Dr Kevin Greenidge: A Friend or Foe?

Kemar J.D Stuart, Economist and Director Business Development , Finance and Investment Stuart & Perkins Caribbean

On the sentimental side, Dr Kevin Greenidge as an ambitious young economist took on a career path and educational training that would have led him to pursue his goal of being elected governor of the central bank of Barbaods. Congratulations to him on achieving his boyhood personal & professional ambition. However, let’s move the conversation past sentiments.

On the Barbados side Dr Kevin Greenidge has been actively involved in providing advice and instruction in respect to the daily management operations of the Central bank of Barbados as just an IMF consultant. The freedom of the central bank to pursue it’s independent agenda has come under scrutiny from the IMF as a need to be more fiscally responsible and free from the government’s budget cycle.

Barbados’ government faces a shortfall in finances, it will not have the use of the central bank’s facilities to bail out the government. Dr. Greenidge’s hallmark will be his role in operating under a new central bank law aimed at cutting the tentacles of the Minister of Finance , cutting his/ her power to hire and fire the governor and allowing the bank to operate on a purely fiscal nature.

The Central Bank of Barbados saw some changes under the current IMF BERT plan in respect to the Central Bank of Barbados Act 2020 which limits the printing of money and additional government guarantees to central government. The CBB is currently undergoing an IMF technical assistant plan to recapitalize the bank’s balance sheet after the bank lost $1.6 B in revenue from the government’s debt restructuring. The debt restructuring was advised by Dr Greenidge. It is public knowledge that any country that defaulted on it’s foreign debts and entered into IMF programs eventually devalue their currency

One must ask if Dr. Kevin Greenidge’s position on the external devaluation of the Barbados dollar is consistent with the IMF. While speaking to Lisa Lorde on CBC TV Dr Greenidge said that in IMF negotiations the external devaluation of the BDS dollars is always on the table. Barbados’ foreign debt ratio has increased from 26% at 2018 to 46 % in 2023. A current account deficit of $1B per year in foreign income for 2 consecutive years. With our foreign income earners dwindling, what will Barbados do to unlock streams of foreign income?

“Dr Kevin Greenidge a Barbadian born IMF trained economist who has been seconded from the IMF to be technical advisor to the government of Barbados, is now governor of the Central bank of Barbados. He has the opportunity to prove if he is a friend or foe of Barbados.”

The IMF official holds a view that the 2:1 currency peg needs to be softened or devalued in order for Barbados to attract substantial foreign direct investment/income. The strategic strength of the BDS dollar has been eroded by the lack of growth in local economy and increases in foreign debt, an inability of the Barbados market to generate safe returns and increases in foreign income, the debt restructuring and debt default has impacted the local foreign owned banking system with loses which has destroyed confidence with investors. The Authorised foreign currency Dealers in Barbados are The Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC First Caribbean, Citicorp Merchant Bank, Consolidated Finance, First Citizens Bank, RBC Royal Bank, Republic Bank, and SigniaGlobe Financial Group.

All attempts by the CBB at raising money on the local investment market failed to meet the required threshold. The brainchild of Dr. Kevin Greenidge, which is the BOSS program, both BOSS 1 and BOSS 2.0 failed to raised the required funds. Barbados also continues to be barred from international capital markets because of the decision to default on foreign debt to the tune of $980M. The changing of Canadian exempt surplus arrangement to countries with a weaker peg and less taxes continues to impact foreign income.

As Greenidge takes on the job , SOE and pension reform still looms. These two big ticket items will see cuts across all social programs of government as external debt continues to rise with further drawdowns from the IMF. Some things are more evident than some as Barbados cannot maintain the current levels of foreign reserves without further foreign borrowing as it is extra ordinary for a country the size of Barbados to maintain the levels in borrowing of foreign reserves without a trade surplus policy in order to earn foreign exchange to pay debt and interest to the IMF and other creditors. The debt trap has kicked in.

In 2019, Barbados implemented a policy called foreign exchange liberalization to r Barbados to allow authorised dealers to execute larger foreign currency transactions with the average Barbadian being allowed to have a foreign account up to $10K. This sounds attractive however foreign account liberalization in small economies with indigenous currency all tend to devalue their currency in order to attract US investment for e.g the mexican peso. Therefore Dr Kevin Greenidge has an opportunity to show his loyalty either to country or organization.

44 thoughts on “Dr Kevin Greenidge: A Friend or Foe?

  1. Anecdotally there seem to be admiration of Dr. Kevin Greenidge rags to riches story. He was raised in what Bajans call ‘the housing area’. Is this a case where the symbolism of appointing a man from humble origins has the potential to cause others in similar circumstances to look upwards?

  2. “Is this a case where the symbolism of appointing a man from humble origins has the potential to cause others in similar circumstances to look upwards?”

    Perhaps the ‘symbolism’ is more about the practice of raising up the poor community to have equal opportunity in society to compete fairly in Government meritocracy instead of a privileged few in this world born with a silver spoon in their mouth from inherited wealth

  3. The choice of Dr Greenidge is yet another example of our failure to produce leaders of any quality unless they are exposed to the various albino-centric systems that are inherently anti-black.
    The whole INTENT of UWI should have been to produce indigenous BARBADOS focused leaders who could hold their own at the global table and who could articulate and defend BARBADIAN interests and goals.

    Instead, Sir Cave Hilary has managed to create an expensive suicidal monster institution whose focus is begging for ‘reparations’ and whose focus is on emphasizing how dispossessed and helpless we are.

    No wonder EVERY shiite in Barbados is headed by a foreigner. or by one of the female ‘graduates’ of the monster whose measure of success has been the QUANTITY of degrees they could dish out every year.

    Dr Greenidge is an animal of the IMF. That is his only unique quality. What has he done successfully as a leader or manager?

    Had he stayed in Barbados, he would have been an unknown ‘Economic Advisor’ to some government body, Kowtowing to some minister, or in some private business. bowing to a foreign owner and CEO.

    It is where we are…. Beggars don’t have much choices.

    We are owned ‘lock, stock and barrel’ by the IMF / World Bank / IDB / WHO albino-clans, who have now appointed their token house-Black to dictate our financial matters.

  4. There is a time to live
    and there is a time to die
    There is a time to laugh
    and a time to cry
    Some folks go through their whole life
    without ever living
    they dwell on the past
    and they hope for the future
    they forget about now
    So don’t worry about tomorrow
    don’t worry about yesterday
    all I want you to do is worry about
    how this music makes you feel

  5. So Dr.Greenidge is yet to spend his first day as Gov, and yet the bullshit is already being spewed?
    We have the young author Stuart proclaiming “The debt restructuring was advised by Dr Green”.
    Why lie?
    The GoB announced it’s intention to default weeks after being elected. Joe Q public hadn’t even heard of Dr.Greenidge. Remember White Oaks? Remember other advisors at that time?
    Next jump to the biggest bogey man in politics, the peg and devaluation.
    “The IMF official holds a view that the 2:1 currency peg needs to be softened or devalued in order for Barbados to attract substantial foreign direct investment/income”
    Why lie?
    First WHO is the IMF official? Dr.Greenidge hasn’t worked for the IMF for a few years. Dr.G is also a previous employee of the CBB?
    And where has Dr.Greenidge stated he is in favour of devaluation? I mean, it has been on the table since the 80’s.
    I will wait to judge the incoming GoCBB based on actual decisions and not where he has been employed or decisions the Gov ‘might make’.

  6. What a lot of sound and fury that signified nothing.!!! Good journalism BUT not too useful in informing and educating the public .
    Congratulations to the new Governor of the CBB. I wish him a successful term in office. His appointment is the call of the PM and Minister of Finance. He has had supervision from his predecessors AND I hope he learnt from their failures and their successes. There is no template for managing the Money and Financial Sector. One makes decision in the context of the social ,political and Economic environment and hope that the outcomes are favourable.

  7. First I wish Dr Greenidge the best under the political restrictions that seem to haunt the job.

    The truth is whoever the governor is now they will have the same challenges. We are a country that spends more than it makes and borrows to address the gap. We are like an out of control 21 year old with too many credit cards basically. Having said that I welcome any discipline he can bring to the system. Just be careful whose corns you mash sir.

    • It is not a question of mashing corns. The Governor is expected to mash corms when necessary. Does a doctor consider mashing corns when he gives a diagnosis or recommend solutions to a medical problem? He is the chief financial advisor to the Minister of Finance.

  8. Re: inequality
    Central banks fail to mention distributional consequences of their policies
    In a new Republic to replace legacy systems
    Missions are possible
    The mission of the new Guv’nor
    should he choose to accept it
    should be to eliminate
    wealth distribution inequality issues
    which is feasible in a likkle island with 3ooK

  9. While a misguided blog continues to publish drivel, the great Seymour Hearst has published a blockbuster which is highly unlikely to be given the wall to wall coverage as prevented by the CIA controllers of mainstream media and self-sensoring blogs elsewhere.

    Hearst, the doyen of generations of journalists, is saying that the CIA, since 2021, before the NATO’s hot war on The Russian Federation started, that America and Norway were planning to blow up Nord Stream 1&2.

    Such a disclosure and given proof that the Americans had an interest or motive to conduct such an act of war against their ally Germany, and the Russian Federation itself, was pregnant with such possibilities within that general direction of travel.

    We have long determined that the racist Anglo-Saxons who control the International Mother Fuckers (IMF) and the CIA will never willingly surrender global hegemony to people they consider to be other than White. Meaning anybody from Asia, not the fiction of Europe which was never a continent like some try to pretend. We refer to the Chinese, the Russians, the Indians, the Iranians. More precisely, members of BRICS or some assemblage of Eurasians. In all cases the socalled Europeans were, are and will always be Washington’s bitches.

    Sometime ago we had called for the delivery of the deckie at the heart of these demons. That such a scenario was preferable to the IMF continued reinforcement of financialized slavery on the world. On all metrics we are further along this path to this “final solution” as attested to by the Bulletin of Nuclear Scientists.

    We trust those who would have mandated Covid19 forced vaccination could deny firm commitments to Whiteness for a brief period to consider the true nature of what Malcolm X called “the Devil”.

    We must also state that another well-respected journalist, Kit Klarenburg, from the Grayzone UK, sheds doubt on Hearst’s reporting. Klarenburg is himself the maker of many blockbusters. For him, the structure of this piece seems at odds with his experiences as a national security journalist. We however, side with Hearst

  10. David
    Hold their own how? With what ‘backing’? Just talk?
    With BALLS, innovation, creativity, belief in self, and by inspiring brass bowls that, WITH HARD WORK and SACRIFICE, they can actually shine, and can provide a better future for their damn CHILDREN.

    Ask Errol Barrow and the two Adams how they did it….
    …with not one shiite in the bank.
    …with a largely illiterate population
    …with no infrastructure
    …and with the albino-powers still dictating the golden rules. (‘he who has the gold rules’)

    Now we have the UWI educated shitehounds, who can’t even feed themselves. With hoards of ‘degreed graduates’
    … and after selling off the family silver that the Barrow / Adams era had accumulated, they are now begging all over the damn world.

    Sometimes you ask the bushman some strange questions Boss…
    Almost as if you want Bushie to say what you are thinking…

    • Bush Tea the blogmaster has an idea the courage required to stand alone or go against the establishment. It is a lonely place to be most times.

  11. Pacha…you wont get any better. At least the audience knows they have to check other sources….alternative media for the realities and truth of this dimension. They certainly wont get it on here or from any of the others calling themselves traditional media….many many people have stopped reading them everywhere.

    The people know where to find the crucial information they need…no one is looking for pie in the sky rhetoric coming from nightmare seekers..

  12. Waru

    Hearst indicts Biden and the members of his national security team. These include Jake Sullivan, Anthony Blinken and the war criminal bitch Victoria Nuland.

    BTW, there is a cabal of fascists Ukrainians in Washington and other Western capitals including Nuland, acting as double agents. We might also add Christine Freelan, the Canadian deputy PM.

    And we continue …………

    This is causus belli for war. Nuclear war! Much less has been. We see no emotionalism against Biden’s IMF for seeking such a war as was trotted out when we asked for the big deckie in dey crotch. The quintessential behaviour of economic slaves. Indeed, it is Putin and Russia which have always acted more responsibly than these people’s slave masters in Washington.

    Separately, always hated people who steuspe or spit. Same thing. Let them be distracted by ignorance while the world goes to hell in a hand basket. We shall continue to seek such. Is there any other means to rid the earth of this lot?

  13. They will probably do it themselves. You need a very complaint population to pull off a millennia trap like the one now being rejigged…..you need a very complacent unknowledgeable population to keep it going…very difficult to lull 8 billion people asleep in this time slot.

    Was reading up on globalists and their history…with an open mind..

    Though blessed with a very impressive gift of magnetism …that would be Lord god Jacob Rothschild for this generation…which was extremely useful generationally when people knew nothing, by design….there is now a shift. So it will be interesting to see how it’s handled…the puppet governments are just that., they have to go with the flow or be run over.

    That’s the position am looking at it from. Straight from the real players…you wont get a good or accurate read from the puppet governments… you have to mentally level up…they have to wait on the ebb and flows from others…wait for insteuctions, .directions and orders….servants..

  14. Europeans would have liked to have taken over every continent in the world with their Colonialism and Imperialism across Africa and Asia, like they did in North and South America, Australia, Antartica

  15. Pacha…i was right. We do have to level up mentally, and bring our ancestral knowledge to bear. This is not just a simple issue..oh no, no no.

    A whole other unseen dimension is out there. Definitely gotta go all in as Afrikan. What is playing out cannot be completed fully in this space.

    Am glad it moved out of the facade realm. Not much can be learned there. And only suitable for those permanently blinded.

  16. Waru

    Yes! We are witnessing the birth pangs of the emergence of the Age of Aquarius.

    The Age of Pisces is dead. The Ancestors through the ancient Kemetic mystery systems have long promised this.

    And of course the great weeeeee are guiding these affairs in ways beyond the perception of most.

  17. “And of course the great weeeeee are guiding these affairs in ways beyond the perception of most.”

    Exactly…ya dont want them involved anyway….they are a deadly threat to outcomes…let them stay in the dark where they belong and so yearn to be, we have no use for them….they should be shackled there for another 5 thousand years…maybe then they will learn…i personally dont care if they ever do…given their propensity and slave desire to violate and sabotage our PRE-ordained destiny.

    Of course, which the shite book dont tell them about…and never will.

  18. And ya done know…i will never tell them either..they deserve nothing but COMPLETE darkness……cut off from any and all information flow in that regard…and are fortunate that is all they are getting at this time…which is very likely to change in the near or mid-distant future, and quite suddenly.

  19. I heard a couple of oldies chat on the net today
    One was talking about the Age of Aquarius
    and the other was saying that she is cutting off information flow

  20. You have to cut off information flow when what you are getting is inaccurate due to the transitioning. You are not going to get any real news for quite a while from the traditional suspects…it’s been months since i cut them off when realizing what was upside down. Until their masters tell them otherwise, that’s what you will get…

    There are sites you can go to get real new….or pick and choose what you read. A lot of people are going to be super embarrassed when they realize that they are googling, copying and sharing fake news as happened on BU recently.

    Unless it’s a video from sources i know or an article am 100% sure is accurate…am not touching it. These days my information is coming from reading books by conscious authors..

    • Ya foolish, ignorant bit**ch, you is the copy and paste queen. There ain’t got nobody that copy and paste more FAKE NEWS to BU or tell LIES than YOU. How you if the information you talking bout is TRUE or not? YOU ARE A BLOG PEST, criticising BU every day, but still won’t KEEP OFF it.

  21. Burt Bacharach, the acclaimed composer and songwriter behind dozens of mellow pop hits from the 1950s to the 1980s, including “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “(They Long to Be) Close to You” and the theme from the movie “Arthur,” has died, a family member of Bacharach confirmed.

    He was 94.

    A major figure in 20th century pop music, Bacharach scored major hits in a variety of genres, from Top 40 to country to rhythm and blues and film scores. He wrote hit songs for a wide range of artists, including Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, the Carpenters and Christopher Cross.

    Many of his songs were classified, perhaps unfairly, as “easy listening” – a gentle, old fashioned style of music with few rough edges. Most were far removed from the sounds of rock and roll, funk, disco or other popular genres of his time.

    Still, Bacharach, with longtime collaborator Hal David, churned out many of the catchiest songs of the era. Many of them – “Say a Little Prayer,” “Walk on By,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” – became hits for Warwick, one of the biggest-selling female vocalists of the 1960s.

    Bachrach also wrote hits as Perry Como’s “Magic Moments,” the Shirelles’ “Baby It’s You,” Tom Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat?”, Jackie DeShannon’s “What the World Needs Now is Love,” Herb Alpert’s “This Guy’s In Love With You,” Neil Diamond’s “Heartlight” and the Patti Labelle-Michael McDonald duet “On My Own.”

    One of his biggest and most impactful hits was “That’s What Friends Are For,” the charity collaboration between Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder that topped the charts in 1986 and raised millions for AIDS research.

    Over his long career Bacharach earned almost every major award in music, including six Grammys, three Oscars and – with Hal David – the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, awarded by the Library of Congress. In 2008 the Grammys proclaimed him music’s greatest living composer. (CNN)

    • Let’s hope Dr.Greenidge has his coffee before he addresses the nation.
      He makes some fair points, but needs to show us projections, as well as historical occurrences.
      It is great to cut the debt servicing fees from ‘sixtysomething’ cents per dollar of revenue to ‘twentysomething’ cents. What are the projected costs for each of the next 5 years? Is it still ‘twentysomething’ cents when the delayed bond and T-Bill payments kick in?
      What have/will be the cost effects of global interest rates increases on those debt service cost projections?

  22. “Ya foolish, ignorant bit**ch”

    Says the ass who dont know she is indigenous Afrikan, cause these days we dont even know what gender ya call ya dim selves, si i get to choose…….the dummy who .believes that Barbados hangs from a cloud in the sky instead of being part of the Americas…yall have no shame…that’s why am still on BU…so yall dont continue to LIE TO and CONFUSE incoming generations cause ya are such white world dummies….YA DONT KNOW WHO YA ARE….

    i spent years laughing at the fake fact checkers who were googling shite from fake fact checkers…that should tell ya all ya need to know but then again, white world dummies…Slaves…never know shit…the perpetual laughing stock..

  23. I forgot to add if the goal is to provoke reaction with provocation then she seems to do it well..

  24. But ya psychoanalyzing, without qualifications, the WRONG PERSON..but right in a roundabout way about certain things…

    Let me tell you something about the Afrikan diasporan…for the usual dummies, that includes Barbados and Caribbean because i know they still have not come terms with themselves as Indigenous FOUNDATIONAL Afrikan Americans……too stupid….

    …they were socialized to not mention their Blackness, to fear it, the truth that we are dark matter, SAME AS THE UNIVERSE because WE ARE the universe was hidden, so they were miseducated and socialized to hate and their fear blackness, be ashamed of it, yearn to be white…miseducated to uplift whiteness and driven into fright TO CALL IT OUT…….or demonize racists and racism, they were socialized to accept white crimes against themselves…without question.

    Then along comes me saying all the things they ARE AFRAID TO SAY or think for that matter…because they were socially and mentally BEATEN DOWN BY EACH OTHER…

    But, in doing what i did…I believe given certain data…hundreds of thousands across the region and other places WOKE UP.

    am very pleased with the outcome of my strategy….when you get positive results it equates to success….even i was pleasantly surprised that it worked..

    .it’s the hardcore Slaves still believe they can give grief, but i will go to the four corners of the earth for them.

    • Oh..and they were also socialized to believe and admire the utter and pure talk and lies coming from politician’s.stink mouths..never question any of it, even when the wicked politicians and their minority sidekicks are ripping off the treasury vat and pension while disenfranching, oppressing and exploiting them and their children DAILY……

      Fast forward over eleven years later and most have said …enuff…and they are very vocal on platforms. Something that would never have occured before.

      The only place i still see that acceptance of social reduction and thefts against themselves, is from fowls, imps, pimps and Slaves, the backward clown supporters who mislead each and lie to themselves.and everyone else because they believe they have arrived..believe they are political experts….but most everyone else has woken up….save for those stragglers whom no one needs.

      Still a way to go but not one lying politician or their idiot supporters can get that toothpaste back into the tube….their criminal cover is blown…they now have no choice but to deal with the fallout of their hundred year handiwork.

  25. “But ya psychoanalyzing, without qualifications”
    can you prove dat, there is no comment posted up, maybe it was in your imagination..
    an online persona can be like a hip hop rapper acting like James Bond 007

  26. There is this dude, social media regular called Patrick King…a real politician follower…even he has turned against them….but we know it’s also dependent on what they offer him next to cause him to switch again…seeing as the Black man has been reduced to generational weakness through dirty politics and dirtier religion…but many are awake and standing strong….like REAL MEN..

    They know their fowls and imps very well…

  27. You need to stop cussing Bajans as weak and slaves like a military boot camp trainer
    Blacks are strong especially the slaves were
    That’s reason why genetically inferior whites developed their superiority complex to compensate
    things are balancing and working out naturally and no effort is required

  28. “Blacks are strong.”

    Strong but SYSTEMATICALLY weakened. to strenthen THIEVES..wuh i int the body that weaken them…that would be the LYING politicians who destroyed their minds psychologically to promote and enrich themselves.and their minority crook friends.

    They need to REESTABLISH ancestral strength…many are working on that right now…

    they need to REESTABLISH Ma’at…the Afrikan female will do that.

    Lots of damage to roll back…we know what needs to be done…and HOW to do it…

    Bushman…i was getting the lowdown on the marijuana this morning..the frauds are screwing that up as much as they can.

  29. Just saw a news feed where South Afrika is embracing legacy planters…

    Small island misleaders only want to see rich whites and others in the marijuana industry, effectively cutting out the Aftikan population, and am sure they are asking themselves why it’s a failure to date..

    Good thing i can take MY formula ANYWHERE…wuh since that creation 5 years ago…i developed 2 more.

    ..that should tell the people on the island that they gotta GRAB THEIR DESTINY with both hands…and cut wicked politicians out of their lives permanently.

    .politicians will bring down the Afrikan population even further than they are right now…that is all ya can expect from those types.

    • BS!

      ‘No conflict of interest’ for Governor
      THERE IS “absolutely no conflict of interest” in the appointment of Dr Kevin Greenidge as Governor of the Central Bank, asserts Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.
      Yesterday she poured cold water on suggestions that Greenidge should not be considered for the position because of his instrumental role in designing the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme.
      Following the announcement of Greenidge’s appointment just over a week ago, president of the Democratic Labour Party Dr Ronnie Yearwood strongly opposed the move, arguing the the new Governor would be essentially monitoring the very International Monetary Fund programme that he had helped to design.
      Mottley said such an argument was a conflation of the issue, as there
      is a BERT Monitoring Committee of which Greenidge is not a part.
      “There is a separate committee to monitor BERT of which the lady to my right [Trisha Tannis, chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association] is a co-chair. The notion, therefore, that the Central Bank must monitor BERT and hence there is a conflict of interest, is perhaps one of the more unfortunate comments that I have heard from anybody seeking to lead this country. If they do listening tours, then they perhaps need to listen a little better and if they don’t want to listen, then they need to do their own research,” the Prime Minister said.
      She pointed out that the role of the Central Bank is clearly delineated in the Central Bank Act, and there is no provision for oversight of such programmes.
      “They may need to look at Section 6 of the Central Bank Act which makes it very clear what the role of the Central Bank is, and nowhere is there a role for the independent monitoring of that committee. The Central Bank is at the core of being responsible for this country’s monetary policies and the primary objective, which is to maintain the value of the currency.
      “So to say that all of a sudden that a man appointed as Governor of the Central Bank should not be there because it is a conflict of interest, is to suggest that the person does not know what the interests are or what the conflict is. There has been overwhelming support for the appointment by the Central Bank’s board, for which I concurred. An opposition does not have to oppose everything,” she said.

      Source: Nation

    • The Barbadian social ecosystem

      By Ralph Jemmott

      On the Down To Brass Tacks programme of February 6, the regular caller known as Mr Straker’s Tenantry raised a concern with veteran moderator David Ellis relating to the Barbadian social structure, more specifically to the state of the Barbadian middle class.
      His contention was that since 2018, when the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) took office, the middle class or classes in Barbados had atrophied. The notion of a perceived hollowing- out of the middle strata is not peculiar to Barbados. In fact, one hears the term applied to that socalled middle strata in many western countries generally as a result of on-going stressors in the global economy.
      Straker’s Tenantry was clearly attempting to make the political point in which he sought to blame any perceived decline in the Barbadian middle sector to the existing current BLP administration. Ellis was quick to point out that such a decline predates the 2018 election and might have been a factor in the BLP’s overwhelming 30 to 0 victory.
      ‘Good thing’ The existence of a viable middle class is considered by most social thinkers as a good thing, if for no other reason than that it provides a buffer between the working class and the better-off upper strata in society.
      Hence one does not get the glaringly offensive contrasts between the mansions on the one hand and the shanties on the other, where gargantuan wealth exists side by side with grating hunger, or where the poor go hungry while the rich talk with their mouths full.
      We are apparently witnessing a period of high income inequality and declining mobility where the middle class is being squeezed or to use the more common term, “hollowed-out”. The notion of a middle social class is problematic. In fact, it was not until the early nineteenth century
      that the term came into common use.
      In the Barbadian context, apart from income, middle-class indicators may apply to a variety of other things, including what kind of house one owns or rents and where it is located. It could variably apply to the type of car one drives, how one dresses or speaks.
      Historically, in the Caribbean the problematic of class was compounded by the colonial obsession with colour or complexion, which is a derivative of race. A brown skin might be an indicator of middle-class status even when the person obviously owned very little of any material substance.
      Some commentators and scholars distinguish between an upper and a lower middle class. The now apparently solid Barbadian middle class is, by and large, a post-1966 creation. The Barbadian middle strata, which comprises the current inhabitants of the heights, terraces, gardens and shores, is, by and large, a post-Independence creation.
      One would venture to say that the Barbadian middle class, although it is collectively by no means a marginal class, however, it is not a high net worth entity.
      Beyond a nice home and a nice car or two it is not possessed of much property or large investments beyond medium-value insurance policies. As such it is a segment of Barbadian society that is concerned with maintaining its social class position and suffers a degree of social anxiety arising out of a fear of falling back into the working strata.
      Down To Brass Tacks
      moderator Walter Blackman often inveighs against what he calls “classism”, usually in relation to the 11-Plus and education. In a discussion with Mohammed Nassar, Blackman asked Nassar to what class he (Nassar) belonged. Nassar then asked Blackman the
      same question. It was interesting that neither knew or chose to say outright what social strata they occupied.
      One cannot say with any degree of certainty whether there is in fact a hollowing-out of the Barbadian middle class. What seems evident is that there is some decline in upward mobility as young people struggle to obtain and keep certain types of jobs. Here and in Jamaica I was told by quite well educated young people that they were unlikely to earn the wealth and social material status their parents had earlier achieved.
      In each case, the perception related to the seemingly prolonged decline in the countries’ economic well-being. What alarms me most is not the state of the middle class but another phenomenon of greater import, the growth of an underclass or what sociologists call the “sunken” working class mired in generational material poverty and a sub-culture that inhibits its upward mobility.
      It appears in some cases to be turning its back on formal schooling, which has been the prime driver of mobility in Barbados. This is showing up in increased homelessness, crime, mental instability and the kind of over-populated shanty-style dwellings that have long characterised the urban populations of Kingston, Jamaica. It is nought for our comfort.
      Ralph Jemmott is a retired educator and social commentator.
      The Barbadian middle strata, which comprises the current inhabitants of the heights, terraces, gardens and shores, is, by and large, a post Independence creation.

      Source: Nation

Leave a comment, join the discussion.