Trapped by Financialzation

“The lost decade since the financial crisis is living up to that old adage that when you get economists in a room, you’ll get eleven opinions. The old guard is unable to explain to people just what on Earth is going on”Grace Blakeley

A pulse check of the level of debate concerning all matters affecting Barbadians in this space and elsewhere has fallen short of the mark, IF, we are to be regarded as an educated people. Of concern is the gimmickry we accept from our political and civil leaders instead of reasoned perspectives and efficient implementation of projects. Some say this is where education has failed us.

Many of us align to views based on political allegiance, school tie, built up neighbourhoods and the like. In recent days this blogmaster has retreated from the incessant stream of nonsense which abounds to read. On the bed stand is the book Stolen (How to Save the World from Financialisation) by Grace Blakeley. Although Blakeley’s focus is on the United Kingdom and USA her observations are relevant to Barbados given we are an island buffeting in the exhaust of global turbulence.

The relevance of what financialization to the Barbados space defined in the book as the

…increasing role of financial motives, financial markets, financial actors and financial institutions in the operation of the domestic and international economies. In other words, financialzation means more and bigger financial institutions – from banks, to hedge funds, to pension funds – wielding a much greater influence over other economic actors – from consumers, to businesses, to the state (blogmaster’s emphasis)…

should be of interest given the approach being undertaken by government to stabilize the economy. It seems we have wired our success to a financial model sector as a means to fuel growth. A good example is the ease we accept asset growth in the financial sector which translates to household and commercial debt and – wait for it – a widening current account deficit.

The blogmaster posits that a variant of financialization has exposed  itself in Barbados by the wholesale sell out of local companies fuelled by the expectation of shareholders to maintain profit margins. The government cannot dictate or influence credit or pricing policy given the close 100% ownership of the financial sector. Local players cannot influence the price of food because the major supermarkets and wholesalers are foreign owned. Even the entertainment space is controlled by foreign agents.

The author makes the point that households traditionally worried about wages and wage bargaining, these days they worry about debt. Businesses historically focussed on producing a quality product or service in a market space there had a competitive edge or advantage, these days it is about monitoring share price, dividend scheme,s borrowing and watching key performance metrics. For both individual and business it has become fashionable to borrow more than earn. Therein lies the problem – a conspicuous consumption model fuelled by greed.

To the blogmaster’s simple way of thinking we have a financial system that prey on the establishment by extracting interest earned from burgeoning debt. In such a model only the owner of capital will benefit from the riches.

The thesis position of the book is that we are living through the tail end of finance-led growth and that every capitalist model must end in crisis. It is up to Barbados to position itself to be able to rise like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes.

In recent years successive governments have borrowed and borrowed to respond to the lifestyle needs of consumers.

And so here we are.

 

153 comments

  • De ole man was not going comment on this matter of dog poop for 2 reasons.

    The first reason was that, like Mr. HAL AUSTIN I was going ask you, “which book you claiming that you reading?”

    Secondly, you have a poor understanding of materials that you claim go have read.

    Additionally you like to setup fallacies for your incorrectness

    In all of the fallacies you wrote, I chose one to comment on because its central to your theme about merchants.

    You said and I quote

    “…Local players cannot influence the price of food because the major supermarkets and wholesalers are foreign owned…”

    That is concentrated hog shit!!

    Vancourt Rouse and Bertram Hall have been AND CONTINUE TO BE INFLUENCING THE PRICE OF FOOD and they are not foreign owned as you have erroneously stated.

    If the main tenet of your argument is wrong THEN NOTHING ELSE CAN BE RIGHT!!

    YOU ARE MISLEADING YOUR READERS LIKE MARIPOSA seeks to do with hers

    Liked by 2 people

  • What the hell is an economist anyway, it is the most mystery and fraudulent job description to date, Barbados is literally littered with economists and not one of them knew what to do about the declining economy. And despite knowing of the many on the island, foreign consultants had to be hired to the tune of millions of tax dollars to achieve the same results, an ailing economy and years to recover. So obviously government ministers don’t recognize economists as useful either.

    Economist as a career choice should indeed be eliminated.

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  • “For both individual and business it has become fashionable to borrow more than earn. Therein lies the problem – a conspicuous consumption model fuelled by greed.”

    And this is what brought the island to its knees..hand in hand with the WHOLESALE THEFT of PUBLIC FUNDS…by all involved..

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  • Good morning Piece where and when and how have i mislead anyone with my comments
    David for what it is worth the article speaks to truth i endorse every word
    This country was built on debt and Greed having the crumbs fall from the masters table to feed the many
    Yes foreign influence has taken a foot hold on this economy
    Govt is left in a position to tow the line or else
    Reason why present govt was so keen to reward these outside influential barons with tax cuts and waivers with an unsigned promised of urgency that these economic gift (given )would serve a purpose of helping to stimulate the economy while holding hands with govt to create a promising job market
    Almost a year later and what do we have are people backs being pressed against the wall
    These financial barons after getting first servings doing nothing to create jobs and govt continuing to serve koolaid behind smoked mirrors to the people
    When will all these shenanigans end only God knows
    Back to u Hal

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  • @ Piece
    You are right on target.
    @ David
    At least you have admitted that “successive” governments have borrowed the country into economic oblivion. Of course successive governments here could only mean the Duopoly.
    And BTW what is this author saying that Pacha has not been writing on BU for years ?
    Slowly but surely the cool aid drinkers are accepting the reality that the Duopoly’s only economic policy is to borrow, borrow.
    And we now here that prices can’t come down because the supermarkets are foreign owned. Stupid me , I actually thought it was the NSRL.
    Hollywood is being seriously challenged.

    The Duopoly Rules

    Liked by 1 person

  • The author opines that “the old paradigm can offer only more of the same, and ongoing austerity and weak growth will only exacerbate the UK’s political and economic problems”.

    This followed her critique of the outcome of the Brexit vote and a finance sector that is flatlining, rising debt, asset price inflation, rise in inequality, living standards and an anger that pervades…

    Reads familiar?

    We need our educated class to provide some sharp critiques on how Barbados must adapt to an emerging global space. The neo-liberal construct appears to have exhausted its shelve-live.

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  • @William

    The article is not meant to deal with any duopoly. It is a bigger challenge we face – not Barbados – the region. Because Pacha has been writing about it it does not mean others should not or be cited.

    Popular is one retailer in Barbados. It does not import all that it sells neither does it command the majority of market share. Will leave this there for those who want to trivialize the essence of the post.. At the root of food prices is we import almost all of what we eat.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu

    Like Piece .the Legend I was tempted to let this no ball alone. I will not hit it for six either. I think you want to get some free economic advice from this economist “for your friend”. He has been getting free advice but he is “hard ears”. He will have to stew in his “nastiness” as Tom Adams was wont to say.

    By the way,who the &$#@ is Grace Blakeley? Does she know what economists mean by Financialisation ? More importantly ,” What do you ,David, mean by Financialisation? Can you conceive of an economy without Financialisation? Please define what you mean. And tell the BU Household what it is you really want an opinion on.

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  • Yes we do import
    But where not the tax breaks and other financial goodies like waivers meant to offset any hardships felt to the busineess class which in return would have lower prices at the supermarket

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  • @Vincent

    The author is not knocking financialization, she is opining-as her right- the growth of it and negative impact on societies. Unlike many here this blogmaster is open to other views to provoke discussion, especially when we are discussing matters rooted on assumptions and forecasting. Bush Tea would be more harsh in his critique.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David
    You and others need to spend a bit more time on the region and less on your former collective colonial masters’ problems.
    For about three months now , there has been a shift and once more the underutilized potential of vibrant intra regional trade is being seen as our greatest hope to combat the problems that have plagued the region for the entire post independence period.
    While some will continue to dismiss the idea of a Caribbean Nation they obviously miss the real meaning of economies of scale. We can cloud the argument in all kinds of intellectual mumbo jumbo and pretend there is some great mystery to be solved.
    Fast modern intra regional trade coupled with with increase good production and an increase of thirty per cent in exports , would eliminate at least seventy per cent of the economic problems we face.

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  • We need a new paradigm of life, David. What exactly is the “Good Life” supposed to be. One in which we are surrounded by consumer goods? Have the latest gadgets?

    Right now I think our “possessions” own us, not the other way around. Do these things make life easier, I wonder.

    I remember when one could clean one’s whole house through and through by midday and spend the afternoon visiting nearby relatives. Now one barely has time to catch up with them once in a while BY TELEPHONE. Houses too big, too much furniture, ornaments and gadgets and something always needs fixing.

    Liked by 1 person

  • that should be increased “food “ production. Not good.

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  • @Vincent

    This post is hitting close to home, this we know.

    Exercising your usual judgement how do you forecast the decision by the Saudis to cut oil production yesterday will impact small island states like Barbados in the coming months?

    We can only hope and pray the authorities have forward purchased for the next 3 months. Then again we have a storage problem that limits the advantage forward purchasing in any significant way will save us. How do we win Vincent?

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  • @ Vincent,

    Grace Blakeley is a British economics commentator and a research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research. She was appointed economics commentator at The New Statesman in January 2019. She is a democratic socialist, a supporter of the Labour Party and sits on the party’s National Policy Forum. Wikipedia

    Born: June 26, 1993 (age 26 years)

    Education: St Peter’s College, Oxford, Sixth Form College, Farnborough, Lord Wandsworth College, St Antony’s College

    Books: Stolen: How to Save the World from Financialisation

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  • @ William

    Plse read: The author opines that “the old paradigm can offer only more of the same, and ongoing austerity and weak growth will only exacerbate the UK’s political and economic problems”.(Quote)

    Can you see the confusion? When contributors attack the nonsense of BERT (austerity) they have been condemned. Yet we are celebrating an author that says the same thing, only about the UK economy.
    When I said that Prof Alleyne was not bringing anything new to the debate I was condemned (I would not mention the names of those who did), yet here is an author saying with approval that the old paradigm cannot provide the solutions. When I condemn the childish way in which the local media go to the same people for comments on the same issues and expect to get new, fresh answers I am attacked by the usual key board warriors.
    Glad to see there is a new voice implicitly saying BERT won’t work..

    Liked by 1 person

  • @William

    You have no idea what the blogmaster does or is privy to. Chances are this blogmaster is more is aware about things regional than you looking on across the pond.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Who is CELEBRATING the author? The blogmaster is sharing a perspective for BU readers to opine as they see fit. Your retreat to obfuscation and hyperbole is getting old.

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  • @ David,

    Saudis did not cut oil production. Their biggest refinery was blown up.

    Drone attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels struck two key oil installations inside Saudi Arabia on Saturday, damaging facilities that process the vast majority of the country’s crude output and raising the risk of a disruption in world oil supplies.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Mariposa

    @ David BU

    Small countries, and large countries as well,cannot produce everything necessary for the welfare of its citizens. Therefore they have to trade. It is a sine qua non. Countries cannot barter. It is uneconomic / inefficient /ineffective to do so. Money and its derivatives simply facilitates trade. The Financial System provides an intermediation function over space and over time. It is necessary for economic welfare and economic growth. So we can like it or lump it.

    It would be more useful to try to understand it and work with it rather than looking for some Holy Grail. Debt is like a Sou Sou / Meeting Turn. If you cannot understand a Sou Sou you will not understand finance.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Vincet

    Do not give us the trade 101 spiel. The issue here is that Barbados has never initiated a plan to address food security. We import almost all of our food. The issue being raised here is not the need to trade but …

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  • You can find a video on You Tube wunna self. lol

    “Drones hit 2 Saudi Aramco oil facilities, causes fires”

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hants at 9 :27 AM

    Thanks very much. Please note the colour of her political petticoat.There is a built in bias which may colour the objectivity of her economic analysis.

    @ David BU

    Nice try. I can assure you that my objectivity is not compromised. The scientific approach allows one to keep an open mind and to recognise that knowledge and theories have short shelf lives.

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  • SirFuzzy (Former Sheep)

    @ David,

    This may be off-topic, but the BUers should give a read to Pat Hoyos column in the SundaySun. My question added to his list is “what is their plan for the Credit Union movement”

    Just asking for a friend?

    Like

  • @Vincent

    The colour of her petticoat is known unlike many here and in traditional media.

    What is known is her perspective on the issues is open to review and critique. We all have a biase, even you?

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  • @ David

    You are absolutely brilliant. You can look “ across the pond “ and pontificate on Britain, Africa , USA and the Middle East. However a Barbadian citizen who comments on his country is told he is not as informed as you because his views are from across the pond. You are absolutely correct Boss. You rule tings, Sir.
    @ Hal
    Just let them climb. You know the old saying about what is exposed .

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David BU

    You do need the economics “101 spiel”. If you do not take that as a given you will always be tilting at windmills. Barbados as far as I can recall always tried to be efficient producers of the food it can produce efficiently. Economics saves one from trying the impossible.
    You have a blind spot for reality.Time to remove the blinkers. Self sufficiency is another mantra that makes no sense.
    @ Hants

    . The disruption of oil supplies and the consequent temporary price rises are facts of life which we have to live with. We survived past disruptions and we will survive future disruptions unless we give up our Barbadian resilience.

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  • @ William Skinner

    I noticed you visited my calypso tent during CropOver. Let the Monkeys climb.

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  • @vincent

    A man of your ilk must be aware that addressing food security does not mean being self sufficient?

    Pursuing efficient food production where are we with hydroponics, aquaponics and other technology driven means a la Singapore to cite one example?

    The same line of argument can be made to address efficient water generation. It is about leadership and execution Vincent.

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  • @William

    No need to get your sliders in a bunch. You are the one to make the assumption about what the blogmaster knows. He responded with a dose of your medicine.

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  • @Vincent

    There are risk mitigation steps we can take i.e. weaning the country more aggressively from fossil based energy. Do not subscribe to your resigned approach. Never will.

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  • @ David BU

    It is your blog but you have strayed from the issue of Financialisation and how it has negatively impacted Barbados. Will you please explain how this has come about and what alternatives you have in your bag of solutions other than BERT.

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  • @Vincent

    All the blogmaster has done is to respond to issues raised by you and others.

    The government took a position to enter an IMF program and as part of the arrangement a program (BERT) was crafted to convince/co-opt agreement from the IMF Board to be introduced in phases. Why did we have to go IMF? We have demonstrated an inability to manage our own affairs with discipline. See the several Auditor General report. We can debate all we want, to repeat – we have demonstrated an inability to efficiently manage our affairs. This is what the IMF brings along with the other tired prescriptions.

    Barbados’ new government has announced a three-phase five-year package of austerity and stimulus measures aimed at avoiding a devaluation of the Barbados Dollar. The measures follow a rapid post-election visit by an IMF team to establish the levels of support and actions necessary to address the dire economic state of island’s economy.

    Introducing the emergency package of measures, the Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, told Parliament that the new measures contained in a far-reaching ‘Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan’ will be introduced in three phases.

    Phase 1 will focus on a review of tax revenue, the imposition of new domestic and international user fees, the removal of three statutory corporations from the Consolidated Fund, greater tax compliance, and a broadening of the tax base on overseas visitors. The objective will be to reduce the fiscal deficit in the first year of the plan.

    Phase 2, starting later this year, will focus on expenditure reduction on Central Government and State-owned enterprises; review the framework within which the country’s International business sector will operate; and deliver a programme of measures intended to stimulate growth.

    Phase 3 will determine what expenditure is essential, what is highly desirable and what is optional. This in part will involve a national dialogue to determine how Government meets future social needs.

    The full extent of the wide-ranging changes to taxation and the way in which government will in future fund its domestic activities and what is proposed for VAT, income tax, corporation tax, VAT on goods and services ordered online, and offshore companies, can be read in the full in budget presentation. This can be found at https://www.caribbean-council.org/barbados-budget-presentation/

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  • @SirFuzzy

    Just read the column, it is riddled with gaps. A pity Hoyos couldn’t avail his contacts to stuff those gaps. He is close to the sector and must be aware of what is happening.

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  • Oh dear oh dear as the young people say ” wunna don’t get tie up.”

    We have an inefficient economy led by an inefficient governance system which has resulted in over taxation on the backs of bajans. We are asked by our leaders to carry this inefficiency as they are either unable or unwilling to do what they are paid for and address it.

    So as a small rock we must ask ourselves if we had an efficient economy led by a streamlined and productive civil service how much would the cost of living to the average Bajan drop by?

    We have no control over external forces so ” peoples” let us focus on what we can control and recognise how blasted inefficient we are and fix it!

    Stick to the basics here folks that we can control.

    For the record Hal and Vincent, we all said BERT had no plan in it for economic growth and hence would not help our island out of the pit as it is currently structured. Nearly 2 years in and after 4 quarters of negative or no growth hence a recession, what are we doing to change BERT?

    Yet another example of inefficiency at its best.

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  • @John A

    Yes and no.

    We have to execute efficiently.

    We have to manage our affairs efficiently.

    However, to ignore the global space and what it portends for us is a mistake.

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  • @John A

    Who owns the capital in Barbados?

    This is where transformational change must come IF government lays and polices the framework.

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  • @ David.

    You looking too deep. First remove the rocks locally and see what we can do for ourselves. They are many small independent economies that are doing well based on efficiency.

    Our biggest problem is we have very little that functions as it should, hence we are all paying the price both as an economy and as a people. The old system of governance has passed its expiry date.

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  • @John A

    Not disagreeing we have to fix our problems on the home front, however we have to do so with an eye what is happening afar. Bear in mind we have to adapt in a global system.

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  • Let us look locally at just one example to show my view, the transport board.

    We have an inefficient entity known as the transport board. It loses pissing money yearly. How did we address it? Well first we increased bus fares. So we put more money in the hands of an entity that couldn’t manage what they were getting before. We then refilled their overdraft as they maxed it out, but what have we changed at the entity? Not one RH!

    So in the meantime bajans carry the burden of higher cost, those that we have empowered fail to do their job and not only Is inefficiency left to grow, but we have rewarded it.

    Now we then proceed to use the same approach across the entire government sector and we then wonder why it costs so much to live in Barbados. I wonder to be honest how come it doesn’t cost more.

    Our problems are therefore 80 percent internal and 20 percent global.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “The lost decade since the financial crisis is living up to that old adage that when you get economists in a room, you’ll get eleven opinions.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Is there a difference between financial and economic?

    Is it possible to have a non-financial enterprise which makes economic sense?

    Liked by 1 person

  • We must radically reduce the size of the state apparatus, in particular privatise or liquidate state enterprises. We must remove many prohibitions and regulations, such as social norms or norms for the protection of workers.

    Otherwise, the island will never emerge from recession. The only problem is that the government’s hands are tied. Surveys conducted among the conservative population have shown that everything should remain the traditional way of the plantation. The masses see no reason for a real change towards a modern civil society. Almost all folks want to become civil servants so that they can sleep there without worries.

    This diagnosis means two things: firstly, that it is not the government but the people who are responsible for zero growth. Secondly, that we should suspend democratic elections until a government of experts under Mia Mottley’s leadership has generated sustainable economic growth again.

    A society like Barbados, where everyone can do what they want without sanctions, is not necessarily a prosperous society. Sometimes an enlightened dictatorship is needed that serves the common good. I would like to draw your special attention to China: The government there is very tough on the people, monitoring is excellent and growth rates are correspondingly high. Compare where China and Barbados stood twenty years ago. China was a poverty-stricken country, now it is Barbados.

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  • @ Tron

    It boils down to the fact that we want change as long as nothing changes.

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  • @John A

    Brings Owen Arthur’s statement into play – we want to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.

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  • @John A, September 15, 2019 12:46 PM

    That’s the way it is.

    I’ll upload a trial here from time to time. Of course a bit exaggerated and coloured. The reaction is always the same. The members of the establishment on BU then scream that the plans are anti-social, they had always lived like that, their parents had not died of it either, my suggestions were like slavery etc.

    We even have a BU commentator who seriously claims that farming is inappropriate for Barbadians because it reminds them of the old plantations.

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  • “I would like to draw your special attention to China: The government there is very tough on the people, monitoring is excellent and growth rates are correspondingly high.”

    and they also put a well placed BULLET to the heads of each and every government minister, politician, lawyer and business people….for CORRUPTION and THEFT OF PUBLIC FUNDS..something each and every bajan not a yardfowl would welcome.

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  • The problem is the mentality of the population, they want a worry-free, effortless life without self-responsibility.

    One example: When 1000 state employees are dismissed, the trade unions and the socialist activists scream a lot, but when the economy dies because of the high gasoline prices and expats are driven out by the horrendously high land tax, this is not worth reporting.

    I would even like to exonerate Chris Sinckler a bit. He also knew that the population tolerates tax increases much more easily than social cuts. What should the poor man have done differently in the face of a population dependent on social benefits like the crack brothers on dope?

    Instead of always criticising the government, we needed an honest discussion about the social causes of the unprecedented decline of the island. Politicians represent only the people and their bad habits.

    But now back to my Sunday chopsticks.

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  • David

    Thanks for highlighting this central issue, still little understood.

    Also sorry. For this writer in currently in the motherland and can therefore offer little assistance

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  • @Pacha

    Understood, get on with it.

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  • Are we really setting China up as the ideal???????? How satisfied are the Chinese with their way of life.? The Chinese government controlled the population by stipulating only one child per couple. Males being more valuable (so they thought) than females the couples resorted to disposing of female babies and now the young men can’t even find a woman. I bet you Barbadians are happier than the Chinese. The human psyche recoils at the thought of control of every aspect of live. Humans value their freedom above all else, I think. I prefer to be queen of a cottage than a serf in a castle.

    PS, Does the average Chinese reap the sweets of this economic prosperity are do they just choke to death in the polluted air of the factories whilst the chosen few breath the rarefied air?

    If Tron loves the Chinese way so much let him move to China. And good riddance, I say!

    Liked by 1 person

  • The only learning from the China experience is that we have to be disciplined and execute effectively and efficiently but there is a cultural dynamic to be cin.

    Agree with you Donna.

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  • And no, WURA, I would not welcome bullets to the head of corrupt officials as the ideal. How many are designated fall guys, I wonder. How clean are Xi’s hands? Is he so perfect? Whose interests does he have at heart?

    Question: What do we really know about Xi the President for Life??????

    Answer: PROBABLY ONLY WHAT HE WANTS US TO KNOW SINCE HIS POWER HAS SEALED EVERYBODY’S LIPS.

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  • Seems to me that Tron argues for less government control and more government control at the same time. Less government control of the rich businessmen and more government control of the not so rich population. The rich businessmen, he would have us believe, upon being given free rein and reign will create wealth that will benefit the masses.

    Has he learnt nothing from the history of humankind? Or would he simply be one of the beneficiaries of this retrograde move?

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  • Who owns the capital in Barbados?

    Second time asking.

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  • @ David.

    We don’t have to be “like” anyone. All we have to be is efficient in our economy and governance that’s all.

    The problem is a minister is first a politician. He or she therefore measures change by how it will effect the electorate, rather than how it will benefit the state.

    That is why I always admire Sir Erskine as he was one of the few that put country before party and self.

    The kind of overhaul that our governance system requires to be efficient, I don’t see this or any other government having the backbone to address on the island. It will require too much radical change for any of them to risk It and why you ask, because they are first politicians and then ministers by their nature.

    Ask yourself this though going back to our transport board, as it’s a classic example of mismanagement. If we had an efficient transport board could we not of seen a fall in bus fare as opposed to a 50 percent increase? Now ask yourself the same question across the island from water to waste disposal and everything inbetween and see what you come up with.

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  • @ David

    Why does it matter who owns the capital. The capital needs to function for the betterment of the country and it’s people regardless of ownership. Many small economies have done well even with large portions of their capital foreign owned.

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  • He who owns the capital pockets the revenue therefore must be vested in any transformative process.

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  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    @DavidSeptember 15, 2019 2:00 PM “Who owns the capital in Barbados? Second time asking.”

    I own $5.36 BDS of it. You will have to ask tron and the other BU commenters what is their stake.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David.

    Take a look at the World Investment Report 2018.

    It shows you that global foreign direct investment fell by 23% in 2017. Yet the Caribbean and Latin America managed to show growth in FDI by 8% for the first time in 6 years BUT IS STILL BELOW THEIR 2011 PEAK.

    Now one may jump and say you see them coming here to Rob we and take the profit, fair assumption. So let us now look at the rate of return on FDI from 2012-2017 then and see if that’s true.

    Rate of return on FDI Asia = 10.1%
    Rate Latin amer& caribbean=5.6%

    Take a look at the report as it expels alot of myths while bringing how some harsh realities. One being the return on FDI is better in many other parts of the world than here.

    So we back to the reality of the link between efficiency and economic growth, hence it’s impact on FDI.

    Anyhow today is Sunday so don’t let’s get too heavy into the numbers as old brains need rest.

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  • Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Hello Mr Blogmaster Kind David

    I hope you have been mending your ways and seeking to show yourself approved as a radical voice in the political mess up to mash up the system. I read your article. It sounds like a typical David write up. Superfluous, catchy phrases and of course substance to validate the subject at hand. I hope the real David wrote this. These days, it is hard to tell amongst the many Davids, which of the Davids is showing the obvious allegiance towards defending the party policy. Your article is really interesting. I love the fact that you quoted from an abstract that identifies with the primary source of Barbados’ problems, and that is ”The Politics of Swapping between two Bads with the Hope that Good, will Spring forth from one of them”. You made a point where you have proven that governance of all things Barbadian is meted for the masses who are easily influenced, manipulated, and tricked by the convoluted because they ain’t got no bargaining power, and lead way is given for those small settling groups with money to have the keys to the city, inclusive of air and seaports to execute their free wills at Barbados’ expense. So reading your article (that is if I em reading it right) Barbados does not need an Ombudsman, a Fair Trading Commission, a Barbados National Standards Institute, or any other agencies establish to ensure that the best goods, services and price are coming into Barbados’ shores. If I right, the government, under the influence and manipulation of foreign owned business, are themselves led towards the trick into believing that their investments are necessary for Barbados to grow economic wise because we lack the wherewithal to grow our economy and improve our state of affairs on our own. Now, this one statement in write up got me to start thinking. In fact, it led me to conclude that even the tax system set up on imported goods, which the merchant class does use as they classic excuse for price gorging and keeping markups on goods ridiculously high, could be part of the manipulative set up between government and these overseas business establishments. In other words, tricksies playing out because the masses do not have any bargaining power to change what they do, which in breaking down the translation of power-bargaining means nuff nuff money. David, you are on to something with this one. It gone clear that we up the street of shite if the shite that the deedee, DEEBEE parties does do is not brought to an abrupt end. Are you feeling me on this, to con my sweetpiece phrase?

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  • @John A

    Do not be confused with capital and investment.

    Like

  • @ David

    That is like saying don’t speak of peas and rice don’t mind they go together.

    Capital goes where investment returns exist. That has been the rule for eons don’t think anyone can rewrite it now. Look at the report and deal with the facts and numbers. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, we need to improve the environment for a return on investment to those with money to invest. Whether Bajan or local it matters not.

    Like

  • @SSS

    Do not worry you head about which David wrote the piece.

    What some BU commentators have been saying for years is that we have to transform how we do business in the country.

    Have we seen the mindset shift to the degree required? NO!

    Are the majority of citizens sufficiently engaged in the system to force the change required? NO!

    Is the political class courageous enough to sacrifice popularity to align with national imperatives? NO!

    Several NOs the blogmaster can add.

    We need to have a tipping point moment of the Dorian kind perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    Where does most of the FDI land in Barbados?

    Like

  • Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Mr Blogmaster

    I want to hear some suggestions on transforming business in a dependent state. Em is obvious that no political party intends to move pass tourism or to even place it in second place to ahh hmmm, ahhhh another foreign earner of our creative imaginations. Options on the board for which Barbados can become relatively self sufficient is practically zero. Em is like we tried Sugar agriculture under the white rule and dah dere fair for a time until black intellectual property decided not to take it far beyond brown crystals, syrup and rum, but to dry up under another set of frivolity. We people don’t invent anything to put us on the map. What little inventors we had decided to leave the shores and go where they brains would be far more greatly appreciated. Intellectual property ‘lost.’ Me see all of you No’s. If we got so much No’s how in tarnation can you give lead way to the other half of the bad to present they share of fronts and mask, when a radical change on a scale that would redefine risk taking is needed. You feeling me on this Mr Blogmaster, hahah I just love my sweet piece phrase.

    Like

  • @ David.

    Presently it seems mainly in the hospitality sector as is the same throughout the Caribbean. Some in real estate and retail/distribution.

    All sectors though are under pressure to get a decent return on investment for their shareholders. If you recall MASSY said recently both this year and last year were tough here for them. Now has pricemart suffered the same fate?

    When you hear persons say things are rough you have to ask is it their structure or the environment they are in and are all in the same boat?

    Also with a ROI of just 5% is that enough to encourage hotels to come here and take up our hotel corridor stretching from hither to thither?

    Facts vs fiction

    Like

  • @John A

    Now put the point about owners of capital being transformative. You see the problem?

    @SSS

    The blogmaster is of the mind that government must develop a relevant strategic plan that will see reduced energy cost, an efficient justice system, craft school curriculum to foster the right learning, efficiency in the health, waste disposal and transportation sectors in key services. We get the foundational things right confidence will come. Diversifying the economy is not a one sector solution. Create the right behaviors in our people through education, using punitive measures as well.

    Let us pick our poison and all players commit to deliver their part.

    Too much politics, procrastinating and vacillating.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “What do we really know about Xi the President for Life??????”

    It’s nothing new in China, they have never tolerated corrupt, tiefing public officials, outside iof any dictatorship, me thinks he found that policy that will always be there..

    Like

  • And does this “lack of corruption” allow the masses to fare better than the average person in another country?

    Like

  • Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Mr Blogmaster

    ”The blogmaster is of the mind that government must develop a relevant strategic plan that will see reduced energy cost, an efficient justice system, craft school curriculum to foster the right learning, efficiency in the health, waste disposal and transportation sectors in key services. We get the foundational things right confidence will come. Diversifying the economy is not a one sector solution. Create the right behaviors in our people through education, using punitive measures as well. ”

    If all the above were not under foster care from the start, you think dem dere mention things gine become an adoptive-focus- shift for a paradigm that would usher in Barbados’ new reality focus for the present? I doan mean to throw cold water on your points of stew but which big spoon you intend to use in getting the collective to reason beyond what you purporting as a ninety degrees about-turn in accustom lack of vision?

    Like

  • “China recorded 2,378,000 millionaires in 2013,”

    did not want to become too embroiled in comparing China…which has over 1 billion people to tiny, tiny Barbados which does not even have 300K..but can be counted among the most corrupt place on earth given the actions of both governments for decades.

    i am not too keen on most of the chinese philosphy, but it is clear that the majority population individually or otherwise are entitled to pursue free enterprise and progress through personal wealth, something that is still alien to Barbados and still frowned upon by the greedy leaders.

    Like

  • The only thing going for us is that Mia has an eye on legacy building.

    We are at the bottom of the economic pit which has the effect of destabilizing the social fabric, we see it. The ball is in her court.

    Unfortunately civic awareness and level of acuity required from the people is not there yet. We have to hope a charismatic leader emerges to get the job done. So far Mia is the only person we have on the menu list.

    Like

  • The only thing going for us is that Mia has an eye on legacy building.

    We are at the bottom of the economic pit which has the effect of destabilizing the social fabric, we see it. The ball is in her court.

    Unfortunately civic awareness and level of acuity required from the people is not there yet. We have to hope a charismatic leader emerges to get the job done. So far Mia is the only person we have on the menu list.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This was a joke right?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Mia is the only person we have on the menu list. Mia has an eye on legacy building. Mia can establish the right mixes. Mia can cajole the masses in the direction of her thinking. Mama Mia!!!

    Let me see. Mia brought the right type of rhetoric the hurt nation wanted to hear
    Mia provided eases
    Mia wrote off debts
    Mia got her friends in
    Mia surrounded by yes MAM people
    Mia eases the rich to the detriment of the poor
    Mia laments about sacrifice making but from the bottom up only
    Mia hurt the disabled worker by taking away their disability benefits.
    Mia saves the day by speaking a return of disability benefits
    Mia increased her parliamentarians to have the biggest cabinet in history
    Mia knights her father
    Mia provides a tax exemption to which her father got he ease from a tax burden
    Mia orchestrate BERT moves that improved our credit rating
    Mia is honoured in a Diamond Jubilee
    Mia fixes South Coast Sewage spill shit
    Mia buying new Garbage trucks
    Mia is no longer showing the level of transparency promised

    Some legacy setting indeed, Mr Blogmaster.

    John 3:16 says- suffer the little children to come unto me for such is the kingdom of heaven. Outside of non reading bible followers, John 3:16 would certainly be that. No questions would be raised because John 3:16 says that it is so. The politician is John 3:16 and the gospel that follows is his accomplishment. Charisma Mr Blogmaster? I thought we needed dominance?

    Like

  • It bears out the point about the bare cupboard doesn’t it.

    Like

  • Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Are you saying that Mia is not what we need because Charisma leadership is not following her repertoire of worded articulations to make the difference needed at an unsure time? Are you saying that Mia does not show a touch of: for the people, by the people in agreement with the people although she exhibits a personal touch for certain peoples?

    Like

  • Mia had a chance to do it completely different and she went with the large cabinet etc. Waiting for her comeback. Waiting.

    Like

  • As discussed Brent crude jumped to 72 dollars a barrel and will continue to climb. All the fatigue Barbados economy needs.

    Like

  • Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Indeed she had a chance. She had the best chance to usher in a new reality of leadership and thinking that could have separated her from all leaders past. Her recent past legislation to keep surroundings clean would have fit quite nicely with other pieces of past legislation along FOI, and other things that needed a similiar passing. She had several pathways open up to her to establish a few meaningful legacies but opted to flex her newfound powers in a personal direction. The SSS position on her is clear, and my pet peeve for her will stick until she proves me wrong. What about you Mr Blogmaster?

    Like

  • Re David…“The thesis position of the book is that we are living through the tail end of finance-led growth and that every capitalist model must end in crisis. It is up to Barbados to position itself to be able to rise like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes.
    In recent years successive governments have borrowed and borrowed to respond to the lifestyle needs of consumers.
    And so here we are.”

    NO MR. BLOG MASTER…WHAT YOU HAVE DESCRIBED IS THE SOCIALIST MODEL WHICH IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE TO A FREE MARKET CAPITALISM THAT MAKES A COUNTRY BOOM …Example America under this Present Administration and that is only the Start not the end as you describe. What we would like to hear is what you see as the ideal model!

    Like

  • @ David September 15, 2019 5:45 PM

    After BU became a platform for the deep hate of the so-called opposition against our democratically elected leader and Most Honourable Prime Minister, BU is now apparently returning to a neutral position. I take note of that.

    Obviously I am not the only one who fears the return of the old blue guard. Barbados cannot afford a new DLP regime. Otherwise, we will fall even further behind.

    Like

  • • David September 15, 2019 9:37 AM

    RE…”@Vincet
    Do not give us the trade 101 spiel. The issue here is that Barbados has never initiated a plan to address food security. We import almost all of our food. The issue being raised here is not the need to trade but …

    • David September 15, 2019 10:11 AM

    RE…@vincent
    “A man of your ilk must be aware that addressing food security does not mean being self sufficient?…”

    WHAT WRONG WITH BEING SELF SUFFICIENT…WHAT IT MEANS, IS THAT WE ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON GOVERNMENT OR NO MAN TO SUPPLY OUR NEEDS…
    THE STATE IN A SOCIALIST SETTING HAS BECOME THE PROVIDER…THAT IS CONTRARY TO THE COMMANDMENT, “YOU SHALL EAT BREAD BY THE SWEAT OF YOUR BROW”…
    LOOK TO GOD OF PROVIDENCE AND LIVE, HAS BEEN REPLACED TO LOOK TO THE GOVERNMENT AS YOUR PROVIDER.

    Like

  • @ Sunshine Sunny Shine September 15, 2019 7:12 PM

    “Mia provided eases”: The minimum pension and the salaries of civil servants were increased against any economic expertise. In view of the poor productivity on the island, both should have been reduced by 50 percent. So the Prime Minister has been granting social privileges here.

    Mia wrote off debts: That was a great success. Or was it not? Soon foreign currency debts will follow. The opposition will rage again because the Prime Minister has achieved her goals.

    Mia got her friends in: What planet do you live on? High political positions are always occupied by members of the ruling party.

    Mia eases the rich to the detriment of the poor: What a lie. The land tax for the performers is higher than ever, while the lower and middle classes pay almost nothing at all. We are facing a major redistribution from the performers to the lazybones of society.

    Mia increased her parliamentarians to have the biggest cabinet in history: The voters wanted 30 MPs from the same party.

    Mia orchestrate BERT moves that improved our credit rating: Great!

    Mia is honoured in a Diamond Jubilee: Great!

    Mia fixes South Coast Sewage spill shit: Even greater! The DLP government, by comparison, was bathing in shit.

    Mia is no longer showing the level of transparency promised: The new anti-corruption legislation must wait until the Donville case is closed. Otherwise, the reform will even help him. You don’t want that.

    Like

  • “The performers and the lazybones”. So in Tron’s alternative reality the rich ones are the ones who work hard and the poor ones are the ones who do not work. Such a simplistic view. It does not take into account inherited money, nor exploitation of workers and shady business dealings – people are rich because they work hard and honest. If one is not rich then one is a lazybones. But we all know people who work hard and never get rich because of the obstacles that are deliberately placed in their path. We all know about the old boys’ clubs and the like that give a leg up to some and stomp on others. Tron, there are rich people who work hard and honest and there are rich people who do nothing of the kind. There are poor people who work hard and get bad breaks and there are poor people who are lazybones and fully deserve their lot.

    Tron, you are nothing but a nuisance with your nothing arguments. A pure right wing nut job just like Loony Tunes.

    Like

  • Once again, the representatives of the social industry and the establishment warn us of drastic reforms. Everything should remain as it is, so that they can continue to control the naïve masses and attach medals to each other.

    If I were you, I’d give some serious thought to why several investors are stopping their hotel projects in Barbados. Obviously the profit is too low in relation to the very high risk.

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    DavidSeptember 15, 2019 2:55 PM “We need to have a tipping point moment of the Dorian kind perhaps?”

    No David. Please no Dorian.

    We have sinned, but still we don’t deserve a Dorian.

    The Bahamians did not deserve it either.

    Like

  • @David September 15, 2019 7:38 PM
    You singing from a different hymn book?
    Many of the early concepts of this administration had merit, the challenge like with so many others before them, has been the execution. The big cabinet was to buy peace and hopefully avoid an internal revolt. Power, and the thirst for more, can change a person(s) drastically. The concept of WO was itself not without merit, the contract that was granted was a disgrace. I am amazed at how many supposedly well informed Bajans haven’t a clue about the details, and are stunned to learn them. Many do not believe me, until they are directed to the documents laid in Parliament. The lack of accomplishment in the garbage collection and Transport Board scenarios are stunning. These are not difficult problems.
    Almost every government I know of is struggling with the concentration of wealth. Financialization is only one aspect of this. Think FAANG and how they have changed our economies in the last decade. And there are major disruptors in other market segments. Maybe the most relevant to Barbados is Air BnB, ever check out the total number of listed places in Bim?
    Governments have trouble dealing with disruptors, they move too fast; and government responses are painfully slow.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Tron
    “Obviously the profit is too low in relation to the very high risk.”
    if I were you, I would detail what constitutes VERY HIGH RISK, and seek to take action to moderate these risks. By your admission the risks are very high, which means the steps taken thus far have not been enough? In September of 2018 this was acceptable, in September 2019 it speaks of an inability to execute.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Governments have trouble dealing with disruptors, they move too fast; and government responses are painfully slow.”

    It’s the social condition, they THINK SLOW, so responses will be painfully slow and implementation even slower, if ever at all….as we have witnessed for decades.

    Prime example, refusal to arrest anyone or hold them accountable for stealing 1 billion dollars in VAT…and that was over a period of twenty years or so, it was easier in their minds to write it off because their friends, family and bribers did the stealing, same with the tax writeoffs, they saw no reason or haste to collect the money to help the country, no urgency to punish anyone, friends, family and bribers come before people and country…it is a pattern.

    No haste to punish former government ministers who the idiot Tron is openly accusing of corruption..and theft of public funds.

    It’s the social condition…they are all useless to people and country and it has become more and more evident to the populi.

    Like

  • Everything you and some others must force into a narrow way of thinking. You believe in man made constructs without accepting that man is not perfect.

    Like

  • The problem with that line of thinking is that it is MAN BEING ELECTED AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE to do a job, so they are the ones who must be HELD ACCOUNTABLE…..at all times every time..

    if you are hired at any worldclass corporation and you do not perform according to your job description, you eventually get FIRED..

    no one is hiring uppity negro politicians just so they can preen and model useless shite titles, they are hired to DO A JOB..

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ NorthernObserver September 15, 2019 11:52 PM

    The large hotel projects listed in the media date back to the time of the old government. Now that the new government is no longer prepared to grant unlimited tax privileges, the risk assessment has changed.

    If you read the figures or walk past various hotels, you will quickly see that we already have an oversupply of hotel beds. Building large new hotels without the taxpayer bearing the business risk is not economically viable.

    Since the diversification of the economy has failed and the productivity of the population cannot be increased, the GDP will stagnate for the foreseeable future. However, as the cost of living and taxes continue to rise due to excessive state bureaucracy, the population will have to adjust to further major losses in prosperity.

    The Guyanese, with all their oil wealth, are our last hope. Of course, the new masters will not respect the local customs, but will transform Barbados according to their taste. Barbadians must be prepared to clean the shoes of the Guyanese und much more …

    Like

  • Yall problem resides in the fact that ya like too many master/slaves relationships, with the tiefing masters calling the shots…and that iis only when ya ain’t pretending to be masters of each other….with the population who hired you as the slaves..

    if ya keep doing the same shite all the time, with the same results, why do you expect to get different results..

    Liked by 1 person

  • People must finally accept that we are following Jamaica’s path and that we are facing hard decades or even centuries with enormous sacrifices.

    The fanatical masses under Barrow’s leadership wanted independence in 1966. Then they must finally accept the consequences of their decision. Only a few states succeeded in ascending to the First World after decolonisation. The rest will remain permanently poor since they lack productivity, leadership and/or resources.

    Like

  • @ Tron September 16, 2019 7:27 AM
    “The large hotel projects listed in the media date back to the time of the old government. Now that the new government is no longer prepared to grant unlimited tax privileges, the risk assessment has changed.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Does that also include the ‘famously fabulous’ Hyatt Hotel?

    Shouldn’t this project be off the ground by now?

    Why is this administration disappointing the residents of the City who were promised financial manna from economic heaven with Maloney being their ‘god’ father?

    Who or what is stalling the ‘start’ of this economic gaming-changing godsend of a project needed for the resuscitation of a dying Bridgetown while the principal drives around in a duty-free luxury vehicle?

    It is the looming spectre ‘hiding’ under the White Oak tree or is it the ghost called ‘Retribution’ seeking vengeance for the lies told by the former and current MoT?

    The lies that dishonest politicians tell always come back to haunt them, not so Tron?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Miller September 16, 2019 8:41 AM

    Miller,

    We must not blame every economic disaster on either the old or the new government. The new government in particular is not stirring up unwarranted hope, but is quite frankly saying that we must go through a long process of austerity.

    In fact, there were already concrete plans for the Hyatt Hotel under the old government far beyond political declarations of intent. I do not think that Comrade Commissioner killed the project, but the economic circumstances. Foreign investors are familiar with the many construction ruins on Barbados and will consider very carefully in future starting a new project here and sinking money into the sand, so to speak. It goes without saying that the managers of the international hotel brands exchange their experiences with each other. So they know everything about Barbados very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David September 16, 2019 6:02 AM
    “Everything you and some others must force into a narrow way of thinking. You believe in man made constructs without accepting that man is not perfect.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Is that why we should expect some kind of military conflict in the Persian Gulf rather soon given that Trump is “locked and loaded” with Yahweh’s favourite pit-bull chomping at the bit and Boris the Johnny-come-lately’ behaving like the boy on the burning Brexit sinking ship deck in order to create a necessary diversion from his own homegrown troubles?

    It is left to wonder how many currently comfortable smug Bajans are aware of the risks to their ‘sweet life’ should there be a major conflict in the M.E.

    With the highly probable disruption of transatlantic commercial flights and spike in oil prices Barbados’s major forex earner could find itself under tremendous stress.

    Time to think more about local food production.

    But hunger is always the mother of agriculture.

    Like

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