Some Ass Freedom Movement Sends Article To BFP
OK folks – we’re having a little fun this morning with the “People’s Democratic Congress” and the “Society For Mass Freedom And Democrocy”
Yup… that’s what it says on their website, “democrocy”.
And the “Some Ass Freedom Movement” ?
That comes from the domain name that the group chose for their website…
So we are having a little fun this morning with some friends who posted a rather lengthy comment about minimum wage – because we’d like to point out that content can be trumped by poor packaging any day.
Not that we haven’t been guilty of that dozens of times ourselves right here at Barbados Free Press, but it never hurts to pause and take stock once in a while. Or to have a friendly chuckle at someone else’s cost.
As a big fan of Marshall McLuhan (of “The medium is the message” fame) I don’t believe that “no publicity is bad publicity”, but I also know that a few mistakes can serve to focus attention on an organisation or message that would otherwise be passed over.
(Any communications students should check out the phrase “The Medium Is The Massage” for some additional insights into media accidents. Too bad McLuhan died before experiencing the internet. He would have loved it.)
No doubt the folks at PDC will now take a second look at their website and their choice of domain name. In the meantime, we will reprint their comments on minimum wage here.
We will also remind the PDC that it is considered bad manners in blogging to post a major article as a comment. Next time, please submit your article via email.
We Are Not Fans Of People’s Democratic Congress
While we may or may not agree with the PDC’s article on minimum wage, and we sure aren’t fans of Communists of any stripe, we think that all political and social debate is healthy for Barbados as our country has lacked open debate on so many subjects for too long.
We haven’t changed a word of the article, but we have broken up some of the larger paragraphs and made bold titles for easier reading. The PDC writer(s) need to remember that in this medium – less is way better.
If a piece is too difficult to read – folks won’t. Simple as that.
Nonetheless – Take it away, PDC…
PDC’s Opposition To A Minimum Wage Policy For Barbados
Dear People of Barbados,
We in the People’s Democratic Congress (PDC) wish for you to take very seriously the issue of a minimum wage for Barbados. This issue, which is right now engaging Barbadian national attention, has had a history of generating from time to time a fair amount of emotional and political controversy in the country. It has again captured much public attention ever since with the costs of living in Barbados presently spiraling upwards, there is the general feeling in the country that there must be, and quite rightly so, income responses to such cost of living increases; since Professor Dr. Andrew Downes, Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies, Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, recently released the findings of his research paper on the subject at the Campus itself; and since some sections of the Barbadian media have lately been interacting with greater zeal and interest than before with the Barbadian public on the subject, and thus have been providing greater coverage to it than at any time in the past.
So serious is this issue of a minimum wage for Barbados that you, the people of Barbados, must overwhelmingly see it as a way of expressing national outrage and disgust at the perpetual granting on a weekly basis in Barbados of meager incomes to thousands upon thousands of nationals and non-nationals who continue to be very seriously politically exploited and politically economically dispossessed by certain sub/systems in the country. However, we in the PDC do not and will not use this issue and the national discussion surrounding it to support any demeaning, neo-colonialist minimum wage policy.
Changing The Minimum Wage Does Nothing
Instead, PDC for the public record will use this issue and the surrounding discussion to indicate our strong opposition towards a minimum wage policy for Barbados, as that to implement such will do NOTHING SUBSTANTIALLY to advance the well-being of the masses of people of Barbados.
As a matter of fact, governments over the years might have felt that to implement it would have brought so profoundly cyclical, cosmetizing and sub-serving purposes and effects on the functioning of our Barbadian society, and therefore overshadowing of any little real benefits of it, that, given the type of economic system practiced in Barbados, it would have been counter-productive for them to introduce it into Barbados, quite unlike how and why they would have introduced the important holidays with Pay Legislation, Severance Payments Legislation and more important pieces of social legislation.
Misleading The Masses
Too, it is entirely foolhardy for any persons to mislead the masses into thinking that, as workers, once they would have achieved minimum wage status they would have gained a lot, even though it is clearly the case that such persons are presenting their arguments for minimum wages in the context of holding fast to the brute tradition that employees must as much as possible service their own operational costs within certain industrial parameters. It would surely be vastly better for those persons to instead encourage workers in Barbados to seek higher and greater political emancipation from drudgery and servility, with palpably greater income, rewards, and rights and lower operational costs bound to be derived from any bids of theirs to become part owners in these business enterprises in which they would now be operating, and thus being entitled to profits/dividends therefrom!!
The workers and people of Barbados must therefore see it that now is the time to really thrust forward industrial and productive relations in Barbados!!
Another reason why this national minimum wage concept will NOT lead to the empowerment and aggrandizement of the masses of people of Barbados is because of the belief that whatever the financial costs of an implemented national minimum wage policy for Barbados, that these costs will have to be passed on by businesses to an already very cost-burdened mass consuming public. The deficiencies, i.e. deception, backwardness, etc., in the concept must logically emerge because the concept of minimum wages is itself grounded in the dehumanizing and degradating work system of Barbados, and knowing and experiencing what work is must mean that these deficiencies themselves are being governed by the offensive ontological and architectural aspects of the work system. Hence, the bid to further minimize, not even to maximize, the wages of workers is but a result of a wicked process within the work system to continue de-ideologizing, pauperizing, minimizing and degrading workers in Barbados.
PDC Will Fight Any Minimum Wage Policy
While it is the fundamental principle of PDC to support greater incomes for the masses, and to seriously condemn political exploitation of the masses of workers in Barbados wheresoever/ whenever it takes place, we make our intention clear to you, the people of Barbados, that we will politically fight any bid to introduce into this country any policy measure, any legislation to implement a minimum wage structure in Barbados!! We will!!
For, we know that such a bid or measure would become – if we idly allow it to become this way – another in a series of divisive, dehumanizing work-related methods by esp. Barbadian elitist, political, technocratic and academic people to protect this archaic, destructive Barbadian work system which indeed has directly evolved from the plantation slave system. As such, we wish to let you know that we are using this issue and the national discusiion surrounding it to declare that it is the intention of any elected PDC Government to substantially abolish this work system in Barbados.
Therefore, legislation shall be swiftly but carefully be passed by such a government to begin and end the process of the abolishing of the main destructive props of this very pernicious work system and installing at the same time a national regime of business partnerships for Barbados whereby present-day owners, managers, supervisors and workers will all become partners in the partnership enterprises. Also, no longer will wages and salaries structures be in place in such a national partnership regime either, as that such partners shall be remunerated in PROFITS and DIVIDENDS (See our pe-election Manifesto).
Such a totally grave and unfair situation of workers in Barbados yearly continuing to conduct the most activity but getting least in income and other pertinent benefits, and owners/managers continuing to conduct the least activity but getting the most in income and other pertinent benefits on very specious legal grounds, is worth as much condemnation as the Professor must get for his serving up such backwardness and preposterousness about a minimum wage policy for Barbados.
In the media coverage referred to earlier the Professor is reported to be saying that BDS $ 60 a day is adequate. Paradoxically, the same coverage does NOT report the Professor as clearly stating WHY, WHY this sum is adequate!! Rather, such such coverage portrays him as arguing sheepishly and contradictorily WHY a minimum wage must NOT be set so high.
Therefore, in conclusion, we in the PDC warn you, the people of Barbados, that this belittling colonial era standard will NEVER suffice for greater masses’ empowerment and enfranchisement in Barbados. What is needed in this modernizing era are greater nationalist, rational, people-centered regimes to fight the worst of neo-colonialist/imperialist effects like minimum wage policies on Barbados and its people.
Also see The Nation News Minimum Wage Debate Heating Up