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Tell Owen to beware the CSME!


Richard Hoad

Tell Owen to beware the CSME!

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Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell indecently exposed the economics profession in 2010, expressing dismay at a generation of economists who have lost sight of the limitations of what they can know, ramming theoretical solutions down our throats “even when the evidence to the contrary is right before our eyes and obvious to everybody who is not an economist”.
This eventually leads to “policy recommendations that can be guaranteed to fail”.
In other words, the prognostications of a Mascoll, Arthur or Professor Abracadabra Persaud might or might not materialize.
One of economists’ favourite myths is “economies of scale”. Mind you, it works sometimes. If, for example, you don’t clean your teeth, they become covered with “scale” which protects them from erosion and you from getting girlfriends.
You save a heap from not going to the dentist or buying condoms.
There are also economies of scale in building.
If you drew your house plans to the actual size, you would need a field to spread them out. By drawing them to “scale”, you save paper.
In economic jargon, “economies of scale” is where you amalgamate into a bigger entity to save duplication of costs. This works much better in theory than in practice.
Suppose, for instance, Dr Price and Dr Greene decide to share offices, telephone, wheelchairs and those expired sample medicines. All well and good until they begin to share the same secretary/receptionist.
As my editor Sanka keeps reminding, length does matter. And suppose Dr Price has a modest stethoscope while Dr Greene has one of those gruesome monsters with the flanged end which reaches places unimaginable.
Soon, secretary Ahlika Moore-Wood will be bending over backwards to accommodate Dr Greene with his late-night filing. While she won’t even let Dr Price access her drawers. Trouble in the camp.
Owen’s CARICOM and CSME dreams are based a lot on economies of scale. A wider Caribbean market, pooling resources, sharing labour, working together.
The CARICOM dreamers had the European Union as their lodestar. If those countries which fought each other in bloody wars for centuries can come together, why not us?
Alas, the EU is now unravelling like one of those two-for-three-dollars panties in the backseat at a drive-in show.
For the same reason that CARICOM will never work.
You remove a man’s pride in his country, flood his society with foreigners who have different customs and different standards – he is going to lose interest or rebel.
And the foreign owners who come in are interested only in making money.
For example, I held the Stanhay seed planter agency in Barbados for 40 years. It revolutionized vegetable planting. In most years we broke even or lost money. Why run a company to lose money? Because I am a Bajan and cheaper planters meant cheaper vegetables for Barbadians.
Contrast how the Trini owners have abandoned our best estates to cowitch, left our historic plantation houses in ruins, Sam Lord’s Castle gutted, businesses shut down.
My boy Owen refuses to heed the clear message given him by the Bajan people. So let me give him one from above.
It was a bright moonlighty night. In a dream I was searching for a missing goat. Eftsoons I came upon a clearing where stood a magnificent brown bullock with massive neck. And even as I crouched in the bushes, a huge she-bear lumbered into view, her teeth glistening. With a deep-throaty growl, she approached the bullock. He responded with a high-pitched bellow.
I held my breasts. Are not the bullock and she-bear sworn political enemies? Was I about to witness an epic battle?
Just then a familiar voice whispered into my ear: “Lowdown, tell Owen to beware the CSME!”
“But, Lord, I already told him.”
“Not that CSME – this one, the new party: the Chris Sinckler-Mia Eagerites!” And when I looked again, the bullock and the she-bear were sitting on a rock laughing over a document.
Fortunately, Owen, my dreams don’t come true. If they did, half the husbands in Barbados would be gunning for me.
But suppose this one did?
Chris and his clique, Mia and her claque, clique-claquing to the realms of power. It would be an unstoppable combination.
You and Froon would be history. Ponder on these things.
Happy Birthday to the mother-in-law, hitting 88 on Sunday, April 1! You go, girl!

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