By George Capsis
Oh, wow, I read in the July 22nd Sunday Times that Exxon discovered a gushing oil reservoir off the coast of Guyana, and that the Independent one time colony of the Dutch and British made up of former African slaves and indentured Indian workers, with a population of only 800,000, will inevitably receive $3 to $5 billion a year.
The Times warns that small poor countries that discover oil often waste the opportunity, as the flood of money quickly blends seamlessly with government corruption; as I read this, I said, “of course it is inevitable.”
And then I thought: if we only had a country of honest people—they could be hired to receive and fairly disburse sudden wealth. So I Googled the most honest people on this planet and came up with the Danes, and then we went for brunch, and on West 4th we came upon a young tourist family—mama, papa, and two boys searching a map for a SoHo soccer store, and we offered them directions.
“Where are you from?” I asked, and got, “Denmark.” I told of my search for the most honest nation just minutes before, and our tourist father offered with a bemused smile, “Denmark.” He had a very dark complexion, so I asked if he was Danish and he told me he was Turkish.
Now I shared my surprise and told him my father was born in Turkey, and my Danish Turk offered, “where?” Izmir, I responded, and without skipping a beat our new tourist friend said, “that is where I come from.”
Yes, well, I still think it is a good idea—the Danes form sudden wealth management companies that receive the largess of gushing new wells and disburse it fairly to an impoverished population or the half million in New York City public housing.
I think we should be able to buy honesty and fairness—we sure can’t vote it in.