On reflection at the present situation in Saint Lucia – weird, but not unpredicted – lacking the principles and pillars for social and economic rejuvenation, this republication is appropriate.
Nevertheless, as reported by a local media outpost “Saint Lucia’s prime minister Allen Chastanet, says the future of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is as bright as the Christmas season being celebrated.”
Question: What has changed in Saint Lucia for the upliftment and prosperity of the people, relative to the advancement of CARICOM and a “bright future”?
A commenter on social media wrote:
“CARICOM is toothless and useless. Look at the economy and living standards of its individual members. They are laden with high indebtedness, in Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.
“[In] Saint Lucia crime is sky high, unemployment is rampant, corruption in public service is at an all time high, the justice systems are malfunctioning and the citizens are becoming hopelessly frustrated with their way of life. Chastanet, your stint as head of CARICOM did nothing to improve this regional deadweight.”
[Originally appeared August 6, 2017, reproduced by Caribbean News Global with permission]
The economic expediency and political honeymoon of the government of Saint Lucia, expected to work systematically to sort-out the underlying problems facing the country, is thus far impractical to offer a persuasive response to substantive matters.
Overwhelmed on matters of national concern is an understatement. The government is seemingly crippled and although “there are opportunities to be grasped, beginning with a reset agenda on socio-economic, security, governance, trade and international relations, on a bilateral and multilateral level” hindrances persist with hardball tactics.
In part, this is because in general form, a quadratic equation, variable ‘x’ represents the unknown and ‘a’, ‘b’, and ‘c’ are constants. The general appearance is parabolic.
In the context of Saint Lucia’s quadratic equation, the variable is random, unpredictable and dynamic to conditions, consistent with the chaos theory.
Chaos is everywhere, hunted by the goldilocks strategy, to expend economic and political influence with fronts intended to carry out “change” in “building a new Saint Lucia”.
While this blended theory distinguishes the ineffable quality to expend political and economic life, citizens worry about personal security, food, housing, health care, and education.
What’s more, genuine national policy action and targeted investments for substantial economic impact are expected. And moreover, yes, it is the government’s role to present a clear transparent plan on the way forward.
Towards the pillars of development, national priorities demand digital strengthening as previously stated, “to integrate the digital wave to agriculture, agribusiness, and fisheries sector…not forgetting the cooperative model if decisiveness is required in the blue and green economic integration, with a sense of honesty, accountability and transparency for the uplifting of people and country facing 21.6 percent unemployment, youth unemployment rate of 43.1 percent and poverty rate at 28 percent.”
Renewable energy investment needs an energy revolution island-wide. Current half measures will not suffice to accessible and price competitiveness to households and businesses. If not addressed, the cost of utility, infrastructure, and digital technology, already cost-prohibitive will become more enormous to transmitting data and information adequately and reliable through the peaks and valley and Saint Lucian people.
Supporting small businesses is vital in communities experiencing trade shocks from the globalization of the banana industry and colonial extraction. Thus, reinvestment and skills training are dynamic for labour market efficiency and migration to e-commerce platforms to facilitate trade, export, agri-business, and entrepreneurs to re-base and strengthen the economy.
Addressing new investment opportunity in the transport infrastructure to facilitate mobility in the city, towns, and villages are valuable to expand participation in the economy, improve productivity, increase efficiency, education and the quality of life.
In that vein, government underlying message must convey inclusive participation for investors and entrepreneurs to proceed, alongside policy action that is unpretentious, and a blend of intelligence that rise to a level of realism.
‘Focus on the St Lucia Budget 2017’ by Ernst & Young, is a very interesting and worrying read. At the same time, it requires acute mental readiness.
Nevertheless, the caveat, in part reads: “The contents are intended as a general guide for the benefit of our clients and associates and are for information purposes only. It is not intended to be relied upon for specific tax and/or business advice and as such; users are encouraged to consult with professional advisors on specific matters prior to making any decision.”
With talking points and questions at the ready, it is incumbent on all Saint Lucians to get answers to the many obstacles and lurking dangers hindering our protection, our national identity, our economic viability, and our democracy.
This is imperative alongside the integrity of our fore-parents, who fought for our freedom and built this country – for us.
But of course, however, “The government needs to discontinue the paradigm of bad economic policy and politics that favour the oligarchs and serves the neo-cons at the expense of the majority.”
The government of Saint Lucia needs to minimize chaos and unclog its thinking.
Relax! Whether anyone wants to admit or not, albeit, widely talked about, it is unacceptable to plead ignorance to the well-practiced linchpin, hovering over our civilization, to continue to control the politics, government, and economy of Saint Lucia.