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Ricardo Escobar’s column: “Pedrito and the wolf and politics”

When my children were little I told them the story of Pedrito and the Wolf. The children followed with laughter, amazement and fear Pedrito the shepherd, who, bored on the hill taking care of the sheep, would occasionally start shouting that the wolf was coming. In this way he made people leave the town. Credulous, they came to his aid. He did it several times, mocking those who came running up the hill. Until the day came when the wolf really came and Pedrito, terrified, screamed and screamed, but the people did not come to his help. They no longer believed his lies.

Reading classes in basic education should have this fable as a mandatory subject. Children would learn from her that, although it can be entertaining to tell a lie sometimes and thus achieve what you want at the expense of others, there is a limit to deceiving people. It has serious consequences: Pedrito was eaten by the wolf.

In national politics there are those who seem to believe that you can tell people lies and count on their votes, even though they have disappointed or deceived citizens time and time again.

The long tragedy of the Isapres crisis is the most recent example of this attitude. Government after government, Congress after Congress, with the most ridiculous excuses have told us that someone else is responsible for the problem, “but don’t worry, we are going to do something,” later. Playing with fire, they passed the poisoned card forward. Until the wolf arrived. Three million people are on the verge of overloading the public health system.

Now they say, don’t worry, this is a problem for the rich. As if the hundreds of thousands who wait years for surgery or a public health specialist were not going to be affected by a couple of million new users of the public system.

The responsible authority, which incredibly decided not to support a solution recommended by specialists of all stripes, thereby throwing the system into a ravine, is the same one that sank it when it determined that a debt that could have been US$400 million is now US $1.5 billion and therefore priceless. That same one now proposes that the debt can be fixed by giving three more years, once again passing the poison to those who will come after, and boldly adds that if this is not approved, the opposition will be to blame for the disaster.

In pensions it is similar. Increases are promised that we know cannot be financed. They avoid telling the truth, that men and women must contribute until they are 67 years old at least so that the system does not cause a crisis. They take the body out of the syringe, they evade the harsh responsibility for which they were elected.

In security they tell us that they are committed to it, but they allow a port to be taken over by a handful of workers who defend their “right” to go to work drunk or drugged, and they do so by throwing stones at their colleagues and destroying railway lines.

In tax collection they assure that they want to fight against tax evasion and informality, but they provide spaces in squares, promenades and sidewalks, so that thousands of illegal merchants can sell the proceeds of theft and smuggling. They thus encourage organized crime, destroy public spaces and support illegal competition against those who pay taxes.

The wolf is going to eat them one by one in the elections.

* Lawyer at Bofill Escobar Silva Abogados.

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