Policy is Key to Development

While the Executive of Barbados exercises poor fiscal and public policy, to total blame that organ for the situation in which we find ourselves would be intellectually dishonest. The failure of the Barbadian private sector (businesses / markets / for-profit and non-profits / charities) to build upon the stability we had and expand during those times within the country and beyond is a major component of our current woes. The high level of aversion to risk is a hindrance to the Barbadian political economy.

Another issue is that Barbados is a post-colonial country. Most, if not all, of us came from the plantation in one way or the other. Our money is predominantly new money and our classes are new classes. As a result, there is little wealth and even less capital with which to do pioneering work.

In terms of political arrangements, Cuba has a communist system, Puerto Rico is annexed to the USA, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are republics. The rest of the British W.I still hold to the British traditional form of government, based on the Westminster-Whitehall model. By and large the Caribbean has a rich post colonial democratic tradition with a few exceptions of Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti.
In terms of political arrangements, Cuba has a communist system, Puerto Rico is annexed to the USA, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are republics. The rest of the British W.I still hold to the British traditional form of government, based on the Westminster-Whitehall model. By and large the Caribbean has a rich post colonial democratic tradition with a few exceptions of Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The funds people have are not wealth. Those are for survival and general living. The middle class is usually the class to drive a society but a post-Colonial society is different. That class is struggling to establish itself. It is in that regard that I sympathise with University graduates who look to the job market instead of entrepreneurship.

There is a family immediately dependent on them. They have little breathing room to explore possibilities. We also put much of our money in foreign owned banks which have internal policies which are not aligned with the needs of Barbados. We need to move to Credit Unions even more than we already have.

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However, even the move towards Credit Unions has constraints. Assets need to back loans. Wealth needs to back loans for access to capital. There is little wealth to back loans.

Therefore, Government must do something in this regard. There was once a time when public servants could not access loans to build houses. In the end, policy rules the day.

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William Chandler

Publisher at RealTalk.BB

This article has 1 Comment

  1. This is a list of problems confronting Barbados:

    There are too many non-valued jobs and opportunities as oppose to valued jobs and opportunities.

    Non-valued jobs and opportunities are parasitic which surprisingly some are actually necessity based.

    The wealth or money that makes up and comprise Barbados is not being utilized within its own community.

    Having money is good utilizing some of that money to build up the economic infrastructure of the society with businesses is even better.

    Knowing how to create infrastructure growth has helped, but when that role seizes to accredit itself with further growth it may not decrees its overall value, however, it may very well stagnate and stop its growth until it becomes dormant.

    Not knowing how to utilize money to create wealth is the same as not being able to utilize ideas to create businesses. I think this is one of the basic problems confronting industries. Most countries that have been hampered by economic growth this simple premise would quit naturally fit.

    Not taking care of opportunities can dissipate great idea and institutions.

    A good case in point with Barbados is that its educational system is said to be one of best in the Caribbean along with a free University education up until 2015, yet the country still holds one of the highest rates of women serving in the hotel industry.
    Yet Barbados rightfully so boast of the education system that it provides to its population.

    The educational system after being free for forty-nine years has now had to require paid tuition after the government stopped its subsidies.

    That’s one highly touted institution that was shortsighted in being able to recognize a need for future growth and sustainability. An endowment fund was finally set up in 2003, that is after thirty-seven years of free education being in place. The thing now is how will that fund be utilized to create sustainability and lessen the future cost of higher education in reversing the 2015 government decision to end free higher education at UWI.

    This shows where numerous opportunities were wasted within institutional and non-institutional organizations. Educated people and the institution itself simple misjudgment. Yes, you have a group of highly educated people which is good, but you also have a group of highly educated people taking care of other people businesses if these people allow them to, or so let them. The situation is worst when the institutions are foreign based or selective based institutions, however, to be fair this is how capitalism works through free Enterprises.

    To put it differently, you have a society with a highly educated workforce. Depending on the salary and wages they receive you have a group of highly educated people that has contributed nothing towards the building up the business infrastructure of the countrythey live outside of for someone else. Add on a home mortgage, car, children, necessities, and you have highly educated workers living day to day in some cases.

    We have to give society more credit than that, however. We have to put love, peace, and happiness as our greatest goal. Therefore good honest work is an end means of securing products and services to that end that’s needed. However, another reality is that an educated workforce depending on foreign- based businesses without building up a business based infrastructure of their own is at a disadvantage.

    A customer spends the money he receives from a job for labor rendered. The person who receives the money pays his workers, his supplier, his own personal bills, and try to afford to give his family a decent home and comfortable living and stops there. Now if business owner helps whenever they can in financing new business ventures with people in the community or if banks give easily accessible loans for this purpose momentum is picked up in the economy.

    This is not that simple, however, first off all a business owner list of liabilities are numerous. Suppliers, workers, insurance, utilities for business plus home. Personal liabilities like a car, home insurance. Children and home upkeep, etc. With all of that policy makers have to do more in aiding growth within the economy and helping the infrastructure be build up by actually acting on the initiatives that develop and build jobs.

    This study is purely theoretical. The economy is more factoring into a real study than purely hypothetical. The study is my hypocritical analyst as it involves no number only assumed motives that are at best purely speculation baseless without numbers.

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