Thursday, November 14, 2013
I mentioned yesterday that in the past farmers would haul their crops to the port for export in these ox carts. They obviously took pride in the appearance of their ox carts to paint them in this fashion.
Perhaps this is similar to people today enjoying having a fancy car. If farmers were going to be seen by the neighbors and by customers as they haul stuff for their farms, why not impress them with an elaborate paint job?
More About Free Trade Experience: For the last few days I have discussed the Costa Rican experience in expanding its exports after the voters approved the Central American (and Dominican Republic) Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). In most countries, economic interests that fear competition from foreign imports oppose free trade agreements. Costa Rica was no exception when the CAFTA-DR vote occurred.
CAFTA-DR required that Costa Rica open up its economy to foreign competition. That included aspects of the economy that had operated as government monopolies, which in Costa Rica included insurance and cell phone service. So what has happened in these fields?
The state insurance monopoly has retained 95% of its life insurance customers and 90% of its customers for other lines of insurance. The state cellular provider however, lost 30% of its cell phone customers and 80% of its mobile broad band customers from 2010 to 2012.
I guess it should be no surprise that people are more likely to change cell phone and internet plans than they are insurance companies, especially for life insurance. Even those who have not changed have benefited because the competition has resulted in improved service.
This week we have photos of the street art of Valparaiso, Chile, posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.