humanDevelopmentreport2015

Human Development Report 2015 – A Mixed Bag for Barbados and the Caribbean

human_developmentThe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released its Human Development Report 2015 yesterday. Entitled “Work for Human Development”,[…]

this year’s report focuses on the link between work and human development.  The central thrust of the Report is that work (not limited to a job or employment but in the broadest sense) can enhance

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45 Comments on “Human Development Report 2015 – A Mixed Bag for Barbados and the Caribbean”

  1. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 7:01 AM #

    @David, many thanks for sharing this. I think we get so caught up with overall ranking that most of the analysis I have been seeing so far has focused solely on HDI ranking and not delved down into the individual indicators and in the other indices. It’s undeniable and commendable that we have done so well for ourselves overall and continue to perform better than most SIDS and most of LAC in spite of the adverse economic climate. However, before we pat ourselves on the back, too many of our countries are either stagnant or like Barbados slipping in the rankings. Performance on several indicators also worries me, particularly in regards to maternal mortality. We have to address these issues if we wish to continue on the path towards a higher level of human development for our people. I am looking forward to hearing other BU readers’ thoughts on this and their suggestions on a way forward.

    Like

  2. David December 16, 2015 at 7:13 AM #

    @Alicia

    Unfortunately many BU commenters gravitate to the political and religious topics however we have the decision makers who follow BU, let them have it for their speaking notes.

    Some time ago Senator Boyce essayed the view our high HDI gave Barbados the opportunity to rollout austerity measures at a slower pace than other countries because of the insulation a high index gives us.

    What are your thoughts Alicia.

    Like

  3. Caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 8:07 AM #

    @David, I actually hadn’t heard the learned Senator’s comments to which you referred. I believe that given the high fiscal deficit we have, austerity measures are a necessary evil. However, where such measures are poorly designed or implemented, they can negatively impact on human development, particularly on the more vulnerable groups in society such as women, children and the poor. I suppose that having a higher level of development means less people would be vulnerable to the impact of austerity measures. However, our HDI may be high but this doesn’t take into account income distribution and there is no inequality-adjusted HDI for Barbados. The last Gini coefficient I saw for Barbados was 0.47 which is quite high.

    Like

  4. David December 16, 2015 at 8:31 AM #

    The question to follow then is what is a relevant austerity program for Barbados given what you just stated. Surely there are no precedents to leverage learnings for a SID. Is there a science we should be adhering to? What appears to be stymieing progress a lack of confidence by the people in current policies, an dynamic covered in bahavioural economics .

    Like

  5. Bush Tea December 16, 2015 at 9:16 AM #

    @ David
    The question to follow then is what is a relevant austerity program for Barbados given what you just stated.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    …and the answer is just as OBVIOUS as it has been since Owen Arthur made his famous comment about the need to manage the annual deficit during one of the ‘Public – Private sector consultations at Sherbourne circa 2006.

    Like any SENSIBLE family that finds itself with more expenses than income, we need to sit down and make some SERIOUS decisions TOGETHER.

    Things like:
    ..Setting limits on THE RATIO between minimum wages and top level salaries (if necessary by tax disincentives)
    ..establishing a NATIONAL focus on MERIT and productivity….eg PAY for measurable performance
    ..Generating demand for work opportunities such as – a National Clean-up policy with strict penalties and tax incentives.
    ..A TOTALLY transparent system of governance to root out bribery and corruption
    ..NATIONAL policy on the types of products imported into the island – like luxury vehicles, exotic foods, etc…. INCLUDING for hotels…(Tourists who want such luxuries can stay in New York)
    …etc

    Most critically, there NEEDS to be a national strategy that defines where we want to get to, so that progress along that route can be measured (rather than having all kinds of jackasses measuring ‘progress’ based on arbitrary signposts….

    But of course, such level of simple common-sense thinking is foreign to brass bowls. Vincent will probably explain that ‘this is not how politics is done’ or some other shiite about Machiavellian thinking….🙂

    Like

  6. Well Well & Consequences December 16, 2015 at 9:55 AM #

    I will leave the indepth studies of the myriad problems and issues that need rectifying in the capable hands of the Bushman and others and deal with this most simple and more easily fixed oversight.

    Why are females not equally represented in parliament as males, why is it the dumbest of the lot are always chosen to represent, eg Verla Depieza, an attorney who does not know the meaning to the word treason; Maxine McClean, problems with her intellect too many to mention, let’s just cover them all by saying, soft in the head, Sandiford-Garner, big empty head, the people in St. Andrew are still waiting for an access road, electricity, garbage collection, etc, her constituency and she is useless. Mia Mottley well we know it’s some delusional sense of entitlement and nothing else that drives her fantasy for power over everyone.

    Is it that these females are not effective thinkers why they are chosen and are not strong enough to buck the male dominated parliament. I know there are females out there with a stronger sense of purpose, who are ignored and prevented from serving.

    In addition, as the article stated females are the majority in university qualification and graduation, why don’t their salaries reflect their qualifications. Please don’t tell me it happens everywhere Vincent or which other idiot feels the need to justify, I know what happens elsewhere we are talking Barbados.

    Like

  7. ac December 16, 2015 at 10:20 AM #

    WW&C
    You are such a billy goat!

    Like

  8. Well Well & Consequences December 16, 2015 at 10:27 AM #

    Yeah….I am, but one with original opinions coherent enough to share…lol

    Like

  9. millertheanunnaki December 16, 2015 at 12:59 PM #

    @ Bush Tea December 16, 2015 at 9:16 AM
    “But of course, such level of simple common-sense thinking is foreign to brass bowls. Vincent will probably explain that ‘this is not how politics is done’ or some other shiite about Machiavellian thinking..”

    Bushie, how about making Donville Inniss Minister of Finance (and a champion of Privatization) instead of the sitting brass-bowl Stinkliar? At least the Don would listen to you as you try to explain why Barbados has slipped from position No. 20 on the UN Human Development Index in 1992 to say No. 57 in 2015 despite the billions of dollars invested in education which like cocaine have disappeared up the nostrils of the Bajan brass bowl chattering class aka middle-class.

    Like

  10. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 6:23 PM #

    @David, unfortunately for us there’s no magic bullet for getting austerity measures right. To lower the fiscal deficit you usually either have to cut government expenditure, increase revenue (e.g taxes, issue debt instruments like savings bonds etc..) or a combo of both. At the same time too much austerity dampens consumption and can cause the economy to contract even more. The Government’s adjustments have yielded some results. The fiscal deficit is shrinking. Not as fast as we would like to but it is. And we have seen a very modest bit of growth, although that appeared to start slowing again. My main worry is that our “recovery” if you will, is really on the back of just one main sector, tourism. Is it really recovery then or just pure luck? Another problem is the growing debt/GDP ratio. Most of our debt is domestic but having a high debt burden makes it difficult to raise capital on capital markets, and even harder for us since we have a speculative rating.

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  11. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 6:29 PM #

    @Bushman, you raise some interesting points. Funny enough it’s changes made to simple things which over time have huge cost savings.

    @WW&Cs, the gender inequality issue is one I find startling especially the wide disparity in GNI per capita between males and females given that women are supposedly dominating in education and other areas. Is it that the fields of work which men get into are necessarily higher paying? Or is it that women are being paid less than men for equal work? It would be nice if we heard more “constructive” discussion on gender issues instead the usual men or women bashing we hear so often.

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  12. David December 16, 2015 at 6:45 PM #

    @Alicia

    Your comment seems contradictory because you express concern about the fact we have a one leg economy and we have bee reducing the deficit BUT where are the structural changes.

    >

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  13. millertheanunnaki December 16, 2015 at 7:00 PM #

    “Is it that the fields of work which men get into are necessarily higher paying? Or is it that women are being paid less than men for equal work?”

    That query certainly cannot apply to the Bajan situation where the majority of public sector workers (the largest employer) is comprised of well-educated females; many to University degree level thanks to the democratization of education since 1962.

    Like

  14. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 7:09 PM #

    @David, not contradictory, the one leg economy and the reduction in the deficit are two separate things. In terms of restructuring the economy, I agree that much hasn’t happened on that front. The Government has referred to renewable energy as a growth engine. But as someone had pointed out on an earlier blog, their stated goal and what’s happening in practice are two different things.

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  15. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 7:15 PM #

    @Miller, higher numbers of women in the public sector than men does not make a difference if on balance the women generally occupy lower pay scales than men do. How many of these women are in clerical jobs vs how many are in the higher echelons e.g: permanent secretaries etc? I honestly don’t know what is the gender/pay grade distribution and would welcome any data on this. Moreover, it does not answer the question about remuneration for similar work.

    Like

  16. David December 16, 2015 at 7:27 PM #

    Renewables is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, reduce forex outflow to lead to opportunity cost, achieve green energy status by shifting to clean energy etc. Is this a growth or maintenance strategy.

    @Miller

    Did you listen to Minister Byer in the Senate acclaim all economic indicators are pointing north? O you naysayer you!

    >

    Like

  17. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 7:35 PM #

    @David, actually it can be both a fillip for growth and help to save energy costs. Renewable energy is a growing sector worldwide. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/analysis/2413610/global-green-energy-surge-decoupling-economic-growth-from-emissions And by renewables, I don’t mean just energy generation. I also include trade in energy-friendly goods and services, which is one of the subject areas for the Nairobi Ministerial at the WTO. Barbados has a comparative advantage with solar energy. What we need is to do is capitalise more on this.

    Like

  18. millertheanunnaki December 16, 2015 at 7:41 PM #

    @ caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 7:15 PM

    The majority of persons in the public service at P S level or just under are females, albeit ‘acting’. Your argument has little or no relevance to the area of Education which takes up the largest slice of taxpayers’ funded expenditure and is dominated by females both at the teaching and administrative levels.

    Like

  19. Well Well & Consequences December 16, 2015 at 7:45 PM #

    You are on point Cariblaw, while not bashing, we do have to be blunt, or it will not penetrate the heads of those who should know better and have the power in their hands to make those changes.

    Too many of them hide behind the Civil Service Secrets Act, so getting that information to make comparisons may be a challenge particularly if they want to continue the uneven distribution of salaries. It would not enter their minds to upgrade that Act from the 50s that has now become counterproductive to today’s world as we know it. What the big secret is….totally incomprehensible.

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  20. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 7:50 PM #

    @Miller (1)What data do you have to support your contention that the majority of persons in the public service at PS level or just under are female compared to the number at clerical level? (2) You are the person who brought up the public service in regards to women’s attainment or lack thereof, not me. (3) There has to be a reason why women’s earnings are lower then men. So I go back to my original questions, is it that women are occupying lower jobs or are they are being remunerated at the same level as their main counterparts?

    Like

  21. Well Well & Consequences December 16, 2015 at 7:50 PM #

    Miller is right Cariblaw, most of those senior in positions spend decades ‘acting’ ….which is beyond a joke, so they would not be given the courtesy as having the same salary scale as someone in a permanent position. I am not used to and had forgotten all about that idiocy.

    Like

  22. David December 16, 2015 at 7:50 PM #

    @Alicia

    Curious to know why a recent article, was it yours? placed St. Lucia ahead of Barbados as far as green energy preparation.

    Like

  23. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 7:50 PM #

    *not being remunerated

    Like

  24. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 7:56 PM #

    @WW&C, I am not disputing whether there are more female PSs, I am asking what is the gender distribution across all paygrades. Also I am not saying it is because of the civil service that women’s pay is lower. I only spoke of it because Miller brought it up. To find out why women are earning less despite higher attainment, we need to dig deeper. I am also concerned about the maternal mortality and the teenage pregnancy rates.

    Like

  25. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 8:00 PM #

    @David,I am not quite sure if it is something I posted as it doesn’t sound familiar but if you come across the report please feel free to share as I look forward to reading it.

    Like

  26. millertheanunnaki December 16, 2015 at 8:03 PM #

    @ David December 16, 2015 at 7:27 PM
    “Did you listen to Minister Byer in the Senate acclaim all economic indicators are pointing north? O you naysayer you!”

    Haven’t you been hearing that same crap since the halcyon days of the Four Seasons restart?
    How can an economy carrying a junk bond label with dwindling forex and sputtering on one cylinder namely tourism arrivals be looking North? North way? North to Alaska like Big Sam with George Pratt his partner and brother Billy too? You first have to raise your head before you can look up far less north.

    Just like Jamaica or Guyana Barbados needs to take an economic bush bath and release the stranglehold the government has on the economy. It’s been long in coming. Let Bajans get off their jolly fat spoilt arses and earn a living in the real world of competition. Just like the boys and girls from G T and JCA.

    As the song goes as sung by Dolly P:

    “It’s My Time”
    It’s my time
    Gather round girls
    You I grew up with
    My old friends that I used to scuff with
    Need you round me
    At this time
    You’ve all had your turn to cry
    An old friend stood closely by
    Friends of mine
    Stand by me
    ‘Cause it’s my time
    It’s my time
    It’s my time
    It’s my time to cry
    Mm mm mmm
    It’s my time to cry
    Oh oh oh oh
    It’s my turn to cry yeah
    It’s my time

    Gather round boys
    I used to play house with
    Come here boys
    I first kissed on the mouth with
    Need your tender words so kind
    You’ve all had your misty eyes
    An old friend stood by to dry
    Friends of mine
    Stand by me
    ‘Cause it’s my time

    It’s my time
    It’s my time
    It’s my time to cry
    Whoa whoa
    It’s my time to cry yeah
    It’s my turn to cry mmm

    It’s my time
    It’s my time
    It’s my time to cry mmmm

    Like

  27. Well Well & Consequences December 16, 2015 at 8:03 PM #

    You are right, that information needs to be made public across the board, not enough information is available on any of your or our concerns…..Cariblaw.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. David December 16, 2015 at 8:06 PM #

    That was a very funny retort O Miller!

    Like

  29. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 8:08 PM #

    @WW&C, indeed thanks for engaging me on this issue. This is why I never get excited when I see rankings on the HDI. We have to peel back the layers and see how we are doing on the individual indicators. What my article argues is that there are areas for concern which require more analysis and policy interventions by policy makers if we are to reach a higher level of human development.

    Like

  30. millertheanunnaki December 16, 2015 at 8:12 PM #

    @ caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    The salary scales in the public sector are grade according to position or ranking or levels of responsibility; not gender. It therefore follows that if the majority of top jobs are now held by females you cannot win the argument of unequal pay for equal work.

    Like

  31. David December 16, 2015 at 8:13 PM #

    @Alicia

    Are you a member of a think tank or some entity charged with liaising with relevant parties (policy makers et al)?

    Frankly BU is exhausted having to listen to the same old talking heads. We need some fresh ideas people stepping up to the plate.

    Like

  32. chad99999 December 16, 2015 at 8:17 PM #

    The UN is a feminist organization with a Western imperialist agenda. In spite of the fact that women have more education, longer life expectancy and more leisure time than men, the UN wants women to have power over men in politics.In other words, they are not satisfied unless men are second class citizens doing the dirty jobs while women make decisions, and peck at their laptops in air conditioned offices at the University while men take care of the garbage collection, etc .

    Like

  33. caribbeantradelaw December 16, 2015 at 8:18 PM #

    @David, thanks. I’m actually not a member of any Think Tank although I am minded to form one. I am however cynical of how far I will get in this country as it seems one has to be politically connected if one wants one’s voice to be heard. I for one support neither party so that rules me out.

    Like

  34. Bush Tea December 16, 2015 at 8:29 PM #

    @ David
    Renewables is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, reduce forex outflow to lead to opportunity cost, achieve green energy status by shifting to clean energy etc. Is this a growth or maintenance strategy
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    You have your tongue ‘breking off’ your right cheek when you say that…right David?

    Boss, our current ‘focus on renewables’ is based on the FACT that this remains one of the VERY FEW areas where easy forex loans are accessible by Barbados.
    NOBODY will lend us money for Stinkliar to give to Bizzy and Maloney (which is what they WANT), so their solution is to ask for loans to develop ‘alternative energy’, using a lotta pretty talk…. to put the money received into the consolidated fund…. and THEN pay Bizzy and Maloney for the empty housed, the shiite molasses tanks, the water not produced at the de-sal plant, and for taking public material into his recycling plant to resell to Bajans….

    If government was serious about alternative energy you think they would divest 100% shares in the monopoly that will make or break such a policy over the next 5 years…?
    Not even COMPLETE brass bowls would be so foolish …. (would they..?!!🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  35. millertheanunnaki December 16, 2015 at 8:34 PM #

    @ chad99999 December 16, 2015 at 8:17 PM

    And chad 9×5 there isn’t once god damn crap you can do about it.
    In the other animal kingdom the female is boss. In the human kingdom it is the power of the hairy purse that counts. Just hope that in your next life you are born a recipient of sperm instead of a donor.
    Ask Simple Simon for the naked truth of it all. LOL!!

    The allegorical lesson of Eve and ‘hard-up’ Steve should teach you how easy it is to fall from being a god to a simple prick of stupidity. Now pick sense from the following admission of reality:

    “The man said, “The woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

    Like

  36. Bush Tea December 16, 2015 at 8:36 PM #

    @ Miller
    There can be ‘unequal pay for equal work’ if both men and women get the same pay but where the women don’t do one shiite other than parrot whatever excuses ‘their minister’ tells them to say….

    You saw the Manager of the SSA tonight on TV? …well it did say ‘acting manager’ …so perhaps it was just a bad actor….
    You saw the manager of the Transport Board….?
    shiite!!!

    What the hell are we paying them for….?

    Like

  37. Bush Tea December 16, 2015 at 8:38 PM #

    Chad
    …don’t mind Miller….
    You sound like you could use a whacker yuh….

    Like

  38. David December 17, 2015 at 6:43 AM #

     

    Caribbean exports decline 23% in 2015, according to IDB Report

    by caribbeantradelaw

    Alicia Nicholls According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)’s newly released Trade Trends Estimates Latin America and the Caribbean 2016 report,  merchandise exports from the Latin America and Caribbean region (LAC) will experience an estimated 14 per cent drop in 2015, the largest since the international financial crisis, while in aggregate Caribbean exports will decline by an […]

    Read more of this post

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Well Well & Consequences December 17, 2015 at 7:28 AM #

    Chad may want to add that if Steve would use the brains between his ears instead of the brains between his knees, world bodies would not now find it necessary to have to engage or see females as the last hope to save civilization.

    Why the Bushman…you are paying them for acting.

    Like

  40. Well Well & Consequences December 17, 2015 at 7:41 AM #

    Cariblaw….I am repeating something I said on here some months ago, it’s been a mere 50 years since politics via political autonomy was introduced to the Barbadian landscape, this is 2015, but check out how DBLP ministers and their yardfowls act as though it’s now part of their DNA markers and genetic footprint, they live and breathe the garbage, so much so, that they are no longer able to differentiate between what is right and better for people and country and what is better for self, they now articulate it as being one and the same, due to being consumed by the poison that is politics……..all it took was 50 years, imagine what would happen in 400 years.

    Its best to keep your distance let them figure it out, you would not want any contamination, it’s unhealthy.

    AC……..I give you permission to copy the above.

    Like

  41. David December 17, 2015 at 11:23 AM #

    The rise of the professional political class is a problem across the globe. It is not a Barbados only issue.

    Like

  42. Well Well & Consequences December 17, 2015 at 11:52 AM #

    Agreed, but is it so hard for the small island politicians to show some restraint in their activities and respect for the people they need to keep them in the lifestyles to wich they have become accustomed. I don’t thing that is asking too much. They are making the simple…..complicated

    Like

  43. Well Well & Consequences December 20, 2015 at 7:24 AM #

    http://ow.ly/W8rgN

    This is what a real reporter/journalist looks like. Caribbean reporters shouldctake note.

    Like

  44. Well Well & Consequences December 21, 2015 at 10:40 AM #

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/attorney-created-harvard-affirmative-action-dies-aged-86-article-1.2472513

    So nice, I had to do it twice. Where are the brilliant people in the Caribbean to ceate and aid in human development.

    Like

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