Letter: A Vincy in New York

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Dear Sir:

An individual calling themselves “Vincy in New York” has taken great offence to a comment that I had made recently regarding the likely poor prognosis for the St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) economy by the year 2020 and our government’s close alignment to their friends in Venezuela. This individual, though stated to be living in New York, presumes to have a handle on things back here in St Vincent and the Grenadines as guided by the recent IMF report on our country.

Well here is a thing, Vincy in New York, it is impossible to extract blood out of a stone. In other words, the Vincentian economy must have abilities inherent in it by observational analysis, before or in order for it to grow as you expect it to do. Those of us who live here, would distance ourselves from that questionable analysis, produced by the IMF.

Vincy in New York, you said that “the IMF report stated that the economy will grow in the next two years and provided ample reasons for the proposed growth.” But how often has this same IMF made useless predictions about the SVG economy in the past decades that, in the end, have proved to be totally incorrect? Why therefore should they prove to be so much different now? What’s new here in St Vincent and the Grenadines to warrant a difference?

And why is it the case that the IMF has been so wrong in the past? They have been very wrong as a result of their simply coming into Kingstown for a few days and leaving again without doing any ground work of their own, having been wined and dined by “the family”, while being served up concocted tripe, by a regime adept at subterfuge, as was advised under the old Soviet doctrine of misinformation.

If indeed a previous reply to you “contains more info than (the original) actual article” why is it that you are thus failing so badly to grasp the fundamentals? My dear Vincy in New York, it is just plainly impossible to reconcile crony-capitalism with Karl Marxian doctrines in practice. Just take a look at Venezuela! Political dictatorship imbued with pseudo-Marxism and crony-capitalism always produces bankrupted economies.

Even worse in St Vincent and the Grenadine’s case, there are no local resources to plunder or to sustain our economy. Not even an educated human resource, as the few who manage to get an education here, will always up tent and depart for more prosperous climes for obvious reasons! No doubt as you yourself have done.

Now you have said that I have “failed to provide any ideas as to why the economy will not grow,” yet this fact that the family dictatorship have sought to join St Vincent and the Grenadines at the hip with Venezuela and its dictatorship, have overburden our nation with such swinging and unbearable Taxes, failed to provide a helpful and friendly environment for SMEs to exist, does not in any way move you to consider the inevitable consequence of us of such a policy. Is this because you are very blinded by a desire to return to St Vincent and the Grenadines?

Well here for your benefit, our Vincy in New York, are some other reasons why the St Vincent and the Grenadines economy will not grow by the year 2020, which by the way, is just a year and a bit away.

a) The legal system here precludes the proper enforcement of commercial contracts as it works to the usual cronyism. Hence attracting new investment from non-cronies, be they at home or abroad, will prove most difficult.

b) The banking and financial sectors, being small, are also riddled with cronyism, and are not structured to developing a business-growth environment. They are more geared for consumer credit, than business development. In other words, one can more readily buy a fridge or a car with credit, than get a business loan.

c) Manufacturing here is restricted to just a small local rum production with little or no export market, a local water bottling business, again with no export market, a beer and soft drinks maker and again with no export market and a small wheat flour processing mill. In the circumstance, it is sure hard to see where the growth in the manufacturing sector would be by the year 2020.

d) The equally small local farming sector, that manage to exist, complain of constant theft of their produce and lack of security. Some goods were being wholesaled and bought by those they call traffickers, and who export the farm produce mainly to Trinidad and repatriate their earnings by importing Trinidadian produce here, but recently, they too have expressed alarm at the much increased tariff imposed on their imports by our tax hungry government, as a result the traffickers’ numbers have now declined.

Indeed there is now much talk of the new international airport providing “a new dawn” and a bright rich future in “take-off” of the stalling economy, and of much excessive fortunes to be had in exports and the import of tourist, but wait a minute, why should that be the case?

Hoteliers tell us that there has been no new influx in visitor numbers, after all, there is nothing here to see or enjoy, compared with other cheaper and more exotic destinations. This coupled with a recent imposition on what is now locally called a “new bed-tax,” on visitors.

There is also to be overheard lots of talk and bravado about “new legal cannabis products”, talk of visitors coming to enjoy our medical cannabis and its export potential, but again, really? Is cannabis to be our big saviour by the year 2020?

Therefore, from my observation, the future here for the next year and a bit, up to the year 2020, is as it has so been for the past near on two decades. Simply rough! Quite apart from the usual barrels and Western Union payouts that are sent here by relatives and friends in New York, Canada and the UK!

We will see nothing but stagnation and more worldwide begging on the part of our clueless government administration. The begging will continue in order for them to prop-up our failing economy. An economy where this “traditional plantation family” who are pretending to be Marxist, and are trying to fuse both crony-capitalism and their pseudo-Marxism ideology into a workable doctrine.

The same will not nor cannot work for obvious reasons. Leaving the mass of Vincentians continuing with their salt sucking in the year 2020, just like our counterparts, the Venezuelans are now doing and who are voting with their feet for better climes, being unable to overcome their own country’s dictatorship in Nicolas Maduro.

James. H

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Sure Observer, just pure raging and ranting indeed, coming from this mad individual! For I am sure mad, most mad certainly as a Vincentian, seeing the country the way it is and knowing that better could be done, but for what has been perpetrated on Vincentians by this traditional plantation family, supported by the likes of misguided and selfish individuals.

    My heart sure bleeds witnessing our ongoing disaster, as the oppression continues apace, with my knowing our ancestral history from shackled slavery to now ignorance, carelessness, anomie, encouraged sloth and wanton poverty. Vincentians continuing to be exploited by the same group and class who once administered their cast-iron chains and wooden manacles.

    I am sure mad Observer in witnessing so much rampant nepotism, entitlement and privileges, abuse of power and crony capitalism coupled with a nauseating traditional plantationism being thrusted and plunged upon us Vincentians, all in the name of experimental socialism and good old paternalism.

    Yes my dear the season demands “peace on earth”, however not to all men, but only to those of good will.

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