They did a study to see how much work time was needed to buy the new iPhone 12 according to the average salary of various countries. While it takes a Swiss little more than four days, in the United States it takes six. What is the last country in the rankings? Well, Colombia, who else would it be? While in countries with alarming poverty like India and Mexico it takes fifty-four days to buy the latest Apple toy, it takes Colombians eighty-six days. Eighty-six and a half days actually, because you can be sure your employer isn’t going to give you that half a day.
If, on the other hand, you are a congressman, you can release your iPhone in a couple days, faster than a Swiss. That could be a good portrait of our country, a place where a few ‘Swiss’ rule many Colombians. And the gap is widening, as evidenced by this week’s salary increases. Thirty years ago, a congressman earned fourteen minimum monthly wages, today he earns thirty-seven, but don’t worry, we are doing well and improving. And that little is said about the number of Colombian workers who do not earn even a minimum. That is, while many are eating a cable, others are not even enough for the cable. We believe that the minimum wage is the ground, but the truth is that there is a thick subsoil that is much worse.
Some politicians have kept silent and others have come out with technicalities to justify a situation that is unjustifiable. They have been very respectful of the constitution that sometimes criticize and have said that the increase is mandatory by law, as if they could not do anything about it. Meanwhile, economists draw studies and equations to affirm that the minimum in Colombia is one of the highest in the world. Street is what some and others lack; street and humanity.
Also, on what account a salary increase for parliamentarians? Is it an award for how well they have done or what? Not only are they going to earn much more this year that is already beginning, but they are going to receive a retroactive payment of almost twenty million pesos for what they did not get in 2020. And, above all, now they are going to rest for three months without stopping receiving salary So it’s not just a matter of money, but of privilege. Ask for three months on leave from your job, and see how long it takes to kick you out like a dog and hire a more starving dog to do the same for less money.
Duque has just raised the salary of congressmen, when in the campaign he promised that they would be frozen, and since everything bad that happens in his government is the fault of his predecessor, I assume it is a matter of days before he holds Santos responsible for the measure. Although I understand that he has; Even if it is covered by a slight veneer of respectability, politics is an enormous and complex network more similar to the mafia than to anything else, and the head of everything cannot command if its subordinates are not happy, in them lies its true power, not in the vote of the citizens.
But, beyond the outrage at the difference in salary increases, the point is that in Colombia the cost of living rises faster than salaries in general, that is why you cannot buy the same things that you bought before (from hamburger combo for lunch to own house), and household that does not have at least two income is lame. No idea how long we will need in ten years to buy an iPhone, but more than eighty-six and a half days, for sure. Eighty-six days of work to have a phone, and then you can’t even use it because it comes without a charger, supposedly to “take care of the planet.” Bitch life.
ADOLFO ZABLEH DURÁN