Notes From a Native Son: If They Come for Me in the Morning, They will Come for You in the Night

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Introduction:
We are all agreed that the economic arguments which have engulfed Barbados for the last six years have now been fully exhausted and most people have taken sides. Those who believe that the government is on the right track are firm in their belief, and those of us, the vast majority, who believe that the government has no clear strategy for rescuing the economy are convinced we are right. But there is also another gap in our national conversation, and that in many ways is even more fundamental than the short-term one about the current account deficit or, in many ways, the debt to GDP ratio. To my mind, what is dangerously lacking is a vision: how we see ourselves in a fast-moving globalising world which, paradoxically, is also at the same time witnessing the growth of a countervailing inward-looking nationalism. Future

Vision:
One of the huge failures of this national conversation are our academics at Cave Hill whose role it is to explain the nation to itself. It is almost embarrassing to witness their silence, or for the brave ones who do speak, the clipped, short, one sentence outbursts that, in real terms, mean very little. Apart from ‘Professor’ Frank Alleyne,  whose views on modern economics to my mind are totally irrelevant, all we are getting are statements, such as that the Barbados dollar should not be devalued. But the advocates of this position are not saying why it should not be devalued or what benefits the nation gets from continuing to peg to the Greenback, despite the global currency volatility. Sadly, the journalists whose job it is to interrogate these people are intellectually ill-equipped to do so, or are intimidated by the reputations of these economic conservatives. However, even economic professors can be wrong, and the great defenders of the Bajan/Greenback peg in the current economic climate are dead wrong. I shall return to this argument in the near future.

More immediately, the DLP government, under the uninspiring Freundel Stuart, has denied young Barbadians the right to have confidence in the future of our island home. Most of these young people, in whose hands the future of the nation lies, no doubt see their future, or at least their grand career opportunities, in some far away land, either North America or Europe, even if it is only doing unskilled work in Canada. Those lucky enough to be in jobs do not see these as having any security, they fear they could be sacked, denied promotion, or in so many ways treated unfavourably, than their colleagues if their line managers do not like them. Whether real or imagined, this lack of confidence is deeply damaging to the welfare of the nation. Despite these short-term problems, the real long-term damage to the nation’s collective prospects is a lack of vision, of framing the kind of society we would like to be in 25, 30 or 50 years’ time. This lack of vision is embedded in our political and intellectual culture, one that flatters to deceive: overstating the survivability of Barbados in a robust, uncompromising and rugged world, an intellectually inward-looking culture that discourages exploring new ideas and ways of doing things, one that falls back on the comfort of taxpayers’ paying the bills and has no real interest in the national financial architecture and a political culture that was caught on the hop when the world moved forward in the 1980s. Even the so-called big businesses are nearly all mainly dependent on the state for contracts and special favours.

Whether it is building roads, the construction of badly designed and land-wasting homes, homes, loan guarantees or special dispensations or state-funded tourism marketing, Barbados is a nation of people dependent on the state. It is a political culture that sees its policy-making illiteracy almost as a badge of honour. It is a political culture that lacks curiosity, that has no interest whatsoever in how other nations, of similar size and demographics, get along with their social and public policy-making. The real damaging feature of our national failure is that of the public intellectuals and academics who have failed to structure a proper framework for national debate. The end result is that we have drifted almost unconsciously in to a ‘big man’ politics, in which it was wrongly assumed that the big man, whether Tom Adams or Errol Barrow, was perfect and ordinary minions had to be socially and intellectually to them. One outcome was the imperceptible administrative coup in which suited men and women with their superfluous professional qualifications have grabbed the reins of state since constitutional independence, no matter which party is in control. It is power without purpose for which we are now paying a high price for that moment of democratic inertia.

Retail Bank:
Despite the evidence in the world’s biggest economies and the collective ideas of the brightest and best economists, even if we dismiss them as bourgeois, the brute fact is that all the developed economies in their own way are doing things to rebalance their economies. In Barbados, the collective wisdom of the ministry of finance, the central bank and Cave Hill, have all failed to even reach a consensus on which direction we should be going. What we do know is that our debt-ridden economy is flat-lining at best and in deep recession at worst. But all debt is not bad, it can be used to fund projects for future growth, such as infrastructural or housing investments.

We also know, Economics 101, that banks plays a central part in the creation of money and banks are at the very heart of financial intermediation. Basically, if a bank lends a customer $1000, the bank credits the borrower’s deposit account with that ‘money’, allowing the bank to hold an asset (the loan) and a liability (the deposit). Until you draw on that loan, the bank does not need to fund it in real terms until the customer draws down on it. That money is then used by the borrower to buy commodities and the lending bank uses that loan as collateral to borrow on the interbank bank system or though the central bank. Multiply this numerous times and you get the picture of how banks create money, minus what they hold on to as their proportion for capital adequacy provisions. Had local banks (even if still trying to reduce their balance sheets) had been lending to small businesses the biggest creators of jobs in the Western world, the economy most probably would have been in a different state. If nothing else, this is the powerful case for the creation of a local credit union/post office/trade union bank combined with a strategically structured quantitative easing programme. However, what we have seen in the developed economies was the public sector printing money through quantitative easing (in the US up to $470bn, in the UK£375bn) which the Federal Reserve is now tapering at about $10bn every six weeks and the Bank of England is threatening to reverse. The key in using central bank debt is that the returns cover the cost of the debt, which can be used for consumption in recessionary times, to buy existing assets such as property. Government has the option of defaulting, which nations such as Grenada, Antigua and Argentina have done in the past, inflate its debt away, and after 20 years of inflation targeting and the Great Moderation, we have the tools for managing inflation, or simply grow out of debt. To kick-start the economy, banks must start lending and the foreign-owned banks in Barbados are not lending small and medium enterprises, even though some like RBC are willing, rather irresponsibly in my view, to lend for needless consumer consumption.

Analysis and Conclusion:
It is still not clear why this generation of politicians want political power. In most cultures people aspire to be politicians because they have a vision of the kind of society they will like to see, the policies they will like to see introduced, but our politicians just seem to want power and prestige. As has been said before, the Barbados has consistently underperformed the global and regional economies. Further, our problems are nothing to do with the business or economic cycles, but rather are deeply structural. Until we face this truth, whatever we do will just be playing around at the edges. A central part of our economic failure is that most of the people joining the debate are academic economists, whereas economic policy is a sub-discipline they are not often involved in or familiar with. It is one of the advantages of US politics, in that a new president brings in a new team of policymakers, from the Council of Economic Advisers, to the Treasury and often even the Federal Reserve. So, in theory at least, the President is surrounded by some of the most brilliant economic brains in the nation, even if their views conflict. We do not have such a system, not because of the flawed but popular belief that we inherited the Westminster/Whitehall model of government, but because of the backward-looking obsession with party affiliation. In any market-driven capitalist society, no matter how compassionate, there will be winners and losers. It is the role of politics, however, to minimise the number of losers and make their inability to climb the ladder of prosperity that much easier.

This is the vision in most post-colonial societies, not to kick the ladder down once the professional middle class has climbed from the bottom, but to extend a helping hand to help those left behind. Nothing about contemporary Barbados suggests this is a mission shared by others; there is a noticeable lack of a social gospel in the church, no matter which denomination, the political parties are scroungers (just look at their refusal to even take a pay cut as a sign of empathy with those at the bottom), the business class is wringing every last penny from the public by over-charging for low-quality goods, and the state is enforcing even more draconian measure to control the people. What is true is that the general public is disenchanted with the ineptitude of our politicians and senior civil servants. People want to hear how they plan to lead the nation out of this abyss, yet all they are getting is meaningless political rhetoric, economic illiteracy and moral vacuity. This is the poverty of ideas, the lack of vision, of which the economy is but a small part. And it shows, even in this august forum, with people regularly throwing their toys out of the pram if anyone dare’s to object to what they are saying.

39 comments

  • PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 TO 2014 , MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS OF BARBADOS, BLPand DLP=Massive Fruad

    Hal Austin@ and all you write may be true , but in another country, But not this country of Barbados. Only if people like you and others would try talking and typing the truth of Barbados.
    Introduction:tell the damn truth about the Massive land fraud
    Retail Bank: and credit unions in the Massive Land fraud
    Analysis and Conclusion: Name the names and get the courts and police working on the crooks , liars and scumbag PONZI Ministers and judges with the real estate companies
    We at PLANTATION DEEDS dont know who you looking to fool with this long talk , It seem ,like you buying for time.
    All you crooks of the land , the banks, the stolen History of Barbados is full of she-it and just as bad for not telling the people the truth,
    We can not fix nothing with lies and Hal Austin , Need to wake the hell up and post the truth ,
    We see you and others love to focus on your own mess and not the root problem , This is the same thing the DBLP crook ass government is doing , You Hal and other doing the same thing to the people, With the Nation Papers, the Radio , the Internet , the street talking ,
    People are going to be out of work , and you still stalling for you dont want to step on no ones toes. Give people the facts , if you dont know, ask somebody. You Hal are hiding , who paying you to side step the truth , Dance around and play fool, When the books are written on Barbados we will make sure your name come up ,

    92 % Born again , where, on a different planet? All the Bajans go to CHURCH and still come out telling lies , Stay the HELL home , for we know you cant fool God , but you can fool a Bajan News Man and the people that read their SHIT, Pass the plate and drop your 2 cents in.

    ITS ALL ABOUT THE LAND , THIS IS A HOME GROWN FRAUD AND BARBADOS AND THE PEOPLE , IMF, WORLD BANK, PRICE OF GOLD SILVER , OIL OR WATER HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS,THE WORLD NOT STUPID ,
    TANN ABED IS NOT A STUPID MAN NOR DR. DAVID ESTWICK , THERE ARE A FEW MORE THAT WAITING TO COME OUT,
    Then we will have salt to help you all eat your crooked talking words.
    We are firm on how we stand , When ever MI6 , Scotland Yard, FBI, CIA, DEA ready , for you all , we Gotcha .
    All land have an owner and them crooks you vote for are not the owners
    We are and we have the proof ,
    Lead follow or get the Hell out the WAY.

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  • PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 TO 2014 , MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS OF BARBADOS, BLPand DLP=Massive Fruad
  • The PDC’s definition of MONEY (as amended) –

    Money is a non-tradable, non-consumable, measurable, recyclable, usable, socio-psychologically reactable to, physical commodity – and the only one of its kind in the world – that carries denominations for primary purposes of its users creating its own uses where so ever, and at the some time giving incomes, payments and transfers to one another.

    A very good understanding of this definition by anyone interested in it, and the application of it to the financial affairs of this country will help indicate why Barbados has entered it seventh successive year of political economic depression, given the very bizarre anti-money actions by some government and financial officials in this country over the years of replacing money with false numbers in credit cards, debit cards, in cheques, in many computers in many financial institutions, etc – and which themselves will continue to have serious implications for an already staggeringly high real actual cost of use of money in the country.

    PDC

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  • Restatement of the PDC’s definition of MONEY as a result of an inadvertence – Money is a non-tradable, non-consumable, measurable, recyclable, usable, socio-psychologically reactable to, physical commodity – and the only one of its kind in the world – that carries denominations for primary purposes of its users creating its own uses where so ever, and at some point in time giving incomes, payments or transfers to one another.

    PDC

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  • Money is therefore NO Medium of Exchange what so ever.

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  • Money is therefore NO Medium of Exchange what so ever.

    PDC

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  • Money is therefore NO unit of account or NO store of value.

    PDC

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  • @ Hal Austin

    Lots of generalization here. Sounds more like a college assignment copying and pasting from different sources with some original thought and lots of political angling. I would give the paper a solid “B” and ask that you see me to discuss the content.

    Reason: You omitted either by accident or deliberate to discuss government’s role in creating the environment which encourages the key to job growth, which is primarily small businesses. You eluded in the article that small business is the largest job creator in the capitalist economy but you have yet to give examples to demonstrate how this works within such an economy.

    This is the key to what is missing in the small island economies. Besides small farmers, small businesses are somewhat non-existent in the small island economies. (some exist but are highly dependent on the state for their existence). I would have liked to hear more from you as to how government can foster an environment that encourages more small businesses which you admit is the real driver behind job creation and ultimately job growth.

    Finally, the article was good reading but lacks any new ideas that would make a difference to the main issue at hand, which is job creation. Just like the team that you are highly critical of, you too seem to struggle with that “game changer” that is needed to stimulate the creation of jobs in the near term and growth in the long term.

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  • How do we get public and private sector players in the same place? All we have had for the last 6 years is squabbling.

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  • Wikipedia.org defines money as “any clearly identifiable object of value that is generallly accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts within a market or which is legal tender within a country”.

    The fact is that MONEY is no payment FOR goods or services.

    Whenever MONEY and MONEY uses (as generics) take place, they place with NO connections what so ever to non-money goods and services.

    Moreover, whenever MONEY and MONEY uses (as disaggregates) take place, they take place with NO connections to one another.

    The only connections between MONEY and other variables are in MONEY and nominal remunerations and their costs or expenses, credits or debits, actually.

    As well, in terms of remuneration debts, MONEY can only represent such debts arising from remunerations borrowed by some from the relevant others locally ( and NOT FROM OUR OWN MONIES being transferred by whom so ever to us), locally, or arising from foreign exchange transferred to the relevant locals from the relevant foreigners but which must be given in the equivalent amounts.

    PDC

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  • Frustrated Businessman

    At David. The private sector no longer trusts this gov’t and will never again. The hopes of ‘new ways of doing business’ in 2008 have come to nothing and ministers have embarrassed themselves by making promises of facilitation they didn’t (or couldn’t due to the lazy civil service according to them) keep. Just yesterday i was informed of yet another barrier to trade by way of a new customs rule on importations on construction equipment, another ‘made-up’ job for a customs officer working 3 hours a day in an air-conditioned office. The private sector entities doing well are the ones so large no gov’t official dares touch, the ones paying for favours or the ones carrying so much gov’t receivables they have no choice but to continue earning non-existent money they’ll likely never be paid. Churchill said: “if you find yourself going through Hell, keep going!”

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  • @ Asquith
    Thanks for your B solid. But did you read the blog? The whole attack on the foreign-owned banks is that they are not lending to SMEs.
    In fact, at a time like this, the government’s small business unit should be the busiest and most inventive, advising and lending to people with good business plans.
    Government should be offloading non-core businesses mainly to staff but also the general public.
    Asquith I have been saying forever that the big challenge for government is job creation, especially for the 16-25 year olds. Do I have to say it every week?
    In fact, had government accepted my idea of making all public sector entry level jobs job shares for young people, and incentivise the private sector to do the same, the impact of offloading 3000 public sector workers would not be as damaging to the economy as it is going to be.

    @ PDC
    I was just explaining how banks create money for those readers who do not know. I was not re-inventing the wheel

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  • Frustrated Businessman

    In fact, at a time like this, the government’s small business unit should be the busiest and most inventive, advising and lending to people with good business plans.
    Government should be offloading non-core businesses mainly to staff but also the general public.

    Hal, let’s take that a step further. Let’s say that Williams Industries is owed over $40m by gov’t. But gov’t is the largest land owner in Bim with the least land use. Suppose gov’t was to adopt a policy of settling debt with property and said property came with prompt planning permissions that currently don’t happen for anyone in the private sector unwilling to pay bribes. Now the lands ends up in the hands of people who know how to get things done with the primary barrier to progress removed. Surely that would be the best way for Denis Kellman to get his St. Lucy airport at Poyer, Hope or Spring Hall and the best way for the construction monster that replaced agriculture in the 80s to keep eating?

    Now multiply this formula a dozen times for everyone else holding gov’t debt. Then give CBC and the Transport Board to the employees along with the licenses to operate them or sell them on.

    Your statement above is much deeper than people realise. Transport board loses money but private minibus permits sell on the grey market for $100,000; but they would have no value if they were easy to get and the barrier to getting them is the gov’t agencies responsible for issuing them. So there is a false demand for licenses just like a false demand for land due to the straglehold gov’t has on the facilitation.

    Our problems are not difficult to solve, the current problem solvers are simply clueless.

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  • @ Frustrated Businessman

    There is a lot in what you have said, but have you been to St Lucia or Dominica recently and see how their two airports operate?
    I was in Dominica when they wanted to bulldoze seven mountains to build yet another airport.
    It is the contagion of tourism.

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  • Frustrated Businessman

    Hal, did you know that over Christmas private jets were dropping passengers in Bim then travelling to other islands for storage until the passengers needed to leave Bim, just because we had no room at Seawell? Do you know what plane storage costs plane owners? We need another airport just for private planes just like we needed Port St. Charles for private (mini) ships. St. Lucy is the best place for it just like Speightstown is our best hope of a historic landmark town IF WE GET OUR THUMBS OUT OF OUR RECTUMS AND GET ON WITH THE BUSINESS OF BUSINESS.

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  • @ Frustrated Businessman
    I am all for that. My concern is the quality and thoroughness of the customs and immigration. I do not want any new ports or airports to be used for smuggling contraband or to provide a special privilege to rich people only.

    .

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  • Hal,

    Ok. It is time enough that many more of the Barbadian masses and middle classes understand how this financial system in Barbados really functions, the core ideologies, philosophies and psychologies behind its establishment and functioning, and understand how it fundamentally functions against their basic financial interests.

    PDC

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  • @ PDC
    You are right. The frustration is that in an environment in which most senior civil servants, politicians, lawyers and academics do not know very much about the practice of financial services to make any applicable suggestions. Any ideas become a political football.
    Sometimes, and I have met many young Barbadians who want to walk away, but if like me you want to retire to the sunshine then it becomes more difficult.
    That is why I keep trying; for love of country. It was never in my life plan to retire in the cold.

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  • @ASKquith

    “I would have liked to hear more from you as to how government can foster an environment that encourages more small businesses”

    Here is a suggestion…Get a monetary system that encourages local production by limiting the reduction in the cost of imports caused by increases in value of the US$ thus creating more economic production opportunity for local businesses to start. At the same time this would reduce the cost of our exports (read tourism) and encourage more development and capital investment in that market.

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  • David | January 31, 2014 at 7:20 AM |

    How do we get public and private sector players in the same place? All we have had for the last 6 years is squabbling.

    Congrats to Alex MacDonald for his new role as head of the private sector….so, does that now mean that since he is thisclose to Peter Harris being business partners and all, Harris will now have direct influence over all things private sector as he does all things private healthcare, and why was Alex stuttering so yesterday, is he IN TOO DEEP….you think you see squabbling yet, wait until the piper who calls the tune has to be paid by politicians.

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  • Hal Austin insists a lot, on January 30, 2014 and elsewhere, on a highly debatable conceit: the notion that “what is dangerously lacking is a vision: how we see ourselves in a fast-moving globalising world …”.

    Or the notion that “the real long-term damage to the nation’s collective prospects is a lack of vision, of framing the kind of society we would like to be in 25, 30 or 50 years’ time.”

    What is not only absurd but dangerous in this conceit is the implicit assumption that we are a Nike commercial. That we are a tedious business-speak cliché. That we can be all we can be. That we can just decide, right now, irrespective of the world around us, to chart our own path while constantly, constantly, constantly getting misty-eyed over the words of the national anthem while the sun sets slowly off the coral sands of some imagined Bajan-to-de-bone yesteryear.

    It’s ironic that Mr. Austin publishes his thoughts so regularly on Barbados Underground, a blog whose ignorant contempt for the CSME knows no bounds, at a time when it has become inescapable that over the next “25, 30 or 50 years” small countries are doomed unless they cooperate fully with their neighbours and thereby gain some measure of strength in handling the tribulations that are inevitably attendant on trying to deal with countries that aren’t so small.

    You want to try sitting, as a member of the wholly independent St. Kitts delegation, in multilateral trade negotiations to which the United States and the United Kingdom and Canada have all sent teams comprising 27 PhDs from Harvard or Cambridge or McGill specializing in countervailing duties, or trade-related intellectual property rights, or the arcane minutiae of environmental-packaging regulations to access the European market?

    Thinking about how to deal with that should be part of the “vision”. And thinking about that “vision” is going to have to entail thinking about the hated, hated, hated CSME.

    The notion that it is the role of a country’s academics “to explain the nation to itself” is so preposterous on its face that it’s laughable.

    And you do yourself no favour, Mr. Austin, with the clichés. By this point, such threadbare expressions as “national conversation” and “island home” are so worn-out and useless that they are simply attention-diverting. I would never take investment advice from you, Mr. Austin, but you don’t strike me as a complete idiot. So do yourself a favour and knock off the clichés. Just try it for a month, and see how your prose thanks you for it.

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  • Hal Austin

    re: Dr. C. Fred Bergsten

    I asked before – sorry if you replied I missed it

    In any event, what do you make of the six week visit to Barbados of Dr. C. Fred Bergsten as the guest of the Central Bank, announced in the Press Release below

    http://www.centralbank.org.bb/WEBCBB.nsf/(hpNews)/5740291C8CF8255204257C5C004370BA?OpenDocument

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  • @ Due Diligence
    It is a further waste of taxpayers’ money. The Petersen Institute is one of numerous neoliberal American think-tanks. Who approves these arrangements?

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  • This guy is visiting and still being paid, I thought as a visitor he would be paying, from I hear the word distinguished, I always think of other things. So how much is it costing the Bajan taxpayers??……and from I read the word honoured coming out of the mouths of the likes of Delisle Worrell, i also think of other things, since Worrell is so honoured, hope he is the one picking up the tab..

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  • @ Well, well

    This is a serious matter. At a time like this when government should be implementing serious policies, we are spending taxpayers’ money to bring down a marginal American to preach to us.
    That is what Dr DeLisle Worrell is being paid for. Who approved this decision and what do we as a nation hoipe to get out of it?
    If we are searching for ideas, why could he not simply write a policy paper?
    Where is our useless media when these issues are taking place?

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  • Hal……I have always had a problem with Ministers continually touting how high a rate of education Barbados has, how many bachelor’s and masters certificates they themselves possess, most of them are lawyers, doctors and other professionals, they all have some degree of experience and should be well rounded as it pertains to certain disciplines needed to manage a country, yet THEY ALWAYS have to employ some consultant from outside, at taxpayer’s expense, because they are not themselves capable, or one of their buddies internally who end up doing nothing but sucking taxpayers purse. That sends a message that they are totally useless, you don’t know how that burns the hell outta me, taxpayers have to pay for the politician’s incompetence while they prance around looking for the next bribe or scam.

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  • Hal……I have always had a problem with Ministers continually touting how high a rate of education Barbados has, how many bachelor’s and masters certificates they themselves possess, most of them are lawyers, doctors and other professionals, they all have some degree of experience and should be well rounded as it pertains to certain disciplines needed to manage a country, yet THEY ALWAYS have to employ some consultant from outside, at taxpayer’s expense, because they are not themselves capable, or they employ one of their buddies internally who end up doing nothing but sucking taxpayers purse. That sends a message that they are totally useless, you don’t know how that burns the hell outta me, taxpayers have to pay for the politician’s incompetence while they prance around looking for the next bribe or scam.

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  • Hal……to answer your question, I have always had a problem with Ministers continually touting how high a rate of education Barbados has, how many bachelor’s and masters certificates they themselves possess, most of them are lawyers, doctors and other professionals, they all have some degree of experience and should be well rounded as it pertains to certain disciplines needed to manage a country, yet THEY ALWAYS have to employ some consultant from outside, at taxpayer’s expense, because they are not themselves capable, or they employ one of their buddies internally who end up doing nothing but sucking taxpayers purse. That sends a message that they are totally useless, you don’t know how that burns the hell outta me, taxpayers have to pay for the politician’s incompetence while they prance around mamaguying voters so they can retain seats and salaries. The local politicians are sending a very clear message that they are inadequate and will always need outside help to implement or create viable economic policies.

    In addition, the media in Barbados is small island, they naturally fear small island retaliation since they were never able or strong enough to set a precedent whereby they are allowed to speak freely without fear of the politicians, remember there is still no transparency legislation, lawyers etc resorting to the law that allows them to sue and keep everything quiet and hidden under the carpet……..this is the reason why I adamantly believe some examples should be set whereby these people are arrested by foreign agencies after investigations into them and their current business buddies activities on the island…this will send an extremely strong message to the leaders and some type of change should emerge.

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  • Hal……to answer your question, I have always had a problem with Ministers continually touting how high a rate of education Barbados has, how many bachelor’s and masters certificates they themselves
    possess, most of them are lawyers, doctors and other professionals, they all have some degree of experience and should be well rounded as it pertains to certain disciplines needed to manage a country, yet THEY ALWAYS have to employ some consultant from outside, at taxpayer’s expense, because they are not themselves capable, or they employ one of their buddies internally who end up doing nothing but sucking taxpayers purse. That sends a message that they are totally useless, you don’t know how that burns the hell outta me, taxpayers have to pay for the politician’s incompetence while they prance around mamaguying voters so they can retain seats and salaries.

    The local politicians are sending a very clear message that they are inadequate and will always need outside help to implement or create viable economic policies. The time and energy these ministers waste getting themselves embroiled in scandals, scams and hopefully very soon an international investigation into certain business dealings now taking place on the island etc….with the public sector business people who are so inclined, in my view, would be better spent utilizing their brains for the good of Barbados, it’s people and not for the good of their own pockets.

    In addition, the media in Barbados is small island, they naturally fear small island retaliation since they were never able or strong enough to set a precedent whereby they are allowed to speak freely without fear of the politicians, remember there is still no transparency legislation, lawyers etc resorting to the law that allows them to sue and keep everything quiet and hidden under the carpet……..this is the reason why I adamantly believe some examples should be set whereby these people are arrested by foreign agencies after investigations into them and their current business buddies’ activities on the island…this will send an extremely strong message to the leaders and some type of change should emerge.

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  • Hal………….I have always had a problem with Ministers who are supposed to be highly qualified, degreed and superior educated in Barbados but have to import foreign consultants for everything because said politicians/ministers are intellectually incapable of performing the basic management techniques required to successfully transform the economy or institute new policies.

    If these ministers spent less time trying to retain voters incessantly through bullshit talk and more time utilizing their brains it would save the taxpayers millions in consultant fees, not to mention the local consultant friends of the politicians who get paid for doing absolutely nothing.

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  • With regard to the media on the island, there is no transparency legislation in place as everyone on BU has said continually, the laws are used with impunity by lawyers/politicians to shut everyone up through the threat of lawsuits, libel/slander laws, the various medias are then forced to tip toe through minefields of corruption and be always aware of small island retaliation………that is as clear and concise an explanation as I can give you Hal….that picture of Inniss, Brathwaite, Carrington and Maxine McClean is certainly speaking a thousand words, they are not even smart enough these politicians not to gloat at successful bribery.

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  • @ Well, well

    Sometime ago I did a weekly column in the Nation and was surprised at what the subs (or lawyers) wanted to change in my copy.
    I do this for a living with an army of lawyers peeping over our shoulders and never have a problem.
    The nonsense about jurisdictions is an excuse. It is fear of upsetting people.

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Well Well | February 3, 2014 at 9:21 AM |
    “that picture of Inniss, Brathwaite, Carrington and Maxine McClean is certainly speaking a thousand words, they are not even smart enough these politicians not to gloat at successful bribery.”

    What kind of blatant stupidity is being played out here?
    Is Carrington aware of the protocols and traditions of the role of the Speaker under the Westminster form of government?
    The British are really looking on in stark amusement at monkeys conducting serious business in the fast becoming banana republic called “Bananados”.

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  • @Miller

    What Westminster system?

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  • millertheanunnaki

    @ David | February 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM |

    You mean to say the rules, principles and recordings contained in Mays and Hansard and alluded to in the local HoA are just guide rehearsals for the local clowns mimicking Westminster politics?

    How would you describe and define the local system currently operated by a cadre of highly “educated” people many of who are lawyers trained in the traditions of the British legal system? “Monkeyism” in perfect harmony?

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  • Miller and David………..Monkeys handling gun (westminster system), they have already shot themselves, nothing is hidden any more, all their activities are now public knowledge and the people who pay them outside of their parliamentary salaries are themselves running for cover.

    Hal…..the libel and slander laws are used as weapons in Barbados to cover criminal activities by politicians/lawyers and are used by everyone from the Prime Ministers coming down, that is why there will have to be divine intervention to get transparency legislation or Freedom of Information Acts (FOI) invoked in Barbados.

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  • @Miller

    Poorakey?

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  • Hal, I am looking forward to hear you respond to Jack Bowman in the not to distant future. I think the both of you are very well educated guys, and a debate between the both of you would do the blog some good.

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  • Apart from a few corrections, the argument stands after four years.

    Like

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