The wheel of big government that is commonly associated with the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is slowly grinding into motion. And, if truth be told, the EC$195 million construction stimulus package may very well have been orchestrated from red covered platform planks, designed to unveil a sickening brand of trickledown economics.
Is this the SLP’s calculated formula in response to the mantra of jobs, jobs, jobs, EC$100 million and better days? Wow! What an interesting bunch of wayward gamblers.
A bloated government, spending much more than it collects in revenue, and hiring much more than its payroll can accommodate, is bound to resurrect Houdini from his grave.
Kenny Anthony’s stimulus package is nothing but a grand illusion, which purports to help the country; but is really designed to reward party loyalist, and to control the economic handle of the country, through bureaucracies such as yep, big, nice, smiles, step, step-up and leap.
A closer look at that NATIONAL COMPLOT engineered by the SLP, will finally come to light when the development projects are outlined, and you are introduced to certain familiar faces called general contractors, including which banks will participate and which real estate and insurance company will have the edge. You get the drift!
What a disguised!
My reaction to all of the above is rather simple. In order to foster a society that is build on harmony the current pace of the SLP’s political policy must subside. It is that simple. Saint Lucia’s challenge is one of equal opportunity and inclusiveness.
As such, this requires investment decisions that grow the private sector and promote capital exchange. But achieving this requires freedom – freedom of ideas, freedom for creativity and competitiveness, and fiscal incentives that strengthen entrepreneurs and private sector prosperity; instead of state control stimulus packages or loyalist bonanza.
Nevertheless, bailouts are never free.
And in the words of Thomas Jefferson “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
As such, the slated EC$195 million stimulus is another exercise of mathematical suicide and trickledown economics.
The political policy to facility this stimulus package within our current economic and cultural path of fewer taxpayers, amplifies the burden on presented taxpayers, while suppressing the private sector in a diminishing market place. This decision has the potential to threaten market liberalization and to further lower foreign exchange inflows.
Essentially, this big government that is commonly associated with the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government and the current stimulus packages or loyalist bonanza in disguised, – whichever is your take! – can be classify as a pressure valve, originating from the blue print to growth, to relieve and calm political friction, but ignoring the broader picture of Saint Lucia’s fiscal situation.
Preferable, the emphasis should be on the reliance of a better balance, by relaxing bureaucracy and embracing the cooperative union mindset, public private partnerships, joint venture financing, reforming burdensome and outdated government cost centres and to facilitate micro business in low income communities.
Further, the promotion of local consumption and a buy local campaign are practical solutions to foster individual responsibility and self reliance, in order to achieve income equality and assist entrepreneurs in the development of new products and services; and help create market conditions for competitive enterprise, private sector mobility and new streams of foreign capital.
This move would serve to support our current static economy and better facilitate to lift people out of government reliance and towards personal responsibility, and at the same time strengthen and inspire the middle class.
Clearly, the most important stimulus package that is required by Saint Lucian standard is a path to prosperity that enables growth and prosperity.
This direction allow for investments that provide good paying jobs to raise the family; support home ownership; and make decisions about our lives and our future; and not compromise the safety and security of our children and country.
There is never a good time to depart from personal and economic freedom and towards political control that hedges stimulus package or loyalist bonanza in disguise. Usually, when these conditions are present, it obstructs creative energies and productive enterprise. So against this backdrop and with the use of a little common sense, it is best to channel economic resources and engage the middle class in true dialog and commitment, for a reasonable and practical plan that has integrity.
The emphasis of which should favour market liberalization and free enterprise towards equal opportunity and inclusiveness without loyalist bonanza in disguise.
Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant. He is an advocate for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality; the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) critic on youth initiative, infrastructure, economic and business development. He can be reached at [email protected]