Walter Blackman

The Human Unemployment Rate in Barbados – a cause for serious concern

Walter Blackman - Actuary and Social Commentator

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Social Commentator

The following submission is reprinted from May 2014.  Walter’s view: “As an update, the situation has worsened. At the end of March 2015,

the amount of Barbadians who are of working age […] = 222,400. Of that number, only 127,900 found employment. Therefore, 94,500 Barbadians are unemployed. This means that, today, Barbados has a gross Human Unemployment Rate (HUR) of 42.5%. It was 41% for 2013. The amount of unemployed persons at the end of 2013 stood at 88,000. At March 2015, it is 95,000. At August 2015, it must now be higher because young adults recently left school and there are no jobs available for them!”

Reprinted from May 2014:

Based on official demographic numbers put out by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs recently, I have calculated that there were 214,100 Barbadians available for work in 2013. Out of that number, only 126,300 persons were actually employed.

This means that 87,800 Barbadians of working age did not have jobs in 2013. When translated into a concept that measures the wastage of our human resource, this also means that the Human Unemployment Rate (HUR) for Barbados was 41% in 2013.

All Barbadians, on one hand, should justifiably feel a sense of pride in the fact that Barbados has attracted immense global respect for its high ranking based upon the United Nations’ Human Development Index. On the other hand, however, a Human Unemployment Rate of 41% demonstrates to the world that whilst our governments have provided, and are continuously striving to provide, critical developmental services for our citizens (education, health care, security etc), only about 59% of our workforce is being utilized. Put differently, we are investing millions of dollars in raising and educating our people, but no successful policies are being implemented to enable them to work and make a meaningful contribution to the economic development of their country.

Out of the 3,500 students who finished school in 2013, very few have succeeded in getting jobs. How many school leavers will get jobs in 2014? Fewer still. To give you an idea of how serious our unemployment situation is, imagine that for the past 25 years, not one student leaving school in Barbados has been able to find a job.

Given the destructive, wasteful, and corrupt practices which have seeped into the area of public finance in Barbados over the past 35 years, a Human Unemployment Rate of 41% at this time is almost fatal economic news for our country. The cumulative effect of these practices are now forcing us to stare some serious questions in the face: Can the government of Barbados adequately service a debt burden of $10 billion, repay its $2 billion obligation to the NIS fund, meet its mounting, unfunded civil service pension obligations, and pay for salaries and services with only 59% of a small workforce being employed? Can we, as a country, earn enough foreign exchange to support our 2 to1 peg to the US dollar with a whopping 41% of our workforce remaining idle? Can we achieve these national objectives in the presence of widening fiscal deficits, paltry global exports, and limited borrowing options triggered by government’s inability to pay its debts?

If the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “No”, then, given our current human unemployment rate, there is no feasible solution to our public finance and national economic problems. Looking at our situation from a black hole perspective, we are now heading towards the event horizon. A downward spiral has started in earnest, and in many cases, an already bad situation is going to get worse. Let me give you an idea of what I mean.

The fiscal problems confronting the government of Barbados cry out for a solution that involves job creation and attendant expanding government revenues. At the same time, unfortunately, diminishing exports, excessive borrowing, poor planning, and low international credit ratings have combined to create a foreign exchange crisis for Barbados. The foreign exchange crisis, in turn, has become the most urgent and overpowering force in the local economy and it has brought in the IMF, the ultimate lender of last resort, to make financial and economic decisions for us that our leaders were not capable of making. In an attempt to inject some measure of fiscal responsibility into the management of our country’s public finances, and by extension, to safeguard the interests of our foreign creditors, the IMF has effectively initiated a series of layoffs in Barbados. These layoffs, along with other financial problems confronting the government, have depressed aggregate economic demand, and have directly triggered layoffs in the private sector as well. The Human Unemployment Rate which stood at 41% in 2013 is therefore rising appreciably in 2014. An already bad situation has worsened, and there is no relief in sight.

Given the fact that we have 88,700 able-bodied Barbadians who are not working, what policies and ideas are being highlighted and pursued by the government with the aim of solving the problem?

A few weeks ago, we were treated to a somewhat instinctive proposition which came from the Honourable Mr. Ronald Jones, Minister responsible for Education. Ostensibly inferring that the government does not like the idea of cutting its expenditure, the minister argued that Barbados needs more economic activity which would enable the government to collect more taxes to cover its expenditure. Fair enough, up to that point. However, where the minister started to raise the cynical eyebrows of his detractors is when he recommended, as a solution to the problem, the production of many more babies than are being born currently in Barbados.

The minister’s recommendation of an increase in baby production in Barbados (whether by fornication, adultery, hook, crook, or traditional marriage) as a solution to our current economic problems, must have sparked some interesting conversation and responses in the offices, rum shops and living rooms across Barbados.

On the religious front, the Church has always held the position that sex and procreation should be reserved for married couples only. Yet so far, the voices within the Church, the traditional bulwark of our societal morality, have remained relatively silent in the face of a deafening cry from a minister of the Crown for engagement in indiscriminate, wanton, baby-producing sex.

On the family planning front, we have been advised for the past 40 years, that it is of extremely critical importance for Barbados, a small island state with scarce limited resources and with one of the highest population densities in the world, to keep a firm lid on the growth of its population. The minister’s solution represents a shot across the bow of the Barbados Family Planning Association’s efforts which are aimed at keeping our population from exploding.

In Barbados, health practitioners and AIDS counselors have been highlighting the risks associated with unprotected sex, given the presence of the AIDS virus in many fertile Barbadians. The minister’s call for an upsurge in unprotected sex, to produce more babies, amounts to an invitation for Barbadians to increase the incidence of AIDS in their country.

On the human unemployment front, therefore, it is fair to conclude that the honourable Minister of Education has more faith in the strategy of waiting for babies to grow up and revive the national economy than in coming up with policies to generate jobs for the 88,700 Barbadians who are currently waiting to be employed. We can only hope that the other members of the cabinet hold a different philosophical position on this matter.

For the unemployed in Barbados today, the future looks rather uncertain and bleak. At the individual level, some of our jobless are hearing daily about the need to become entrepreneurs, but they have little or no experience, no guidance from a successful model in place, no business skills or training, and no finance to transform themselves from being ‘dreamers’ into successful entrepreneurs. Others are trying a ‘thing’ in the underground economy. Others are sending out hundreds of job applications and are hoping against hope that a few big projects would open up and create some jobs, even if temporarily. After many years of trying, others have given up and have decided to rely on someone else for support.

The future of the entire country depends on our ability to put these 88,700 people to work. Somehow, we have to wrap our collective minds around the central objective of coming up with ideas that can generate jobs for our fellow Barbadians and that rely on no financial contribution or commitment from government.

Can we do it?

Walter Blackman is a pension actuary, licensed by the Federal Government of the USA.

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186 Comments on “The Human Unemployment Rate in Barbados – a cause for serious concern”

  1. de Ingrunt Word August 14, 2015 at 7:58 AM #

    Why and how can tertiary education remain completely free? Surely there can be a rational, non-political debate on moving forward with this aspect of society’s development.

    The point was made by Bushie that Barbados should be establishing a practical competitive advantage in order to develop and grow. He was talking about tourism at that time and the benefits we could accrue if we were a well ordered, green-energy proponent with battery operated cars being ubiquitous on our mostly flat road-ways and other similar green technologies like solar and WTE processes firmly entrenched.

    This he opined is the type of sustainable advantage for a society like ours.

    That said to circle back to the free secondary education: we are long past the stage where we that should be rehashed. We have to continue to focus our students in areas that will give the country the type of competitive advantage in the sciences and developing green technologies to which Mr Bushie speaks and has been touted in the past.

    Mr. Barrow lambasted us all for a mendicant mentality of cleaving to the US lifestyle in that campaign speech we all know so well. Do we really think then that EWB would be so supportive of some of the ‘freeness’ and ‘go along to get along’ style we adopt now.

    Based on some of his other utterances its fair to say he would be ‘devastated’ (to quote Bushie again) and rather pissed off that we seem to be standing on the foundation of that free education rather than using it to soar successfully into the new and different areas of growth.

    Maybe it’s not the time for paid university education but then again change is always hard!

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  2. David August 14, 2015 at 9:17 AM #

    @Dee Word We need to have a constructive national debate about education without mentioning Errol Barrow.

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  3. de Ingrunt Word August 14, 2015 at 9:31 AM #

    Hallelujah and amen, David. EWB is used as a straw-man by both sides unfortunately.

    Fifty years on he cannot and should not be the focus of any serious forward trending educational debate.

    Artax or Walter can frame it expertly in accounting analogy better than I ever could. They would expertly define it something like: Mr Barrow can be seen as sunk costs on the educational account. There is absolutely no merit -good and vitally important though the expenditure was – to be gained now by revisiting that!

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  4. ac August 14, 2015 at 10:26 AM #

    And may I ask what is the vision for Barbados that the BLP has to offer

    Like

  5. Artaxerxes August 14, 2015 at 11:31 AM #

    de Ingrunt Word August 14, 2015 at 9:31 AM #

    “Hallelujah and amen, David. EWB is used as a straw-man by both sides unfortunately. Fifty years on he cannot and should not be the focus of any serious forward trending educational debate.”

    Well said, De Word. Barrow did what he was being paid to do as a politician and the social structure during his time created an environment that necessitated a change in the status quo.

    We must accept the fact that Barbadians no longer have free access to tertiary level education. This also created an environment whereby a proactive minister of education should have implemented policies to assist those students who would have been affected by government’s decision.

    Instead, we had a reactive Jones responding by announcing the MoE would be offering 3,000 bursaries (after UWI’s matriculation period) to students who were desirous of attending university but did not have the financial means to do so. All other policy initiatives introduced after the decision to make students pay tuition fees were all reactionary and not well thought out, planned and introduced.

    As minister of education, what is Ronald Jones’ vision for the Barbados’ education system and what has he done during his tenure to enhance the system, other than rename schools after DLP stalwarts and supporters and lambast principals and teachers?

    Don’t tell me he built school, because that what he is supposed to do.

    So far, Ronald Jones has the honor of being the worst minister of education Barbados has ever had.

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  6. balance August 14, 2015 at 7:15 PM #

    “Mr. Barrow lambasted us all for a mendicant mentality of cleaving to the US lifestyle in that campaign speech we all know so well. Do we really think then that EWB would be so supportive of some of the ‘freeness’ and ‘go along to get along’ style we adopt now.”

    Can’t you understand the above was all part of the balancing act which was taught to students of Laskiism to capture the imagination of both sides of the fence. Mr Barrow was the architect of the freenesses. The idea sold to the electorate by the DLP in 1961 was that the BLP was taking too long to address the concerns of the masses and were in bed with the conservatives.

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  7. Dompey August 14, 2015 at 11:40 PM #

    Balance

    I remember that speech where Barrow caution Barbadians about the negative Americanism was having on the Barbadian way of life, and he was quite correct.

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  8. Dompey August 14, 2015 at 11:53 PM #

    Balance

    Let me rephrase that once again because I just got from sleeping … I do remember when in my youth Barrow caution Barbadians regarding the American-culture, and the negative impact it was having on the minds of the Barbadian youth at the time. And time has proven our beloved leader correct because in 2015, we now have the Barbadian youth walking the Streets of Barbados with their pants hung beneath their knees.

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  9. Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 9:44 AM #

    @ Balance. Re your above post, Mr. Barrow was absolutely correct. The evidence is there. The Royal Palms are near death.

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  10. Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 10:53 AM #

    @ Balance:
    Did you go to the Study Abroad web site to which I referred you folk?
    How can you, Bushie, and the other Yard Ducks, continue to support the BLP; a party that persistently and consistently burdens the country with so much debt, that any incoming administration has to get the economy stabilized before it can get anything productive done? The BLP won the election after Mr. Sandiford’s government was defeated and the DLP reduced to 2 seats. After five years the electorate still placed some trust in the BLP; the DLP got seven seats. Hardly enough seats in the two terms (10 years) to make meaningful input in the running of the government. In other words for that 10 years the BLP did as they liked, (Remember Hardwood Houses? Remember the widening of the ABC highway and the awarding of the construction to a company without a contract? Without environmental studies? Without proper tendering and due diligence? etc. etc.). The DLP lost the following election so the BLP had another five years (a total of 15 years) to do as they liked. And, as the words of Mack the Knife come to mind ;”Mackie spen[t] like a sailor”. Remember what Mack the knife did to get the money to spend; how many people he robbed?
    The result was that after the 2008 election, the job of rebuilding the economy (in the face of a world wide recession) fell to the DLP. Many young people would not be aware of this because young people born before the 2008 election are still teenagers. Those older would only know of the BLP government “providing” for them, and those older will always remain BLP supporters and Yard Ducks (Bushie, Miller, Balance (yes you) Artra, etc)

    The only difficulty is that you can never be honest enough to acknowledge your own warts. But, I wonder, do Yard Ducks really have warts? Yes they do, but they are so busy reminding people of the promises made by the DLP; as if it is a crime to make promises; even though ALL promises cannot be kept, and fulfilled, immediately, that they suffer from moments of amnesia (conveniently.) However all people do not suffer from the same affliction and are appreciative of this government despite propaganda to the contrary. Have any of you Yard Ducks ever considered the unfair advantage you have, in having a forum; ready made, called Brass Tacks where every Tuesday or is it Wednesday, when Mr. Wickham comes on that he, and the first five callers: Mr. P, Winnie, Wesley, and a couple of others depending on who get in first, spend the first half hour or longer lambasting the government, and in Mr. Wickham’s case, the Prime Minister? And this has continued for the past seven years (since the DLP won the election in 2008).

    We shall see.

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  11. Bush Tea August 15, 2015 at 11:26 AM #

    @ Alvin
    Boss …
    Every time Bushie decides to lower your BU rating you come with some shiite that put pressure on your already junk rating…
    You have already forced a re-evaluation of Bushie’s nadir ranking level and, but for the AC jackasses, you would be pushing hardest on the bottom rank….

    Clearly those doctors disrupted oxygen to critical parts of your brain last year during your medical challenges …. causing this unfortunate damage…

    Such idiocy CANNOT be natural.

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  12. balance August 15, 2015 at 1:47 PM #

    “We shall see.”

    Sorry Alvin there is nothing to see other than that you post does not merit a response.

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  13. balance August 15, 2015 at 2:02 PM #

    “How can you, Bushie, and the other Yard Ducks, continue to support the BLP; a party that persistently and consistently burdens the country with so much debt, that any incoming administration has to get the economy stabilized before it can get anything productive done?”

    Sorry Alvin but I had to change my mind when I came across this information and couldn’t resist the temptation to ram it down your throat

    The Slide of the Barbados Economy: Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Numbers

    BU family member Inkwell has submitted the following graphs/information originally presented by economist Ryan Straughn in the local media in an article titled – Who Will Put the Genie Back in the Bottle?

    Public Finances of the Grantley Adams administration from 1955 to 1962. Note that in every year, current revenue exceeded current expenditure.

    Public Finances of the Errol Barrow Administration. Note that there was a deficit on current account in only two of the fourteen years and for relatively small amounts.
    current expenditure in each year except 1977/78 and then for a nominal amount

    Public Finances of the Adams/St John administration. Note that current revenue exceeded current expenditure in each year except 1977/78 and then for a nominal amount

    Public Finances of the Barrow/Sandiford administration. Note that current expenditure exceeded current revenue in two years only and for relatively small amounts

    Public Finances of the Arthur adminintratioin. Note that current revenue exceeded current expenditure in each of its fourteen years.

    Then along comes the Thompson/Stuart administration and this is what happens
    Then along comes the Thompson/Stuart administration and this is what happens

    2008/2009. The government spends $256 million more than it receives in revenue.
    2009/2010. The government spends $557 million more than it receives in revenue.
    2010/2011. The government spends $647 million more than it receives in revenue.
    2011/2012. The government spends $284 million more than it receives in revenue.
    2012/2013. The government spends $260 million more than it receives in revenue.

    That is a total deficit of $2.004 billion, excluding the appropriation of $100 million of NIS funds. The facts speak for themselves. What would you say about any housewife who kept overspending her income by massive amounts. What would such spending do to the family’s bank account, provided it had a banker stupid enough to let her continue to do it.
    Can this be considered prudent management of the country’s finances?
    Can we continue to blame the world recession for Barbados’ financial woes? Or put the blame on the profligate spending of the Government.

    Also note. Maximum revenue of the Arthur administration was $2.3billion in 2007/2008
    Revenue of the DLP administration as per graph was as follows:
    2008/2009 – $2.6 billion approx
    2009/2010 – $2.3 billion approx
    2010/2011 – $2.3 billion approx
    2011/2012 – $2.5 billion
    2012/2013 – $1.8 billion approx

    Ask yourself. Where was the money spent and was it spent wisely? Clearly it was not spent on capital works, as the graphs show.

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  14. ac August 15, 2015 at 3:03 PM #

    Alvin Cummins why are you allowing them few BLP misfits to confuse and agitate your soul
    Every cat and dog knows that Barbados problems were triggered and formulated by high debt and lavish and burdensome spending brought over from previous years of the BLP govt.
    Now the easy trick that the BLP misfits want to pull over the people eyes is wanting all and sundry to forget. That the tried before the last election and it backfired.
    The BLP bag of tricks are over done and useless .what the misfits need to create is a bag full of solutions if they want to be taken seriously

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  15. Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 3:14 PM #

    @Bushie,
    Tough! I will keep reminding you; in the words of the Anglican Prayer book: “We {you} have done those things which we (you) ought not to have done, and we (you) have have left undone those things which we (you) ought to have done…”

    It is not my fault that you cannot understand. You are a Yard Duck; maybe the chief duck, for I have no idea who you are, but where does my idiocy come in?

    Are you disputing the election results that gave the DLP 2 seats? Wasn’t that factual? Could Thompson and Kellman have influenced BLP policy? What about the next election? How many seats did the DLP win? Could they have influenced BLP policy? When Arthur borrowed (excessively) and said he was “borrowing for a rainy day,” what effect could the DLP have had in reducing the amount borrowed? What was the extent of the indebtedness, What were the terms and the period of the repayments and how long would they have been for?
    When you took Mascoll under your wing and he proposed the building of those Hardwood Houses was that an illusion? Did you people accept an illusion and vote money for it? Was it an illusion when the decision was made to extend the ABC highway and you people contracted with SSS; a company whose head was a convicted fraudster; convicted by the U.S.State Department? When that decision was made to include flyovers, was that an illusion? And further when you contracted with the same fraudster to build a new prison; when your present leader was Attorney General, and who should have resigned, or been forced to resign after the prison riot,Are you telling me that was an illusion? Obviously the people of Barbados were not under any illusions when they voted you out of office, and then refused to re-elect you in the election five years after.

    The doctors that treated me did an excellent job because my memory seems to be even better than yours, who did not have my challenges.
    When your party borrowed, who did you expect to pay back the money?

    THE PEOPLE OF BARBADOS!!!

    If you lost the election who did you expect would be responsible for paying it back, on the backs of the people of Barbados? However it was obtained.

    THE DLP!!!

    That is what I mean by your crass dishonesty.

    Is it an illusion that the Brass tacks program when Peter Wickham is moderator has the first half an hour of callers all attacking the Government? I will have to listen again and count them, and see if I am mistaken that the moderator himself is always critical of the Prime Minister.

    But your attitude is to be expected from yard ducks!!! Have you ever watched ducks crossing the road? They follow one behind the other. What was the campaign slogan..”Going Wid Owen”? Was that an illusion when the public went for that? Was it an illusion that the BLP were in power for 15 years? Where does the idiocy come in here.

    Did I touch a nerve? Why are you people so touchous? As Colin Spencer wrote:” It not only me that vote for the DLP.” You expect to be able to say anything you like to ac, and other DLP supporters, but when you get repaid in your own coin you shout to high heavens. Well you will NOT get a free pass from me. I will keep reminding you and anyone who comes to BU of your own indiscretions until you come to a christian understanding of your dishonesty, and hypocrisy.

    All your vituperative mouthing runs off my back “like water off a yard duck’s back”.

    Like

  16. Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 4:15 PM #

    @ac,”
    John 14.1. “Let not your heart be troubled. ” I am not easily confused; especially by yard ducks.
    Note they only gave figures from 2008 onward. There is nothing of the 15years previously, especially with regard to the borrowings They have made no mention of the downgrades etc. We’ll get into that later.

    Didn’t OSA admonish the present administration that they have to “reduce the public debt?” Where did this come from? According to the yard ducks, the credit rating of the country was so bad that no one was willing to lend the country any money, so much could not have been borrowed. Was the debt on the books before the DLP was elected? Who borrowed it. Obviously it could not have been the BLP could it? Balance said that the expenditure was covered by revenue, so there must have been no deficits when they were in power. As Bushie would have us believe the money owed and about which OSA talks about must be an illusion.

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  17. David August 15, 2015 at 4:51 PM #

    Some of you are pathetic. You are able to view issues through a political lens ONLY.What a waste of tax dollars educating some of you.

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  18. ac August 15, 2015 at 6:59 PM #

    Mr. Alvin Cummins i have spent six and a half years reading to the same ole tired recycled rubbish from the BLP. These jokers want to rub salt in everybody eyes, they have tried that ole sick joke over and over again forking out these horse shit numbers to prove how skilled they are in arithmetic but forgetting to publish the number that really count the numbers that show how much wastage occur under their watch, Those are the figures that have the backs of the barbadians taxpayers sucking salt ,the numbers that no one can see because they are hidden into a box labeled rubbish.

    Oh David Hush do ,we now u to be a speckled fowl

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  19. David August 15, 2015 at 7:07 PM #

    @Alvin

    Do you know the DLP has accumulated more debt in 7 years than the BLP did in 13 years

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  20. ac August 15, 2015 at 7:15 PM #

    Not surprising trying to pay off that BLP gorillaphant debt handed over as a “gift” to the DLP

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  21. Bush Tea August 15, 2015 at 7:58 PM #

    @ Alvin
    It is IDIOCY to keep talking shiite about ‘BLP’ and ‘DLP’ when the damn country is falling into ruins….
    Look back on BU and see if you could find anyone who cussed the BLP more than Bushie.
    The DLP’s performance – coming after such a background, deserves EVEN GREATER CONDEMNATION.
    Continue to support YOUR half of the self-destructive idiocy. BB!

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  22. Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 8:19 PM #

    @David,
    Isn’t EVERYTHING in BU political? When have I read anything that is not?

    Like

  23. David August 15, 2015 at 8:29 PM #

    @Alvin

    You did not address the issue, the DLP has racked up more debt in a shorter period than the BLP. The bottomline, both are guilty of mortgaging our children’s future.

    Like

  24. Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 10:42 PM #

    @David,

    Of course they racked up more debt in a shorter period. They had a higher debt burden to look after. The repayments were even at a higher interest rate, and the wages bil was higher. What else did you expect?

    Like

  25. St George's Dragon August 15, 2015 at 11:48 PM #

    “Of course they racked up more debt in a shorter period. They had a higher debt burden to look after.”
    If that was the case, the debt should have risen only by the interest related to the debt. It didn’t. It rose exponentially as a result of the DLP adding their supporters to the public sector payroll, then not cutting public expenditure when it was clear that tax income had reduced.

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  26. Artaxerxes August 16, 2015 at 12:09 AM #

    Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 10:42 PM #

    “Of course they racked up more debt in a shorter period. They had a higher debt burden to look after. The repayments were even at a higher interest rate, and the wages bill was higher. What else did you expect?”

    Cummins, YOU ARE A LIAR.

    This DLP administration increased the debt at an exponential rate by financing a number of projects from which their supporters could benefit, as well as increasing the numbers in the civil service by employing additional people at the Transport Board, National Conservation Commission, National Housing Corporation, National Assistance Board, CBC and the other statutory corporations.

    READ THE AUDITOR GENERAL REPORTS.

    Only idiots would borrow to pay off debt without consolidating that debt so as to facilitate a reduced payment per period.

    Cummins, you are just a yard-donkey who is trying to defend the indefensible. What a political pimp.

    Like

  27. Artaxerxes August 16, 2015 at 12:17 AM #

    Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 3:14 PM #

    “Is it an illusion that the Brass tacks program when Peter Wickham is moderator has the first half an hour of callers all attacking the Government?”

    Cummins, you are struggling to defend this piss poor DLP administration.

    “Is it an illusion that the ‘TALK YA TALK’ program when MAUREEN HOLDER and JOHN LOVELL are moderators have the FULL 2 hours of callers all attacking the Opposition?”

    Like

  28. balance August 16, 2015 at 5:31 AM #

    ” In other words for that 10 years the BLP did as they liked, (Remember Hardwood Houses? Remember the widening of the ABC highway and the awarding of the construction to a company without a contract? Without environmental studies? Without proper tendering and due diligence? etc. etc.).”

    Yes I remember the sleazy campaign rhetoric quite well which was sold to the public in grand style akin to a Hollywood performance which assisted greatly in the DLP returning to governance under David Thompson. The public waited after the election for the resulting consequences arising from the allegations and we are still waiting for those who lied, cheated and stole during the BLP’s term of office to be brought to justice..

    But I also remember CLICO and the involvement of Mr Thompson and Mr Parris in the destruction of a company which have robbed thousands of poor and wealthy Barbadians of their investments which they would have put aside for a rainy day.

    I keep wondering after your posts about the quality of the material in the books you purport to write.

    Like

  29. Crusoe August 16, 2015 at 6:04 AM #

    Over two years ago on this blog I said that, to protect the economy and working Barbadians there should be legislation placed to protect homeowners who have mortgages, to regulate the renegotiation of mortgages on owners occupied properties (including regulated rescheduling of mortgages) and in extreme cases regulate the sale of properties where the homeowner can no longer pay ANY mortgage.

    That, while this blog is clearly read by those in authority, was completely ignored.

    Now, in today’s media, two cases highlight the angst that homeowners with mortgages are going through, in losing their homes.

    What I feared is coming to pass.

    It is clear also, why this was ignored and it is disgusting.

    No thought for the hard working citizen that breaks their back to pay over burdening taxes, that also contribute to draining resources such that it makes it difficult to pay mortgages etc.

    Every advantage to the banks etc, and no effort to assist the average citizen.

    Government of the people my ….

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  30. balance August 16, 2015 at 7:15 AM #

    “Now, in today’s media, two cases highlight the angst that homeowners with mortgages are going through, in losing their homes.”

    Unfortunately, for the homeowners, the houses are now offered for sale at the true value and not inflated market value. A sad tale indeed but the product of an economy with no legs to stand on. As inflation drove the cost of living up and salaries/wages were inflated to counterbalance the inflated cost of living; costs particularly with respect to property an were artificially driven up in its wake. We were consuming conspicuously and living lavishly with no thought of tomorrow. The question is how can the situation which can only grow worse in a small economy like Barbados be turned around?

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  31. David August 16, 2015 at 9:28 AM #

    @Crusoe

    How does your comment matchup against Bejerham et al who suggested a few months ago there were seeing a lift in interest shown in the high end market? Are the properties on the market the result of the initiative to encourage Barbadians to add to the room/property stock for 2006 World Cup?

    Like

  32. Artaxerxes August 16, 2015 at 10:24 PM #

    Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 10:53 AM #

    “………in having a forum; ready made, called Brass Tacks where every Tuesday or is it Wednesday, when Mr. Wickham comes on that he, and the first five callers: Mr. P, Winnie, Wesley, and a couple of others depending on who get in first, spend the first half hour or longer lambasting the government, and in Mr. Wickham’s case, the Prime Minister? And this has continued for the past seven years (since the DLP won the election in 2008)…”

    Firstly, Cummins, I AM NOT A MEMBER or SUPPORTER of the BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY or the DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY.

    Alvin Cummins, I think your unwavering allegiance to the DLP has affected your memory or perhaps you chose CONVENIENTLY FORGET when the occasion suits you.

    In the years prior to the 2008 general elections Peter Wickham, as a moderator of “Brass Tacks,” used to promote David Thompson and the DLP, while lambasting the BLP left right and center, spewing his venom specifically on then Prime Minister, Owen Arthur. Wickham openly stated (and as recent as last week) that he has no use for Arthur. So, who the hell is Fruendel Stuart that he can’t be criticized?

    During those years VOB was the DLP’s FAVOURITE RADIO STATION, because ALL moderators were DLP apologists or supporters. From Sunday to Friday the first 10 or 15 callers to “Brass Tacks” included the same Wesley, Winnie and Mr. P, the Trinidadian Woman (in her usual hyperactive style), Taxi Man, Arthur, Tourism Man, Dennis Kellman, Denis Lowe’s former personal assistant, the late Vincent Layne, the former port worker, and the list goes on. Each day the “batting order” was consistent, all you had to do was hear the first caller and you could guess who was next. Their task was to lambast the BLP and saying “how hard” things were at the time. Wesley often mentioned things were “so hard” under the BLP, he saw people who owned SUVs picking up bottles.

    The DLP supporters were ably facilitated on “Brass Tacks” by the following moderators (some of whom were subsequently rewarded, after the elections, for their sterling service representing the DLP):

    1) Peter Wickham – CBC’s political analyst and moderator of “Talk ya Talk” and the People’s Business;
    2) Maxine McClean – appointed Senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs;
    3) Tony Marshall – Chairman of NIS board, now ambassador to the UN;
    4) Harcourt Husbands – DLP candidate for St. James; Senator and Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education;
    5) Maureen Holder – CBC’s new political analyst and “Talk ya Talk” moderator;
    6) Akintoolove Corbin
    7) Marsha Hinds-Layne
    8) Dr. Don Marshall – appointed chairman of SSA and BIDC;
    9) Matthew Farley – expressed an interest to contest the St. John by-election after Thompson’s death;

    So, Cummins, what is your point? Stop coming to BU with a lotta political shiite; your attempts at defending the DLP are very, very WEAK.

    Like

  33. Artaxerxes August 16, 2015 at 10:27 PM #

    Alvin Cummins August 15, 2015 at 3:14 PM #

    “Are you disputing the election results that gave the DLP 2 seats? Wasn’t that factual? Could Thompson and Kellman have influenced BLP policy? What about the next election? How many seats did the DLP win? Could they have influenced BLP policy?”

    By the above comments, you are once again displaying your ignorance.

    The DLP won the 2008 general elections with 20 seats, while the BLP gained 10 seats. Could the 10 members of the opposition at that time INFLUENCE DLP policy?

    “What about the next (2013) elections?” The BLP won 14 seats. Can they presently INFLUENCE DLP policy?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    “Is it an illusion that the Brass tacks program when Peter Wickham is moderator has the first half an hour of callers all attacking the Government? I will have to listen again and count them, and see if I am mistaken that the moderator himself is always critical of the Prime Minister.”

    Prior to the 2008 general elections Peter Wickham was ALWAYS CRITICAL of prime minister Owen Arthur and the first 10 or 15 callers to Brass Tacks were critical of the then BLP administration.

    What you and the DLP should think about is the fact that many of the pro DLP callers who used to be critical of the BLP are NOW critical of this DLP administration. Ask yourself what the DLP has done to influence them to change.

    Cummins, you does write nuff shiite, yuh.

    Like

  34. Bush Tea August 17, 2015 at 6:41 AM #

    @ Artax
    LOL
    Boss you does take these AC’s too serious…
    Is Alvin not a distant cousin of Ossie Moore…?

    Like

  35. Artaxerxes August 17, 2015 at 7:18 AM #

    @ Bushie

    Hahahahaha, no, Bushie, I don’t take them too seriously.

    The people write a lotta shiite and leave themselves wide open for others to see their folly. It seems I have an addiction to highlight that folly… have to enroll myself in the “highlight folly addiction” program.

    Like

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  1. The Human Unemployment Rate in Barbados – The Need to Develop an Entrepreneurial Class | Barbados Underground - July 6, 2016

    […] On August 16, 2015, I submitted an article captioned “The Human Unemployment rate in Barbados – A cause for serious concern.” […]

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