WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

A Glimpse Into The Empty Nest

Plan to failA Word on Planning- The spurts of economic growth, development, and prosperity experienced in Antigua & Barbuda during its first generation (30 years) as an independent nation have largely been fashioned by momentous changes in the global marketplace, some of which, quite recently, have harmfully impacted the local economy.

As a result, when you listen to government leaders, the prime minister and minister of finance in particular, you get the distinct impression that the nation’s current regressive economic situation is more the result of events that occurred outside of Antigua & Barbuda, somewhere in the global arena, than a consequence of the imprudent programs and policies adopted by a government obdurately engrossed in an opposition mindset, reinforced by 28 years of antagonism.

Now, after almost seven years in power, the UPP government remains deeply afflicted by a collective form of “adult separation anxiety disorder” associated with sudden separation from opposition and transition to governance. I recommend vigorous psychotherapy for these government leaders who disingenuously ignore the well-known reality that along with the foreseeable economic challenges of globalism and the worldwide economic crisis emerged a host of development opportunities for small, developing economies like Antigua & Barbuda. The bare truth is that these new opportunities continue to evade us because, as a nation, we have never been prepared for progress.


The majority of growth and development Antigua & Barbuda experienced in the past, for which the opposition (ALP) loves to take credit, was more the result of inflows of investment capital generated from past booms and bubbles in international money markets and having inherited an island paradise that will always beckon international investors, than the result of effective, strategic development planning. Regrettably, our beloved nation has never had the benefit of carefully researched, competently prepared and precisely implemented, long-term, medium-term, short-term, or even day-to-day planning.

Under the ALP government, there were scores of dedicated public servants laboring in a building labeled Ministry of Planning & Development, while prime party supporters received six figure consultation fees for compiling (cut and paste) laughable documents, labeled “Development Plan,” which decorated the desk drawers of ALP ministers and were never read. In contrast, the UPP government apparently does not see the need for a ministry dedicated to planning. However, the panoply of problems which currently confront the nation constitute a multiple module message to the UPP government that “if you fail to plan you plan to fail”.


The ministries are overcrowded with highly-educated advisors, consultants, and technocrats who have developed numerous strategy documents, conducted countless workshops, and held various training sessions to justify their burden on the wage bill. So why does the ship of state remain adrift from sun, sea, and sand to assured barren land? What is the missing variable in the economic resuscitation equation? Indeed, the government has been diligently seeking solutions from the four corners of the planet, in addition to the assistance received from “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” (IMF). Yet relief for the suffering, jobless, impoverished masses is nowhere in sight.

But do not despair boys and girls, because Minister Lovell assures us that the “rebound of the advanced economies is [] critical to the [] recovery of small island states like Antigua and Barbuda … and there is a 12 to 18 month lag between developments in advanced economies, and the realized effects of these developments in developing economies.” People, the minister of finance is saying that the revival of the economy is really out of his hands; therefore, we must meekly wait, and murmur not, until sensible politicians in developed countries implement programs and policies to revive their economies, then tourist from these countries will return to Antigua & Barbuda in droves like before. When will our government take responsibility for governance? While in opposition the UPP was clear that the role of the opposition is to oppose. Well, please be informed that the role of government is to lead, not to wait on competent leaders in other countries to solve our problems.  

Budget 2011

My mother taught me that if I have nothing good to say, I should say nothing. So I am respectfully reluctant to comment on the 2011 budget statement, but after perusing the document and listening to as much of the debate as I could stomach, I feel compelled to say that it seems more like a colourfully outlined political statement intended to placate a placid populace than an elucidation of a disciplined approach to sustainable growth.  


To punctuate my point, I will dissect the small section of the budget statement titled "Money and Credit in Antigua and Barbuda”. The budget statement reported that credit to the private sector and loans to businesses and private individuals increased. Meanwhile, the consistent three billion dollar money supply in Antigua & Barbuda saw a 5.1 percent reduction in narrow money and a decrease in both private sector deposits and savings. In plain language, this means that local banks heeded the government’s repeated supplications for assistance and partnership. The banks upheld their end by extending more and more loans to businesses, desperately trying to help the government jump-start the economy. Despite much government talk of commitment to stimulating the economy, the proper role of government in economic crisis was obviously not understood. Thus, in spite of numerous sincere efforts on the part of local banks to help business and individual entrepreneurs survive hard times, the lack of adequate government crisis policies and programs forced even well-managed, longstanding business like Home Restaurant, The Beach and Susie’s Hot Sauce to recede into bankruptcy.

Indeed, businesses and banks lost millions and millions of dollars in their witless partnership with the government, attempting to stimulate the economy. And now, the pitiless Minister Lovell has the unmitigated gall to stand in the hallowed halls of our parliament and state that “high levels of public debt severely limit the space for fiscal stimulus, and low private investment has hindered growth.” Harold, without making reference to your competence as a leader or lack of training in economics, I recommend that you read the seminal macroeconomic teachings of John Maynard Keynes, which detail the kinds of fiscal and monetary measures governments are required to peruse to improve the effects of recession.   

I honestly believe that the government wants to alleviate the wanton pain and suffering that has engulfed the nation. It is just that the local boys and girls that were elected to help the people continuously fall victim to the behavioral traps that undermine the organizational change needed to rebuild our fledgling economy. One such trap is the failure to detail and prioritize realistic goals. The political statement masked as the 2011 budget is replete with examples of acronyms and names of plans, projects, and proposals that are expected to create major directional change, but fail to articulate the strategies required to accomplish their objectives. In my humble view, setting goals without prioritizing and spelling out the specific details as to how the goals will be accomplished, and failing to address the source of funds that must be dedicated to ensure success of the proposals enumerated, is an exercise in futility, gift-wrapped in cricket metaphors, on another fantastic political journey to nowhere.

Moreover, the psychologist in me cannot ignore the Freudian implications of according the name “NEST” to the culmination of the ideas garnered by the UPP government to rebuild the economy. In psychoanalytic terms, the government subconsciously implicates a “Bird” in the NEST rebuilding process, since birds are best known for their ability to construct NESTs. Unless Prime Minister Spencer is ready to admit that he is a Bird, his administration may be subconsciously calling on Lester Bird for help.


Recognizing the Role of the Nation’s Young Scholars
Government leaders consistently brag about the hundreds of scholarships that have been awarded to Antiguan students during the UPP tenure, while they conveniently avoid the disconcerting reality that the government has no discernible plan for the productive utilization of this growing bank of talent in the development of the nation. These students are useful to the government only as political conveniences, for which they are willing to pay the travel expenses of bringing them home to vote for the party that gave them scholarships.

How can our government ignore that the vast majority of these students will not be able to find jobs for which they are trained, or any suitable job for that matter, in Antigua & Barbuda, and will be forced to seek a livelihood abroad, where their talents can be appreciated and nurtured? For all of the grandstanding about scholarships, at the end of the day our government is simply training students to migrate to developed countries, thereby effectively contributing to the brain drain that they claim to abhor. Our government needs to recognize the importance of constructing a proper plan that views these scholars as a shining ray of hope for overcoming our economic challenges, and the potential architects of an impending prosperity and a brighter future for all.

Conclusion

The beginning of a new year is a time when many people feel hopeful and optimistic that the new year and future years will be better than the past. It is also a time when our resolutions are initially tested. This makes us feel less tolerant to accept more of what engendered in us feelings of dislike, disdain, and disgust in the past. As a nation, we must realize that our future, individually and collectively, is really in our hands, once we acknowledge that we create our futures through the decisions we make in our lives.

Politically speaking, we are literally at a crossroad, which behooves us to determine whether we are prepared to accept more of the hapless past or willing to make that critical decision to stand together, not against the ALP, UPP, or any other political group, but in unity, for a better Antigua & Barbuda.

Who feels it knows it … we live here; we feel the economic pressures to make ends meet; we bear witness to the suffering of our brothers and sisters; we see the hopeless looks on the faces of our new graduates and the dimness in the eyes of the younger ones. What more do we need to see before we decide to get up off our hands? The way I see it, change for the better comes down to a decision and the courage to sustain it.



The Scarlet Pimpernel is the nom de plume of an Antiguan born “knowledge broker” whose intercontinental exploits involve work as a university founder and educator, military strategist, international legal consultant, United States prosecutor, published author, trade advisor in Latin America and international investment counselor.

The inimitable acuity of the “Pimpernel” is sought after by entrepreneurs, investors and governments from Dubai to Brazil. Recent work, created for Latin America, which speaks to the conjunction of technology and education to reduce cost, motivate students and improve testing results will be translated and introduced to school systems across the Caribbean later this year. “Employing anonymity to domesticate the ego ...”

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48 Comments In This Article   

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Leadership is not given to anyone part 4

#48 Atilla » 2011-01-19 14:23

Those times that our parents and grandparents and especially Papa Bird use to tell us about. If you don’t know your history, you will not know your destiny. The new generations of parents are failing to teach their children their history. And the youth are growing without having a destiny. You can actually see it in the society right now. What my biggest fair is these days is the indifference towards anything. The youth is not moved at all. Very soon when they come to their senses it will be too late. They would have been displaced from their roots. And Antigua will not belong to them. They will only be allowed to live and work in it. Foreigners in their own land. Very sad forecast but the writing is on the wall. No one of the youth stands for anything at all.
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Atilla

Leadership is not given to anyone part 3

#47 Atilla » 2011-01-19 14:22

. Nothing against them, but our long term plan seems not to be able to provide this pool of human resources for the industry. But then again if we have government officials who are also not qualified to properly market and manage our number one foreign exchange earner. We cannot expect our politician to become expert in fields of which they know nothing of, and after all it is we that have set the standard for the offices that low. Can you imagine the Americans choosing Sarah Palin as president? Quite possible isn’t it. But the consequences will also be. And I certainly don’t believe that qualification is the only key, but it will go a long way. These people are taking up the highest job in the land. They make laws and they put policies in place for us all. Another of your statement I would like to take issue with is that you said we have not been prepared for progress. I believe it is that we had become too complaisant and progress was something natural. We were never prepared for hard times.
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Atilla

Leadership is not given to anyone part 2

#46 Atilla » 2011-01-19 14:21

. I believe that is why he lost the 2004 election. And real leaders are unfortunately born. You can be taught however to be a good leader, but that only teach you the skill set. I said it before no two economists agree on the same prescription for the same patient. Therefore I would not disagree with your opinions, but just take them as another opinion. And one to seriously consider. Allen Stanford has many times address the issue of the brain drain in the entire Caribbean as we know our Caribbean brothers and sisters just like you are making tremendous contributions to countries abroad while their own islands are desperately hungering for their talents. Why we don’t see the same brain drain in countries like India and other large developing nations. They go out and invite investors to their shores and sell their human resources. Antigua has been so many years in the tourism industry that we should have a wealth of qualified persons in every level in this industry and yet almost all of our hotels are managed by foreign expats.
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Atilla

Leadership is not given to anyone part 1

#45 Atilla » 2011-01-19 14:20

Scarlet, Happy New Year and may you be blessed in all aspects of live.
Yet another thought provoking article. And as you can see from the comments some completely miss your points. Anyway keep on teaching and providing us with your talent. It is very much appreciated. I have to say I do not agree with your assumption that he Government does not plan long term. I believe they do, but they don’t stick with their plan. They are easily moved. Anyway the wind blows. Part of it is that our politicians are in it for the wrong reasons and are not really leaders. They are followers. They are listening to the pulse of the voters. Therefore no long-term plan will stand. If Obama listened to the voters on a daily basis he would have never stayed the course with the Healthcare bill. Strong leaders follow their heard not their emotions. And they are not afraid for failure. I have not seen any leader yet in Antigua other than the Right Honorable Dr. Vere Cornwall Bird. Even Lester has allowed himself to be moved from his vision, his goal.
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Atilla

@ I CAN READ

#44 Skyewill » 2011-01-17 11:56

Every time you say party i.e. ALP we have already done that old thing and we see this new thing aren’t exactly the thing, so we move again. in order to form a more perfect union A&B. You must have low self esteem. Don't worry I’ll give you a discount when I graduate and you can tell me all about how you were beaten as a child. I understand the mentality. You figure you would go back to a bad time because it’s not as bad as this time. Wow amazing. It’s called the Stockholm syndrome. It’s where the victim blames him/she self for the abuse and make excuses for the abuser. I suggest therapy and medication. Ask your doctor for seroquel. Let me know how it goes buddy.
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Skyewill

@ Tenman

#43 Morris » 2011-01-17 10:37

That's because Americans love to eat, so to keep them coming back they serve them large portions. LOL!!!

I do agree with you about the trash thing. My grandmother used to say, "cleanliness is next to godliness," so I guess from that statement that Antiguans are ungodly. Perhaps they need to do like Singapore, Germany, Switzerland etc with their strict "No littering" laws.

I do believe that Antigua could do well with an independent "Think Tank" comprised of most of our intellectuals to study policies and offer recommendations to the government. That, to me, would do much more good than the current partisan system of leadership that is taking us down the wrong path. I certainly would not mind being a part of such a group.

"Perfection is a dream, but excellence is achievable."
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Morris

Skyewill

#42 tenman » 2011-01-17 10:19

Skyewill we have a good country here but we need to manage it better. I do realize that some of the problems are not caused by government eg the litter. I don't know what we need to do to get many locals to start treating this place as if its their own and stop thinking that they are only here to visit on their way soon to the US or Canada. I recall when I was in the US I could not wait to get home. Skyewill & Morris I was unable to find a place in Texas (perhaps I did not look hard enough) that made food as good as the food made in Antigua. The motto for most places there when it came to food seemed the key to good food was size.
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tenman

SELF-INDUCED EMB**MENT

#41 I CAN READ » 2011-01-17 09:53

CLEARLY IN THE FACE OF SO MUCH INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE OUR POLITICAL LEADERS MAKE SUCH FOOLISH DECISIONS THAT THEY EMB** THEMSELVES AND SHAME OUR LOVELY COUNTRY. THE MYTH THAT OTHER COMMENTATORS HAVE TO SAY OR DO SOMETHING TO CAUSE LOVELL'S DR. CORT'S, QUINN'S AND SPENCER'S EMB**MENT IS OUTRAGEOUS. SHOW IN WHAT WAYS ARE THESE MISFIT LEADERS, JUDGING FROM THEIR FAILED POLICIES AND FOOLISH PUBLIC UNTERANCES, PROVE THAT THEY ARE WORTHY OF LEADING THIS COUNTRY THROUH OUR MANY PROBLEMS? WHERE IS CORT SOLUTIONS TO CRIME, ANSWER THE ALP. WHERE IS SPENCER'S SOLUTIONS TO POVERTY, ANSWER THE ALP. WHERE IS LOVELL'S SOLUTIONS TO OUR BAD ECONOMY, ANSWER OUTSIDE INFLUENCES AND THE ALP. HAVE I PROVEN MY CASE.WHO IS EMB**ING WHOM?
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I CAN READ

#40 Skyewill » 2011-01-17 09:32

Tenman When I am home I get nothing bu love. from the time I hit VC Bird, me know me safe. sometime I would be just in the village and some body send me a plate of food and I have so much love for them that I just want to give back and share them with to wonderful people I have met all over the world. I want them to come see the most romantic place in the world. I did the research. It's a fact. intead of our slogan the beach is just the begining it should be" tek she a dadli, she mus drap dem". I had a friend who is the VP for Fani mea, who had free tickets to sandals, she asked a HS buddy cause she could trust him, they been friends for a long time, and she didn't want to wast the Free ticket. I warned her not to look into **erson Bay at sunset, she didn't listen. They were married then june. True story
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Skyewill

@ tenman

#39 Skyewill » 2011-01-17 09:16

This is entertainment right? you din't know Eric was a lady? Come on look at her writing style the way she goes left, then more left, a little to the right, then left again. That eric thing is to fool you guys. I'll bet you she is a beautiful, Strong, Black Woman. I did leave my email address, I'm still single.
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Skyewill

@Skyewill

#38 tenman » 2011-01-17 08:54

Skyewill you are something else, we may disagree at times but you always manage to cause me to LOL

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tenman

@ Eric

#37 Skyewill » 2011-01-17 08:15

Disclaimer: I like the PM, I think he is a great guy, and by the way he is inocent on most of the accusations made against him, he did not demote anyone, and last week you wrote something I thought was OK. Now, either you are a freaking genious and everybody here is wrong or you so UPP, you pee pee blue. LOL. Eric I know you are an intelligent woman. I, trying but if we can never realize we can be wrong and strive for excellence and know that change is a must, and change our mind. You remind me of one of my wives. not matter what once she made up her mind that was it and if it was crossing the street in heavy traffic. She would just get hit, Break every bone in her body and still insist she was right to do it. "DON'T JUS TELL THE WORLD, SHOW THE WORLD"
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Skyewill

Yet another Bombshell

#36 ACLM » 2011-01-17 07:27

I warned the nation about this writer, as I told you before, I have a sixth sense when it comes to heavy intellectuals with no hidden agenda and real contributions to make to national development. Just the fact that the author does not even want the credit for these brilliant articles is a clear indication of the kind of personality we are dealing with. A pleasant change from the elevated egos attached to this level of writing.

Keep hammering them.
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ACLM

Good Discussion

#35 Educated National » 2011-01-17 04:55

Just to say Morris I had to vote you up. I went to UWI (University of the West Indies) with several people who excelled in the science area - First class honours and awards. Both of them are currently in the states with no intentions of coming back. Government couldn't give them a sweetie for their excellence.

The fastest way to develop any country is to develop the technology and science sector.(E.g. agriculture, manufacture, etc) This leads to improvements in many other related sectors. Rather than waiting on outside investors to put money into hotels and and other ventures where most of the money leaves the country anyway.
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Educated National

So true

#34 Educated National » 2011-01-17 04:34

I like the fact that you balance out your thoughts rationally. As an overseas student, I myself am wondering what job opportunities await me when I come back home.

As you point out the main problem I find with Antiguan and Barbudan economic policies(and policies in general) is the lack of PLANNING and FORESIGHT. It seems that we are so focused on "quick fix" for the economy rather than looking at the big picture and where the economy and trends will be taking us.

I was informed in one of my lectures that chinese plan up ONE HUNDRED YEARS (100) for their development. It is part of that planning process that has led them to becoming one of the leading economies that they are today. Several other rising asian nations also use this advanced planning in order to chart a course.
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Educated National

PART 2

#33 Eric » 2011-01-17 03:54

The Home Restaurant was closed because the owner was attacked and robbed and at his age, he decided he had had enough. The proprietors of the Beach decided that the owners of the property were using were asking too much for rent – they refused to pay and moved on. In any event they operate at least two other restaurants, one at the Airport and another in St. John’s that are far from bankrupt. On the other hand if the owner of Susie’s Hot Sauce had invested in the business and moved into a modern operation with the proper equipment, and away from the pot and stove in the kitchen syndrome, we might be talking about success instead of failure.
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Eric

Part 1

#32 Eric » 2011-01-17 03:52

This article should have been headed “A glimpse into an empty Head” like some of the other writers whose main object is to project themselves and pull down the Government, is filled with sweet sounding nothings. A sure sigh of an empty head. What appears to be intelligent words that say absolutely –nothing? The writer complains that “the lack of adequate government crisis policies and programs forced even well-managed, longstanding business like Home Restaurant, The Beach and Susie’s Hot Sauce to recede into bankruptcy”. What a quagmire of lies and half truths. (See Part 2)
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Eric

@Platinum

#31 Uni » 2011-01-17 03:37

Very good point. I must say that addressing a problem such as that does not have any one single solution or quick fix option. what is for certain is that sacrifices will have to be made that may not be in the best interest of everyone particularly the workers. in other words workers may have to settle for lower then accustomed salaries which does not seem to bother our caribbean brothers and sisters who seem to be taking most of the lower paid jobs in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors. so this in essence does not seem to be a problem as manufacturing companies will able to attract workers with the much reduced salaries.Furthermore something needs to be done about the cost of raw materials imported to manufacture the final products which is why most manufacturing companies mass produce with the expectation that their products will get sold because it is cheaper to produce in much larger volumes. for this reason those involved in setting up markets for the distribution of our final products need to concentrate on finding markets where the demand for the product is able to meet the quantity supplied at the higher volumes.
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Uni

@ Pimpernel

#30 my way of helping » 2011-01-17 03:14

Lovely article. The United Islands of Antigua and Barbuda is made up of tremendously intelligent people, we are very intelligent but LACK the LOVE to do the appropriate things to better the life of the entire. To me it is more a show to see who is more intelligent or to simply get credit.

When we start to sacrifice our self by using our knowledge/intelligen ce in a selfish manner then we will see changes, for now the competition on who is smarter continues (I wonder who is winning?).

Lovely article and keep writing the truth.
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my way of helping

@Morris

#29 tenman » 2011-01-17 03:10

Morris well said.
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tenman

We accept stupidity and glorify thievery

#28 well said » 2011-01-17 03:03

Leadership isn’t hard but as history has demonstrated even the Leaders with the best intentions on assuming power are soon sway by the evil beast of corruption thinking mainly of self interest. I note that before 2004 and even for a short time thereafter Mr. Spencer and the UPP seem connected with the issues affecting the people and appeared to have the solutions then the CORRUPTION BEAST took a hold of them-- now look where we are!!! I now sense the same scenario with Mr. Bird and the ALP. The real problem is we the people do not hold our Leader to a higher standard and punish them when they deviate from our interest to any other interest. We accept stupidity and glorify thievery while we are the ones saddled with the bill.
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well said

@ Tenman

#27 Morris » 2011-01-17 03:00

I agree that voters share some of the blame, but the truth is they do not have much of a choice. There are many "silent" leaders who have yet to step forward to change the current dynamics, and the ones who do are quickly sucked into the chaos of party vs. party. Antother thing that could be useful to the people of Antigua is if they would start teaching courses like Government and Political Science in school to raise awareness and educate the youths (the current pool of future leaders). Tenman, the average citizen on the street cannot discuss politics, or issues of substance, without getting into arguments and name calling all because this type of education is lacking.
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Morris

Economic Development

#26 Platinum » 2011-01-17 02:59

Hi Everyone, this article made me think, as did Uni's comments about investing in other industries. Given the WTO and globalisation etc, would it really make sense for us to start anything here if we could import it cheaper? Let's say for example the government decided to award school uniform contracts to a local factory. But labour and operational costs make the uniforms twice the price of imports from, say Trinidad, and under trade rules the government is not able to block such imports. Where agriculture is concerned, I have heard a lot about onions and I would be the first to agree that locally produced onions are by far more flavourful. But they're more expensive than imported ones, which I gather come all the way from Belgium. How do we address these issues? How do we compete with bigger countries that have much cheaper labour and overhead costs, so that even after adding shipping costs and other duties and taxes they're cheaper than what we can produce? I would really appreciate your thinking on this.
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@ Uni

#25 Morris » 2011-01-17 02:54

There are many professionals who contribute their ideas through blogs on this site who can help some of our leaders. However, our leaders must first be willing to step from behind their egos and be receptive to what is being offered.
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Morris

@Skyewill

#24 Uni » 2011-01-17 02:49

I see your point and i have to agree. our politicians, even the ones with PhD, honoris causa etc are still stuck in the modern era of developmental theories and have yet to get to the postmodern era that we are in. despite all this the fact remains that antiguas politics is not about how much you can contribute to the development of this twin island state, but what party you are affiliated with. As Tenman stated sweet talk is also essential to our country's politics. so those seem to be what matter most and not your ability to develop this country into the first world country that it should be.
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Uni

@ Uni

#23 Morris » 2011-01-17 02:49

I agree with you and will add that our education system/method is antiquated. We need to change the dynamics of the current system to compete in the new progressive 21st century environment. Math and Sciences (not English) are the main focus these days. The world has entered, and will remain for a long time, in the Tech Era. Therefore, without focusing on what matters we will be left behind. Look at countries who have embraced that new model and see where they were vs. where they are today: Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Germany, France, Sweden and Finnland just to name a few. These countries have taken the tech world by storm and are changing the way we do things.
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Morris

Morris

#22 tenman » 2011-01-17 02:44

Morris and this is why the voters should ensure that any politician or political party who proffers to have a solution must show the details. Its one thing to have someone sweet talk you into voting for them but to allow them to do it over and over again, shows that the voter bares much of the blame.

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tenman

@Morris

#21 Uni » 2011-01-17 02:37

another reason why a lot of our well educated people are migrating to developed countries is because their qualifications are treated as if they are of not value and the only thing that can get anywhere in this country is who you know and not what you know. Quite a good number of educated antiguans and barbudans have had to take their hard earned qualification to more developed countries where they are able to use them instead of staying in antigua and barbuda and end up not putting their specializations to good use.
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Uni

@ UncommonSense

#20 Morris » 2011-01-17 02:23

I agree with you. It appears that our leaders have a phobia against intelligence so they will not employ the services of qualified educated nationals.
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Morris

@ uni

#19 Skyewill » 2011-01-17 02:18

I think it the other way around. is ti not a PHD that BS ed us about the economy in the first place. any Antiguan should be able to serve if it is the will of the people. The problem is the people. politicians look you in the eye and tell you party first and you vote for them anyway. I will support anyone chossen by the beople up to the point they start screwing up then get rid of them and look for new blood. Both sides know who we are and our capabilities and our connections. the problem is no continuing education. a PHD who has not upgraded his education is living in the date he last trained
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Skyewill

@ Skyewill

#18 Morris » 2011-01-17 02:17

I agree with you regarding the tourism product. I like the idea of marketing the destination as the most romantic island in the C'bean, especially since there are more foreigners have weddings in A&B than any of the other islands.
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Morris

@Tenman

#17 Uni » 2011-01-17 02:16

i got accepted to the Antigua State College with p** in both maths and english however there were many of my friends who got in without maths and were not required to retake the math component. it was never enforced and so the same way they went in they exited ASC. this goes to show that altough we say that english and maths are the basic necessities in education, from where you can move forward, the reality does not show it. year after year our students are failing maths and yet still instead of trying to address the problem we turn a blind eye to it and accept it as something positive that should be rewarded.
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Uni

@ Uni

#16 Morris » 2011-01-17 02:15

I agree that a controlled population increase could be an alternative solution, but it must go hand-in-hand with an improved land allocation policy. We must ensure that we set aside adequate arable lands to provide for the increase; we must also ensure that the water catchment facilities are upgraded and made more efficient; we also have to overhaul the entire (non-existent) electric grid, we have to improve the infrastructure. It is not impossible, but someone must be willing to make the tough decision and grab the bull by the horns.
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@ Tenman

#15 Morris » 2011-01-17 02:07

I am not sure how many of them have studied Political Science or International Relations in college, or how many have even completed college, but they seem to be out of touch when it comes to effective governance. It is always easy to find fault with the other party, but when it comes to developing and implementing sound policies to move the country forward, they are completely clueless. The writer only scratched the surface, but we know that our problems are many and much deeper. I have said the exact same thing before regarding the brain drain that the country is experiencing. There are so many Antiguans who have, and are continuing, to make their mark in foreign lands in a wide range of fields from law, to medicine, to academia, and to science all because the government could not provide an outlet for them to contribute to the growth of A&B. Our destruction lies in the fact that our leaders are waiting for some prince to come riding on a white horse to rescue us. The problem is that only works in fairy tales.
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@Skyewill

#14 Uni » 2011-01-17 02:06

my previous entry was in response to your post
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Uni

RE: A Glimpse Into The Empty Nest

#13 Antiguan Abroad » 2011-01-17 02:01

Skyewill, Well said...I agree. The island is too small and the issues too apparent, for it to be that complicated. What is needed is a group of smart professionals, either in government, or working with the government, to **s and work diligently to solve the island's major problems. Proper planning (and execution) is key, as the author noted. Instead of wasting valuable time and resources debating worthless issues like whether the PM can demote an election commission's chairman because of a poorly drafted statute, the brightest bulbs on the island should assemble and attempt to resolve major issues. It should not be that difficult...if they give it their all, and concentrate less on their individual selfish interests.
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Antiguan Abroad

The habit cannot be changed

#12 Uni » 2011-01-17 02:00

I am glad that you mentioned that the population of this country is small and thus it limits the productive capacity of this country. I have mentioned on many occasions that our population needs to grow significantly if we expect to ever be able to sustain our own economy and not depend on other governments. this does not seem to be noticeable to any of those "expert" politicians that we have governing this country. this nearsightedness that they possess will only lead us to more hardships in the future.
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Uni

@Uni

#11 tenman » 2011-01-17 01:56

Uni sweet talk is essential. Its about selling persons ice cream when they are hungry for a real meal. By the way I responded to your post to the article at www.Caribarena.com/antigua/news/latest/gaston-shares-alp-plan-2011011311109.html

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tenman

@UncommonSense

#10 Uni » 2011-01-17 01:46

The thought crossed my mind some time ago as to why is it that our politicians are not required to have a masters degree or PhD. the trend that i see happening is that anyone who has the ability to speak and knows how to sweet talk the people can become a politician and at the end of the day they have no clue as to how to do the job that they are given. the strange thing is that after becoming elected these unqualified politicians suddenly become expert in their different positions and no one has the right to question their decisions.
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@ UNI

#9 Skyewill » 2011-01-17 01:16

The tourism product is dwindling is because there is nothing in Antigua to do. I was showing a co-worker a picture of Falmouth Harbor and he said Pretty Island, but boring. People want to see the island, experience the people, food and culture. Antigua is the most romantic place in the world, sell that. The Management has no new ideas or experience. So they go to the former slave owner, who love us so much They export our economy. We ** the country for handouts. We spend tons of money on treaties like EPA and have large trade delegations with nothing to trade. We got departments like Gender Affairs for what. If a woman is abused call the police. We are not a large country so we don’t need large government who seek to protect itself and competes against its people. I suggest we get out of the housing business and the school lunch business & allow people to earn more, they will feed their own kids, build their own homes and spend more. Provide technical support to help people pay their taxes and keep it simple. We are a tiny island with no tax base because of our small population.
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@Tenman

#8 UncommonSense » 2011-01-17 01:07

Our politicians don't want to fix the problems. They keep out our brightest and best minds out of the fray of national development because they don't know how to manage talent and they are too afraid of getting competition. Part of the problem is that we the people accept leaders who are too insecure, too under educated, and too damn stupid to lead us out of poverty. The goverment will never ask Newton or Pimpernel to advise them. Our leaders not interesting in national development. I can give you a list of 100 very smart and progressive Antiguans and Barbudans who are working to develop other nations, but whose gifts and talents will not be used. They prefer white credentials and foreign certificates.
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@ Morris

#7 tenman » 2011-01-17 00:29

Morris I still recall before the 2004 election when the government slammed the ALP for not having long term plans. Fast forward to parliament a few days ago and I then hear MP Daniel state that they have no place to put the persons who have acquired degrees. The writer has clearly hit the nail on the head in pointing out that our head is clearly not on. We continue to be a nation willing to sacrifice its future for short term goals. The hard question is are we truly ready to fix the problem?

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PIMPY, I could Kiss you

#6 Skyewill » 2011-01-17 00:28

I'm voting for you. That is exacly right and I will soon have a psychology degree and would love counsel them. I know Mr. Lovell is doing his best. If The Scarlet Pimpernel is Antiguan,then he is doing a dis-service by not stepping out and running as an independant. You have never written anything that was nonsence and your writing style is perfect. I see you took the Effective Writing Course, May you should teach some of these PHD's how to write. If you were my student you would get an "A+. "DON'T JUST TELL THE WORLD, TELL THE WORLD"
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@ Only in Antigua

#5 Uni » 2011-01-17 00:16

thats a very good question. I have a friend who completed the medical transcription course in 2009 and it was not until sometime during the second half of 2010 that they were finally provided with a building to carry out their services. this however has not made things any better as i was made to understand that they are there (qualified and ready) to work but do not have much work to do. at the end of the day you have to wonder why did they even encourage antiguans and barbudans to do this course if they knew that they were not going to be able to use the skills?
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Uni

RE: A Glimpse Into The Empty Nest

#4 Morris » 2011-01-16 23:55

This article was well reasoned and presented with enough clarity. Hopefully our leaders read this and get a kick-start on the path to good governance.
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Morris

Are we serious?

#3 only in Antigua » 2011-01-16 23:40

We talk the talk but can not walk the walk. What happened to the medical transcription industry we tried to set up? Where are the call centers. What is happening to the yachting industry? Our "leaders" care not for the people... they only want to be reelected... and get richer!
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only in Antigua

Manufacturing and Technology

#2 Uni » 2011-01-16 22:22

In order to create a strong Manufacturing industry the government needs to provide incentives for local and foreign investors to enter into this industry with the goal of making profits. this means that if the has to subsidize a portion of the cost in order to make this industry into a very strong one compared to what it is today. As it pertains to technology this does not mean buying the latest gadgets or even retailing. There is so much more that can be gained from this industry. Take for instance ABIIT which focuses on education in information technology. this could be capitalized upon by extending the courses offered to include research programs focusing on developing new technologies. this does not only have to be in the information technology field but it can be in any discipline. At the end of the day the ultimate goal is for us to chart our own future and not just take directives from the more developed countries.
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Uni

Nice article

#1 Uni » 2011-01-16 22:07

I must say that i enjoyed reading this article. I am of the opinion that this country needs to start focusing on creating a self sustainable economy, by investing in other industries besides tourism. It is no secret that antiguas tourism product is diminishing in value as time goes by and one day we will not be able to rely on it solely for our bread and **er. For this reason we need to invest in other industries such as manufacturing and technology. by investing in these industries we would be able to create a balanced economy and have a much better chance of standing on our own two feet without the need to be seeking assistance from every country we develop close relations with.
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The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel is the nom de plume of an Antiguan born “knowledge broker” whose intercontinental exploits involve work as a university founder and educator, military strategist, international legal consultant, United States prosecutor, published author, trade advisor in Latin America and international investment counselor.

The inimitable acuity of the “Pimpernel” is sought after by entrepreneurs, investors and governments from Dubai to Brazil. Recent work, created for Latin America, which speaks to the conjunction of technology and education to reduce cost, motivate students and improve testing results will be translated and introduced to school systems across the Caribbean later this year. “Employing anonymity to domesticate the ego ...”

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