About Economic and GDP Growth

Submitted by Looking Glass

IMF Headquarters

We seldom look beyond our particular opinions, goals, beliefs or those of significant others to the context in which they have meaning and reflect the true state of affairs. All too often fabrication and criticism of reality is accepted as fact. There is no reason for the IMF or the Central Bank to fabricate our GDP growth. Increases in some of the GDP components such as taxes, Vat, construction (Pickering, Merricks, Four Seasons) house sales and loans (borrowed funds) may well be enough to generate the 2% GDP growth

IMF first became ‘involved’ in Barbados in 1991, discovered the loans to some of the regime to build homes were written off and has been ‘resident’ ever since, but prior to 2007 got little mention. In fact we were told that the IMF had been asked to leave (Nation 5/8.2006). Given the pre 2007 IMF comments about the economy under the BLP, it is hardly surprising that Lord Arthur and company would find it necessary to criticize the Central Bank and the IMF observation about growth. That a government who inherited an empty bucket was able to generate growth is a big slap in the face. Criticism for criticism sake or political purposes is not symbolic of virtue and does more harm than good.

The Central Bank not the PM or his cronies formulate/determine the GDP and notify the government who in turn apprise the people. In 1991 and again in 1993 we were told the GDP grew by 1% when if fact it had declined. Ask why the Governor resigned.

The 2006 IMF Report noted the “weaknesses in statistical information,” coverage and transparency of data, and that capital accounts transactions needed to be improved. A Forensic investigation would have revealed it all, the people would have been told, help would have been forthcoming and we would be better positioned to facilitate development. It is not too late but time is running out.

We tend to equate GDP with development which is misleading. In terms of growth economies are not static entities with fixed limits or ceilings. It does not reflect the true state of the economy or the nation and perpetuates the illusion of progress. Contrary to popular belief GDP is not synonymous with progress and an adequate measure of national well-being. Among other things it ignores debt accumulation, non-monetary transactions and unemployment. Changes in GDP growth means only that the economy improved declined or remained stagnant in a particular period in monetary terms.

Development (sectorial or national) means to expand or realise potentials, to bring to a fuller state of being and is qualitative. It incorporates the entire system, involves socio-psychological intangibles and a culture that recognizes the limits to growth. Growth means to increase naturally in size and is quantitative. When something grows it gets bigger but not necessarily better qualitatively. Growth in crime, security, unemployment, debt, foreign population and loss /take over of national assets does not constitute development; instead it amounts to progressive retrogression, National development incorporates the entire system. In part it involves socio-psychological intangibles and a culture that recognizes the limits to growth.

For much of Lord Arthur reign we were fed with “economic gobbledygook and carving up statistics and analyses to obfuscate the ordinary public,” much of which was accepted almost without demur and we even praised the man. It was noted to in Candles Under The Bed and Using Economics For Political Ends Can Be Destructive. Later I will present some articles written around 2006 that dealt with the matter.

Debt apart we were without powerful additions with which to fuel the economy, no defining force or culture to facilitate industrial accomplishment, no non-cyclical job generation industry to enable us to compete or even catch up. As was noted in Fallacy In Shoddy Robes profitable assets like the National Bank were sold and the Port and Airport privatized. He even claimed ownership of the Oval which has always been and remains private property. As a matter of fact the West and the Old North represent harbingers of things to come. His lordship set the deck chair on the Titanic of his own making. The fallout from his and to some extent our improbable actions, attitudes and behaviour now falling like a not so quiet carcinogenic rain we linger in the shadows of socio-economic degeneration.

15 thoughts on “About Economic and GDP Growth

  1. Lord have mery, i always say economic growth does not mean an improvement in the qaulity of life for its citizens. Whoever you are that write this article, i look forward to reading your other presentations as promised.

  2. The Crash Course

    Chris Martenson does an excellent job of explaining exactly why “The next 20 years are going to be completely unlike the last 20 years.”

    He is a an economic researcher and author of The Crash Course, a video presentation that is offered online for free.

    This series of videos clearly explains how our economy, energy systems and environment face increasing challenges, and explores likely implications for the future.

    In the Crash Course, he makes the point that we have never before in history faced such exponential growth in three key areas: debt (as related to GDP), energy consumption and environmental resource depletion.

    The idea of exponential growth is a profound topic unto itself. When you have doubling upon doubling of say, interest on the national debt – you eventually have a situation that is mathematically catastrophic. You cannot have a continuously rising level of demand – for anything – in a finite sphere.

    Our use of natural resources, energy and the our collective debt have all been growing exponentially, and there’s a very sharp corner to be turned soon on these levels. It’s coming to a head.

    In this condensed version of The Crash Course, he spotlights the economic aspect of the converging challenges.


    Crash Course by Chris Martenson – 38 minute condensed version:

    • @Green Monkey

      Good video by Martenson.

      Many of his commonsense approaches are not dissimilar to many of those echoed by the BU family.

      If only we can get out leaders (political) to understand the issues at play.

  3. This submission by whoever the writer is bias and skewed. Issues should be impartial with documented evidences or not of the wall political assertions.
    If one would checked the last 25 years of Barbados Economic reports, one would realize that the economy never obtain a surplus during that period, therefore, we have long been spending a great chunk more than we are making. The fact is then, the so called “country’s purse” has been empty for a very long time……not now….not 5 years ago. Barbados has been borrowing its way through each fiscal term for years.

  4. DAVID@ BU

    Can any of the PUNDITS* on BU* explain how former Minister Noel “dodgeball” Lynch became a “MILLIONAIRE”* on a Barbados government salary?

    OFF TOPIC>>>>

    The 1st BLACK* British “lord” & Barrister jailed for 12 months for the EXPENSES* scandal last year…



    • @TB

      The last time a journalist ask Barney that question the company he worked for received a ‘letter’ and ended up being short 70 grand.

  5. Shouldn’t these wild assertions about people be back up with document evidences? Or is it ok to defame people’s character in this forum just because you dislike them? Is this the way how this forum intend to educate the masses on issues affecting this country?
    Just wondering.


    Tell BARNEY* he can also SUE* me….Have him file a WRIT* at the “OLE”* Bailey in London….

    Owen Arthur & his band of miserable cronies did a deleterious job of shoveling their “SNOUTS” through the “PUBLIC TROUGH”* for well over a decade without the ocular lens of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY* or the probing “EYE” of investigative journalism – so as a result, these CROOKS* and broad-daylight-highwayman dressed in bad suits and armed with Blackberrys*, free government cars and unlimited expense accounts, literally got away with a TROJAN HORSE HEIST* of epic proportions right under the noses of WELL-EDUCATED*, ENLIGHTENED, DISCERNING Barbadians….

    So with an economy on “LIFE-SUPPORT” and public officials “SPINNING” a tangle-web of lies*, intrigue and sophistry – the stage is set for my next article…………

    “SHOWDOWN OF THE ‘gods’: THE FINAL 9-1-1 CALL”…


  7. @enuff

    The point is you made an inaccurate statement which was pointed out. On whether the DLP is wrong to prioritize the CCs their stewardship will be appraised by the electorate shortly.

  8. 100 years ago today the “TITANIC” was launched into the seas of Belfast with the ominous statement – “NOT EVEN GOD COULD SINK HER”!!!

    As we are seeing here again FOLKS* are rolling out deck chairs on TITANIC 2…


  9. Growth … Is this one of those things that if you refer to it regularly enough it would take on a truth of its own (… sort of like International Terrorist)?

  10. Amusing as usual. I asked the question earlier, if they consumed so much of the trough by now a trail of evidence should be available for prosecution. Where the hell is it? I find it strange that they are fighting to win the next election and do not have money to keep their headquarters staff employed or in good repair according to the paper. I would think they would need their apparatus to effect a successful campaign, strange they are not putting some of that money from the trough to support the party so they could have another go at the trough. Maybe someone can enlighten us.

    @ Looking glass

    Apologies to you I thought you were a DLP university lecturer but obviously not. What empty bucket was that? You mean you really do not know that gov’t gets it money from taxpayers on a yearly basis. The treasury is only broke if our pockets run out of money to tax. Or was it something else that should have been in the bucket?

    Are you happy and satisfied with the level quarterly reports by the current Central bank governor? since tourism arrivals were not long stay visitors, could you point out where the gorwth took place. Pickerings is being bulldozed so no earnings yet, Merricks has not commenced and neither has Four Seasons, so very little contribution to GDP. What else grew to your certain knowledge? Do you have different figures to what Mascoll produced in the newspapers were those accurate or were those lies? I prefer GDP to be calculated on actual figures and not guessing.

  11. All of these DLP surrogates who keep throwing inuendos out there better be prepared for the truth about the DLP and how they and their cronies have devoured the fatted calf.

    TB, while you investigating, dont only look at Noel Lynch, look into Michael Lashley and Donville Inniss too. Investigate the disappearance of the chemo drugs from the QEH. Investigate the Rural and Urban Commission and the constituency councils.

  12. Pingback: About Economic and GDP Growth | Barbados news

Leave a comment, join the discussion.