payers contribution was only 39.7%.  This also doesn’t account for the numerous value based taxes and fees paid by the wealthy such as the property taxes on their valuable homes or the sales and excise taxes on their luxury items like expensive cars, boats or maybe airplanes.  Most financial experts will tell you the vast majority of people in the top 5% of the income strata would not consider themselves rich with most considering themselves middle class.  Keep in mind that income and wealth are two, potentially very different things.  There are a lot of people with high incomes but still a relatively small net worth and conversely people with net worths in the millions and relatively low incomes.  It’s a mistake to compare 99.999% of the people to a handful of super rich that likely represent 0.0001% (or less) of the population; and concluding that all these people are bad is equally wrong as well.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 19, 2021 12:10 am
Darkmuse liked
Darkmuse
(@darkmuse)
Advanced Member

#1 - Love that we can have this discussion in a respectful manner

#2 - The conversation reminds me of the famous Sarah Huckabee Beer story for the press..

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/10/30/sarah-sanders-beer-anecdote-trump-tax-plan-explanation-sot.cnn

- always makes me chuckle - enjoy!

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 19, 2021 8:10 pm
Darkmuse
(@darkmuse)
Advanced Member

@gators_mom  

I agree but with the caveat that it's a multi-pronged challenge as we must raise  / implement taxes in order to generate revenue while at the same time cut the bloated government and auxiliary programs - all the while holding folks accountable for results.  

How many Coast Guard, Police, WAPA etc.. employees do we need?   How many actually deliver anything of value to life here on the island?  Many to be sure but the ratio of dedicated performers to folks that are just taking a paycheck is stunning.    

I asked a police officer once why they never seem to respond very quickly when a violent crime is taking place and was told, it's because they have families too, so much better to wait an hour or so and let things settle down, note this was at the same time that it was announced multiple officers where billing the island for overtime as they worked side jobs during those hours etc..

I spoke with individuals after Maria about an option to place a small modular reactor or perhaps two on the islands guaranteeing dependable power generation and new high tech jobs for islanders.. (DOE was considering paying for the majority as a proof of concept), at a time when the aging propane/fuel payment issues were unresolved but was informed, this is not possible, WAPA people need jobs - new technology means they would loose them..  

In another scenario I spoke at length with a US congressman regarding statehood for the USVI and or Puerto Rico (his place of birth) and his honest comment was, why in the world would US taxpayers want to sanction such a thing given the current economic status of the islands and the pervasive culture driven perspective driving any financial relationships with the mainland that those territories bring to the table?

In short, many of us move here because the value proposition "as is" works out ok.  Most locals complain but in the same breath resist any change as a threat to the status quo (consider the basic implementation of a postal address etc..).   

I don't expect change, I love the island and it's people as they are, but i'll aways work to provide opportunities and acceptable modifications when possible..  anything else would be far too frustrating to endure.

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 19, 2021 8:52 pm
daveb722 liked
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

The only way a new comer will be happy in the USVI is by not expecting change and loving the people as they are.  I can tell I’ve mellowed with age as now seem to be able to see beyond the temporary frustrations that we occasionally encounter with island living.  Doesn’t mean I don’t see the lost potential and opportunity, just that life’s simply better by adapting to bumps in the road.  I guess it’s one of the benefits of getting to retirement, you can put away the clock....as the song says ‘don’t worry, be happy’.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 20, 2021 7:56 am
Darkmuse liked
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

So back to the original topic. This document is all about unfunded mandates and change in the USVI.

https://www.usvi2040.com

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 20, 2021 12:59 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @Darkmuse

I spoke with individuals after Maria about an option to place a small modular reactor or perhaps two on the islands

You suggested handing over nuclear reactor to WAPA or Virgin Islanders?????

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 20, 2021 7:21 pm
Darkmuse
(@darkmuse)
Advanced Member

@STTsailor

Yes, small modular reactors are engineered to "fail safe" and designed for remote disparate locations rather than part of the National grid they would in many cases be scaled for a local community, or in our case one for STX and one for STT etc..

DOE was funding initial deployments to help push the US lead in this area over Canada, Russia, China, South Korea and others and there was a fairly intense look at Puerto Rico as the initial site, then the USVI but ultimately it ended up in Idaho where the folks along with many small communities in N Utah were asking for it as a hedge against rising electrical prices.

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 20, 2021 9:23 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

Interesting option. Very futuristic. Perhaps its time to form VI Atomic Energy and Radioactive Waste Commission. It definitely sounds very impressive especially if we place the reactor next to our Sub Base on STT.  🙂

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 21, 2021 12:17 am
KarenP
(@karenp)
New Member
Posted by: @rewired

An initial summary of the Vision 2040 survey results was published in the St Croix Source:

removed link

For any business owners out there, you have until the end of the year to submit the business survey if you haven't already. 

The survey results and link to the business survey can be found on the Vision 2040  web site

removed link

 

 

You have a good source, thanks. I was also surprised that agriculture ranks first, although I think part of this may be the result of two storms, a pandemic.

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 1, 2021 1:08 pm
Page 2 / 2
Close Menu