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THE HOYOS FILE: Mango season


Pat Hoyos

THE HOYOS FILE: Mango season

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Out here on the street the only things you will find in more abundance than Dems lurching to the right, are mangoes.
“Mango ripe, mango green, I want a penny to buy mango ripe, mango green,” runs the folk lyric, but of course you need more than a penny these days. More like a dollar each for Julies, Pawis and other names I will never know, all offered up by sidewalk vendors, middle-of-the-road vendors, front porch vendors, supermarkets, and farmers’ markets.
Mango season is the time when wives encourage husbands to commit praedial larceny in broad daylight with everybody passing by.
The phenomenon of Dems lurching to the right is characterised by Democratic Labour Party (DLP) politicians saying things now that would make a Tea Partier beam with pride as they espouse their now unyielding support for selling off state assets and cutting the rolls of government employees.
Hot on the heels of Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss kneeling at the altar of privatisation comes Senator Jepter Ince, regretting but not apologising for the cutting of the rolls, as they were the harbinger of the economic recovery we all crave.
In a report on his speech in the Senate last week, Ince, according to the NATION (Thursday, 22 May, 2014) said that “there were already clear signs that economic recovery was around the corner”. But the Government had to move forward with its plans for “redirecting and diversifying” the economy.
My translation: Very sad that we have to send home so many of you, dear people, but it must be done. We’re not proud of it. But take heart, the best is yet to come. Our great economic future is just ahead of us, although some of you may, unfortunately, not be part of it.
And what was the context of those remarks? According to the NATION, they came as Ince “led debate in the Upper Chamber yesterday morning on a resolution that sought to allow borrowing under the Treasury Bills And Tax Certificates Act to be increased from $1.25 billion to $4 billion.”
More and more debt, like so many more millstones around our necks.
All this lurching to the right by the DLP, which is a lot for them, may still not be enough, because they waited so long. Even though 2013 was the year of the change of course, when the Dems finally found their big spoons were actually scraping the bottom of the pot, the ‘Dolittle-Too-Late’ administration ended the  fiscal year 2013-2014 with a higher current account deficit than the previous year. It went to almost 12 per cent from nine per cent.
This was all happening at the same time as the great national consultation, the publishing of the new Medium-Term Growth and Adjustment Strategy and the August Budget by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, and almost none of the policies enunciated in all these places was implemented.
Only when we got to the bottom of the barrel did they act. And it will take a lot more than layoffs to rescue our moribund economy.
But who cares? It’s mango season. And you know what that means? Four bank holidays in April were the harbinger of events to come. Top Gear was a hit. Crop Over is coming, followed by some T20 cricket. Bring on the debt and tell us happy days will soon be here again. We won’t mind.
In fact, the success of the Top Gear Festival was so compelling for a Government mired in failure on almost every one of its fiscal and economic policies that Sinckler jumped up first to apply some of the self-congratulation.
Self-praise may be no praise, but it is a soothing balm that, when layered on liberally, protects you for a little while from feeling the effects of the economic meltdown you are helping to sustain, long beyond the rest of the region.
Last week, a new report said again what the International Monetary Fund said just recently: All of the Caribbean economies are recovering, with the exception of Barbados. That assessment coming from the Caribbean Regional Quarterly Bulletin, published by the Inter-American Development Bank.
And economic recovery is just around a Bushy Park corner? Really?

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