Palau Should Learn From The Successes And Failures Of Other Countries

By Jackson M. Henry —-

When you hear the wordGreece, it conjures images of the Parthenon, Aristotle and one of the world’s first great civilizations. Greeks are credited for founding democracy, the Olympics and philosophy. Even their famous Ionian architectures are still emulated around the world. Here inPalau, the OEK building traces its design to ancientGreece. The dome symbolizes the universe and democracy and the massive pillars are edifice of stability, power and strength.

Today, when you hearGreece, you imagine street riots, monstrous debts and government officials squabbling amidst an uncontrollable slide into an economic abyss.

Many inPalauare asking, how did this once global powerhouse succumb to economic implosion and civil disorder.

Meanwhile, across the French channel, England just finished cleaning up after celebrating the queen’s diamond jubilee with fanfare and brilliant display of British culture and their nation’s might. Millions around the world, including developing nations likePalau, were literally salivating of the greatness and affluence that isGreat Britain. As one onlooker commented on the ceremony’s opulence, “Only the British people can do something of this magnitude”. Yes indeed,Great Britainis great and a success story.

Back toGreece, economists opine thatGreece’s problem lies in the Greeks themselves. They shot themselves in the foot. Perhaps they dwelled too much on their past glories and failed to plan for the future. Their leaders became too complacent and citizens became lazy and unproductive. Workers worked less hours, paid little or no taxes and exhausted their welfare system.

Greece, likePalau, is a one economy nation. We both depend heavily on tourism dollars. However,Greece’s size cannot survive on tourism alone. Greeks, like Palauans, gravitate to government jobs and leaving the private sector to languish.Greece’s mighty past ship building prowess has been taken over byKoreaandChina. Their national debt of $425 billion is bigger than its own economy and 130% of its GDP. The people elected Parliamentarians who are against austerity and guidelines for bailout imposed by EU. These competing interests only compound the problem and sends fear into the world’s financial and stock markets. IfGreececollapses, you can bet the contagion will affectPalau’s economy because tourism will take a massive hit.

In our quest to forge a vibrant economy for ourselves, it helps to look around the globe and take notes of why some nations prosper and why others fail. We can learn from the Greeks to pay your taxes, be productive and do not always depend on the government to clean up your mess. We must take our lessons from the success ofGreat Britainwho built vibrant private sector and diversified their economic base. Best of all, the monarchy only serve as symbolic government head, leaving the politics and business to thrive without obstruction.

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