At its core, Peter McCormack’s film is about the other side of El Salvador. And he faces it head-on in the part of his “Follow The Money #1” documentary we’ll dissect today. Will the Bitcoin Law help Salvadorans who don’t care about the Internet? Can bitcoin fix every problem it encounters? In a long enough time frame, it can and it will. McCormack seems to be in a hurry, though. As this part of the film progresses, he seems more and more overwhelmed.
The Congresswoman And The Bitcoin That She Refused To See
Last time, we left McCormack about to go meet Congresswoman Claudia Ortiz, “a staunch opponent of the president.” Even though he just was at the protest, McCormack wants to balance the discourse and feels that Ortiz is “on the other side of the debate.” She came in guns blazing, “that law, that bill was passed the same day it was introduced to the assembly. And this is a very important decision, and they didn’t ask the people if the people wanted this.”
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That might be right, but it still was the right decision. “They didn’t explain to the people after taking that decision. They didn’t explain how converting Bitcoin into legal tender is going to be a good decision for this country.” And that’s more than fair criticism. Education is key, and it’s been one of the factors in which El Salvador’s bitcoin experiment has been lacking. Then, Claudia Ortiz makes the wildest assumption:
“I suspect that this decision is being taken for the bad reasons, and the evidence of that is that we don’t have any explanation, any logical or feasible explanation that this is going to be good for the economy.”
There are thousands of articles, hundreds of podcast episodes, and dozens of books that can explain that to the Congresswoman. Putting that burden on the state is lazy at best. Do the work and you’ll find the answers. “Other problems like the public finance crisis that we have been existing for a decade, maybe more than a decade, and every problem is like building over and over and over,” she adds.
Well, we have good news. Bitcoin fixes that.
“We should be in the other way, the other direction, trying to build agreements for developments.”
No, you shouldn’t. You should focus on bitcoin.
BTC price chart for 05/26/2022 on BinanceUS | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
Get The Money To The Right People
After that, McCormack heads to the dangerous part of town to check out a program to “get addicts of the streets and rebuild their life.” This shocks him to the core. The place seems to be doing great work, but almost 50 adults live in a big house. “If you can get the right money to the right people, you can fundamentally change people’s lives. You can do good,” McCormack reflects.
At night with Mike Peterson and his wife Brittney, McCormack states his fears. “The Bitcoin project might change El Salvador. In 10 years, it might be in a much better place. But, does everyone benefit?” Of course, they do. Let sound money do its thing. “What about those people falling between the cracks?” McCormack asks. Bitcoin will help them by lifting the Salvadoran society as a whole.
Sensing McCormack’s fear, Brittney puts him at ease. “I think what’s more alarming is if you see things like that, and it doesn’t impact you.” Then, she proceeds to tell him about a gang-related murder that happened around their house. When Peter asked if she wanted to leave after that, she answered:
“That has crossed my mind several times during that time, yes. There was a sense, you know, what can we do to help? We can’t change the world overnight, but it’s all the little things (…) And then when you see things like the project here, and you begin to see hope, that’s exciting, that’s exciting to see those little victories along the way.”
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To that, Michael Peterson adds. “Sometimes it can feel like overwhelming, and it feels so pressing, but I think it’s important to realize like these things won’t change overnight. But, it is important that we start as soon as possible.” And concludes “Bitcoin isn’t the goal, like, it is a tool.”
Tune in tomorrow for the third and final part of this series. Peter McCormack will talk to President Bukele for the second time on that one.
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