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Looks Like Social Security Has Money to Burn!

FeaturesLooks Like Social Security Has Money to Burn!

By Rudolph A. Neal 

The Belizean populace is irate! The country is furious—angry at their Social Security Board (SSB) for a slew of investments that not only total an exorbitant sum but are very questionable, to say the least. In case you’re living under a rock, for context, the Social Security Board has just recently made public an intent to lend a whopping 20 million dollars to the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and an inconceivable and incomprehensible 7 million dollars to a private pharmaceutical company! Now, if your head is getting tight and you’re deeply suspiring at this news, you have every right to! Because what in the good heavens of a ridiculous investment is this? The only logical thing that one can think is that Social Security must have money to burn! 

Before we get to the 7 million for the private pharmaceutical company, let’s analyze the 20 million loan to DFC, first. Regarding the SSB loaning DFC a whopping 20 million dollars, I am suspiring in utter anger at this investment blunder. And let me tell you why. If I understand correctly, the SSB is a statutory body, that serves as an insurance entity for the Belizean public that provides a safety net at times of sickness, unemployment,

and death, in addition to the pension benefits provided during retirement. So they are an entity through whom the populace insure themselves against the aforementioned phenomena. Now DFC is a development bank. A bank’s functions and responsibilities are to provide financial products to the populace by means of loans, mortgages, and the like. Now if you’re following the narrative, it is utterly incomprehensible that a statutory body (that should also function as a somewhat private entity) can loan 20 million dollars of their people’s money to a bank, yes a bank. 

That is ludicrous and oxymoronic, to say the least. How could SSB, in good conscience take 20 million dollars out of people’s hard-working money and loan it to a bank? How? I just cannot understand it, and the mere thought of it is unfathomable! Then it is presumed that the DFC will take the 20 million dollars that SSB loaned them out of the people’s money (that was supposed to be secured) and then turn around and loan it back to the same people who had made those contributions to SSB in the first place at an increased rate that would yield a profitable return? That is bloody murder, and outright callous and blatantly ridiculous. That is incendiary and is putting people’s Social Security investment at risk.

Then, to further compound an already egregious situation, the SSB announced a further 7-million-dollar loan to a private pharmaceutical company. Now, from all sides and all angles, no matter how you flip it, it is utterly flagrant, repugnant, and ludicrous. Such an investment in a private entity will yield absolutely no benefits for the Belizean people, whose money you’re investing, might I remind you. How can you take people’s hard-earned money, and because of your investment framework, consider the unthinkable and seek to invest 7 million in a private company that will yield little to no fruition and development to the people whose money you’re investing and the country who could use some development, like seriously!

It is my fervent hope that SSB would seriously reconsider these investments and wheel and come again, ’cause good grief! The same people whose money the SSB is seeking to invest, are the same people who just bore the callous and brutal brunt of a tiered increase in Social Security contributions. And at the time, when the populace begged and decried such an increase, it was stated that the increase was necessary because the funds would eventually run out if an increase was not had. Well, they got their increase, and now it appears that the funds are no longer in peril, evident by these monumental investment proposals. I guess that is why they are making such large investments back to back, perhaps ’cause they have money to burn, nuh?

But the truth of the matter is this: these investments could have better targeted the needier sectors of the country that would have more adequately promoted true and just developments. For instance, if the SSB truly wanted to invest in the development of this country, you know how many primary schools are in dire need of a feeding program? Do you know how many high schools across the country need a computer lab and their science labs needs urgent repair? Hell, the nation’s national referral hospital that sits across from SSB is in dire need of an overhaul. Do you know what a 20-million investment would have done for KHMH? I mean, they could have invested the 7 million in a low-income housing project … If SSB wanted to invest in the development of our country, they could have taken the 7 million to build $50,000 bungalow cement houses. That would have yielded 140 bungalow cement houses, benefitting 140 families, lifting them out of poverty, and charting a path to sustainable development. But no … all I can say is that it appears that Social Security has money to burn! 

Unchained Reflection Of A Liberal Pragmatist. 

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