Kemar Stuart: A 21st Century Conversation

Submitted by Kemar Stuart, Bsc Banking and Finance (undergraduate), University of the West Indies. Prepared For Presentation at the , Democratic Labour Party, Astor B. Watts, Lunch Time Lecture, May 2019

The digitization process of Government is an initiative which the Barbadian community should embrace it may provide savings from duplication of processes within the civil service however this will increase retrenchments going forward. As the paradigm shift of automation occurs.

Government has the tools to reduce spending on foreign purchases, by increasing tax rates or cutting its own spending. Given that the burden of taxation was increased in 2018, the focus in 2019 and 2020 will probably be on further expenditure reduction. In time, the inflows of foreign exchange may increase. How soon that will occur depends on the effectiveness of policies to increase Barbados’ external competitiveness. Between 2013 and 2017 Barbados fell from Number 47 in the Global Competitiveness Report’s rankings to Number 72, mainly because of weak Government institutions and deteriorating Government finances. Investor confidence can be expected to revive when there is evidence of public sector reform, improved public services, and prudent Government finances. Early resolution of Government’s default on US dollar debt is also essential to restoring investor confidence.. A makeover of the public services, to raise the delivery of services to standards comparable to those of Canada, the US, the UK and further Europe is key to the achievement of both these objectives.

he digitization process of Government is an initiative which the Barbadian community should embrace it may provide savings from duplication of processes within the civil service however this will increase retrenchments going forward. As the paradigm shift of automation occurs.

Government has the tools to reduce spending on foreign purchases, by increasing tax rates or cutting its own spending. Given that the burden of taxation was increased in 2018, the focus in 2019 and 2020 will probably be on further expenditure reduction. In time, the inflows of foreign exchange may increase. How soon that will occur depends on the effectiveness of policies to increase Barbados’ external competitiveness. Between 2013 and 2017 Barbados fell from Number 47 in the Global Competitiveness Report’s rankings to Number 72, mainly because of weak Government institutions and deteriorating Government finances. Investor confidence can be expected to revive when there is evidence of public sector reform, improved public services, and prudent Government finances. Early resolution of Government’s default on US dollar debt is also essential to restoring investor confidence.. A makeover of the public services, to raise the delivery of services to standards comparable to those of Canada, the US, the UK and further Europe is key to the achievement of both these objectives.

Text Version

Economic Ideals – A 21st Century Conversation

Video version

22 comments

  • David

    We remain disappointed that young people are still being encouraged to ‘believe’ the dominate narratives rather than to ‘think’ about creative ways to so overthrow.

    For this writer astronomy is a hobby, an interest. In that field it is amazing how many significant discoveries have been made by people who were not leaders in the field or top academicians but by students, amateur astronomers, even neophytes from other fields – not the top theorists that we tend to look to.

    Also, when we see the countries, base on population, which produce knowledge, Barbados is nowhere in the reckoning. Is this not where decades of ‘education’ should have been focused – the production of knowledge.

    We still can’t understand why, in an information age, that we are not redirecting scholarship funding to people who can advance the frontiers in nanotechnology, development of drones, AI and so on, at the primary and secondary levels. Instead, four A’s remains the sacrament.

    In banking and finance we have not detected anything new here. Instead, a regurgitation of tired, far from revolutionary thinking remains so normal, acceptable to all – on both sides!

    Like

  • @Pacha

    All of us add and borrow from the knowledge pool. Kemar operates in one area of discipline. By combining our learning we are capable of what is possible.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ David
    You are correct.

    The young man did not attempt to dazzle us with his brilliance and he did not try to baffle us with bull….

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  • Kemar, think outside the box. Life in Barbados will not change unless you think different thoughts than what the people see. Then write to make your vision a reality.

    The box is still the 1838 box. Some may have written on it. But it is the same box. If you want to bring change to Barbados, don’t settle for just a job, it will become a comfort zone that makes one complacent. Be a revolutionary.

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  • Piece the Legend

    Ms Cole, be careful with that word revolutionary because, since you last posted here, the laws in Barbados have changed and, you can be tried for treason and high treason, a hanging offence, and denied bail for 2 years!!!

    @ Kemar

    What initiative can you imagine that would create wealth for young people in this scam by Mugabe to enrich an overseas company with this digitization initiative?

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  • Kemar makes mention of USD 359 million debt payments due in 2 years. We have to find the plan to generate for our foreign exchange needs. This is no joke.

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  • @ Pachamama May 20, 2019 7:29 PM
    You are correct in your assessment of matters. There is so much to be done locally in the area of science. Any new forward thinking ideas are shot down: one constantly hear “we are too small; it can’t work; who do you think you are? don’t mind him, he is mad. A lot of patents are there to be obtained for new medicines, new products, new antibiotics, new industrial processes. In this age size is irrelevant; once there is curiosity and imagination anything can be achieved.

    Like

  • @Dr. Lucas

    We have to careful not to generalize. We have a young grad in a particular discipline who has come forward with a view. Not to be confused with the issue you and Pacha have located your positions.

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  • William Skinner

    Dr. Lucas
    It’s not a matter of us being too small; it’s a growing pseudo intellectual class, who are extremely dedicated to constantly presenting the Caribbean as a backwater region.
    Simple research will show that there are dozens of Caribbean nationals who have contributed greatly to the sciences. Unfortunately they are living outside the region and we have not always benefitted from their achievements.

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  • Looks like IMF has told Barbados to devest itself of the LIAT airline shares and continual debt drain. This appears to be conditional to getting the lastest IMF funding trench of $49mUS. To bad the sale of these on the books $50mUS stock will result in little revenue due to the fact the shares in LIAT are essentially worthless at the present time and future evaluations are even bleaker. Good news the continual drain on Barbados finances to support LIAT will cease. How the ultimate collapse of LIAT will effect Barbados future is yet to be determined.

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  • @Wily

    This is the point the blogmaster attempted to make yesterday, almost all if not all the decisions being made at this time are being driven by the need to meet expenditure targets. Is this how we plan to transform? Transform to what

    Asking for a friend.

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  • Robert Lucas

    Thanks for understanding.

    Even here, on BU, the reactionary ethos dominates.

    It’s amazing how a culture based entirely on a paramount respectability of belief continues to dominate thinking as a requirement for national survival.

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  • William Skinner

    Until we accept that the IMF is only a medicine and not a cure, we would persist with naive euphoria about meeting targets .
    At the very outset , it was stated that the full benefits or results will not materialize until 2033.
    Even the NUPW President is saying into today’s nation that those who were laid off six months ago, will no longer receive unemployment benefits. The grind is on for them!
    The committee monitoring the IMF program, from within the Social Partnership, is reporting some discomfort with rehiring in the SOEs.

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  • David
    “Kemar makes mention of USD 359 million debt payments due in 2 years.”

    Wouldn’t this be unlikely after the debt restructure?

    Like

  • @enuff

    Until the restructure is completed we have to go with what is known. In any event a repayment will have to be made. We wait the quantum.

    Like

  • @ David May 21, 2019 7:32 AM
    Noted

    @Pachamama May 21, 2019 8:13 AM
    We are in the same boat on this matter.
    Lennox Chandler, the chief Agricultural Officer told me that he repeats what I have said to him in the past at meetings: viz “that I have spent forty years hoping that we would do something serious in the sciences and have arrived at the conclusion that I will soon shuffle off and things will remain the same.” It is truly a depressing state of affairs. We can easily be like Singapore: all of the talent is here

    Like

  • David May 21, 2019 8:12 AM

    ” Is this how we plan to transform? ”

    Unfortunately Barbados politician structure is one best described as “a nose ring with attached leed”, the mule must be dragged through the necessary adjustments. These adjustments are merely/hopefully only the first of many adjustments to get Barbados back on a sound financial foundation. These IMF suggestions are only meant to IMMEDIATELY stop the patient from bleeding to death. Once the patient is sufficiently stable then transfer to the ICU( DEVALUATION, CIVIL SERVICE 60% reduction, elimination of 80% of the SOE’s, productivity increases etc etc) for RECOVERY, after recovery comes the PAINFUL and LENGTHY PHYSIO(unemployment at 30 to 40%, high crime, subsidence living, etc etc.

    The question is will the patient survive to celebrate its 65th, 70th, 80th independance anniverserries, only time will tell, however prognosis is POOR based on past PERFORMANCE.

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  • Dr. Robert Lucas

    Our problem isn’t our antiquated way of thinking, but our inability to accept anything that is foreign … I made mention quite recently of the financial benfits of privatization the transit system in Barbados, and improve the routes by adding a fleet of buses that would stop at every three stops instead of every stop to improve travel … and this idea was met with repudiation …

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  • And Old Man, how can we ever start to thinking outside the box … unless we embrace some of the tenets of the Philosophy of Ignorance such as Love is Hate… War is Peace … Black is White … this how we start to think outside the box Old Man …

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  • Kemar Stuart

    It is quite easy to get behind our computers and espouse our theories and ideas as how to fix the system in Barbados… but if our theories and ideas aren’t met with cash …all our theories and ideas are, but tumbleweed blowing back and forth in the win …

    Moreover, we can accomplish anything in theory that is the idealist view, but to put such theory into practice …that is the realist view …as Obama has sought to do when he espoused the theory of spreading the wealth … it is quite a difficult undertaking…

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  • Piece the Legend

    If no one will tell you, take it from me, you, and you know who you are, ARE A CERTIFIABLE MADMAN!

    Like

  • Piece the Legion

    Why don’t you man up and tell GP the truth…we knew for sometime that he was a nickel short of a dime …

    Like

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