Daily Archives: November 9, 2013

It’s even funny when you’re sober!

Must have played it a dozen times last night, and it’s still good for a laugh in the morning.

Oh… my head!

And on a workday too.

Shame. Shame is me.

I miss Marcus.

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Filed under Music

Walter Blackman: Numbers don’t lie – People do!

“His silver hairs will purchase us a good opinion, and buy men’s voices to commend our deeds.”

William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar

by Walter Blackman

by Walter Blackman

I make reference to a Nation News article dated November 4, 2013, entitled “Numbers don’t lie” and written by Sanka Price.

In that article, Mr. Erskine Griffith is highlighted as a top‐level civil servant who served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance under six Ministers of Finance and five Prime Ministers, dating back from his appointment to the post under Tom Adams to Owen Arthur, under whom he retired as the Director of Finance and Head of the Civil Service in 2000.

Mr. Griffith used the following economic indicators to demonstrate that Barbados is in deep trouble:

Economic indicator

Trend compared to 2007‐2008

GDP

Falling

Retail Prices

Rising

Disposable Income

Falling

Value of the Barbados $

Falling

Unemployment

Rising

After looking at the above trends, an impartial economics or finance professional would concede that Barbados is experiencing a recession. The following questions would then naturally follow: What can be done to raise the level of our GDP, disposable income, and employment? How can we suppress rising retail prices so that businesses and households could have more purchasing power?

One would have hoped that a person with Mr. Griffith’s experience and background, realizing his country is in the throes of a deep recession, would have been able to leverage his knowledge of the intimate workings of the WTO, his long‐term control over the country’s financial services apparatus, and his presumed access to the policymakers of Barbados to recommend at least a few strategies aimed at generating sustainable employment and future economic growth.

Instead, by comparing the above current economic indicators to those in 2007 and 2008, Mr. Griffith deliberately chose to walk Barbadians down the proverbial garden path with the aim of getting them to swallow two falsities:

  1. The first myth is that the Owen Arthur administration, in conjunction with the BLP, had placed Barbados on the road to sustainable economic growth by 2007‐2008. (We were presumably all living in a paradise back then. Of course, Mr. Griffith, having functioned effectively as an operative for over 25 years, was then enjoying the highest level of his political rewards in the form of a member of the Senate and Minister of Agriculture).
  2. The second untruth is that the present Freundel Stuart administration, in conjunction with the DLP, is totally responsible for the country plunging precipitously from its heavenly, idyllic state in 2007‐2008 to “deep trouble” in 2013.

Truth be told, in order to trace the origin and depth of some of our national troubles, it might be worth our while to return to the start of the 1980’s, so that we can get a feel for what was happening then: Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Economy, Politics