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WWDD? Funding Problems

Sir:  It was all working pretty well the past couple of years: I was getting funded pretty liberally from (ahem) outside sources, and using that funding to feather the nest, put a few chickens in a few pots, and basically run the nation.  Then suddenly, the money dried up.  I'm potentially screwed now: I've got poor people crying all over the place that they want their cut of the action, I've got a private sector that isn't exactly a great source of income, and I've got huge expenses on all sides.  All this stuff used to get covered by my monthly checks, and now I've got nothing?  What to do?

  -- Signed, Fitty Cen

Well, first things first.  Fitty:  you a shit head.  Any dictator worth its salt knows the key isn't to gorge on the largesse of foreign funding sources (especially the international donor community; that should go without saying).  The trick is, and you'd know it if you'd read my book you illiterate son-of-a-bitch, is to develop the private sector, make sure they're firmly under your yoke, and then tax the bejeezus out of them.  That's sustainable: just look at Europe.

You though, you've got fewer options.  Here's a start: you're in essentially the same boat as Daniel Ortega, whose budget took a massive dump the moment Hugo Chavez shuffled off this mortal coil.  And what did he do?  Same thing you should do: he sold off a piece of prime national patrimony with little or no public consultation or government oversight, and as far as anyone can tell, pocketed the cash.  Nice Dick move, Ortega you dumb son-of-a-bitch.  

In his case, what he sold was a 100 year concession to build and operate a trans-oceanic canal running through his nation of Nicaragua.  Now, that's not some spur-of-the-moment decision.  Engineers, planners, dreamers, and kooks have been discussing such a thing for centuries.  And for the most part, the recent studies have concluded the idea is not only economically unfeasible but an ecological disaster.  Never mind those littlie trivialities when you've got a wealthy Chinese entrepreneur sporting a satchel full of cold, hard cash.  Ortega ponied up the agreement, pocketed some jingle, and sold his people up the river.  And now that he's flush with mush, he's back to the good old days of governing the old fashioned way: patronism, petty projects, and miscellaneous bullshit.

That's my advice to you, Fitty.  Dick out.

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