A Tale Of Two Barbados Farmers – One Wise, One Foolish

ONCE UPON A TIME in the 1960’s, two Barbados farmers worked the land that their ancestors had left them. All was well and they prospered – growing sugar and selling their crops for high prices. American farmers and industry had not yet discovered sugar beets or fructose, and the Cuban competition was effectively eliminated from the North American markets.

Times were good.

But then things changed – sugar prices crashed, labour became costly and both farmers were hard-pressed to feed their families and keep those golfing memberships paid up. What to do? What to do?

The Wise Farmer’s Solution

“I know!” cried the wise farmer. “I will personally cut back on expenses any way I can, and everyone is expected to do the same. My family will have to make do with less for now – so that the future can be secured. We will sacrifice everything to highly educate our children. If sugar will not support the family any longer, we will work hard and equip our children to find other modern ways. But this will take sacrifice by this generation so that the children will do well when it is their turn to have families…”

“We may even lease some of our land to others, but we will never NEVER sell the land to maintain our current lifestyle, because if we do that, we will surely reach a time when all the land will be gone, and we will not have achieved anything except to keep the golfing memberships for a few more years…”

The Foolish Farmer

The Foolish Farmer said to himself, “My family will never understand that things have changed and we now have to make do with less, so I will tell them that it is necessary to sell just a little land now, to pay the taxes on the rest of the land. We have so much land, and if I sell just a little at a time, we will be able to maintain those golfing memberships..

He deluded himself and his family, saying “This is just for a time that we will have to sell some small pieces of our land. Something will come up, and in the interim, we will continue to enjoy a wonderful lifestyle with new cars and many servants.”

This went on for three terms, and although the Foolish Farmer talked about making changes and preparing his children for the future, he never really did anything about it. But he did keep selling off little pieces of his children’s inheritance to buy them many presents now.

The Foolish Farmer’s children all loved him and rejoiced that they could continue to live well.

And so, with full bellys, new flyovers and a hospital and schools that were falling apart, the children re-elected their father for an unprecedented fourth term…

Wise Or Foolish…?

Excerpts from The Nation News (link here)…

Paying By Land


PRIME MINISTER OWEN ARTHUR last night defended the sale of Barbadian land to foreign investors, saying the country had to be able to pay its bills.

Alternatives such as casino gambling, legalised prostitution, currency devaluation and private beaches would not be considered by the Government, he said…

He added that the country had “so little to work with and so much to gain” and therefore there was a need for innovative ideas.

…Agriculture and manufacturing would work, said Arthur, but not the same as years gone by. Current times were challenging, he added, and he could give no assurance that sugar, a $40 million industry, would be able to pay the country’s bills in the future.

“What will be the new economy that will give you the assurance that wages in the public sector will be paid when they fall due?

“The sugar industry is $40 million a year, the public sector wage bill is $700 million a year and I can’t tell them at the end of the month [to] hold strain and hold an IOU . . . How will we have our bills paid . . .?”

…Stressing he would not be going the route of devaluing the Barbados dollar, licensing casino gambling, legalising prostitution or having private beaches, Arthur said the land could not be treated as “static”.

He warned that the country was “spending more that we are earning” and he was not inclined to “borrow our way out of it”.

Arthur noted that the way to deal with the national debt was to “increase our capacity to earn”.

“All across Barbados we have given the impetus in building a new capacity to earn foreign exchange for this country . . . ,” he said.

The Prime Minister, who has responsibility for town planning, said that “when people come here they must respect our laws”, adding that social surveys must be conducted to show how a project would impact on the environment or the neighbourhood where it would be built.

…”I am thirsty for the campaign trail, I really am,” Arthur said.

from The Nation News…

Hey folks… the new proxy server is fouling up our ability to post links. I’ll get to it later today. Sorry!



Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

15 responses to “A Tale Of Two Barbados Farmers – One Wise, One Foolish

  1. Disposable Arts

    1st comment !
    Honestly, I don’t get it. Anywho, I’ve been thinking, why does BFP need a proxy server anyway? I highly doubt anyone can get your IP address from Word Press.

  2. Anonymous

    this is old news – honestly update the site or tek it ta rangate down. and actually YES u can get this IP from wordpress.. a site that slanders a government is more than in breach of wordpress rules. in fact, average joes can report BFP to wordpress themselves, and get it closed down. hmmmmm…. let me try that.

  3. I suspect, anonymous, that your idea of slander and WordPress’s idea of slander might not be the same. I’m suprised your still posting here though… after all I thought this site was supposed to be gone by now, the week has long past.

  4. ross

    Anonymouse, get a life.

  5. John


    I know you can hardly wait to see who wins the Piggies at the Trough award.

    I won’t tell a soul.

    You just keep coming back and enjoy the suspense.

  6. Anonymous

    i hate the current barbados government just as much or more than the other guy but barbados free press serves no purpose. it shoots its credibility to hell with this cloak and dagger nonsense and the fact that they would publish anything from anybody without knowing whether it’s true… (see DLP doesnt comment on integrity post). also….what is BFP really *doing* to effect change??? sitting in a corner and sayin “look at this” is a different (and much less honourable) thing than saying LETS DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS! no… i suspect they’d keep blogging because it’s all about how many ‘thousands upon thousands’ of readers they get, and in their minds, that’s worth it.. you go guys! you’re the “#1 blog”. you’re cool!

  7. John


    Before you do anything about something you need to know what the something is and whether anything can be done about it.

    Define the problem which exists before you try to fix it, ….. elementary.

    Until BFP, I never knew George Payne and Dale Marshall were partners and involved in the Barrack affair at a level you would not imagine they should be.

    With BFP I can quiz, and have quizzed the makers of the allegations. I am a big boy now so I can decide if I believe the allegation or not.

    If I believe it, I have freedom of choice to decide if I will do something about it or not. If I don’t believe it, I ignore it.

    Hate is such a vile emotion. It saps your strength to act and makes you do foolish things when you do act.

    Keep reading BFP and find out if there is a problem first, then decide for yourself if you want to do something or not. Remember, politicians are sensitive to what people say. So doing and saying may be equivalent.

    But don’t do or say anything based on hate.

    Investigate first.

    Read BFP.

  8. ross

    Anonymouse, do not be downhearted. How about if you contribute a topic for us bloggers to talk about which you think will serve a purpose?

    As far as I can see this site fills a little of the void that has been created by the Nation, Advocate etc. for whatever reason.

    I do not think Shona, Robert, Marcus, Clive and Auntie Moses are investigative journalists. I wish they were! I have about a dozen leads which need following up.

  9. rightvwrong

    no exposure—no free press
    no free press=continued control by the few over the many and continued quasi reign of terror

    besides BFP seems as if they will let you print your own retorts and version of events–no abuse of libel laws if its true

    getting at the truth is the whole issue if all you have is silence or spin and failure to account

  10. Hants

    BFP gives people an opportunity to discuss issue in a way that is not otherwise possible. Since some of us are “overseas Bajans” this blog helps us to hear the views of other Bajan.

    It is all good.

    This blog will be around until Marcus and the others decide otherwise.

    BFP is no threat to anyone. If there is no wrong doing there is nothing to fear.

  11. Rumplestilskin

    The blog can regulate itself for posts which may be considered libellous.

    Forced regulation just increases activism and determination against those limiting free speech.

    And no, free speech does not automatically mean a libel is committed, although it may make it possible. But, that is why the hosts can regulate it themselves.


    John , so well said guy . People like Anoymous really boggle the mind but i guess free speech should be guaranteed even to him . That is one of the great things of a blog , everyone has free speech rights as long as they don’t abuse it . I have long wanted a forum such as this to express and to read other views . The newspapers because of their set -up and the fact that they are kind of slaves to their advertisers make it difficult for them to publish certain things . I always thought that was one of the reasons the Consumer article on Friday written by Rahim Bacchus went off . It probably stepped on too many advertiser ‘corns ‘ and hence had to go . Thats the reality we have to live with .

    Blogs , long may they live and expose the hidden and give air to closed and adled minds .

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