Sometimes the Right Path is Not the Easiest One
It is during times we are currently the blogmaster misses the contributions of late Pat Hoyos from the media space. The lack of financial literacy by the local fourth estate- especially at a time the economy is experiencing unprecedented stress- should be a concern to Barbadians. For more than two decades using the popular metric debt-to-gdp, it has been trending in the wrong direction made worse by the global recession of 2006.
Successive governments have taken decisions that will impact households for generations. It seems a no-brainer a country vested in educating its people with annual budgets north of $500,000.00 should be experiencing a greater return evidence by our ability to engage in more insightful debate about the financial affairs of state.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.Attributed to Albert Einstein
What will it take to explain to the average educated Barbadian the bad outcomes that will result if we remain locked to consumption behaviours which translates to spending more than we are earning? Listen any day of the week to the usual ‘educated’ talking heads regurgitating tired narratives which confirms zero return on ROE (Return on Education).
It was refreshing to listen recently to local talk show host Dr. Kristina Hinds pushing back on the tired narratives by offering the correct view that the pandemic is a game changer. The controversial fiscal policies implemented by the Mottley administration- at continuing great sacrifice to Barbadians- to chart a new path for the economy has been eroded. We need a new plan. Even IF the developed world agrees to some debt forgiveness or moratorium on loans, if we do not change our consumption patterns, we will be at this point down the road – unless we create opportunities to earn our way in the world that are sustainable.
The global recession of 2006 is known to have destroyed individual wealth and levelled havoc on the social landscape of Barbados. The pandemic has added weight to our problems. Local talking heads tossing about sterile unemployment numbers, offering glib commentary about the need to grow the economy, although relevant falls short of projecting a holistic view to reset the misplaced priorities of citizens. These expectations must be disrupted and recalibrated to current align with current reality.
The local economy was in distress long before the pandemic. It seems the Mottley administration with an eye on 2023 maybe doing the country a disservice by delaying the implementation of necessary policy measures in order to shore up popularity. Unfortunately this is the dysfunction caused by our culture of adversarial politics. We are in a dark place when the paramountcy of political parties take priority above national concerns.
For leaders in the country to be pushing pre Covid 19 talking points given the current state of affairs exposes a level of ignorance, incompetence, ‘indolence’ and dishonesty. On the present trajectory there is an inevitability to the outcome.
The time has come for the good of country for our leadership to take the people onboard by dispassionately distilling the issues at hand to inform the path with the highest probability of survival in the near term. The blogmaster appreciates there is no play book to select a best practice given the unprecedented nature of where we find ourselves. If we are to find the right path out of this mess, we will have to do it together.