The George Brathwaite Column – Hybridity and Discipline

Marla Dukharan

Last Wednesday, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) hosted a Public Forum on the topic Home Grown or IMF designed: What should Barbados’ economic recovery plan look like? The main speaker at the event, held at the Savannah Hotel, was the economist Marla Dukharan. Without a doubt, Miss Dukharan was impressive and the presentation was clearly articulated with visuals that magnified the dangers facing Barbados. The panel consisted of Charles Herbert – Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA), yours truly, and the moderator was the evergreen Barbadian journalist, David Ellis.  The forum was well-attended and the audience asked tough questions while giving pertinent and judicious opinions on Barbados’ challenges.

This week’s column, identifies some of the key findings that emerged from the forum. The intent is to substantiate this author’s view that two of the most important elements that would save face for the Government of Barbados are: (1) exemplar fiscal and overall discipline from government; and (2) institutional strengthening given that a culture of procrastination together with lack of credibility in Government’s words have become prolonged and disconcerting.

Barbados finds itself within a year of constitutionally defined general elections, and this political feature taunts the administration. Minister Sinckler’s repeated failures to close the fiscal gap by attending to Government expenditures must be keenly watched, especially considering the jump in 2012/13 on the eve of an election. The fiscal gap broadened to 11 % or over 958 million dollars. Sight of the general elections makes murkier the already gloomy outlook for Barbados. Dukharan stated words to that effect without invoking the word ‘austerity’. She asserted that the trappings of austerity will rain down on Barbados “regardless of which party is in power, [and] regardless of if it is the IMF or a homegrown programme.”

Government’s problems are multiple and necessitate urgency. Government must admit the need to redress the runaway fiscal deficit, years of sustaining no or low economic growth, alarmingly falling foreign reserves, and the extremely national high debt (local and external). The fact that proffered solutions by the beleaguered Barbados Cabinet over the last eight years have not worked, is a major issue that grows alongside the underperforming national economy. The Minister of Finance is surely guilty of ignoring repeated advice that Barbados is on the wrong trajectory regarding its approach to macroeconomic management. Foreign reserves currently sit perilously below nine weeks of cover.

By pushing the national debt through the ceiling, the Government has created chaos. Additionally, by constantly increasing or introducing new tax measures has negatively individuals and businesses. The law of diminishing returns has taken root, so the NSRL is unlikely to reap the Finance Minister’s projections. Consumers are reeling at the growing inflation and mounting prices, while investors have backed away. Bad policy choices were exacerbated by the sustained printing of money by the Central Bank. Government’s turn to the National Insurance Fund to prop up fiscal indiscipline surely did not help the cause.

These facts are borne out in IMF Consultation Reports and other statements. For example, the August 2016 Article IV Consultation Report states: “At end-FY2015/16, central government debt excluding (including) securities held by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) reached the equivalent of 105.5 (141.6) percent of GDP, from 98.0 (132.3) percent in FY2014/15. The large funding requirements, totalling about 45 percent of GDP, have been mostly met by the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB), the NIS, and growing arrears.” Also, this June, the IMF stated that “the large government financing requirements were a challenge … [and] as a result, the government had to increasingly resort to funding from the Central Bank.”

Certainly, the actions of the Government continue to make a mockery of the sacrifices made by the Barbadian people. Providing little evidence, and having to rely more on statements coming out of the IMF, there has been little satisfaction for Barbadian households, businesses, and workers. Dukharan contended that Barbados is on the verge of a major fall that can further compound our best efforts. If the Government refuses to apply discipline in its fiscal affairs.

Surely, the Government must demonstrate responsibility and bolster our institutions. The Social Partnership immediately comes to mind; building institutional capacity may help to rope in the Cabinet’s commitments to the national interest; and help Barbados to buck the foreboding clouds. Furthermore, Dukharan suggested that the threshold used to defend the fixed exchange rate will come under greater pressure the longer that the current Government lags in seeking help. Need will be timely information and accurate data on the health of the nation’s economy. This means bolstering economic growth, less capital expenditure, attracting local and foreign investments and especially those that will earn much needed foreign exchange.

This platform demands doing things differently. The Government must collaborate more effectively with the trade unions and the social partnership. Government must not punish labour with job cuts although, in the public sector, wages and salaries are unsustainable at current levels. Rather, the Government must become innovative by strengthening our collaborative institutions. The objective is towards reshaping job roles and skill sets in the public sector, thus ensuring reforms that reduce potential for wastage of human capital. Stakeholders must be able to rely on the Government for timely information and accurate data. These things take political will, and must be done by driving the public sector towards enhanced productivity levels which are attainable with discipline to tighten the fiscal gap.

Dukharan argued that “Barbados can press the reset button now and fix the problems.” However, my contention is that political will and cooperation are vital instead of unwelcomed austerity and job cuts. Expressing confidence in the Barbadian people Dukharan suggested that: “If Grenada can do it, Barbados can do it. It took Jamaica and Grenada about three years each to get back on a stable path. You have to stop the patient from bleeding and then do the reforms to get the patient healthy again.” Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, previously recommended that Barbados would benefit from the implementation of a fiscal responsibility framework “not unlike what Jamaica and Grenada have implemented under their IMF-supported home-grown programmes.” Of course, Mr Arthur has encouraged Barbados to approach the IMF or other international financial institutions sooner rather than later.

Some Barbadians do not believe that Barbados should be drawing lessons from Jamaica given its historical blemishes in IMF programmes, nor do they believe that Grenada is a compatible match. The fact is, Grenada was forced to implement debt restructurings consequential to ‘weak fiscal and debt situations’ and since then approached the IMF for additional refinancing. In March 2014, Grenada and the IMF reached agreement reached ‘on the program parameters and the importance of restoring fiscal substantiality while creating supportive conditions for high-quality growth’.

Since then, Grenada has its improved its situation with the a local home-grown ‘Monitoring Committee’. This was established with representatives from unions, churches, the private sector, and civil society and were put in charge of holding the government accountable for its program and policy commitments. Most important though, is the national buy-in that takes place with vital stakeholders being able to monitor the Government’s progress. The IMF concluded that: “The debt restructurings provided a significant reduction in debt service and put the public debt dynamic onto … a sustainable trajectory … [and] significantly reduced the refinancing risk of the government debt portfolio.” Surely, there are lessons for Barbados.

Despite Jamaica’s decades-old problems, a statement emerging from the IMF in June this year indicates that overall, Jamaica has evidenced a ‘primary surplus above 7 percent of GDP for a fourth consecutive year, with: firmly declining debt; modest inflation; international reserves are above the program target; and the unemployment rate is declining. Dukharan suggested that the dollar is even appreciating. Are these not positive offerings for Barbados?

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com)

44 comments

  • peterlawrencethompson

    Dukharan’s prescription is old news. We have known this for many months, some of us for years.

    There is one thing that Bajans can do to dramatically improve the economy without depending on their incompetent political leadership, self serving private sector, or pathetic unions. Bajans can spur a 10% growth in the GDP without austerity or spending one red cent more than they do now.

    This is how you calculate GDP:
    GDP = C + G + I + (X – M)
    C is consumption
    G is government spending
    I is investment
    X is exports
    M is imports

    We need to reduce import consumption… we have no manufacturing industry to speak of so the only place we can do this to significant effect is to stop buying imported food. I have been experimenting with this and find that it is not hard at all… I go to Cheapside market on Saturday morning with a $50 bill and come home with so much that I have to invite friends over to help me eat it all before it spoils. The other half of my grocery budget goes to the fisherfolk in Oistins. I visit the supermarket only for toilet paper, laundry detergent etc.

    The media reports that our food import bill was over $656 million in 2016. If Bajans decided to Eat Bajan for 80% of their food consumption this would cut imports by $508 million. But there’s more… the $508 million would also be income for other Bajans to spend and invest in Barbados, so it’s a double whammy, the boost to the Barbados GDP is a whopping $1.16 BILLION.

    I don’t need to mention that we would be eating healthier and reducing our health care expenditure in the long run. Nor do I need to dwell on the beneficial effects on employment of injecting $508 million into our agriculture and agri-processing sectors.

    Grenville? Lynette? Please feel free to steal this idea and incorporate it into your political platforms.

    Like

  • Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim.

    On National TV, for all to see, Sinckler explained to everyone listening, in great detail, that his overriding responsibility as Minister of Finance in Stuart’s DLP gov’t is to continue to operate this Barbados economy without control, without guidance, without knowledge and with bottomless pockets.

    He went on to describe that his major challenge as pretend Minister of Finance is to continue to ‘find money’ to throw at problems as they come up, jumping from one fire to the next trying to put them out with nothing but our money.

    He explained further that ministerial and statutory corporation budgets are nothing more than topics for discussion.

    No management, no fiscal discipline, no clue what he is doing. Never had any.

    He demonstrated to everyone listening that his role, as he sees it, is as common bill-payer in a system that he has never been able to manage and still clearly does not understand. In fact, no-one in this DLP gov’t has ever been in control of anything.

    There was never any possibility of economic recovery under Fumble’s Fools.

    The fact that we have gotten this far without major catastrophe is entirely due to the fact that Bajan business people have stayed the course and Bajan citizens are easily distracted by credit and parties.

    Not long now.

    Like

  • @Peter

    You could have easily included cost savings to rising health bill.

    Like

  • @ peter lawrence thompson,

    Investing in food production is a no brainer since food security is important.

    The biggest problem Barbados faces is creating economic activity that is sustainable.

    Like

  • millertheanunnaki

    @ peterlawrencethompson August 29, 2017 at 8:20 AM
    “We need to reduce import consumption… we have no manufacturing industry to speak of so the only place we can do this to significant effect is to stop buying imported food..”

    PLT, could you expand a bit on your proposed “need to reduce import consumption”?

    Do you realize that the majority of food consumed in the Island especially by people under the age of 50 is imported processed / packaged food items?

    Go into any supermarket and you can bet that 90% of the items on display is processed food stored in a can, box or in some other plastic packaging.

    What you should be proposing is some form of shock to the economy in the form of shortages to bring about the necessary shift in eating habits and the current culinary culture. The pending scarcity of foreign exchange might just hasten this necessary seismic event.

    What you need to consider (if you dare to if you don’t want to be seen as just another “We Need to Do” motor-mouth like Marla &Co) are ways to plug other big holes in the fast leaking forex tank through which large slices of hard-earned foreign money find their return by way of the presently classified illegal marijuana trade.

    A perfect product for an easily “implementable” policy of import substitution to save forex; even in the fast expanding underground economy or, to be more racially biased, ‘black’ economy.

    The same way your proposal to grow more local foods to save forex appears convincingly appealing and workable why not apply a similar principle or approach to the use of marijuana?

    The obvious spin-off from the consumption of more local foods would not only be a drastic reduction in the country’s food import bill but also, clearly, be a healthier and less obese population.

    So why not estimate that the spin-offs from a marijuana industry based on local production and consumption would be less crime as a result of the significant reduction in the profit element which really as in the case of capitalism is the driver of the business activity?

    Like

  • Frustrated why you always getting yourself all tied up in knots concerning the physchological dictates that drives this govt.
    Silly person as your are would never figure that barbados is more than an economy but a knitted society that was built upon the dictates of our forefathers with a well intent of community service which has been a building block for people and country and forever engrained in the minds and hearts of patriotic barbadians who prefer to put peoples social interest first above the interest of wealthy one armed bandits. Get it. Now move out of the way and letbbarbadians whose roots are not buried in selfishness snd greedy concepts live in peace

    Like

  • I hate Burger King, KFC, macaroni pie and the sugar drinks.

    A tropical island in the premium league and food like the ghetto – does not match at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    Ah gotta say, Grenville of Solutions is actually finding his mojo, he has tweaked many of his solutions…..he still got a little ways to go to impress me, but he is trying to get there.

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    “The media reports that our food import bill was over $656 million in 2016. If Bajans decided to Eat Bajan for 80% of their food consumption this would cut imports by $508 million. But there’s more… the $508 million would also be income for other Bajans to spend and invest in Barbados, so it’s a double whammy, the boost to the Barbados GDP is a whopping $1.16 BILLION.

    I don’t need to mention that we would be eating healthier and reducing our health care expenditure in the long run. Nor do I need to dwell on the beneficial effects on employment of injecting $508 million into our agriculture and agri-processing sectors.”

    PLT…the majority population has been told this for years, but do they listen…no, they let the backward, bribetaking ministers and politicians tell them differently.

    The same ministers who complain incessantly about the cost of the too high food import bill.

    Like

  • Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim.

    Regarding eating habits, the Bajan side-of-road food van has got to be one of the best and best-value culinary delights in the Caribbean.

    We don’t grow rice, don’t make cheese and I don’t think we make macaroni anymore, but the flavours of Bajan cooking are hard to beat and much-missed when travelling.

    But, as I’ve said before, without a sugar subsidy we cannot have yam, sweet potato, cassava, edoe, suck wells, hedgerows, drainage, employment etc. in the quantities we need to make a difference.

    This and past governments prefer to piss away the money in useless and costly endeavours like CBC.

    Like

  • The following is an extended excerpt from George’s article:

    “In March 2014, Grenada and the IMF reached agreement ‘on the program parameters and the importance of restoring fiscal substantiality while creating supportive conditions for high-quality growth’.

    Since then, Grenada has its improved its situation with the a local home-grown ‘Monitoring Committee’. This was established with representatives from unions, churches, the private sector, and civil society and were put in charge of holding the government accountable for its program and policy commitments. Most important though, is the national buy-in that takes place with vital stakeholders being able to monitor the Government’s progress. The IMF concluded that: “The debt restructurings provided a significant reduction in debt service and put the public debt dynamic onto … a sustainable trajectory … [and] significantly reduced the refinancing risk of the government debt portfolio.” Surely, there are lessons for Barbados.”

    THERE ARE LESSONS FOR BARBADOS, George, BUT YOU HAVE NOT DESCRIBED THEM.

    Why has Grenada performed well in the last three years? It’s not because of the IMF, although the IMF did lend the Grenada government $22 million to help the Treasury through a shortage of funds. And it’s not because of any Monitoring Committee of unions, churches, businessmen and civil society. That is total bull—-

    It’s because Grenada re-launched its Citizen-by-Investment program and is experiencing a temporary boom in North American tourism, thanks to a new JetBlue service and a new Sandals resort.

    But you wouldn’t know this from reading George’s verbiage or from listening to this Dukharan banker lady.

    Barbados should also push CBI and Sandals tourism, plus Hyatt tourism. And sell off some of its crown corporations and infrastructure. HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO SAY THIS?

    Like

  • The result of 73.5% Tourism leakage rate is the current state of the economy!!

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    “But, as I’ve said before, without a sugar subsidy we cannot have yam, sweet potato, cassava, edoe, suck wells, hedgerows, drainage, employment etc. in the quantities we need to make a difference.”

    Frustrated…what does a handout from government/taxpayers for the sugar scam got to do with growing yams, potatoes, dashene, badgie, plantains, cassave…and rotating crops accordingly.

    The other islands grow and rotate provisions just fine and have for centuries….without milking the taxpayers for a sugar subsidy.

    So what is so unique to Barbados that farmers need a handout from government to grow provisions.

    Like

  • Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim.

    WW&C.

    Google ‘rotation crop’ and we’ll chat some more.

    I’ll give you a hint: sugar cane is a grass.

    In our climatic conditions, no food crop can grow without either crop rotation or copious amounts of water. The former we had for 375 years, the latter we never did.

    There isn’t enough water on this rock, at any price, for hydroponics and aquaponics to get back 10% of the food crops we need to make a dent in our food import bill.

    Like

  • I linkened Jamaica to a head of household who pays all the bills but at the end of the day the children are straving.
    That is the kind of policies which were implemented by the IMF and upon which Jamaica agreed
    Never mind the socio economic enviroment to which a govt must preserve.
    Never mind the hungry and straving who relies on drug lords to feed housed and cloth the people
    Never mind the lives of innocent children killed who by nuture of the fact poverty has escalated in uncontrollable numbers because the IMF collectors of debt never visit thes poor and forgotten conclaves to see the damage which their policies have created on the poor and the unrelentless damage to the social enviroment
    Never Mind Never mind all that matters is the debt owed is being paid.
    What a tragedy a story which historians would judge with harshness using a razor sharp tongue

    Like

  • Well Well @ Consequences Observing Blogger

    Frustrated…..there would be more than enough water if all the rain water that flows into the sea after each rainfall was properly dammed and used for crop irrigation instead of being wasted for the last 40 years…..while the sugar farmers keep their begging bowls for handouts…up in taxpayer`s faces.

    dont need to google crop rotation, i believe in growing most of what i eat, that makes me quite familiar with huge water tanks to harvest rain water….and they are never dry.

    Like

  • We all know that here won´t be ANY reform before election day. I got the strong impression that the MoF is doing everything to poison his legacy. Maybe he will raise taxes again in Jan. 2018, eg 20% National Plantation Responsibility Tax and 10 % Devaluation Fee. After next election day, new new MoF will figure out that the national debt is far beyond 200% – if you include the state agencies – and devaluation inevitable.

    What we will face until February 2018 are endless discussions amongst politicians, high bureaucrats, judges, pastors, the groups of so-called social partnership, the QCs, the Sirs and other distinguished persons with titles, badges and medals on the costume. I really wonder if somebody is left on this island to work. It seems to me that there are more milking bureaucrat and VIPs in Barbados than taxpayers.

    Like

  • Well Well @ Consequences Observing Blogger

    you dont need anymore free taxpayer`s money….you need many more dams to collect inches of wasted rain water….

    ..give the taxpayer`s money a break, ease up….focus on building more dams, that is what sugar farmers should have done with the hundreds of millions they got over the decades instead of forever running to the taxpayer ATM.

    Like

  • Have you heard St. Lucia Prime Minister today on the news saying that the Government is broke and cannot pay contractors.
    Any comments.
    Trinidad PM said yesterday that they are considering freezing civil servants pay. Seems to be following Barbados

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  • I would like someone to say how to increase output in this country and what can be done to earn more foreign currency.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @JayCee
    I just did in my first response… switching foreign consumption to local consumption is functionally equivalent to earning more foreign currency

    Like

  • With all that happened earlier today with Windies cricket victory in England , I guess I can excuse David of BU from following the other major news story of …..the day

    Word out of Trinidad, today

    Former Attorney General, Mia Mottley , is in police custody in Trinidad !

    I am sure by the time the police wrap up their investigations, Mia Mottley would be charged with one of the following offenses :

    • Possession and heavy use of CRACK COCAINE !!!

    • Female genital mutilation !!!

    That lady is just wut less

    Like

  • Where is the latest NIS Actuarial Review?

    Why is Walter Blackman silent?

    Why is Chairman Justin Robinson silent?

    Why has Minister Byer-Suckoo not refuted concerns about the financial health of the NIS fund shared last week by veteran actuary Charles Herbert?

    Like

  • Roverp August 29, 2017 at 11:47 AM #

    “The result of 73.5% Tourism leakage rate is the current state of the economy!!”

    @ Roverp

    I was wondering when someone would have raised the issue of tourism leakage and its effect on the economy.

    For several years, Barbados has pursuing a marketing strategy that sells Barbados as a “high end” destination that, more often than not, excludes local businesses and products. This attracts tourists who often demand food, beverages and other products that must be imported because Barbados does not have a supplying industry.

    Therefore, much of the fx expenditure generated from tourism leaves the island to pay for these imports (i.e. import related leakage).

    Then there is the issue of “export leakage,” whereby foreign investors and multinational corporations who invest in the construction of hotels and resorts, repatriate profits to their country of origin.

    We can understand why there has been a continual furor about the generous tax concessions this inept DLP bestowed upon Sandals Resorts.

    Like

  • Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim.

    JayCee August 29, 2017 at 5:25 PM #
    I would like someone to say how to increase output in this country and what can be done to earn more foreign currency.

    Subsidise sugar production to bring back food security, create jobs and maintain the hedgerows, gullies, suck wells, bridges and improve the aesthetic value of the BDS countryside.

    Bring legislation, tax holidays and duty-free concessions for restoration of historic buildings under the National Trust watch, to maintain our architectural heritage which appeals to wealthier tourists (not the cruise-ship, concrete jungle crowd).

    Divest of statutory corporations ASAP and introduce a public tender process that would see local and foreign companies competing fairly to provide those goods and services without ministerial teefin’.

    Freeze civil service hiring, increase their pay and open a complaints department with real powers of sanction against civil servants who don’t do their jobs.

    Fire the Chief Town Planner.

    Fire the Chief Justice.

    Guarantee a 3-month implementation time limit on development project applications, after which time, costs can be claimed from the state.

    There are many more easily-implemented solutions. None of which Fumble’s Fools are interested in.

    Like

  • Air Canada Centre to be renamed

    Scotiabank Arena

    in rich deal reportedly worth cad $800 million over 20 years.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Frustrated Businessman

    Subsidising sugar production is just one more form of corporate welfare. Farmers need to be profitable without sucking on the taxpayers’ tits.

    Like

  • Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim.

    peterlawrencethompson August 30, 2017 at 1:26 PM #
    @Frustrated Businessman

    Subsidising sugar production is just one more form of corporate welfare. Farmers need to be profitable without sucking on the taxpayers’ tits.

    Ignorance really is bliss.

    You understand that all private cane growers like Sagicor have ever asked the gov’t for is the same price the statutory corporation BADMC is getting to grow cane from tax-payers, right?

    Like how the minibus operators have only ever asked for the same duty-free busses and diesel that the Transport Board gets?

    Keen to hear how non-subsidised agriculture would be possible in a developed world where agriculture is subsidised to make it cheaper for miniature economies like ours to import food rather than to grow it.

    Keep us posted.

    In the meanwhile land owners will keep growing bush rather than lose their land to creditors due to unprofitable operations. They’ll be in good company over the next 6 months as all other businesses close or scale-back as well.

    Like

  • David should do a much better job of providing background material so that people on this forum do not wander into the zone of crackpot ideas when discussing the state of the economy.

    Barbados has been in serious economic trouble for more than a decade. But it is not because the politicians are morons.Consider the following:

    The tourist industry is in a difficult period because the UK economy has been performing poorly for the last ten years and is facing major uncertainties with Brexit. That means tourist spending is down, not just at hotels and restaurants, but in the housing sector. Construction of tourist villas has taken a big hit since 2008. Also, the industry suffers from dilapidated assets and infrastructure, but local activists like “David Commie Sing Song” have helped block or delay plans for the construction of new large-scale hotels with brand names that appeal to badly needed North American tourists.

    [Incidentally, the leakage of tourist revenues abroad is certainly high throughout the Caribbean, because West Indians are too stupid and disorganized to create the agricultural, manufacturing and service products tourists require, but the tourist multiplier is actually believed to be higher in Barbados than in Jamaica, Antigua or other small islands]

    The banking and finance industry is in trouble because Canada, which largely built the sector, started cracking down on Canadian firms and wealthy Canadians with offshore accounts. Also, Canada’s investment and tax rules, which previously favoured Barbados, have been changed, and now Barbados has to compete with many other jurisdictions for Canadian assets.

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    “Subsidising sugar production is just one more form of corporate welfare. Farmers need to be profitable without sucking on the taxpayers’ tits.”

    You are right, the same farmers who have gotten millions of dollars in subsudies over the last 40 years refise to become self suffient…they want to suck at the taxpayer ATM generation after generation indefinitely….and they always have an excuse, if it’s not free money because of water shortage because they all refuse to build dams and harvest rain water, it’s some other excuse to get thier hands on taxpayers money….and as some say, they then take the money and buy yachts, cars, houses, send their children to expensive schools abroad…..and never build dams for water..

    But the biggest insult is…, they want the governmemt to force the masses…the same black taxpayers to be sugar cane workers….beasts of burden, at low wages, so these same farmers can enrich themselves off cheap labor.

    They don’t deserve a dime, none of them, not Sagocor or any other parasite who believe they are entitled to the masses money for free.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Frustrated Businessman
    Statutory corporations like BADMC are part of the problem. The research component of their mandate should be done by tertiary institutions, and the land they hold should be leased to those that think they can turn a profit with the lease payments subsidising the research. There is no reason to compound the errors of the BADMC by paying Sagicor to replicate the same nonsense.
    Subsidised agriculture is stupid in the USA, Canada and Europe as well, perpetuated by corrupt political systems. We cannot compete with the level of subsidies they offer, so we have no choice but to change the game.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @chad99999

    The background material on the regional and global economy is easily available all over the web; there is no need for David to reproduce it here.

    All David Comissiong has done is ask the government to follow its own legislation. You do realize that the environmental impact assessment that he asked for could have been almost completed since he first asked for it if it was fast tracked… but no, the government prefers to waste time and money in court instead of following the rules that they themselves wrote.

    You are right that the tourist multiplier is higher in Barbados than in Jamaica, but we are squandering this advantage by entering into stupid deals like Sandals. The more of these short sighted and corrupt mistakes we make rather than paying attention to real successes like the Crane, the faster our multiplier will decline.

    The offshore financial sector is based on exploiting loopholes in other countries’ tax codes; they will almost always eventually close those loopholes, so our industry has to evolve with the times… however, there will always be a boom and bust industry cycle because of this underlying dynamic.

    Like

  • THE BURDEN OF BAD IDEAS

    Barbadians seem addicted to bad ideas, and David, Caswell, and most of the contributors to BU never seem to stop coming up with them.

    Frustrated Businessman

    It is a very bad idea to keep spending money on the disastrous sugar industry. It is not just that sugar is a low value product, almost always being sold for pennies in oversupplied markets, and that the sugar factory is a low margin business that cannot compete with subsidized sugar produced on North America and Europe, but think of how miserable the lives of sugar industry workers are. They must do back-breaking, health-destroying work in unpleasamt heat, and because they are so tired at the end of the day, they are in no position to spend time studying or taking courses to upgrade their skills. In other words, work in the sugar industry degrades the work force, rather than improving it. It makes Barbadians more backward and isolated from technological progress occurring elsewhere.

    By comparison, tourism is far superior. The hotel worker even if not well paid is working most of the time in physically comfortable environments, is exposed to modern technology, has time to acquire modern skills, can meet, observe and even sleep with some of the wealthiest people in the world, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    That is how the minority farmers on the island survived for the last 50 years, beg for taxpayers money, excuse and ruse….subsidize sugar, get poor people to accept low wages and backbreaking work with no avenues for advancement, low wages means more profits for them to buy yachts and property off the island, own multiple houses and plenty material things, none of their own people of the 7,500 minorities on the island work in those fields, not one….

    ..,,,they build no dams with the free taxpayer’s money to ensure a consistent year round water supply,…but every few years they are crying with begging bowls in hand for more subsidies, like if taxpayers owe them something.

    That shit has to stop….the subsidies to minority farmers should go to training sugar workers to advance to better jobs.., end of story….

    …..no more free money for minorities to buy yachts to transport their drugs and guns…

    .,…the black majority population need to put their foot down about that, any government picking up their hardearned tax dollars to subsidize minority scams and schemes to rob taxpayers should be voted out next election.

    Minorities have gotten away with and gotten wealthy from all these excuses to steal from taxpayers…let them go and look for real jobs, fund their own farming, leave out the taxpayers money, they are too covetous.

    Chadster…of course you are all for pimping and prostituting out black hotel workers to tourists in exchange for substandard wages….ah wonder where ya got that from…..

    ,,,,,because in your mind….. these hotel workers are working in a comfortable environment for low wages while selling their asses to HERPES and AIDS ridden white people…..have you no morals or class.

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    ,,,,because in your mind….. these hotel workers are working in a comfortable environment for low wages while selling their asses to HERPES and AIDS ridden white TOURISTS…..have you no morals or class.

    Like

  • WW&C

    I invite you to visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and not-for-profit organizations that carry health reports and statistics (e.g., realclearhealth.com).

    The black people of Africa and the Western Hemisphere have the highest rates of sexually transmitted disease in the world. In the United States, which has the most reliable data, adult black women have a herpes rate of anout 50%, the highest rate of any major demographic group. Higher by far than Hispanic, Asian or white women.

    The HIV virus is an African virus transmitted by Congolese monkeys that was probably spread to the Western Hemisphere by Haitians (who infected white homosexuals visiting Port-au-Prince).

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  • Incidentally, in southern Africa, the herpes rate among black women is astronomical: 70% to 90% in major cities. The HIV rate is about 40%.

    I cite the statistics for black women because they are higher than the rates for men.

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    Chadster…in ya haste to show aids and herpes rates in black people ya missed the whole point…none of these African people visit Barbados as TOURISTs.

    Your are advertising sexual promiscuity, pimping and prostitution for black hotel workers in Barbados with diseased white tourists while doing their low paying jobs….the tourist markets are promarily US, UK and Canadian visitors and majority white or others…

    ..,,Africa is not a source market…so your poor me my father was black and I wish he was white bullshit about black people is just your daddy issues surfacing…get some help, there are good psychologists around.

    Ya should ask people in Barbados how many black males died from AIDS and got infected by herpes contracted from tourists from these countries, Canadian tourists particularly the white females infected hundreds of bajan men and sent them to their graves…same with UK and US tourists.

    I think the people on the island paid to learn their lesson about sleeping with diseased white tourists and I dont think the Barbados health system can handle anymore.

    This is UK…

    “LIVING WITH HIV

    HEADLINES
    A total of 88,769 people, including 315 children aged under 15, received HIV specialist care in 2015
    Over the last decade, the number of people accessing specialist care for HIV has steadily grown.

    Over the decade 2006 to 2015, there has been a 73% increase in the number of people accessing HIV care.
    One third of people living with HIV in the UK have experienced discrimination. Half of these instances involved healthcare workers”

    “Herpes Statistics in UK by Race
    According to the survey made by Health Protection Agency (HPA), if the total figure of genital herpes cases in the year 2011 are divided by race then you will certainly get surprised after being aware that…Scientists have revealed that over 66 per cent of people under 50 have herpes – meaning your chance of catching it is higher than ever before.

    ·23,226 people who have newly been diagnosed with genital herpes belong to White British community.
    ·1,068 of them belong to the Asian British community.
    ·2,433 of the total number of people who have been newly infected with genital herpes belong to Black British community.
    ·Lastly, 4427 number of people affected by genital herpes belongs to various other communities of United Kingdom.”

    This is the US….

    “CDC estimates that roughly 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV – and nearly
    one in eight of those are not aware that they are infected.

    Prevention efforts have led to encouraging declines in new diagnoses among some populations – including African American women, people who inject drugs and heterosexuals – and a stabilization in new diagnoses among gay and bisexual men, including black men. However, as many as 50,000 people still become newly infected each year. In addition to recognized risk behaviors, a range of social and economic factors places some Americans at increased risk for HIV infection.

    The Scope and Impact of HIV in the United States
    New infections and overall burden: Since the height
    of the epidemic in the mid-1980s, the annual number of
    new HIV infections in the United States has been reduced
    by more than two-thirds, from roughly 130,000 in 1985
    to approximately 50,000 in 2010. As a result of treatment
    advances since the late 1990s, the number of people living
    with HIV (HIV prevalence) has increased dramatically. Yet,
    despite increasing HIV prevalence and more opportunities
    for HIV transmission, the number of new infections was
    relatively stable from the mid-1990s through 2010.”

    “WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) – About 16 percent of Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 are infected with genital herpes, making it one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday.”

    This is Canada….

    “According to 2014 national HIV estimates: An estimated 75,500 Canadians were living with HIV at the end of 2014.* This represents an increase of 6,700 people (9.7%) since 2011. The HIV prevalence rate is 212.0 per 100,000 people living in Canada.”

    “TORONTO — As many as one in seven Canadians aged 14 to 59 may be infected with herpes simplex type 2 virus and more than 90% of them may be unaware of their status, a new study suggests.Apr 17, 2013.”

    Get your information right before bringing bogus arguments.

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  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    Ya such a damn fool, ya went searching for statistics on blacks in Africa instead of on white tourists….in the west, the same people you believe black hotel workers in Barbados should prostitute themselves with…on your say so.

    Get help for your daddy issues…just like you am sorry he was not white, just so you would stop embarrassing yaself.

    Were you raised in a hotel or something, is that the best you can see for hotel workers, prostituting themselves to broke ass white tourists who carry credit cards, not even cash.

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  • Mia Mottley is responsible for the breakdown of Law & Order in Barbados 🇧🇧

    Like

  • The Nation news Editorial of Thursday August 31 , 2017 quite rightly tore into the MEGALOMANIAC…….parading under the name Mia Aman Mottley

    She is just a despicable……creature

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  • “Ya should ask people in Barbados how many black males died from AIDS and got infected by herpes contracted from tourists from these countries, Canadian tourists particularly the white females infected hundreds of bajan men and sent them to their graves…same with UK and US tourists.”

    WW&C

    is challenged by statistics. But when somebody from the most diseased population on earth — the black population — is claiming that their males are being infected by people of other races, look out.

    Can you show me the medical authorities who informed you that AIDS and herpes transmission in Barbados is primarily from white tourists to black men, and not the other way around?

    And who is putting a gun to the head of black men to force them to sleep with white tourists?

    And who said anything about pimping except WW&C?

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    You are the one doing the pimping Chadster…to even suggest something so immoral, distasteful and class less. ..that is what pimps do, suggest others prostitute themselves, where did you learn that..

    Pimping obviously comes so naturally to you, you are obviously not even conscious of doing it.

    You keep degrading yaself in the eyes of intelligent people…normally that is what happens to frauds.

    I brought my statistics…where are yours.

    Like

  • Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger.

    BTW…it seems these days that ya up in Brittons Hill stewing about ya daddy issues….

    ……ya need a real job.

    Like

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