Cost of Living Matter (2) – A Time to Remain Unborn

Some ‘insane’ Barbadians are asking the question again – is the standard of living we have become accustomed tosustainable. Is it sensible for us `a net importer and purchaser of foreign currency to promote and implement policies that guarantee we must BORROW billions in foreign and local dollars to fund the short fall not covered from taxes collected in the case of domestic and foreign earnings?

Many years ago, ironically at the tail end of the last economic boom which Barbados never recovered, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur warned Barbadians about dark clouds on the horizon and the urgent need to make adjustments. To be expected we continued to engage in immature partisan political ranting as the walls of our society cracked are now tumbling around us.

We are a tiny island with zilch natural resources having to depend mainly on the fickle invisible export of tourism to generate foreign exchange to pay for our conspicuous consumption habits. We continue to build oversized homes, purchase fossil burning expensive SUVs, travel to distant lands to fulfil manufactured aspirations , aspire to study at elite universities, select exotic foods from supermarket shelves, the benefits sold to us on foreign cable beamed into our homes 24/7. To any sensible and educated person the dinosauric economic model could not and does not sustain the level of expenditure we have to incur. There is a good reason why Barbados’ economy has been described as open and susceptible to what economists fondly refer to as exogenous shocks.

On top of the obvious challenge of managing a minuscule 6-8 billion dollar economy largely dependent on a fickle tourism product, there is sufficient evidence – see Auditor General Reports outlining a litany of public sector malfeasance (private sector is always complicit) AND corruption to conclude we make a challenging situation more difficult. With revelations coming out of the arrest of former government minister Donville Inniss et al, there is evidence a culture exist that feeds corrupt behaviour. Although not a unique circumstance to Barbados, Barbadians must hold ourselves accountable for the kind of country we want to build for our children.

Many in this space lived through the 2007/8 global crisis and the oil crisis of the 70s. It is evident from the experiences of the two episodes we have not learned enough to commit to implementing resilient ‘fit for purpose’ policies. WE have allowed ourselves to buy into the ‘good life’ of consumption fuelled by an economy built on beach ground. Even in the face of the obvious, we have to listen daily to bull pucky discussions designed to take us no where. Unfortunately with the multiplicity of agendas to satisfy, with social media a ready purveyor of the inane the blame culture has taken deep root.

It is 2022, according to establishment analysts were are on the precipice of another global recession, one that should it occur given our fragile open economy will again wreak havoc on the lives of Barbadians, decimating a debt ridden middleclass and moving the poverty line north. Our visionless leaders combined with a level of disengagement from Barbadians – who the blogmaster has always contended ceded entitlements under our democracy to the political class – will have to suffer again for it until we learn to do better. The reference to a people getting governments they deserve has been recorded countless times in this space.

To the immediate matter at hand summarised in the article shared by a BU family member:


Rising food prices are changing the way we eat and shop

Emily Peck

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/U5xvN/1/Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios Visuals

Skyrocketing food prices in the U.S. are changing the way Americans eat and grocery shop — they’re buying more store brands, and less costly meat and produce. Some are now just making do with less.

  • Meanwhile, food manufacturers continue to “shrinkflate” — putting less potato chips or cereal in the bags and boxes that we buy.

Why it matters: This is inflation hitting home, contributing to the overall bummed-out mood of the nation.

  • Once upon a time, grocery shopping mainly fell to women, but these days 92% of adults do it. That means most everyone’s noticed rising food prices — and many have adjusted in ways both minor and potentially devastating.

Driving the news: The cost of “food at home” is up 11.9% from last year, the largest increase since April 1979, according to the scorching hot inflation numbers released Friday. Nearly every category of food the government tracks saw accelerating price growth. The most inflationary categories, as highlighted in a note from JPMorgan on Friday:

  • Egg prices up 32% year over year, thanks in part to a January bird flu outbreak that killed about 6% of commercial egg-laying chickens, as Axios’ Hope King explained last month.
  • Fats and oils were next on the list at 16.9%, partly due to the war in Ukraine, followed by poultry (16.6%) and milk (15.9%).

Unusual trend: The increases in prices for food at home are outpacing food-away-from-home, which is up *only* 7.4%.

  • This is “historically unusual,”JP Morgan notes. The growth differential is the widest since 1974, they said.

State of play: For a good snapshot of how rising food prices are changing behavior, we checked the most recent Beige Book — where the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks report on economic conditions in their area (h/t Planet Money’s Indicator podcast on this one):

Read full article https://www.axios.com/2022/06/13/rising-food-prices-are-changing-the-way-we-eat-and-shop

445 comments

  • @ Artax

    The UK is definitely feeling the pinch of inflation for sure. Was watching a BBC presentation where they listed some key food items and other cost this June compared to last June and the increase is staggering. From memory there was no item listed that had not gone up in price double digits.

    This is going to be a major challenge for our summer season for sure and despite the mouthing of Ms Cummins that we should buy an airline, I have heard nothing from her that indicates her ministry understands the challenge we face. We can brag all we want about being a quality destination, but this summer will cone down to basic economics. Those that feel they must travel will be looking hard at cost. USD destinations will be a challenge for them as will be high cost ones.

    Instead of the long talk and grand standing we are going to have to look at programs like bonus nights etc. For example pay for 5 nights and get 2 free that sort of thing. You could be selling Mercedes, but if all the people got is Suzuki money what’s the plan?

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Fowls are so fea y aburrida…..they will never have anything intellectual in content to post except their usual fowl droppings.

    William….all ya will get is waffling..

    evidence suggests this is the same bullshit regurgitated from the 1920s, lots of evidence available, same slave minded fowls pimping for politicians, willing to sell out at the drop of a hat for 6 pence, now they got a blog to pollute in an to attempt sabotage Afrikan people’s freedom and human rights…..it’s a nearly 100 year old trend that was well masked, but not anymore, we are on to their tainted selves.

    …nothing has changed except the year and century …

    Like

  • Calm Down
    Bad Fowl
    Jr Demus
    1 / 12

    Like

  • John A

    The reality of the situation is those persons who can afford to travel will do so at any cost. You’ll find the occupancy levels at luxury and diamond classed hotels such as Sandy Lane and Fairmont Royal Pavillion are usually around 75% at the beginning of the ‘tourist season,’ and even higher as December approaches.

    Unfortunately, those persons who usually have to save or borrow to finance their vacations overseas, will not travel.
    So, ‘programs such as bonus nights’ would hardly make any difference to them.

    Another interesting development in Barbados is the closure of several private houses and villas.

    I remember reading a ‘New York Times’ article entitled, “What’s New in the Caribbean for 2022,” in which there was a reference to the Dominican Republic receiving approximately 5 million visitors in 2021…… more than any other country in the Caribbean.
    The island is reported to be “investing heavily in hotels to brace for what they expect to be even greater demand once the pandemic subsides.”

    I also read that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic resumed flights to Tobago from ‘a KEY MARKET…… Britain.’
    Government of Tobago plans to redevelop the island’s infrastructure in hopes of attracting more tourists…… and invest US$1.2B on the ANR Robinson International Airport Expansion Project.
    We can only assume how the reports of Britain’s high inflation will affect the island’s tourism planning process in this regard, going forward.

    Another ‘high priced’ Caribbean destination is St. Barthélemy. An island much smaller than Barbados…… and is considered to be one of the most expensive islands in the region…… but a popular destination for the ‘rich and famous.’
    Pre-covid statistics indicated the island received over 200,000 visitors annually.

    It is very interesting to learn what separates St. Barth’s tourism product from that of Barbados.

    Our so called ‘tourism product’ needs reviving. An expensive destination without anything to offer for the expense. Not even a tourist attraction.
    And, tourism officials must become more innovative and creative, rather than relying on the old worn out strategy from the 1960s of Barbados, ‘the land of sand, sea and sun.’

    Like

  • @Arrax

    In a word- exclusive.

    Barbados has a multi segment marketing strategy, St. Barts, Monaco and others target the rich and famous who are not deterred by price.

    Like

  • @ Artax

    I don’t agree with you on the bonus nights not being attractive and this is why I say that. Barbados in the UK is seen as a great place to go by many middle class Brits in summer. However if you look at the price say of a Virginia Holiday using the south coast hotels, you will see why. Two weeks with accommodation and airfare was in the reach of many. Now we have a severe lash of inflation so we must find a way to replace the Inflation cost with a value imput. I was looking at hotels in the uk in August and since the last few weeks, they are throwing in free breakfast and other encouragements. Also one hotel that was $196 usd in April is at $149 Usd today.

    The goal for some will be to holiday for the same cost as they did last year. If that means less days we’ll so be it. For the others it may mean going to Spain or somewhere closer and leaving the Caribbean till things settle down cost wise.

    One thing is for sure economic uncertainty will be here for the balance of 2022.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    Why worry , the “strong”rebound in tourism will result in the economy growing by 11% this year.
    It seems that just sea and sun , is working quite well.
    Unless I had too many “ rum and Cokes”; that’s what I just heard on the 8:30 news on VOB.
    How can anybody complain when the economy has been predicted to grow by 11 % ?

    Like

  • @ William

    Wait pun it. Lol

    By September they will do the usual and come with a “revised forecast based on current developments.”

    Just talk to any hotelier and ask him how the summer looking ? The winter season was not bad but to base a forecast on the winter trend would be a major mistake. Anyhow talk cheap let’s wait on delivery.

    Also the increased prices and inflation will also cut into the locals spending power by the end of the 3rd quarter. I believe I am correct in saying out of the last 10 years of economic forecast 7 had to be revised downward by September.

    Like

  • William Skinner June 20, 2022 7:40 AM

    @ WARU
    What’s the use ? All indications are that the tourism cannot save the country economically. It’s a lie. It is known that even in the period when we were filling up the hotels, the tourist spend was decreasing and this was even before COVID. Dr. Clyde Mascoll made this point over and over in his columns. It is believed that for every dollar we make
    from tourism about sixty plus

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxc

    The highlighted part is a LIE
    I have already provide the link that showed tourist spend was increasing ( not decreasing) over the years before covid

    What mascholl use to talk about decreasing was the AVERAGE tourist spend not total tourist spend

    The cruise ship visitors were not spending as much as the long staying visitors and this was diluting the AVERAGE spend when

    Under kerro symmonds attempts were made to try to get more money out of the cruisers pockets. One was the introduction of the mini crop over at Pelicans Village on friday nights
    I cannot remember But I think there was a slight up tick In AVERAGE visitors spend under kerri

    Like

  • Another ‘high priced’ Caribbean destination is St. Barthélemy. An island much smaller than Barbados…… and is considered to be one of the most expensive islands in the region…… but a popular destination for the ‘rich and famous.’
    Pre-covid statistics indicated the island received over 200,000 visitors annually.

    It is very interesting to learn what separates St. Barth’s tourism product from that of Barbados.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    LIKE ST MAARTEN WHICH ARE BOTH DUTCH OWN BOTH HAVE CASINOS

    Like

  • According to Sky News

    Wednesday 22 June 2022 10:05, UK

    Inflation hits fresh 40-year high of 9.1% amid cost of living crisis.dr

    The chancellor says government is “using all the tools at our disposal” to bring inflation down and halt the rise in prices.

    The rate of inflation has risen to a fresh 40-year high of 9.1% in May, according to the latest official figures.

    The update, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), represents a slight uptick on the 9% figure of the previous month – driven upwards by April’s unprecedented rise in the energy price cap.

    The ONS said the main driver in May was the rise in the cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages, especially compared with the falls seen at the same time last year.

    In monthly terms, consumer prices were up 0.7% in May.
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    I’m surprised these developments in the UK have not caught the attention of “Al Jazeera man.”

    Like

  • It is ironic when one can claim that LISA is lost and Dont have a clue one day and the next day turn around and submit an article form ” THE CURRENT MINISTER OF TOURISM” to TRY TO substantiate UR point

    Hypocaracyatitsbest

    Like

  • @ Artax

    The UK is screaming for help. Next to flare up will be the unions and to be fair you couldn’t blame them. The problem is no employer is going to be in a position to pay the kind of increase they would need to so as to negate the cost of inflation.

    It is fair to say that 80% of the work force will be substantially poorer by December. If the other 20% are fortunate enough to get raises or cost of living adjustments to negate the rate of inflation they are truly blessed. I see some on Bloomberg saying to expect to see inflation above 10% by October.

    Like

  • But wait the BS gets better and follow a pattern

    A SENIOR GOVERNMENT ADVISOR said covid set us back 20 yrs
    But when the same Person said the economy is recovering it changed to- DR GREENIDGE look us In the eyes and (lies)

    Cherry picking for my pie

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hants some would say you lucky and don’t have anything to complain bout. Lol

    That may well prove to be the lowest rate out of all our tourism markets.

    Like

  • @J2
    Chill a little.
    You are beginning to remind me of when I interact with a certain fellow.
    Don’t get too worked up
    ——x——

    Not joining any side… Neutral advice

    Like

  • @ John A,

    I am 70 years old and wasted a lot of the first 60 years. My Canadian pension / benefits is enough for me to live on.

    doan worry be happy. lol

    Like

  • TheO

    I aint even get started yet 🤣
    I aint hear u tell anyone one to chill yesterday when all the propaganda an BS was rolling

    Like

  • @ David

    I’m fully aware St. Barthélemy has a level of exclusivity not found in many other Caribbean destinations.
    And, caters to the ‘rich and famous,’ which I mentioned in my contribution.

    All I’m asking is, what does Barbados have to offer that justifies the island being deemed a ‘high priced destination?’

    St. Barth’s is considered, for example, to have some of the best sailing conditions in the world.
    That’s one of the reasons why several of the largest and most expensive yachts sail into their port annually.

    Remember, Barbados lost the annual yachting event to St. Lucia and Grenada.

    With the price of a Banks Beer in hotels at $8 + service charge and VAT, who exactly are we catering to?
    ~~~~~~~~

    John A

    Please note I ‘said’ the ‘free nights’ would not make any difference to those persons who either save or borrow money to travel, but the high level of inflation ultimately prevents them from saving or borrowing at this time.

    Like

  • I here listening to Ronnie Yearwood PhD talking on Brasstacks. So should you all.

    Read the first 6 pages on Barbados Today online. problems.

    Like

  • Sorry.
    I was not thinking of the propaganda and BS, just of the person.

    Your response reminded me of how I interact with some and I was giving myself unnecessary stress.

    Have a go at it

    Like

  • “LIKE ST MAARTEN WHICH ARE BOTH DUTCH OWN BOTH HAVE CASINOS…”
    ~~~~~~~~~

    St. Barthélemy is owned by France.

    Like

  • Cummins added that the BTMI has therefore been asked, by 2025, “to give us a footprint of where we need to be and by 2030 to give us a further footprint of where we need to go”. (CA)

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Lisa had already challenge BTMI to try to reach 1 million long staying by 2025

    She ask them to start now to olan for beyont 2025 – 30. And by 2030 plan for beyond ( i would assume to 2035)

    Smart woman aint got a clue
    By any moment she can be moved from this ministry and she is asking those incharge of getting as many as possible to the island to be proactive and it is being spun into something Else for propaganda reason.

    Like

  • When i at work or on the road ( both i will be doing shortly ) i cannot respons as i wood like. So it may Seems a bit Much when i do

    Like

  • Why don’t we carry on with this silly pissing contest for another month? And from grown ass men and women too.

    Like

  • @Artax

    Thought it was obvious, what is our per capita income? What is the cost of our social services?

    Like

  • Months. I thought it Was goinng on for years

    Gotta Check back ur archives

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Artax
    “With the price of a Banks Beer in hotels at $8 + service charge and VAT, who exactly are we catering to?

    We have been pricing ourselves out of the market since the 80s. There is a reason why there is now a reluctant admission that the tourism product needs to be almost completely rebranded and or restructured.
    It makes no sense quoting outdated literature that bears no relation to our present predicament.
    It is amazing that some of us cannot differentiate what is paid for marketing literature and what are hard industry facts.
    I am still waiting to hear what is the “natural competitive advantage” our product has.
    In one brief we are told about a natural competitive advantage and in another the top gun is asking : “why will people want to go to Barbados “and yet in another it is being challenged to show us your natural competitive advantage.
    If this is not massive confusion , I don’t know what confusion is.
    But why worry , the economy will grow by 11% and we will be on our way to great economic times.

    Like

  • @ David,

    as a long time user of BU there is nothing wrong with the blog. Silly pissing contest and comments by the various combatants is good for a blog.

    buh doan mine me. I trying to find crop over 2022 soca that challenges me to play on my guitar. Doan like the two chord monotonous stuff that is popular with the youngsters.

    Like

  • Mr.Skinner

    I watched a Barbados tourism advertisement from the 1960s on YouTube…… and was surprised that there aren’t any significant differences between the marketing strategy then and now.

    The new approach by successive BLP and DLP administrations seems to be encouraging the construction of more hotels.

    The previous administration was determined to build Hyatt in Bridgetown, where there was a dilapidated market structure and stalls from which vendors sold food and beverages in an unhygienic, rat and cockroach infested environment, without adequate water and bathroom facilities.
    Also, there’s Nelson Street, which is in dire need of redevelopment.
    Shanties occupy the area bordering the old and new PSV Terminals.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Artax
    I don’t think we realized how our infrastructure had deteriorated in the last thirty or so years.
    I know somebody will jump out and tell me that the infrastructure in the USA is also in a state of disrepair. But my interest is Bim!
    The Barbados that drew tourists in the past is no longer there. We have failed to bring the industry along because we sold sun , sea and sand. Now that we need to rebrand , those in charge are absolutely clueless.
    It will not deliver the economic development we need. I may be wrong but I heard today on the radio that we expect to get back to 2019 results by the end of 2024
    This is from people who can’t even come up with a marketing slogan for the industry.
    Your comments about the Hyatt are very true.
    All I can say is good luck.

    Like

  • Kudos to Dr. Ronnie Yearwood for refusing to drink from the blp stale soup narrative of apologizes and old vs new guards
    Better yet stood his ground holding govt feet to the fire on the issues of debt and the suffering of barbadians

    Like

  • John A

    I realise the talk about a ferry service has been raised again.

    “Barbados and some of its Caribbean Community (CARICOM) neighbours could be inching closer to having a fast ferry system that would see faster and more affordable transportation of cargo and people and help put a dent in the region’s food import bill.”

    “However, the initial investment is estimated to be a major one – in the region of about US$100 million (BDS$200 million) – and the plan could take close to two years to materialise.” [Barbados Today – Tuesday, June 22, 2022]

    Like

  • After the demise of the ‘Windward,’ which used to sail between BGI and SLU…… BGI and SVG, ‘every other week,’ there has been several discussions about a ferry service that would include other regional territories.

    In 2018, the World Bank recommended a ferry service that would transport people, vehicles and goods from North to the South of the Caribbean, after completing a preliminary study.
    The Bank was also recommended private sector participation be sought in developing the ferry service.

    In August 2016, the Daily Nation reported ,that a company registered in Barbados called, ‘Caribbean Ferry Service,’ was in the process of finalising paperwork to operate two vessels, ‘The Dream Jet Express’ and ‘The Opal Jet Express,’ for travel and cargo through the region,
    The service was supposed to be initially accessible to passengers from BGI, SVG and SLU. And, eventually, other islands would’ve been added to the itinerary.

    I can understand ferry services between Antigua and Montserrat; St. Lucia and Martinique; St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius; Dominica and Guadeloupe…… because those islands are in close proximity to each other.

    However, I question the viability of operating a service between Barbados and Anguilla, for example. Or, from Trinidad to Jamaica.

    This is a topic worth discussion.

    Like

  • Pingback: Regional Transportation a Bane | Barbados Underground

  • The natives social media platforms are angry no sense in pretending all is well

    Dear PM, we int in this together , I have not benefitted from the loans, you are so cheap and stingy with the loans for the ppl your assets, that what little you share for cosmetic, don’t work, the cheap ass medication don’t work, that is why ppl dropping down ⚰dead, you refused to pay tax refund to poor ppl, that need it, have them committing suicide, never saw a ppl so hopeless yet, the youth killing each other, the men have been emasculated, now begging and lining up for food, no jobs , ppl cannot elevate themselves, can’t understand how someone can have such an impressive background and empty, the loans you borrow is for you, you fixed the roads in the North, and caused flooding, how, your contacts are just like you all for self, not country, ppl borrow to build, to improve you borrow to pay friends, friends that don’t have your back, because you betrayed every body, how you smile in ppls faces and then stab them in the back, is a special skill, bajans trusted you, and you took them for a ride, imagine bajans have come to the point of thinking of killing themselves and children👶👧👦, instead of finding out the problem she is given the mental hospital number, that is how caring you and your yard fowls are, bajans deserve all you give them, because they are dotish, when you have a donkey, yuh does ride um, but karma/ nemesis have your number,

    Like

  • Ironically, what is outlined in the above post, was equally applicable to the previous administration.

    And, the same yard-fowls who are now pretending to sympathise with poor people, were the same yard-fowls who were too busy defending, protecting and encouraging their political party, to take notice of poor people’s plight.

    The poor are just pawns in yard-fowls’ ‘political games,’ only to be suddenly remembered when their ‘party ain’t in power.’

    Like

  • Well the natives eyes are awakened
    Barbados have a govt boasting about billions in reserves
    A govt eager and ready to buy back school supplies inventory from big business
    A govt allowing big Cruise to damage the coral reefs and asked nothing for repayment
    A society drowning in poverty and a govt telling the most vulnerable to await a committee approval before help can be giving
    Mia cares

    Like

  • Saying “the natives eyes are awakened” gives one the impression they only woke up recently, after being asleep for a long time.

    But, the evidence suggests otherwise. The fact that under similar economic conditions, they voted against the previous DLP administration…… 30-0…… not once, but twice…… clearly indicates “the natives eyes (WERE ALREADY) awakened.”

    The resident yard-fowls are now conveniently remembering and showing sympathy for the same poor people they PURPOSELY ignored prior to May 24, 2018.

    How could anyone FORGET the previous DLP administration’s TREATMENT of retrenched former Transport Board employee LISA MARSHALL.
    DLP operatives LEAKED correspondence from her PERSONAL FILE to BU, insinuating she STOLE money from TB, simply because she was interviewed by the media and talked about how she and other former employees were given the ‘run around’ relative to the payments of their severance.
    The yard-fowls came to BU to CUSS Lisa for what they believed was embarrassing the DLP in public, and, in the absence of evidence, call her a THIEF.

    The resident yard-fowls conveniently ignored the cries of those poor retrenched former Beautify Barbados employees who had to wait over THREE (3) YEARS before being paid severance.
    They were too BUSY on BU ‘talking’ about ‘putting self before country,’ ‘team Barbados,’ ‘wrapping yourself in the flag,” and ‘the worse recession in 100 years’…… while trying to convince whomsoever they could, that poor were NOT “drowning in poverty.”

    This current BLP administration should be AWARE that a SIMILAR FATE awaits them as well.

    Like

  • The Voice of the people being heard loud and clear across social media platforms

    Xxxx

    PENSIONERS NEED MORE MONEY TO SURVIVE INFLATION IN BARBADOS HAVE JUMPED OVER 12 PERCENT IN THE LAST YEAR
    DOCTOR GREENIDGE TALKING OUT BOTH SIDES OF HIS MOUTH

    Like

  • @Artax

    A ferry that sound like a LIAT at sea. Same shareholders same crap if gov involve.

    Like

  • Plus look who leading discussions Persaud of 4 seasons fame! Lol

    Like

  • Two nations under the spell of a groove: Persaud and Mia; the Guptas and Zuma. Barbados and South Africa are joined at the hips.

    Like

  • The heat is one the complains brings reality to Barbados front door
    People patience is running our can only tolerate so much
    Dr. Greenidge belly full so his concerns about the people suffering is not his concern

    Xxxxxc

    All MAM did for COVID-19🦠😷, is get funds, and renovated HP, thousands caught COVID, isolated 😫😢 and recover, the most old ppl and sickly ⚰, MAM, even infected the country, as she never closed the borders, and the biggest cluster, was after her election🗳️ concert , so have a seat,

    Like

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