Is It Time To Sell Your Ass?

The uncertainty which has engulfed global economies, especially the USA, continues to provoke anxiety among Barbadians. The USA is acknowledged as the world’s largest economy and this makes Barbados most vulnerable given the Barbados dollar peg to the US dollar and its importance as a source market for tourists, remittances and foreign direct investment. There is so much commentary about the prescriptions required to stabilize the local economy it must be difficult for the regular man to understand it all.

In the USA there is the startling statistic that the gap between the über rich and everyone else is growing or as former “President George W. Bush once quipped at a swanky campaign dinner, “the haves and the have-mores.”  In a nutshell while 90% of Americans have had to endure flat incomes over the last 10 years, the top 10 percent or the super-rich have suffered no such problem. Here is what a CNN report revealed: In 2009, the richest 10% of Americans accounted for about half the nation’s wealth. Narrow that focus a bit further, and the trend is even more alarming. The top 0.1% — those who make at least $2 million each year — controlled 10% of the economy. This is a nasty revelation.

It is important to shatter a myth which many Barbadians and others have about the economic sustainability of the US lifestyle model which is built on consumption behaviour. The middleclass in the USA for example owes a great debt of gratitude to easy access to credit which readily feeds its insatiable desire for consumer durables. The  adjunct to the argument has been the fickle architecture of the US housing market which the current recession has decimated and exposed the DDD -/+  personal financial positions which before the recession were masquerading as BBB-/+ and upwards.

The current global economic difficulties have exposed a ton of interesting arguments and observations. One observation which BU finds interesting is how do we define who or what is middleclass.  An interesting definition registered while monitoring the news recently, the commentator suggested that to be middleclass is defined more by an attitude rather than by earnings and material trappings. The behaviour and leadership by the middleclass is crucial to reshaping our society but it maybe too late.

Barbados is of this world and is a country greatly influenced by North American culture. What is unravelling in the USA and the UK should be used as a wakeup call for what can happen when we become too wound up by an agenda driven by economics and materialism. Some scoffed at the message, Crime and Violence, of recent vintage is the call to build a society over and above an economy. In both cases the truth of the two messages have been hijacked to the point where the credibility in the messages have long been compromised.

One senses we have reached a critical juncture in Barbados as is the case the world. There is the pain currently being suffered by Barbados as it tries to assimilate into a globalized world. A world where the ‘village-life’ which characterized Bajan society has all but disappeared, but to what?

Why should Bajans not sell their asses if there is nothing else to sell?

0 thoughts on “Is It Time To Sell Your Ass?

  1. They have already sold their asses so we are in real shoite now. How much more can we be fooled or willing to be fooled. We keep hearing of minuscule growth of our economy and that we are almost out of the recession and that we are lucky not have any layoffs in the public sector.

    Houses are continuing to be built with no buyers coming forward in a market that has become stagnant . Multimillion dollar Marina for Bridgetown because we have RICH millionaires waiting in line to sail their yachts into our waters. And UK and USA Tourist will come because they just love us to death and don’t care whether their economy is in distress.

    Look at our Hospital now blocking patients from other islands because the hospital has failed to put proper administration procedures in place. We look stupid to the rest of the Caribbean. How come Hoteliers have better procedures in place to collect their monies from tourist and our hospital doesn’t. You deposit an amount on admittance and pay up the day before you leave. Why is that so difficult follow and implement? Perhaps our education system is showing us up. But the hospital is open to Tourist who fall ill here. What if that Tourist is from the islands? Will they be denied treatment? What if dem black as well …….yikes dem ded!

  2. The economies of the English speaking Caribbean (which includes Barbados) was established on the free labor, blood and behinds of people who became Barbadian. During my lifetime and for sometime before there are many whom have promoted other methods for economic stability but they have been trumped by many who include our erstwhile leaders. These so called leaders often suffer from a blend of ignorance, greed and stupidity.
    The continued selling of one’s behind soon leaves little cushion that is self owned and sparse outlet for any waste without paying rental or lease.
    My limited information strongly suggests that this is the time to cease ass selling. It will be painfull to buyers of that commodity but those of us who retain our butts will certainly feel the difference. There will be less bling and we may keep our transport equipment longer. We may even walk more and upgrade public transport. We will have a little more control over our economy and those whom we select to lead us will find local bribery more attractive than that which is rewarded in foreign currency.

  3. And soma wunna vex bout ass pedalling round de garrison. Remember de prices gone down because there is a glut on de market. Only the prettiest and unblemished ones might get a buyer. No POXY ones please!

  4. David I have a problem with the photo. Should be 3 not 1. Black, red and white.
    Pay attention to details David.

  5. @ David

    Well now the Bushman has seen everything….
    Bushie thought that it would have been at least November before you came around to facing this reality…. LOL after you (Mr Optimist) put up a post like this, what do you leave BT to do…?

    Bushie is hereby revising the expected date for Straight Talk’s coming to the realization of BBE’s intent and timetable (as expounded by BT here on BU)….. to Independence 2011….

    LOL….and Zoe will get over his ‘Trinity’ obsession shortly thereafter if the bushman’s revised expectations are correct….

  6. @ DAVID

    Like HANTS* – I too have qualms with the pic* used in a titillating attempt to engage eye-ball penetration of the subject matter…

    However, PLEASE* “lead us not into TEMPTATION” my dear brother but deliver us from these sistas with their over-sized “arses” stuffed into suggestively provocative low-cut, booty-riding jeans designed to breach the water-shed time mark for public decency…

    May I suggest a PARENTAL GUIDANCE (PG) rating of X ???

  7. It is interesting to note that the difficulties associated with the world recession and a high public debt have forced Jamaica to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and restructure its entire domestic debt stock (Jamaica Debt Exchange, or JDX). Under the directions of the IMF, Jamaica is currently pursuing pro-cyclical fiscal policies in an effort to meet its large debt obligations. As a consequence, the Jamaican economy has failed to recover from its recession, with real GDP growth estimated to have been negative for fiscal year 2010/2011 and unemployment remaining persistently high.
    Jamaica, like Barbados is confronted with similar problems as it relates to high debt and an increase in government expenditure. However, the Jamaica debt is not a consequence of profligate government spending; the debt interest rates are very high, (leading to extremely high debt servicing costs), and are partly due to an increase in the share of debt that is domestically financed. Unfortunately, a significant amount of government expenditure has been allocated to pay this exceedingly high debt burden, which has caused a reduction in the allocations of funds for investment in education, economic and social infrastructure. The lack of investment in these areas is a serious impediment to achieving sustained productivity increases and growth in human capital.
    The IMF measures places a particular emphasis on controlling government expenditure as a means to reduce the deficit, as well as reducing the wage bill. These measures can also have serious implications and negative consequences for a developing country that needs to increase spending on sectors such as health and education. A reduction in government spending will also affect the Jamaican tourism sector, especially when the island needs to rebuild its image after the Dudus Coke affair.
    Despite the fact that Barbados’ economy may not be in dire straights like some of our Caribbean neighbours, we may experience an exodus of persons from those islands to Barbados, with a view of becoming involved in the lucrative underground economy.

  8. Interesting read in the news today that President of the World Bank Zoellick believes the US will continue to be a major currency but he also believes a couple basket of currencies will emerge.

  9. @David

    I wrote a few days ago that there was a “gentleman’s agreement” concerning the Presidency of the World Bank and the Presidency of the IMF.

    The World Bank belongs to the USA and the IMF to the Europeans, do you think that an American President of the World Bank will make disparaging remarks about the US greenback?

  10. @Sarge

    Zoellick’s comment is interesting more about his acceptance of two basket of currencies than his genuflecting to the greenback.

  11. To David:
    Most of what is being discussed here is very similar to the book “the coming economic earthquake”. The book concentrates the cause of the economic disaster to the piling up of debt. What the author describes here is the impact of the debt crisis, seen both in canada, the u.s and europe. It is also the underpinning of the religious right as part of their rapture theory. For those who are seeing it for the first time it may be interesting, but I am not enthused. what you also have here are hot dogger who believe they know more than most about the financial markets and they are spewing their venom. I am simply not impress.

  12. Bajans have been selling their ass for a long time now, politicians have been prostituting with big businesses both locally and foreign as they sell Barbados for persal gain. The average bajan too has been prostituting with the many intruders both regionally and foreign, many bajans will refuse to give a local a job just because an illegal person is willing to work for a small fee, just for personal gain. Many local contractor hired these illegal persons
    and paid small wages even though they had quoted at the price they usually pay the local, all this for personal gain. Until we start believing in our MOTTO, we will continue to sell our ass and maybe other parts too.

  13. @The Scout: “Bajans have been selling their ass for a long time now, politicians have been prostituting with big businesses both locally and foreign as they sell Barbados for persal gain. The average bajan too has been prostituting with the many intruders both regionally and foreign, many bajans will refuse to give a local a job just because an illegal person is willing to work for a small fee, just for personal gain. Many local contractor hired these illegal persons.

    @The Scout… In your opinion, have the *people* achieved their objectives?

    • Try this experiment if you live in Barbados.

      You are attempting to prove the hypothesis that Bajans from the low economic segment are selling their asses.

      In 20 persons counted if you drive through any working class neighbourhood how many people do you see squinting at a Blackberry?

      Bear in mind that the cheapest package data package is BBD30.00.

  14. David | August 15, 2011 at 3:05 PM | @TB Walk down any public street many parts of the world and this is what you see.

    According to the Commissioner of Police, complaints from neighbors indicate that the young people are attending fetes and having sex in public (I assume) in the areas around the location.

    • When BU highlighted some time ago that VOB and other radio stations were helping to popularize people like Lil Rick and the Guinness half hour which helped to feed the frenzy…

      When we highlighted some time ago that many of our popular DJs were composing sick music to be played on PSVs…

      We tolerated it.

      While it was not the only cause there is absolutely no doubt in the BU household it has contributed in some way to deeply embedding a subculture in our society which is now biting us in the ass.

    • Here is a post by the respected FT.
      Why we cannot inflate our way out of debt
      By Raghuram Rajan
      We are experiencing financial panic. A downgrade of US debt has triggered a flight to liquidity towards the very assets downgraded. Ultimately, the cure for market paranoia is strong economic growth. Several commentators propose a sharp, contained bout of inflation as a way to reenergise growth in the US and the industrial world. Are they right?
      To understand the prescription, we must understand the diagnosis. Recoveries from crises that result in over-leveraged balance sheets are slow, and are typically resistant to traditional macroeconomic stimulus. Over-leveraged, households cannot spend, banks cannot lend and governments cannot stimulate. So why not generate higher inflation for a while? This will surprise fixed income lenders who agreed to lend long term at low rates; bring down the real values of debt; eliminate debt “overhang”; and spur growth. Yet there are concerns. Can central banks with anti-inflation credibility generate sharply higher inflation in an environment of low rates? Will it work as intended? What could be the unintended consequences? And are there better alternatives?
      On this story

      Analysis ECB keeps observers guessing
      Berlin sends mixed eurobond messages
      In depth Eurozone in crisis
      Germany and France rule out eurobonds
      Opinion Three steps to resolving the eurozone crisis
      Japan’s central bank tried and failed to generate higher inflation. Banks were too willing to hold the reserves that the central bank put out as it bought back bonds. Perhaps if a central bank announced a higher inflation target, and an asset purchase programme financed with unremunerated reserves, to continue until the target were met, it could have some effect. More likely though, any target would lose credibility once it became changeable. Market participants might conjecture that the programme would be abandoned once it reached an alarming size, and well before the target is reached.
      Moreover, the central bank needs a rapid, sizeable inflation to reduce real debt values quickly. A slow increase will have very limited effect because lenders will demand both higher nominal rates and an inflation risk premium to roll over claims. But a sizeable inflation may be hard to contain: if a central bank abandons its inflation target for growth, will markets believe it has the stomach for high, growth-killing interest rates to reduce inflation?
      Turn next to whether it will work. Inflation will do little for entities with floating rate liabilities (many households that borrowed near the peak of the boom) or relatively short term liabilities (banks). The US government, with debt duration of about 4 years, is unlikely to benefit much from a surprise inflation unless it is huge; and the bulk of its promises are social security and healthcare that cannot be inflated away. Even distressed households that have borrowed long term could be worse off – with unemployment likely to subdue nominal wage growth, and higher food and fuel prices cutting disposable income.
      Moreover, inflation will clearly make debt holders worse off. Who are they? Rich people, but also pensioners who moved into bonds as the stock market scared them away, banks that will have to be recapitalised, state pension funds that are already deeply underwater, and some insurance companies that will have to default on their claims. Will inflation just shift the problem, ensuring the malaise persists? In the best of worlds, it would be foreigners with ample reserves who suffer the losses, but they may be needed to finance future deficits. Of course, if central banks regain credibility for being anti-inflation hawks soon after subjecting investors to a punishing inflation, there is no problem, but…
      This does not mean nothing can be done. The US experienced periodic debt crises during the 19th century and Great Depression. Its response was to offer targeted, expedited debt relief – often by enacting temporary bankruptcy legislation. In this vein, a recent proposal to facilitate mortgage debt renegotiation could help reduce the household debt overhang and avoid value-destroying foreclosures without government subsidies. It is less clear that shifting the burden of bank and government debt to others will help the economy.
      Too many of our problems come from impatience with the pace of past recoveries and overconfidence in adventurous macro-policy responses. Rather than grand macroeconomic plans, we need many microeconomic actions. Unfortunately, they are disregarded because, as Daniel Burnham said, they have little ability to stir people’s blood.
      * A Loan Modification Approach to the Housing Crisis, Eric Posner and Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago
      The writer is professor of finance at the University of Chicago and author of Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy.

  15. @David: … Kinda weird you dived so deep…

    Some might think you were smarter than that.

    Some others might laugh at others.

    (Rolling on the floor laughing… For some reason, some might not find the humour from the laughter….)

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