Turning Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones

Submitted by AOD


The economy of the USA will slide into depression, greater than 1931 (it did not truly begin in 1929). Paralyzed by excessive debt, the futile attempts by their federal reserve to monetize this debt will fail. The US economy will begin to “circle the bowl” each round of quantitative easing (adding money to the system and making it available to banks to make loans…but the banks then don’t lend it, but instead use it to cover the mountain of debt from the housing/securities ponzi scheme).  Each round is less successful than the previous and is place solely on the tax payers backs. This is mathematically impossible to escape and requires double digit GDP growth for 14 years consecutively to clear the current debt out of the system.

Therefore the dollar will be destroyed, all currencies pegged to it will be the means by which those countries import massive amounts of inflation as the dollar continues to lose value against world currencies then commodities. It is in the best interest of the US that the E.U detonates first (the seed of the greatest war) , for that scenario buys the US sometime, but unless the fundamental problems of lost real jobs (where an actual product is produced), and dying industry are addressed there will be no recovery.

Devaluation only works when you are a producer.

So for Barbados, remaining pegged to the US dollar, just as we rose with them we will fall, and suffer the exact fate…. or far worse, unless we make drastic changes soon.

Barbados does not have food security and is in a climate of increasing fuel and food prices. If the devaluation of the US dollar over the last decade was the first stage for skyrocketing food and fuel prices the Middle East liberation is certainly the second. This turmoil will literally and figuratively place food and fuel prices into orbit, out of reach for many.

What little economic recovery there is will be snuffed out cold.

Fuel is linked to water and it is a matter of national security. We will need reserves in place to facilitate the distribution of water for survival for at least 2years. Wind driven pumps will become precious as fuel becomes scarce. Reducing energy wastage will go from being a “nice thing for the environment” to a matter of necessity.

Outside of our direct controlled is the development of some incredible energy technologies, which will finally be revealed as the era of oil comes to an end. It will take some years for these technologies to achieve mass distribution… so in the interim energy frugality will be necessary. This energy revolution will officially launch the 21st century standard of living. What masquerades today as 21st century living is an extreme caricature of the 20th century. Not a single product is unique to this century but merely extreme refinement of 20th century technology.

Until then Barbados has advantages.

We have more than enough water reserves to meet our NEEDS but we need to secure its distribution. We have an abundance of solar radiation and no winter requiring heating oil/ high energy use. Using fuel to produce heat is a most wasteful process thus avoiding this negative is a huge positive for us.

Barbados is small, densely populated and relatively, culturally stable. Working together, and with no real barriers to the transport of goods and services within the nation we can ride out the global storm. Think tanks are a great idea but must be married to action groups, like the brain connected to the hand, which makes all invention possible.

Through modern techniques in agriculture that utilize small self sustaining units to produce yields many times that of the methods of old we will be able to feed ourselves. Brilliance and excellence in agriculture will take on heroic significance. A time to survive, a time of reassessing our values, morals, and a return to core strengths. It will be a time of purifying ourselves from decades of post WWII decadence, and the slow poisoning of a terminally ill western civilization. Purging ourselves of the toxicity, awakened from the drug induced coma. We will be healthier, stronger, more creative, more cohesive, ethically, morally and spiritually renewed. Until then…

Our first duty is preparation. Grasshopper time is over, it is time to be an ant. For a time we played a jolly tune, but the prelude to the 21st century is over.

0 thoughts on “Turning Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones

  1. Wow! this is an excellent piece. And it is the truth; Right here in the US we were dug into a whole by George Bush to start the ball rolling, and like you said regardless of what we do at this point in time. We are stuck; Even printing more money will only start to depreciate the value of the dollar; Barbados does have a lot going for it, and changes has to be made sooner than later to make it all come together for the population in Barbados. Going back to the things that kept us alive is a big part since what we eat determines our life expectancy. What being produce in Barbados is way more healthier than what’s being imported. So using natural resources is going to be the key. I like the part about the cold. Sometimes I would be glad to get a little BAJAN SUNSHINE on my face; So Bajans, thank GOD that you don’t have to worry about the cold weather which uses lots of energy; Listen to what AOD has said, and act now so that you’ll be ahead of the game. GOD Bless and may the people of Barbados ride out this storm without paying a big price in all areas;

    • What should be evident to those who might have just awaken from slumberland is that we need to start a national conversation on these matters.

      It must be led by key stakeholders and it must be collaborative.

      A collaborative approach may help to dilute partisan fervour which will dog such an effort.

  2. I do agree with you David. This now is much bigger than just a few. Provisions has to be made collectively in order for this situation to be a success. This isn’t about the greater good of any party, or parties. But for the GREATER GOOD of all BARBADIANS; For this to work it will have to become a TEAM EFFORT, understanding that everyone involved is doing his, or her part without looking for gains and glory. In this situation BARBADIANS, and BARBADOS is **FIRST and FOREMOST**;
    You have enough brains in Barbados to pull this off, despite what others might think. But it has to be about BARBADOS and BARBADIANS, and not about **SELF**; “Glory comes from the good that is done for others. Your name will be remembered even when you are dead and gone;” **I KNOW YOU CAN;**

  3. @ David
    …beginning to see the light at last…..still dimly though.. LOL.

    How long before you come to grips with the REAL program?

    “It must be led by key stakeholders and it must be collaborative…..” LOL David, you sound desperate yuh!!
    Think about it my friend – collaborative!!??? from our previous discussions here on BU – what are the chances?

    ….it is all downhill from here my friend. It is game over. Even Islandgal will ‘get it’ by year end…. rotfl

  4. The game may be over but the series has only just begun. We can have an impact on how our society develops and not only by street demonstrations or riots. I think David of BU is on the ball and forums like this will be monitored by policy makers and others who influence policy, if we contribute worthwhile ideas and suggestions rather than complaints and partisanship.

    Let me take the ball from David and get it rolling, perhaps at some stage we may abandon the match on this field and restart on a new pitch (thread; for those that see it through bloggers eyes).

    We can create an institutionalised system of input from civil society organisations and individuals. If we started the process using what is available such as the constituency councils, they can be shaped to accept proposals from interested people in their areas towards local or national development issues.

    These proposals can then be directed to the relevant government agency or department and must be responded to over a particular time frame that is enshrined as a part of the terms and conditions of employment for public servants.

    The responses must be clear as to whatever challenges the proposals bring up, so that the proposer can work to overcome the problem or collaborate to redevelop the idea.

    For example, and I want to be specific here, so please bear with me.

    We currently spend millions? to employ a very dedicated and effective work force in the NCC/beautify Barbados program. There is no tangible financial output from this expenditure. Appreciated, they do move into an area with lots of equipment and hard working people and make the place look good.

    However why not use these same people, paying them the same wage, to work with the same equipment under the same environmental working conditions to grow food under organic management systems?

    They could either be allocated to existing farmers/farms or undertake the redevelopment of some of the idle plots.

    In a matter of 6 weeks this agency can go from a non productive workforce to a productive unit that will reduce our requirement for foreign exchange.

    This is an example of a proposal that can be put to the relevant agency and would require a response from the department, within a specific time frame. Why should we pay civil servants who will not even respond? Where is their accountability to the public they serve?

    Believe me, I have written to a government agency with this and have received absolutely no response. The proposal which was submitted was in much more detail and contained some other holistic features.

    There are many other people reading this blog that have ideas and suggestions, lets churn them out, criticise them where necessary, look for the weak spots and submit them to our representatives or agencies. They can ignore us at their peril.


  5. AOD wrote “Barbados does not have food security”.

    This is true but Barbados still has enough arable land to increase food production to near secure levels and this could be achieved in 2 to 3 years.

    There are people in Barbados who have left their arable land idle waiting for it to be zoned as rab land suitable for development.

    With the events occuring around the world Bajans must be proactive in self preservation.

    • @Hants

      We operate in a culture which dictates that the best decision is driven by what is the highest economic value. Such a model as in the case of food security may conflict with the national priority.

  6. Barbados has to subsidise the agriculture industry more, enough is not being done to reduce the price of locally grown crops. We compete against foreign countries who get great assistance from their governments so that there will always be enough food in their countries to feed the locals. In barbados it seems the only ones that benefit are the select few who get theirs free or at reduced cost, while the average person pays the extra price. All this talk about price gouging, still we would hear of the produce that is alleged to be going home at some of these same people’s houses, but they make a lot of noise for the public benefit.

  7. @The Scout: “Barbados has to subsidise the agriculture industry more…

    With all due respect, Barbados does *not* have to “subsidise the agriculture industry”.

    Barbados consumers simply need to able to buy the product at very near the cost of production.

    Without the overhead of theft….

  8. What does Barbados have to sell and what services to offer the rest of the world.

    What natural resources does Barbados have?

    Barbados could be facing the biggest challenge in its history.

    Rising Food and Oil prices are a reality we have to deal with this year. That is why Agriculture/farming/kitchen gardening is critical to your existence.

    Tourism is also critical because there could be a serious downturn in the financial services sector.

    Micro Macro and all cros will play. Individuals will have to cut and contrive because the Government does not have a bottomless pit of money to borrow from.

    Hope for the best but expect the worse. Personal survival skills are going to be important if the world goes back into recession.

    Wunna just may rediscover the wonderful culinary delights that used to be our daily bread. Fishcakes, coucou an salt fish,
    yam wid steam fish…..

  9. A big part of the problem with fresh food prices is the mark up of vendors. They often add 100% mark up and feel no way.

    I remember years ago digging potatoes from plantations at $5 -$8 a rod. There are generally 5 holes of potatoes in a rod. Depending on the field and how well the potatoe is growing, we could get between 5 to 8lbs of potatoe per hole. That is between 25-40lbs per rod.

    We used to drive around and sell our potatoes at 50cents a lb and still double our money.

    What is happening now is vendors have little overheads and no heart. They will buy from growers as cheap as possible and stick it to the consumers.

    When farmers then go into the market to sell alongside vendors, they see these people selling an item at $3.oo a lb and decide that if he can charge that and get the sale why shouldn’t I. Farmers know that they do the toil and most vendors just make the profits.

    The solution I think is to separate the vendors from the farmers and have certain market spaces allocated to bona fide growers.

    I have had to limit the quantities of certain products that I sell to certain people in the market as I know they are vendors who want to buy 20lbs of an item at $1.00, go outside and sell it at $2.00, catching the person who is walking by before they can get into the market.

    The list that was published in the Sunday paper by the BAMC outlining the sale price of fresh food was a useful guide and needs to be revisited. Quite often I can sell organically grown vegetables at the same price or cheaper than many vendors who are selling chemically laden rubbish.

    Cut out the middle man.


  10. “They often add 100% mark up and feel no way.”

    That is the way of free enterprise. Capitalism has no conscience.

    Farmers in Barbados need to sell more of their produce directly to the consumer.Set up a little stall on their land,put on some clean clothes and offer their best fruit and vegetables to the consumer.

    Government must also change the law relating to praedial larceny. The penalties should be the same as for a bank robber or a b& e.

  11. Setting up a stall on my land in the middle of nowhere will hardly work. What I would like to see is more community supported agriculture systems. Groups of farmers get together and offer consumers guaranteed supply (within reason) for a set fee. The trick is the consumer invests in the farming group by way of a monthly or bi annual fee in advance. In the same way we might purchase health insurance, we can invest in food assurance.

    This will allow the farmers to invest more readily in inputs, labour and clean clothes!?. We can also deliver to our investors and give them the farm gate rates.

    In some cases investors can invest in “work equity” rather than cash and perhaps spend one or two hours a week, harvesting or weeding on the farm closest to them and have their labour cost redeemed in fresh produce to equivalent value.

    Anybody interested?


  12. @matt
    NO! sounds two tricky to me. Anyhow i prefer to be paid when I work and owe no man nothing in servitude. How long do you thing that plan would work for? let me guess! Um!

  13. Reconnect with your neighbours, we will need each other. I saw it after Tomas, we still have it in us. The individualist, selfish, isolated position many of us engage in, has to stop. It is a scam, a con job the western media and advertising machine doesn’t want you to share or barter with each other. How many of you have seen foreign commercials where a person is selfish or mean to someone else…and the catch line is get your own (insert product). Pool your resources and save. Only through saving will we have the capital in a material and monetary sense to grow.

    You have been sold a lie, the food is junk, the commute is stress, sleep is less, time with family is less, entertainment is shallow and hollow. It is a great division, and house divided cannot stand. Survival tip : Know your neighbours, rediscover who you truly are.

    As a people we have to take the initiative, because a political solution will be too slow. The crisis will accelerate, none of the data is behaving in a linear way. I had it mapped out until 2014, but the Black Swan (not the movie) has changed everything. Now it is all converging, damn it Bernanke what have you done!

    N.B Part one of the dollar collapse explanation is complete. Working on part 2 Triffin’s dilemma as it applies to the USD.

    Barbados is home.

  14. @Hants
    “Government must also change the law relating to praedial larceny. The penalties should be the same as for a bank robber or a b& e.”

    Further to changing the law, it requires enforcement. Remember no one can possibly use the quantities stolen there must be a market for it. Produce spoils so the transactions must be compressed in a temporal sense, making it easier to track/investigate.

  15. No need to guess ac, these programs have been running for years in many countries, where people are a little more enlightened on the value of money vis a vis the value of food.


  16. The idea actually was brought to me by University students from California. Other students in Canada have also highlighted the system and tied it into home box delivery programmes where people commit to purchasing a set amount of fresh produce each week from a local farmer. This is very popular in parts of the UK with organic vegetables.

    There is also a worldwide programme called wwoofing; Willing workers on organic farms. People are invited to register and travel to any country with a woof programme where they work on farms for room, board and food. It is one of the ways that some students find to assist, get cheap accommodation and see the world.

    Such programmes are available from Australia, Africa to Europe and the states and have been for many years.

    Still think it won’t last?


  17. well i can see it working as a incentive to help sudents especially those coming from abroad with room and board etc. but for making a genuine livelihood it won’t be easy to maintained.

  18. Agrofest came around this year and the schools were again highlighted in the media as enjoying the sights of the animals and plants. Note it is usually primary school children.
    There is where the government must put the emphasis of planting and eating more of what you grow, the primary schools.
    Drives pass any primary school and observe the effort put in keeping the school vegetable garden.
    Every Primary school should be given a small shade house in which these little children can learn to produce crops in controlled environments. It can serve them well in the future because a lot of our land has already been sold to highest bidders. The use of limited space for production is what they will have to master in the future.

  19. ac you are correct, but if we think about it very few ‘jobs’ or trades, afford us a genuine livelihood. Many police officers that I know, do security work or own a commercial vehicle in order to get a genuine livelihood. Many teachers do extra tuition in order to maintain a certain standard of living.

    The thought here is that agriculture should maintain a position as a part of the foundation for everyone to be involved in at some level.

    In the not too distant future we may really understand the value of food in comparison to the value of money, as food becomes more of a traded commodity for investors and the technological age removes the youth from the fields.

    Farming is much more than the production of food. It is also one of the best ways to get an overall body workout; it also relaxes the mind and generates human characteristics that are sadly missing and hard to experience in most jobs.


  20. @maat
    In the not too distant future we may really understand the value of food over the value of money……………….

    When that time comes it would be a Famine.People would then and only then realise the importance ofbeing dependent on each other for survival. We as a a people have become selfish and see things in the NOWbut thereality is that we are like a chain with every linked being held together as one. Unfortunately many pieces of that chain is broken and in an effort to replacethose missing links we have used money which in itself has destryed the conscience of our minds and we have become greedy in every sense of the word.

  21. We have to be careful not to fall for the seduction of one big solution, or the illusion of a political messiah. Every small part is important, decentralized people oriented solutions are faster and more efficient and two minds are often better than one. There is so much to be learned in a garden, every area of study at the primary level can be exercised in a garden. We need balance returned to the children, a garden is the perfect cure for the artificiality and “virtualization” of their world.

    In my humble opinion most of secondary school is a waste of time, and the curriculum doesn’t confer necessary skills apart from what is necessary for the matriculation and production of a few professionals. Ergo, gardens also needed for them.

  22. there was a time whenpeople were very proud of having a kitchen garden. Nothing beat the good feeling of going into the back yard and pulling a head of lettuce from the garden. Now in todaysociety everybody is so educated that they think that having grass is much better than having your own personnel vegetable garden.What a bunchof crock!

  23. maat | February 25, 2011 at 12:01 AM |
    Setting up a stall on my land in the middle of nowhere will hardly work.

    Bajans have a car at almost every house.

    They will be willing to patronise your stall if you offer top quality produce.

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