Nationalism is when one country is very proud of its own accomplishments and highly patriotic towards their beliefs and culture. The country believes it is superior to the other countries. There are a few extreme cases of nationalism. Zakaria is worried about the rise of Nationalism, due to the increased difficulty to come to a harmonious agreement. By everyone being stubborn in their ways, changing to please others would not be an easy feat. The challenge is “to stop the forces of global growth from turning into forces of global disorder and disintegration” (Zakaria, 34). By becoming so confident and not looking to others for opinions, the time to make crucial decisions will become too long and difficult of a process.
Costa Rica has only 3% of its country’s people living as immigrants in another country. Most Costa Ricans, or Ticos, tend to stay in the country instead of emigrating. A large portion of the population is immigrants (10% to be exact) from Nicaragua, Columbia, United States and El Salvador. They come over looking for the growth in jobs that neighboring countries do not seem to have. The jobs tend to be in low paying tourist jobs, but that is better than the “huge Manila garbage dump known as Smokey Mountain” in the example from Anne Tyler. The Mountain symbolized the poverty in many surrounding areas, and how the poor would gather from the piles of rubbish to find anything to help them survive the next day. Costa Rica offers them a better opportunity, even if it is at a low hour per wage ratio. It is a whole lot better than the alternative of having nothing.
There are 8 major indigenous ethnic groups of Costa Rica making up only 2% of the population. This caused a lot of issues with the indigenous tribes of Costa Rica, because the other percentage of the Costa Rican population keep taking more and more land that was not theirs. It wasn’t until 1977, when the Indigenous Law creates preserves to allow native Ticos to preserve their land. In 1994, the indigenous people were given the right to vote. There is not harmony yet with the natives and nonnatives, but steps are slowly being made to make it right.
Conflict on what is right is blurred for the two opposing groups. While there seems to be calm waters currently, that could easily change at any moment.
When it comes to inequality, Costa Rica has a lot to learn and improve on. In 2014, “the top 10 percent of Costa Ricans make 24.8 times as much as the poorest 10 percent” (Dyer). Wealth inequality has been increasing ever since 1994, at a very rapid pace. Even with Costa Rica’s 44 public programs to help those in poverty, it is not getting any better.
On top of that, the government has placed tariffs on goods such as rice and bread. These are basic food items that the poor eat for a staple meal. This makes eating into a luxury that most are not unable to afford. Families are going to have a majority of their income going to overpriced staple products and few other products. Since they are basic products, the purchases will still be made, but there is a cost. Fewer products will be purchased along with the staples, lowering the turnover rate for many products.
This is because they focus to work on economy sectors such as tourism and exports instead of agriculture like it used to in the past. Not saying that agriculture is not worked on at all, because that is not true, but it is a smaller percent of the overview.
More talk has been about what is causing the drastic changes in the groups. Many believe it is due to the widening gap between those who are skilled and educated from those who are not. While skilled jobs have seen an increase, the unskilled jobs have not. Now according to Estado de la Nación, 60% of the labor force has not completed high school. And unfortunately, most of the new jobs being created are going to require having knowledge of certain learned skills.
Action has been in the talks about fixing this rapidly growing issue. The 2014 election was seen as very important to combat inequality. It was difficult for politicians to decide what the best step to take was due to the increasing growth at the same time as the divide between the classes increased. But even with the new changes, progress will take lots of time to see positive results. A time Costa Rica is eagerly waiting for.
Hidaglo, J. C. (2014). Growth without Poverty Reduction: The Case of Costa Rica. Retrieved September 18, 2016, from http://www.cato.org/publications/economic-development-bullitin/growth-without-poverty-reduction-case-costa-rica
Tyler, A. (1985). The Accidental Tourist. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Zakaria, F. (2011). The Post-American World: Release 2.0. New York: W.W. Norton.