Friday, January 07, 2011

Georgia (The Country) Needs more Libertarians

I am working on a project in the country of Georgia and like the country pretty well. While I was in Azerbaijan I was constantly sickened by all the corruption that I saw on a regular basis. I have to admit that Georgia is not as bad as Azerbaijan but the government here is hardly innocent. My project was working with a livestock company in our project area and had tried to do everything right including letting the government know what we are doing. We were going to help this small company expand/upgrade their operations. Just a few weeks ago my boss got a call from the Ministry of Agriculture saying "I don't think it is fair for you to help a private company when another private company is trying to do the same thing"; well this was news to us. We looked into it and turns out that a large insurance group wants to build an agricultural market which we knew about but apparently they have all of a sudden taken interest in livestock, right around the time we showed our business plans to the ministry. Well we met with the company and they flat out told us, your project will never succeed, you are welcome to try but we foresee problems with your registering, taxes, etc... message, we will crush you using our government buddies. While this is a major pain for my project it is not devastating, but for the livestock company we were trying to help, they are devastated, and currently trying to figure out how they can cut their losses. Its amazing what a corrupt government can do.
Ok, ok, so maybe the government isn't that corrupt; regardless it does sound like good tabloid fodder doesn't it? (Get it?! fodder, livestock! [alright, maybe that is just aggie humor]).