By Mark Laporte
Author’s note: Although this lengthy series of articles was written many months ago, recent developments on the international and regional scenes seem to make this essay a little more relevant.
My thanks to John Canaii who, during his stint in St Croix, was so very helpful in keeping safe my years long collection of research papers. Thanks, John, you have my heartfelt gratitude.
Before launching into the meat of the matter, it is important to explain that this article is written along the lines of my journalistic twist principle, which I built around some of the concepts of African fractal mathematics. Accordingly, the subject broadens, following varied pathways, and will be tied together in subsequent parts.
Additionally, we need to keep in the back of our heads that privatization, no matter in what guise it comes, but especially if it is framed as a public-private partnership, has been summarized by those deeply involved in the process that the outcome is profit for the investor at the expense of the public via its government. For example, the government might be responsible for security, etc. as well as other costs of running the enterprise. So that ultimately the investing company attempts, in great part, to make its profit at public expense. That having been said, let us proceed.
It was Kakle who in a 2009 rendition gave us the basic idea for our economy. In Bois he sang about seeds. Seed also refers to ideas, but for seeds to germinate they require the right environment for healthy continued growth. If Keynes economic theories were any good would they produce so many economic crises?
And certainly the economic ideas of Adam Smith, who is reputed to be the father of modern economics, has to be examined in the light of the economic crises or curses and their varied consequences we have had to endure. Those theories may work for the nations that espouse them but it does not work for us. If it did why then are we in this increasing economic maldicion?
In fact, it can be said as far as we are concerned that those economic theories under which we suffer are specifically designed to do to our nations and people exactly what has occurred many times and is occurring now. Reference VAT effect and the policies of the IMF in this regard.
The Chinese Yuan, the TT Dollar and the EC
1. The issue of Vigie airport must be seen in the context of the wider economy as well as the global economy. The EC dollar is tied to the US dollar, which is declining and it may never regain its position because of the irreversible decline of the US. We will get the first blows because we are less able to resist. Ought we not have plans to ride this when it comes? Decline of the US dollar means the basis for our dollar is eroded.
2. We should expand the idea that we presently use with regard to the US and EC dollars.
3. We St Lucians should begin as a matter of priority placing the Chinese yuan (pronounced: one) into personal savings accounts, so that in the eventual demise of the EC dollar concomitant to US dollar devaluations, we could continue trading in Chinese currency. We should not wait for our leaders in this regard. Start saving yuan. Consider it a sort of shock absorber.
4. We could seriously consider linking the EC dollar to the Chinese yuan. However, we in St Lucia should not wait for the OECS region in this. We do not want to have various political agendas slow us down. We could find a way to work some arrangement with China so that we in St Lucia could use the yuan as an internal currency should some catastrophe befall the EC dollar
5. Then we engage the OECS and CARICOM to investigate the opportunity of linking the EC dollar to the yuan alongside the US dollar.
6. The Trinidadian economy has a significantly firm base because of its oil and natural gas. That translates to a firm base for the TT dollar. Let’s investigate the viability of using the TT dollar as well, along with the above.
We ought to begin this process without delay. Accordingly, we need to prioritize the building of good relations with China, India, Brazil, South Africa, etc.
Ever mindful of our religious underpinnings, we can consider Solomon’s advice in this matter. Quote: Two are better [TT] than one [yuan], because they have a good return [on investment] for their labour. If they stumble the first will lift up his friend -- but woe [crisis, curse] to anyone who is alone [only one peg to the EC$] when he falls and there is no one to help him get up. Again, if two lie close together, they will keep warm, but how can only one stay warm? If someone attacks one [yuan]… the two of them together will resist. Furthermore, the cord braided three times [yuan, EC, TT $s] is not soon broken. End of quote. Eccl. chapter 4, verses 9-12
Let us study the opportunity of using the one yuan with the TT dollar internally in St Lucia as backup currencies that makes the cord that is braided three times. That’s one way to tie (marway) the economic crisis. Let’s thank Solo for that advice.
A little writer’s licence was used in the verse as seen in parentheses to establish the play on words. Hope it establishes the point.
Whether it enters our psyches via ethereal osmotic processes, etc, it remains that the way we view the world, the manner by which we deal with our surroundings are rooted in our individual and collective assimilations. Thus it is significant to consider our culture and its religions as we discuss Vigie airport and the economy of St Lucia. This preamble begins the examination of this thesis along with the main point of this essay. What we consider moral and immoral influences our decision making, including our decisions regarding the Vigie Airport.
So if you are familiar with cricket, the essay takes a googly approach, which will be apparent throughout this discourse. Cricket is called the game of glorious uncertainties and this is what we are apparently dealing with regarding Vigie Airport in the context of the black economy. Therefore the essay will consider the responses to this approach, and the essay will put forward suggestions for further consideration and discussion.
The economic crisis requires us to examine our outlook. Additionally it is very evident that our attitudes are shaped in large measure by the philosophies of Christianity, which crept into the original Bible and which also contained significant tenets from African and eastern sources. The translations by 1611 kings et al and other translations would have us believe that a brutal god who slaughtered his own suicidal son in a type of love would somehow cleanse all error including the error of economic crises!
If Jesus did not spare his own life for us how come he isn’t delivering us from this mess? The central thought of that type of thinking is brutality evidenced by the crucifixion. This has a lot to do with how we approach problems. We need to wash ourselves of the western mindset faggotism, piracy, including corrupt behavior, as well as other mentalities and develop an identification wholly our own. Online dictionary: Faggot = (a) a male homosexual (b) Americanism (c) a contemptuous term for a woman. [Showing hatred, scorn, disrespect] toward women and considering women worthless. Emphasis mine.
Those attitudes may be good for others but should it be for us? It is suggested that we see a basic philosophy in keeping with us individually, our culture and environment.
Looking around me therefore, I have an evolving view of a creator which goes something like this:
If I see a woman I like walking down Micoud Street, Castries
Then I know that God is creator.
If she goes up to Kimlan’s with me for roti and mauby
then I’m convinced that god is good.
If she accepts my invitation to go home with me
that tells me god is mighty
But if she laughs at me
I know god has a sense of humour.
If, however, we end up in bed together
then I’m sure god is almighty.
And if on the way home we stop by the drugstore
To pick up my spare tire… that little blue or yellow pill
And the pharmacist finds de last one on de shelf
Behind de empty bottle
I know god is merciful.
And if it turns out… dat I didn’t need dat spare tire blue pill
Den I believe dat god is the resurrection and da life
In the words of the Mighty Shadow in Horner Man: U didn’t hear?
Next: Part 2: George F.L Charles Airport
Mark Laporte is a St Lucian writer and agriculturist, and a former teacher. He researches and develops topics of interest whether or not he publishes them.