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How Costa Rica Gets It Right


How Costa Rica Gets It Right

Joseph Stiglitz

SAN JOSÉ – With authoritarianism and proto-fascism on the rise in so many corners of the world, it is heartening to see a country where citizens are still deeply committed to democratic principles. And now its people are in the midst of trying to redefine their politics for the twenty-first century.


Upon seeing its title, I wondered how Stieglitz was going to make this article standard journalistic length…

Because if I’d been writing, it would have said simply, “Costa Rica chose to abolish its military in 1948. It has kept on choosing to invest in Love ever since.”

Want gun control, AmeriKKKans?

The Costa Rican approximation points to the only path that will ever work.

For as long as the government we own as “ours” is heavily armed, we are saying we perceive that (brute physical) might ultimately makes right.

As we choose to give our resources to maintain a standing military force, we are saying that violence can solve the problem of violence.

And war is peace, right?

Yes, “we so crazy”!

May the wisdom of Costa Rica go viral! A global pandemic of peacemaking! A worldwide “terrorism of Love”, to paraphrase Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour!


They’d better hope they never discover oil in that lovely country of theirs!


Yes. May it be so.


… Not that long ago I read that offshore oil was discovered. Costa Rica decided to not develop it, a decision lauded by enviro-leftists on several forums.

To be noted, that after the USA removed Gen. Noriega of Panama the Panamanians decided to abolish their National Guard. So that makes two in Central America and Latin America. Let’s see if Costa Rica’s success can be copied. I note that Panama is wealthier than a few nearby countries, such as Nicaragua, even Nicaragua ruled by left-wing Sandinistas for the last several years. …

BTW, when I started reading Stiglitz’s article I thought of Thomas Jefferson’s dream of a democratic republic of small farmers. An unrealistic dream, and the dreamer merely dreamed rather than giving up his plantation and becoming a small farmer himself.

2nd btw. It looks like Joseph Stiglitz idealizes for Marxist slogan economics, from each according to their ability to each according to their need. Easy to dream of, hard to establish here on this Earth.


Automobiles and airplanes are aspects of the capitalist doomsday construct. There is no need to travel to be an enlightened healthy person with a loving family while surrounded by friends and fun.

The twenty hour work week, a big garden and friends who drop by for a beer and to play music are plenty enough goods for humans.

Capitalist billionaires have sold their souls and are no longer fully human. They have bargained with the devil and those deals are said to be hellishly difficult to undo.


Back in the 1700s, aristocrats and early industrialists figured paying laborers low wages would make laborers more willing to work harder, work longer hours, and work more days of the week- as if laborers have no other purpose or desires in life. That notion is obviously still alive and well among capitalists today.

I’ve got the not-so-big garden and I play a fiddle; however, I’m still working on that 20 hr work week and friends to hang with. It bothers me a lot that having land to garden on is considered a privilege that one has to acquire by paying money for the land. Rather, land to garden should be considered a right. I could have been so much more productive through my life if I had garden space to work on. Instead, I had to work a job, save up the money, and now that I’m old and don’t have the energy of my youth to work that land I can finally garden. So fkd up… Great, I’ve finally earned that privilege now that I’m old, broken and used up. Land to garden should be a right, not a privilege.