Barbadians, ALL Together NOW!

…The discussion must turn to how can we run a country on 25% less revenue than planned over the next 2 years. It does not have to come to layoffs either. It can come from improved tax collection, greater efficiency etc. It does not have to be a case of just “sending home people”…

BU Commenter: John A

What has has been weighing on the blogmaster’s mind in recent weeks you ask?

In light of the Covid 19 pandemic most economies in the world have been negatively affected whether service based, commodity driven or combination of the two. The result is that citizens will have to make sacrifices until ‘normalcy’ is achieved. This is particularly true for the most vulnerable people in society – the indigent and sick.

The 500 million dollar projected shortfall in government’s budget as a consequence of the prevailing adverse economic conditions is a reality not many Barbadians have come to grips if one listens to public discussion. Made more acute the country is suffering from economic fatigue after a severe debt restructure and a decade or more of economic wutlessness.

Obviously government has a moral obligation to find ways to keep workers employed. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate that changes – especially if unplanned – to the tax base will negatively impact revenues therefore compromising government’s financial obligations to pay for public goods and services.

Government’s ability to collect taxes is also affected by a performing private sector. If the private sector contracts for any reason by shutting down businesses or sending home workers, contributions to government’s tax/NIS revenues will adversely impact finances. Covid 19 has created the perfect challenge for all governments including Barbados.

Having mentioned the economic and fiscal hurdles facing the country, it is easy to forget the social challenges that have inevitably resulted to make governing more complex.

The country is currently embroiled in a discussion about the details of how the proposed Barbados Optional Savings Scheme (BOSS) will be implemented. The success of BOSS and other fiscal measures are simply that, short term. If the global economy is lazy to respond to recovery it means SIDs like Barbados will have big problems as it burns cash in hand (reserves) to pay salaries and other unsustainable activities to maintain a reasonable standard of living.  More and more rehashed commentary about how successive governments have built the economy on sand, encourage covert corruption and fuelled a culture of political patronage or a country living above its means will surface. This will make for good political discussion, however, does not make for constructive debate in the unprecedented climate we find ourselves.

The lengthy preamble to the thesis is – as a people are we capable of pivoting from the type of vacuous national discourse we have become accustomed to be replaced by one that is apropos?

A good place to start is to work at disrupting old thought patterns that encourage same old same outcomes. Easier said than done but is must be done if we are to survive as a nation out here in the global rat race.

…Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country…

John F. Kennedy



136 thoughts on “Barbadians, ALL Together NOW!

  1. William…that is the reason they must ALWAYS be exposed on the world stage for the modern day crimes of stubbornly trying to maintain a slave society and racist, apartheid status quo in the 21st century…they should not only be exposed but also SHUNNED and SANCTIONED just as South Africa was….to be so evil as to still want to continue to rob generations of the Black majority of the very little to nothing they now have, vulnerable, helpless people who are still struggling to get up from under an oppressive racist system that still continues to beat them down… and the lowlife leaders feel no shame…note it has always been black faces from the parliament leading that charge of self hate and oppression, without any deviation..

    they spent decades laundering what they stole and refuse to do better by the people…

  2. @ William Skinner.

    Unlike you and some other commenters my opinions are backed up by solid information. The bulk of the funds in the NIS are made up of the contributions of the middle and lower income groups in this society. The major portion of Savings and Time Depocsits at the commercial banks and Credit Unions are owned by the middle and working classes.I am so sorry that the data does not fit your tired 60 year old narrative.

  3. Heard reading between the lines from what the PM has been saying, that she accepts the bond issue as a temporary fix. To me that was encouraging as we will now all await the announcement from her of a more in-depth plan.

  4. @ William Skinner

    The current Economic Model. recognizes Labour and Capital as the primary movers of growth and economic well-being. The public sector is really a referee ensuring that there is social justice. i.e that the fruits of production are EQUITABLY distributed.

  5. @Tron June 2, 2020 3:52 PM “… and social liberation of minorities persecuted by the majority society.”

    So you are accusing black WORKING class Bajans of persecuting white capitalist class Bajans?

    You understand don’t you that black working class Bajans are called WORKING class because WORK is what defines them don’t you?

    Just as owning capital defines the capitalist class.

    So you see we black working class Bajan women as the white an’s burden?

    What has a WHITE MAN (or even a black one) ever done for me and mine?

    Sometimes I think that we black working class women should withdraw our labor for a day or a week or a month or a year. All of our labor, paid work, housekeeping, child bearing, child care [let wunna mind wunna own snotty nosed children] elder care [let wunna look after wunna own pissy old parents] and our sexual labor. Wunna think that we always feel like sexing because wunna feel an erection coming on? After a hard days work in the office, or pushing a mop and broom, and especially after a hard day’s labor in the fields, sex is another hard labor task that we feel obliged to do.


    Wunna don’t understand how blessed wunna is.

  6. @ John A at 8 :35 AM

    Why are you surprised? I thought I sent you and David BU a copy of the script of this play. If you are not reading it ,please send it back. It can only be temporary. I wish it was straight forward and uncomplicated. There are built in higher and lower limits/ boundaries to……You know what.

  7. @PLT i support your BASIC CONCEPT of a UBI because i don’t believe anyone should live in abject poverty to the extent that they cant feed themselves. Abject poverty along with racism is a concept that man as a supposed “intelligent species” should totally ERADICATE. What i would do is change the numbers and workings of your concept.
    Using Bajan Dollars, $225 is too close to $250 which is current min. wage based on a 40hr work week. That will cause problems for businesses trying to fill lower end jobs causing a negative reaction.(reduced productivity etc. etc. etc.)
    What i would do would start with a min. daily “stave off starvation benefit” which i calculate at $20\ day or $140\week
    Govt would pay that. Businesses would then just DIRECTLY pay AT LEAST a min. wage on top this so.
    Min transport cost (bus fare) = $14 x (5 days at work) = $70\week;
    Min to cover Light & water bills = $70\week;
    Min 20% to cover NIS etc = (70 + 70) x 1.2 = $168
    BUSINESSES would pay the min. wage, at least, of $4.20\ hr or $168 \ week. . The WORKER would get the UBI (from govt) + Min. wage. People would still be given the incentive to work at the lower level. Salary would match skill levels as is.
    Also to solve the “Population problem” mothers would get a child benefit from govt on top of UBI that can be allocated per child, per 2 children, min number of children covered etc etc etc. Immigration would be encouraged in the short term.
    I would just deprecate MOST of the other govt benefits. Govt would modify\deprecate taxation to allow for UBI etc but still make attractive for businesses \ professionals to operate. Govt can also issue coupons as partial alternative to “cash” for the UBI so that “Govt money” can be use to feed people and not for vices (drug use, alcohol abuse). Retailers would directly benefit with govt directly exchanging “coupons” with cash. The main problem would be the additional “paper work” for UBI and “coupons” to work.

  8. @ Vincent

    Yes we await the game plan. I am just glad that they admitted publically this is just a temporary fix. I was having visions of another Sinkyuh Printorama! Although they are rumblings from them of a “pandemic bond offering” shortly after this one, but at a slightly lower rate of interest in the area of 4.5%.

  9. @ Cuhdear Bajan at 8 : 44 AM

    I tend to like your former moniker of Simple Simon. Who are you trying to fool.? You mean to tell me that your Chief let you do all the hard work? Is he a Bajan? Wuh Loss.!!

  10. @ Vincent Codrington
    My old and tired socialist views are not what have us this morning waiting on white people to populate our beaches in order to “ stave off “ massive starvation. You and others are constantly fooling the populace that Black people have billions of dollars in the commercial banks. You and others are talking about having bank accounts not money. Who are the three or four genuine billionaires on the island. Excluding Rihanna who makes her fortune elsewhere, and may I add gives more generously in real terms than all the whites who own : 99. 9 percent of the car dealerships;in association with white expatriates, control all the Villas and the same tourist industry; control the distribution in the retail trade; own a disproportionate amount of all arable land- ask COW Williams; own and control the construction industry ask Maloney .
    Now you tell me what does my old worn out “ socialism” has to do with that! When has a socialist party or government ever run the affairs of Barbados? Tell us.
    You just talking without facts and hiding behind some nonsense that we survived this and we can survive that.
    What about those who survive on less than $300 Bds.
    Stop attacking the truth and deal with the reality before your very eyes. The major benefactors of the growth of the credit union over the last forty years are those hardware merchants and the car dealerships, the cruise liners and the airlines. And believe it or not the same commercial banks that ripping us off every nano second.
    There are two major factors that we have to deal with: land reform and economic enfranchisement for the majority in our country.
    Call it old and tired but the reason I and others can still preach it is simply because its more relevant now than it ever was.
    Find another scapegoat.

  11. Those who think that Barbados can go forward with the apartheid economic dictatorship we inherited from slavery and colonialism are fooling themselves. That system is already in crisis and has brought us to the current point. Anyone looking to the B/DLP to lead us out of this crisis is also deluding themselves. The current government would rather deprive public sector workers of up to 20% of their monthly pay than tell the new/old plantocracy to put one red cent on the table. This pretend group of capitalists don’t invest in no production and are just a bunch of buy and sell merchants when they’re not parasiting off government contracts. And then telling you they are billionaires and millionaires.

  12. John A
    Game plan? I prefer to label it the Evolutionary Process. You and other Bu players are contributing some of the stimuli. Please continue to play your role.

  13. Mr Skinner at 9.21 am, very well said.
    But as they say “we like um so”.
    It is interesting to see BU bloggers continually skirt around the real issues and debate all manner of theoretical ideas. But until the fundamental economic wounds from slavery/ colonialism are addressed its a rapid descent back to indentured servitude. And Barbados is not that far away from there now.

    Reading BU sometimes makes me wonder if we are really talking about the same Barbados. A handful of neo-plantocrats pull all the economic levers in the country yet some here want us believe that some “Middle class” can save the country. Unbelievable!

  14. @ Dullard
    Thanks. They have no regard for historical truths. Every single time the country is going under, we attack the most vulnerable. Note that they never respond to the fact that there are people going to work every day and I understand making less than $250 per week. But they come here talking about : declaring the civil servants as unproductive ; calling hard working black people who barely surviving lazy; promoting the ownership of million dollars villas as our saviors; giving all the major road projects to COW Williams- the same thing Don Blackman raged about thirty years ago. Nothing ain’t change but their memories are very short. The same Mark Maloney they cuss , now getting more or nearly all the damn pie.Hear them talking about destroying the “ welfare state” .etc.
    Now they trying to imply that socialist policies kill Barbados.
    You say “ unbelievable “ . I say intellectual hypocrites.

  15. @ Cuhdear Bajan June 3, 2020 8:44 AM

    You must learn to read between the lines. I was talking about the Taliban mentality in the sentences before. My statement therefore referred to homosexuals and to all other diverse people in Barbados who refuse to accept the deeply dishonest social culture of the ruling caste of men.

    The white upper class does not have to be liberated. They’ve ruled the island since the beginning.

  16. @ Greene
    “Greene June 3, 2020 10:45 AM


    you are on the attack. what gives?“

    While I am prepared to give Mottley and company my support, at this time because I know that COVID, has reshuffled the pack, I will not allow falsehoods to take root or be repeated until they resemble the truth.
    We behave as if we have not been here before, although COVID, has laid us bare.
    Yet in the face of impending economic doom and gloom, through no fault of our own, we have people coming here pretending that all is well in paradise.
    Between Friday and this morning, I have suggested to at least twelve people, that they buy into BOSS despite the amazing bungling that Mottley has done to the idea. I tried to convince them that the investment is quite attractive and it will perhaps save some jobs and maybe create some in the process and assist with our capital works program.
    There is a time for everything and I truly believe that Barbadians will be patient and take yet another beating.
    But the buck stops with me right there. Anybody on this blog who even attempts to blame poor black people for the economic morass will hear from me.
    This is no attack it is a fundamental ideological /,philosophical position that I hold dear.

  17. While what i posted yesterday was extreme, there are some merits to it,

    Barbados has two choices, bold ideas or hunker down and survive until tourism comes back. (UBI and long stay tech workers are not going to get it done)

    Here is how a capitalist would view Barbados.

    No natural resources, no strategic geographical location, flat undeveloped land in the north of the island, decent infrastructure, good education system, low crime rate, docile population, no political opposition, soft corrupt politicians. This is the type of country you set up shop in.

    The vision of AI integrated cities requires testing free of regulations and restrictions. The Chinese have a head start with Shenzhen, the Japanese and Toyota are about the build a city at the base of mount Fuji. The west cannot compete because of corrupt governments, inflexible regulations and greedy lawyers. If anything the pandemic has shown is the future of governance is going to be modeled after Asian countries. Their ability to respond to the pandemic gets an A, the west a D.

    Here’s how we do BOLD, without being sold out by the politicians. But we must be willing to give up something

    We call in Alan Emtage, Professor Cardinal Warde and other notable Bajan tech leaders to develop the idea and approach Elon Musk et al., with a proposal for a 500 acre Tesla smart city (for comparison Toyota’s is 175 acres), with self driving cars and fully integrated AI to test all of his Tesla devices of the future. We will build an airport and seaport in St. Lucy, a desalination plant and residences for his staff. We get tech jobs for locals, construction jobs etc. Barbados will also get shares in Tesla and Solar City, and a land lease agreement. The smart city zone will be free of regulations, VAT, and government control (except for environmental regulations), ie a free trade zone with more freedoms. This will be Intel of the 80’s on steroids.
    A smart city will spur investment in numerous areas, not only will tech companies want to come here to test their products in the city, tech contractors will actually want to move here to work (this is a real magnet not sun sea and sand). It will also bring real innovators to the island and run out the fake ones who only want government contracts.
    The key is to ensure we protect our sovereignty; weak corrupt politicians would take this and sell us out for a couple million and a condo.

    Mrs. Redguard actually listened to my idea for once and did not pick it apart and ask what was I drinking. That is as close to a stamp of approval i will get from her

  18. “I am so sorry that the data does not fit your tired 60 year old narrative.”


  19. @Redguard
    You may also note, Google had similar ‘smart city’ plans in a portion of Toronto. They pulled the plug, but the process maybe of interest in terms of challenges faced and solutions proposed. Barbados is likely ‘more suitable’ because the challenges, esp in St Lucy will be fewer. Neither does it provide the Urban framework the tech folks crave.

  20. @William

    “investment is quite attractive ”

    What on GOD’s earth makes you think this Barbados Government offer is QUITE attractive. If this was being offered by the German Government, USA government, Australian Government I’d agree however this is THE FAILED STATE of BARBADOS offer that recently haircut their previous bonds and screwed hundreds, now you think the same government is trustworthy and above board. You been reading the “FUNNIES: too seriously. YOUR bright RED undies are on full display.

  21. Northern
    Good insight.

    There really is no way to compete with Shenzhen in a democracy, there will be limitations and trade offs. A model like the Toyota city is the more likely possibility, if any. Partnering with an MIT or Stanford could bring post and under grad students living, studying and partying in the smart city. With that will come the restaurants, supermarkets, shops and other elements of urban life.

  22. @ Wily Coyote
    Well that’s new- I’ve never been accused of bright RED undies. Wonders never cease. I believe it’s a creative solution at this time.
    Let’s see how it goes.

  23. What can assist Government in this environment is to clearly identify and categorize the ‘most vulnerable’ in this country, and stop wasting thousands of tax payer dollars on persons that should not be on the list.

  24. Government and business pay a high price for the population’s lack of work ethics, for rebellious union leaders like the senator and for the Marxist attitude of arrogant government advisers. In other CARICOM member states the price of petrol is just 65 cents, in Barbados it is USD 1.50. Find the error!

    We must therefore help our democratically elected ministers to free themselves from the Marxist stranglehold of Mr Greendidge and his fellow believers. Our government would do better to take PLT as an inspiration, who wants to free people from mental slavery and lead them to self-determined entrepreneurship.




  26. @Skinner

    “accused of bright RED undies”

    The MCG is a SOCIALSTIC endeavour and defenetly fits into the RED UNDIE classification, I know it’s not nice being lumped in with other BAJAN red UNDIE warers. If the undies fit ……..

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