The Cost of Living In Barbados

We are pleased to publish the following article by Dr. Justin Robinson. His article provides an in-dept analysis about the vexing and topical issue of the high cost of living in Barbados. We encourage the BU family to give the Doctor a warm welcome. We hope that he and his colleagues at the University of the West Indies are driven to write many more articles which would help the public of Barbados to grapple with some of the many issues which confront us.

Dr. Justin Robinson, Head, Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill holds a B.Sc in Management Studies (First Class Honours) (UWI), an M.Sc. in Finance and Econometrics (Florida International University) and a Ph.D. (Manchester). Dr. Robinson’s research interest are corporate financial management, derivatives, investments, risk management and financial market efficiency. He has published on these subjects in a number of international journals.

The cost of living is on the rise in Barbados and consumers are no doubt feeling the effects on their purchasing power. In a Nation newspaper article February 27, 2007, Decoursey Eversley of the Fair Trading Commission reports that there had been a twenty five percent (25%) increase in food prices over the last three years. There have certainly been further price increases since then and it’s no surprise that consumers are crying out, and there is a mad rush for solutions. The increase in prices is heavily influenced by the rising cost of oil and a surge in the prices of key commodities such as corn. These factors are beyond the control of any government and are driven by a complex set of factors relating to the rapid economic growth of places such as China, Brazil and India, fueling increased demand for energy and commodities, the increased cost of extracting oil, and the side effects of the rise of bio-fuels as a source of alternative energy among others. These trends are likely to continue for the foreseeable future and in my view require significant adjustments in the way governments, businesses and consumers operate. We may all have to make adjustments to our lifestyles and pay greater attention to our carbon footprints.

The general trend at times like these is to look for quick fixes, such as the recent agreement between the merchants and the government, as well as opposition calls for price controls. However, in my view the current situation should act as a catalyst for change, and we should take the opportunity to address the historic anti-competitive practices that have been widely talked about and deal with the high costs of doing business in Barbados generally.

Firstly, I want to express my views on price controls. The government and major retailers have entered into an agreement to reduce mark-ups on selected items. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck. This agreement looks like price controls on selected items to me. The text book economic analysis of price controls is well known and has been widely cited in public debate. Economic theory suggests that price controls are likely to result in shortages and alternative means of rationing scarce goods such as long lines and black markets.

Without getting too technical, the short term effects of price controls depend heavily on the elasticity of demand and supply. That is, how responsive is the quantity demanded and supplied to changes in price. Demand (supply) is seen as being relatively elastic if a small change in price leads to a relatively larger change in quantity demanded (supplied) and vice versa.

In cases where demand and supply are relatively inelastic (as it probably is for food items in the short-term) it may be quite tempting for a policy maker to go for price controls. Economic theory suggests that in the short-term, when demand and supply are inelastic, the effects of price controls are small. The inelastic demand suggests that consumers (voters) place a high value on the good (s) and with inelastic supply (goods have already been ordered and shipped to Barbados) it may take a while for shortages and other side effects to show up. In the short term any effects may likely be felt in the form of higher prices of unregulated goods and services, the quality of services offered as suppliers attempt to maintain their profit margins by cutting costs and so on. In the longer term (time for the next order of goods to be placed), however, supply (as well as demand) is relatively more elastic and the well documented effects of price controls are likely to kick in. In the longer term, shortages can become quite acute due to lower levels of investment in the price controlled areas. We certainly hope this current agreement is a short term policy!

However, I would add one caveat to the discussion on price controls to date. The text book discussion of price controls and their effects is largely based on an analysis of competitive markets. Where there is less competition and firms have power to affect prices, some of the traditional objections to price controls become less compelling. For economists who express concern about the loss of freedom resulting from price controls, a relevant question in this case is, “Whose freedom?”. The loss of freedom caused by price controls is that of firms who have been exploiting the consumers of their products. The reduced profit margins from the price controls are simply a way of redressing the excess profits previously earned by dominant firms. Economic theory in fact suggests that faced with firms enjoying market power a policy maker can constrain price without creating a shortage by setting a price ceiling where the marginal cost curve cuts the demand curve.

Regulators and policy makers seldom have good information on demand curves, cost curves and elasticities of demand and supply and can very easily get their policies wrong. To the best of my knowledge, there is very little hard data on these variables in Barbados and policy makers are likely shooting in the dark. It seems to me that if the lack of competition in the distributive sector makes a case for price controls, given the uncertainty surrounding the impact of price controls, one is likely to do less harm by adopting policies geared towards increasing the level of competition in the market

When we travel to the United States and the United Kingdom we are often taken with the range of choice consumers have and the levels of competition. I would like to suggest that this level of competition and consumer choice is not purely a matter of large market size and a higher level of economic development. Competition in those markets is ever so slightly encouraged by the regulatory stance taken in terms of competition policy. Competition revolves heavily around seeking to minimize the level of market concentration and hence market power enjoyed by firms, as well as seeking to monitor and deter anti-competitive practices. Anti-competitive practices include, exclusive dealing arrangements, predatory pricing (dumping), limiting access to essential facilities (interconnection in the cellular market), tying arrangements (if you want the tomatoes you have to buy the eddoes and yams as well) among others.

Regulators typically make a distinction between “Rule of Reason Offences” and “Per Se Offences”. In the case of “Rule of Reason Offences”, one must demonstrate that an offence has been committed, that harm has been done and that a better solution is available. The approval of mergers and acquisitions are a typical example of this. In the case of “Per Se Offences” one only has to show that the offence has been committed. Agreements to fix prices, divide markets between sellers, and to restrict or pool output are common examples of per se offences. I will now cite a few examples of competition policy.

The courts in the United States have typically taken a hard line against collusion between firms. The precedent setting case, (United States v. Trenton Potteries Co. et al) involved 23 manufacturers of bathroom fixtures who had conspired to fix prices. Through their trade association, the manufacturers published standardized price lists, met to consider prices, and pressured one another to sell only at list prices. When the association was brought to trial, it claimed that the agreement did not harm the public. The trial record supported this position, indicating that fixtures were often sold below the list price. However, the Supreme Court rejected the request for a rule of reason interpretation of price fixing. The justices argued that “the reasonable price fixed today may through economic and business changes become the unreasonable price of tomorrow. Agreements which create such potential power may well be held to be in themselves unreasonable or unlawful restraints without the necessity of minute inquiry whether a particular price is reasonable or unreasonable. Firms may be forced to abandon overt methods and settle for less easily detectable and less-efficient methods of collusion.”

In August 1989 a case was brought against some of the most prestigious private colleges in the United States. For the 1989-1990 academic year tuition, fees, and room and board were $19,310 at Yale while at Harvard they were $19,395. The totals at Dartmouth, Colombia, and the University of Pennsylvania were also within $100 of those at Harvard and Yale. A case was brought against the universities revolving around the accusation that an administrator at Harvard informed his counterpart at Yale that Harvard was contemplating raising tuition by 6% for the next year. Yale then used this information to set its own tuition rates and a number of other universities followed suit. In 1991, as part of a consent decree, the universities being investigated agreed to refrain from sharing tuition information. In a consent decree the defendants essentially say we did not do it but we won’t do it again. The government agrees not to prosecute and the deal cannot be used as evidence of guilt in other proceedings such as private antitrust suits.

In a more recent development, the Office of Fair Trading in the UK has just fined British Airways (BA) 269 million pounds for agreeing BA and Virgin Atlantic discussed the amount they would charge customers to cover the increases in the price of fuel. BA stands to lose millions more in the face of class action suits from affected passengers. I wonder if any travel agents, tour companies or individuals are going to be parties to any class action suits. There is also a role for private citizens and other organizations in bringing actions against anti-competitive behaviour as well. We must do our part.

These examples are meant to illustrate the critical importance of competition policy in countries that are not typically accused of being unfriendly to business. The high levels of competition and consumer choice we observe in these markets is not merely a function of market size and the invisible hand. Competition is given a nudge by the very visible hand of government. While the debate continues in the USA and the UK over the application of competition policy, many concur that the impact of competition policy has come not from the results of litigation, but from firms modifying their plans to avoid the costs and uncertainties of possible prosecution. This has served to moderate the levels of market concentration and anticompetitive behaviours and by extension increase competition and consumer choice.

What precisely is the nature of our regulatory stance in terms of competition policy in Barbados? There have been a number of allusions to high levels of market concentration and anti- competitive practices in Barbados, some coming from highly placed government officials. In a Nation newspaper article of 27 February 2007, referred to earlier, the FTC reports that there is “some level of monopolistic pricing and high levels of market concentration in the wholesale and distribution sector in Barbados.” In another Nation newspaper article of Thursday 29 March 2007 Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development Senator Lynette Eastmond said the FTC would be looking into monopolies in certain brands and the “Miami connection.” She went on to say “We have to look at how prices reach the price they do reach by the time they land in Barbados.” Meanwhile, the Nation newspaper of 22 February 2007 quotes Senator Eastmond as referring to a “cartel” in the Banking industry in Barbados. A number of academic studies have confirmed the prevalence of interlocking directorates in Barbados. Interlocking directorates create much potential for collusive behaviour and are usually frowned upon by the authorities.

I would certainly like to see more definitive information from the FTC about levels of competition in various sectors of the Barbados economy as well as instances of anti-competitive behaviour. The debate should be based on hard data rather than speculation. The FTC is a relatively new body in Barbados and I certainly do not want to be overly critical. However, competition policy is a critical variable at this stage of our development and in my view our competition policy appears to have been rather tepid to date. Many have argued that in a small economy if firms are going to be large enough to reap economies of scale and compete with international giants we may have to accept relatively high levels of market concentration. If one accepts this position that relatively high levels of market concentration are inevitable in small economies, then there seems to be an even greater duty for the competition authority to aggressively police anti-competitive behaviour.

There are many initiatives that can be undertaken to address the level of prices in Barbados. We certainly need to address the cost of moving goods across our borders, the levels of taxes and other costs that affect doing business. However, in an environment where firms enjoy significant amounts of market power and anti-competitive behaviours are tolerated and go unpunished, why would one expect a fair share of these savings to be passed on to the consumer in the form of lower prices? In the absence of competition, the lion’s share of these savings can easily be added to the profit margins of suppliers. Maybe this is why the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance did not expect prices to fall with the removal of the cess.

Price controls are at best a temporary solution to the high and rising cost of living in Barbados. Our best bet in terms of attaining sustainable reductions in the cost of living is to increase the level of competition in the market. Competition is a wonderful thing but it needs a helping hand from consumers and a strong competition authority.

Related BU Article

Price Control By Another Name?

Cost Of Living in Barbados Out Of Control Like A Runaway Freight Train

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119 responses to “The Cost of Living In Barbados

  1. @ROK

    Yes that’s the report we mean.

    One layer of pricing in the distributive sector which should be investigated is that caused by the middlemen. There is a group of people in Barbados who are ALLOWED to import products to provide good income for themselves by their Godfathers in the distributive sector. These middlemen need to go!

    Also the large entities in Barbados have buyers in North America especially who buy on behalf of companies owned by them and further invoice the local companies. This is known to the authorities, who will have the guts to do anything about it?

  2. I’m ready when you are, ROK.

    My evidence may be empirical, but in my belief sound.

    As far as I know, no scholar of SALISES has ever been part of my crew.

    If they have and can bring contradictory evidence all well and good.

    Let the truth prevail.

  3. Jerome Hinds

    the BLP left power 9 months.

    When will the DLP start taking responsibility for Barbados. Will they still blame the BLP at the next election.

    They need to get down to the business at hand and do what the indicated would be done in their manifesto.

    We are tired of hearing of what the last administration did. We want to hear what you are doing to lower the cost of living. Sometime in or around last year it was intimated by the then Opposition Leader now Prime Minister David Thompson that a DLP lead government would be able to tackle this problem.

  4. Snake-in-the-grass

    Admitably I am not a ‘business scholar’ but I have a lot of friends who are ‘small business’ people and what they keep saying is that it’s very costly to run a business here.

    They say the when all the expenses are factored in ~ such as rent, electricity, phone, employees salary, payment of National Insurance for employees, and in the importation of goods, costs such as Customs Duty, VAT, environmental levy, haulage, freight charges, etc. etc. — all these mount up as a high imput in the enventual cost of getting the goods into their shop.

    Then, due to the low spending power of the public and a the low cash receipts at the end of the day, the only way to survive is to apply a heafty ‘mark up’ or profit margin.

    This is why a clothing store (boutique) that buys a garment for say 12.oo US, has to sell it for 120.00 BDS or more.

    This morning I spoke with a friend who has a ‘store’ in a mall on Broad Street, she said some days she sells less than 400.00 and come closing time there are others in the mall who, some days close off without making a single sale.

    In circumstances like these all around, it is very difficult to ‘make a living.’

    Of course large businesses who are trading in food stuff who have a large turn-over can do better. Businesses like Real Estate agents who do not have to carry an inventory — and so on.

    But for the small man, it’s a real struggle.

  5. @Snake-in-the-grass

    Your observation is interesting. Ours is that many small, mainly Black businesses e.g. barbers, beauty salons, small shops etc which have been operating from many sides streets around Bridgetown are closing down or moving to homebased businesses. The rents have become prohibitive and a NEW class of people have been taking up shop.

    Maybe this has coincided with the Bridgetown redevelopment?

    What will be the fall-out?

  6. The relatively low prices in Thailand, Malaysia and South Africa are likely to be counterbalanced by higher fuel surcharges on long-haul flights. A family of four is likely to pay nearly £900 in surcharges for a long-haul holiday (involving flights of more than nine hours), compared with just over £600 for a mid-haul break, to a country such as Kenya.

    The most expensive country surveyed was Barbados, where the 10 items cost £126.89 – but this was largely because a three-course evening meal with wine costs on average £104.05 for two.
    <strong>Read the full article</strong>

    Barbados depends on tourism. The slowdown in the world economy and the volatility in the US financial market will affect planned and unplanned travel. The fact that surveys have shown that Barbados is an expensive destination should be cause for rumination by the Barbados tourism headhonchos.

  7. Snake, in the Grass

    I think that by the time you get to the small businessman, he is buying at what should be retail prices rather than getting a wholesale price.

    For example, I went to banks to buy some beer. I asked what quantity I would have to buy to get a special price. I was told that no matter how much I buy, I would pay the same price.

    For some unknown reason, my bills got mixed up with a big monopoly and when I went to pay, I was billed by nearly $500 less for the same amount of product. Don’t ask the outcome.

    So it has to be hard for small businesses they are too many induced “in-between” arrangements. The way it is today, you can walk in at RL Seale or any of these wholesale places and buy at so-called wholesale prices as a consumer. That was not the case previously. The term “bulk price” is no longer in the vocabulary of wholesalers.

    Under the old practices, there was a ceiling on mark-ups. I do not think they were established by law either. What happened here is that a merchant would supply shops with goods. Based on the retail price set by the merchant, it calculated how much the shopkeeper made and how much was returned to the merchant. Not too many shops got out of this trap, because the merchant would inevitably end up owning the shop.

    Today the arrangement is still very much in place, except that it is no longer so straightforward. Sometimes, small businesses have to go to the supermarket after hours, just to be able to keep up with the demand on a small budget. So while there is no lein on the shop, the shopkeeper may find he has to sell just to get out of a situation. Not much different, huh!

    I have seen cases in the older days where a man would walk into a store and purchase all of one item that is in the store and then go outside the store and sell them for more in order to make a dollar. When the consumer see the high price at the door and go into the store to get, they would be redirected outside to the man that buy all.

    Saw El Verno did that with penny whistles and as he paid for them and got back the receipt, he declared, “I am now the sole supplier of penny whistles in Barbados.” Only, he did not sell them outside the store, he had his way of getting rid of them.

    Thus has been the plight of small businessmen in Barbados and it certainly has not changed.

  8. David // September 27, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    @Snake-in-the-grass

    Your observation is interesting.
    ……………………………………………………….
    David I can attest to what Snake-in-the-grass is saying regarding the various overheads before talking about break-even further more talking about a profit. You must understand that these ‘green’ business people only stock is the one displayed. Although we have financial players like Fundaccess et al who usually offer follow-up service to its customers, the reality is when these unfortunate owners have to look for rent, salary, utilities and find themselves unable to repay the loan. This is the perennial problem with entrepreneurial disease unless you are out of the status quo family.

  9. One of the factors, and I must say that I am speaking as a layman here with very little knowledge of economics, that is keeping the UK market up is the strength of the currency.

    If it was at all possible to increase the value of the Barbados dollar, I think we would solve the problem. It may very well not be as simple as that, but the strength of the pound, may also be contributing to inflation down here.

    If for any reason the strength of the pound dropped, I would argue that the UK economy would still be able to weather the storm. How can we reach that position.

    Alternatively, how can we drive down prices. I have always been of the opinion that inflation in Barbados is artificial, i.e. induced, but once it gets there, how do you deflate it.

    Salaries will always rise in the public service, although not necessarily so in the private sector. However, Government would still be faced with collecting the taxes to foot the bill, hence the continued artificial inflation.

  10. It is a waste of time looking to any financial institution. They have been in the “depravity” mode from inception. Unless this culture of keeping the currency pulled tight to the string changes, we will not get anywhere. The population must have access to currency.

    For example a parent should always have access to medical services for the children. What happens on a Sunday or in the middle of the month when funds are low and a child takes ill. health of the child compromised.

    A fridge breaks down with all the food in it and you can’t get it timely repaired because of a low budget. You need a months rent to tie you over or a month’s mortgage payment; well as it is now, you suck salt or even lose.

    So it is not that you can’t pay, because you pay in the end, but you suffer in-between.

    It is so unfair how the banks work against small businesses. They impose penalties on them (illegal as far as I am concerned). I have always said that penalties or fines should be paid into the consolidated fund and that the banks are acting illegally.

    The banks put a spoke in the cash flow wheels of small businesses, especially with its policy on handling cheques. This policy does not allow small businesses to plan and when you think of the $90 penalties that flow, you see where small businesses are being robbed.

    Sometimes in one month a small business could pay somewhere like $300 in penalties if they happen to have as much as five returned cheques. One returned cheque could cause you so much losses it is a “prey”, because of the ripple effect.

    Let’s say that the bank received five cheques to be drawn on your account. One of the cheques which you deposited was not honoured and you were depending on it to be good. This one cheque, let us say was just 100 and causes you to be out by $100 on the cheques you wrote.

    Accordingly, the bank would return all five cheques rather than pay four and return one. The rationale here is that they claim that they don’t know which one is important to the client, so rather than be lambasted by the client, they instituted this system they called “not sufficient funds” and they take out between $20 and $30 for not having sufficient funds for each cheque and return them. Then the business which you wrote your cheques to will charge between $50 and $60 as a penalty as well because they are penalised by the bank too, for the cheque which you wrote that is returned. Some businesses are lenient to regular or valued customers.

    but this is highway robbery on the part of the bank. In cases where both businesses use the same bank, it means that for that bank, they receive two penalties for one returned cheque.

    What is amazing, is that the bank would refuse to give you an overdraft because they earn more with the penalty system than with interest on overdrafts. they know you can pay for the overdraft but they ask you to bring your grat great gradfather and if he is dead, sorry for you. Even if he is alive there is no guarantee. All of that to insure that small businesses do not have acces to money.

  11. Justin why you come on here and confound these people head for with a class in Econ 101?

    Nobody aint respond to your post yet.

    Maybe you should simplify it next time.

    Having said that, your analysis missed out on the impact of having a fixed exchange rate to the US$, the limitations of having to use foreign currency for intra-regional trade as well as the inflationary pressures caused by the declining US dollar.

  12. So ROK,

    Clearly, you are right in your analysis of the Banks. But tell me, if YOU owned the bank, what would you really do differently?

    Here we have small businessmen, who, along with family and friends, have saved millions of dollars in credit unions. They then take this money and give it to these same banks to manage for them….. and subject themselves to the kind of treatment that you just outlined…..

    You REALLY think we deserve any better treatment?

    People ALWAYS get exactly what they deserve……

  13. Bush Tea

    What you said there is food for thought. I want you to consider the fact of an imposed socialisation and manipulation. We are led to believe not only that these institutions operate in our interests but that their practices are the right standards. Only, they have a standard for us and another one for them.

    Take the credit unions. They operate by a law which stops them from being a bank. I agree that we have the laws in our hands now and can go about structuring our financial institutions as we see fit. In this regard I agree with you.

    However, the trappings which our Governments choose observe are also now caught up in international law, influencing exchange rates, etc. I therefore agree with you that the best action is citizens action.

    Take for example this EPA. When our Governments sign away the last of our inheritance, it will be left to citizens to take it back. We may not be able to stop the EU from exporting to Barbados, but if we as citizens refuse to buy EU goods, it would effectively reduce these imports to a minimum (Tourists will buy them) and effectively impose a ban on these goods in our supermarkets.

    I think we should investigate the reason(s) why our credit unions can’t keep their own money as the banks do. What is stopping them? Why do they have to deposit their money on banks?

    I am not going down that road of saying that people get exactly what they deserve. That means we deserved slavery. It means that the Jews deserved the what Hitler shared out. It means too that when you get into an accident and happen to be in the right, you still deserve your injuries.

    Does not follow on that point. Reel and come again.

  14. Bush Tea

    Sorry, the very point which I wanted to answer from you is this one:
    “But tell me, if YOU owned the bank, what would you really do differently?”

    Yes, I would, and for many reason. First, as a Bajan, I would seek to build wealth among us. My bank would have all Bajans and I would want to encourage the riff-raff to lime on the outside, in and around the building at all times to stop white customers too.

    Why? Because I would not want to give the highest quality of services which I would not want to offer to any white man. These are some of the things I would do.

    1. offer at least 1% more interest on savings and fixed deposits than the best going rate at any bank, and at all times. If they improve their rates, I will improve one notch ahead of them.

    2. A cheque from one of my customers will assume it is good until or unless proven otherwise. This will be an attempt to arrest cash flow problems with small businesses. Banks have a 5 day waiting period on cheques, even though they clear them the next morning. So they have your money before the five day period is up and would even penalise you if a cheque came in under the five days although they have your money.

    3. Once a customer gets past the original criteria of security, whether it be a commodity or salary, the loan is fast tracked and delivered the same time. We would guarantee to process a loan in two to three days or as soon as data is verified. If it can be verified on the spot, the customer gone clear.

    4. Handling returned cheques will not attract a penalty as this is no more effort than handling a good one.

    5. My bank would encourage people to be enterprising. Partnership with small new enterprises; Research with the intention of creating new niches, such as in alternative energy, manufacturing and services. Even a competition where the prize would be to support a business plan to fruition.

    6. Widely offer internet banking services where bills can be paid for any utility or credit. For example you could pay from your utility bill to a hire purchase account to any business. So you can stay at home, save gas and I would have less of a line in the bank.

    7. Consolodate credit for customers where they pay the bank a small sum over a period of time to help them free up disposable income.

    You see BT, banking like any other commercial activity is a business. The way banking is approached in Barbados seems to suggest that the banks are not really doing business with Bajans. They merely accommodate you in order to have cash to invest otherwise. We are being used and they put back nothing.

    I grew up in business and had sufficient of my own business to know how it functions. Banking is no different, just another sector. In any business you have to learn how to maximise by working with your customers. Save them the trip to town, give them when they don’t have; support their activities and provide them with facilities and amenities.

    One of the reasons why I simply got rid of all my businesses is that we as a people have serious sociological, psychological and physiological problems which lead us by the nose. So you would pay a person a weeks wage but they don’t understand that by pilfering, they are cutting off the hand that feeds them. I was not going to start cutting off hands and shooting people who just do not know any better and are led by greed and selfishness reinforced by the society they live in. Therefore, the only thing to do was to get out there and put hands with likeminded persons to turn this around.

    This brings me to another point. When you import a foreign culture you also import all their sicknesses. Actually, the US is a good barometer that lets us know what is the next social ill to look out for. The broken homes, the fatherless children, henious crimes, but also some good too, like Rhianna.

    The only point I can make about her is that usually these millions and billions will stay in their pockets. If rhianna uses her Millions and soon to be billions (if she is smart) to empower and uplift ordinary Barbadians she will be a hero, outside of that she will just remain famous for her time.

    We take our geniuses and turn them into criminals. A good example is Winston Hall. I believe that he was admired not as a criminal but for his cleverness and intelligence. Another one is Theophilus Pile and Buddy Brathwaite. I believe that given the chance these would have been powerful leaders and statesmen.

  15. ROK

    I give up on you, I leaving you to Carlos Bozie….
    You living in a dreamland with your idealistic business ideas. I can’t believe that you actually have business experience and know all the ‘challenges’ of employing lazy, spiteful people.

    I put it to you that, had you stayed in business, you would have had to do EXACTLY what the businessmen (banks) that you are criticizing are doing. ….anyway you chickened out so let’s leave it there.

    With respect to my assertion that ‘a people ALWAYS get exactly what they deserve’, think twice before you start arguments with the Bush tea.

    There are some fundamental LAWS that run this existence that are spiritual in nature, and far more binding than the temporary physical laws of which we are more familiar.
    …trust me ROK, the BBE intelligence that manages the whole ‘shebang’ called life is WAY more advanced, fair, far-sighted, just, and righteous- than you or I could ever imagine.

    … and fools DO always get unfaired. idiots always get taken advantage of, and the lazy always pays in the end.

    If we Bajans can save a billion dollars of our own money, put it in institutions under OUR control, and then sit around for outsiders to set rules for us, buy food for us, find jobs for us, and reduce prices for us …. you want to tell me we are being smart? being creative, and being productive.

    What smart what?!?

    I call it IDIOCY. … and idiots are usually taken advantage of… that is the REALITY of life.
    The solution is not to cuss the “smart” advantage-takers, but to WISE UP and take control of our lifes….

    Until you ROK, are ready to open a business and do the things that you say, I would humbly suggest that you refrain from criticizing the smart lot who are currently riding us fools into the ground….. talk is cheap.

  16. Bush Tea

    I agree with you and that is why I copped out as you said ’cause I ain’t treating Bajans so. Furthermore, I realise that we know not what we do, so why kill my own?

    I also agree with you that I should not criticise “the smart lot” either and I am not critical. I realise that they have no allegiance to us so it is a waste of time being critical. I merely pointed out the crookery going on. I did not say they should do this or that. I just made observations.

    Now I also have my limitations and I and I know that I am not good when it comes to dealing with the bank and that is key to any business. It just seems as though you never have what you put down. I have always had to seek advice when it comes this as opposed to the business decisions.

    I can start a business on nothing and see the business on a successful path. After that, you need managers to manage the system created. That is my problem right there and hence the reason for stepping out. I really cannot and will not bring myself to treat people the way I see them being treated in order to protect property. That is not for me.

    I am not a man of wealth and therefore I would never own a bank. I consider that I am in the departure lounge, maybe the flight is delayed, but I have had enough of the “smart lot”. They got we good. I am living for one thing and one thing only; and it’s not for me.

    In the short time I have left, I will do all to help empower people. This is the base line. Without empowerment the people will remain lost.

    I like how you did that though. Very clever writing. Maybe I should have responded in a less serious tone, but you touched a chord there when you note they are riding us fools to the ground and that talk is cheap, because I am a doer, but there is only so much one man can do. We do not do enough research and we do not talk business sufficiently. Everybody in their little corner, very hush-hush ’cause as it is, you really do not know who is who and there are a lot of cronies out there looking to thief business ideas.

    I had the experience of big business trying to buy me out. I can’t say that they succeeded and to my mind I got the better of them because in the end I got what I wanted while they thought that they were shutting me down.

    Little did they know I was moving out anyhow, but they wanted me off the scene so they could have the monopoly for themselves. On the other hand, I sold them the rubbish I had at top price that allowed me to get where I wanted to go. This life too short for me to try to travel that road again.

  17. Barbados is in a Recession

    Biko Beckles? You mean Sir Hilary son? He out of prison? Patrick Tannis? You mean the man that was at FCIB? KY? The girl that always telling lies? Ezra the cocaine addict who lost it all? Mia “Bite Muh” Mottley? What a combination tho’

    Leave me out of that company!
    Ezra the tiefing man who lost a buidling downtown for doing so. Kim a habitual liar, who also has been described by doctors as a sociopath do not take what any of these people say with a grain of salt

  18. Barbados is in a Recession

    ? What a combination Ezra is he still on drugs? Kim Young is she still a sociopath mental nut case ready to sue in frivilous suits?

    Leave me out of that company!
    take what any of these people say with a grain of salt

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