How can a prosperous flourishing country which gained it’s independence from mother England in 1966 have fallen into such a Political, Economic, Social and Financial morass in 47 years. Under the leadership of the British the country flourished, economically, financially and socially. It can be argued that this flourish was on the backs of black slaves, indentured white slaves and an aristocratic over bearing British master. The point is that the country did flourish and was looked on as the JEWEL of the Caribbean.
During the initial years of independence the leaders of the country were black and white British educated and schooled in old world ethics. Eventually locally educated and raised individuals assumed the day to day responsibilities, the political entity controlled by the blacks and the economic identity controlled by the whites. Today in 2013 these black/white control distinctions are becoming somewhat less distinct in the economic forum as the non whites are now responsible for the majority of lower/mid level commerce. The non blacks still control the majority of the larger corporate end of the economy which may or may not reside within the country.
The education, political, economic, social and financial learning of all these new controlling groups was heavily influenced by the Caribbean Culture, both in Barbados and surrounding countries. Caribbean people are well known for their “laid back attitudes”, poor work ethics, liming, put it off till tomorrow attitudes. This is not necessarily to be taken as a bad thing and in fact is good for ones longevity providing you do not interfere with thy neighbours wife. However this attitude can get you into trouble very quickly economically should you not keep close attention to exactly what’s happening in the global environment that we deal in today.
Barbados economy has moved from being agricultural based to one of tourism and offshore banking, both of which the country is not in control. Barbados has attracted a large offshore banking economy by offering LOW TAX rate shelters for higher tax jurisdictions. While the worlds economy was robust these other higher tax jurisdictions did not pay much attention to these off shore entities. Now that the world economy is sluggish these higher tax jurisdiction countries are looking at laws whereby they can recover monies being sheltered in no/low tax havens. These higher taxation countries merely change their tax rules such that off shore tax havens are no longer viable and countries such as Barbados are immediately “out of business”. What I’m saying is that Barbados does not have any direct control of it’s two major economic providers. Yes they can provide incentives, advertise etc., however all these initiatives will have minimal effects to the bottom line.
Barbados is a fragile country of no more than 300,000 people trying to survive in a world dominated by countries with rich resources and populations that are galactic.
Barbados has lost sight of how to maintain it’s economic and social infrastructure.
Barbados to survive must protect it’s limited natural resources, assuming its not already to late.
Barbados has now reached the point of DO or DYE, the Dye part is easy, the DO part however will be painful and last for generations.
The BLAME game has to STOP and BAJAN’s have to step up to the plate and take ACTON.
RICE & PEAS anyone.