The Rhetoric of Austerity
ECONOMIST SIR FRANK ALLEYNE says one of the reasons why Barbados was in the current economic mess was the country’s failure to pay workers based on productivity. Sir Frank, one of the Freundel Stuart administration’s trusted advisers, said yesterday that had the various governments followed through on the productivity focus after the 1991 economic crisis, many of the problems the country faced might have been alleviated. […] Sir Frank said the centrepiece of the structural adjustment programme was productivity enhancement.
Prior to May 24, 2018 the constant national refrain was that the economic and social state of the country had deteriorated to an unacceptable level. This position was punished by the electorate in unprecedented manner with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) being inflicted with a 30-0 defeat. The simple tranlation of the result, the people are not happy.
It should be of concern to sensible Barbadians everywhere the vitriolic and uninformed political debate which has emerged in recent years. It is a predictable debate and often sees a predictable response by incumbent governments. The politically aware have stated the primary job of a political party is to find a way to stoke popularity.
In a well meaning democracy the needs of the people should be the prime objective. There are listed as being able to promote unity and tranquillity in the domestic space, ensure justice for all, defense and safeguard the welfare and liberty of all the people – What is the purpose of government?. The opposite view is that no government is perfect in the vision or execution. How we govern is a man made construct and susceptible to the fallibility of man.
A couple weeks ago the blogmaster was motivated to write about the predictability to what has translated to a worrying crime situation. The same can be transposed to how we have and continue to govern ourselves. This blogmaster has been at the dashboard from 2007 and have been positioned to view the workings of political operatives having reason to interact with prime ministers, senators, ministers in government, surrogates, political talking heads et al. They operate with the same intent. They are driven by greed and an a destructive value system.
Barbados is a tiny island and if well managed with realistic objectives should satisfy the purpose of government. Instead we have allowed behaviours to be greatly influenced by popular culture. This has created the recurring dysfunction of government we have become mired. This week we learned about the many many PSV permits the outgoing government issued before demitting office -on the most profitable routes. A portfolio led by Michael Lashley. Prior, this blogmaster is aware of many PSV permits issued by Gline Clarke. We are aware there was financial benefit accrued to decision makers. This is one example of how greed and corruption as eventually led to an insolvent Transport Board taxpayers are left holdoing the bag.
Look in the mirror people!
Sensible Barbadians should have the capacity to view how systems of government are in decline across the globe. If we fail to show the courage to disrupt the current trajectory there is a predictable inevitability to how it will end for us.
In an situation where austerity measures have to be taken, one expects constituents being impacted to voice concern. One also expects the government charged with managaing the process to admoister it as humanely as practicable. As important is for civil society to be resonsible in voicing feedback.
It seems to this blogmaster we are in danger of being subsumed by a destructive rhetoric motivated by egocentric thinking.
Beware the rhetoric of austerity.