Stay Home! Outreach to the Diaspora – Doubling-down on Failure

Go Lean Commentary

How to survive being on fire? Stop-Drop-and-Roll.

What not to do? Dose yourself with alcohol. That would be ‘Doubling-down on Failure’.

This latter visual is the Caribbean dependence on their Diaspora.

CU Blog - Outreach to Diaspora - Doubling-Down on Failure - Photo 1

The Caribbean is in crisis – “on fire”; over 70% of college educated citizens flee the region, looking for better opportunities. This is the harsh reality. This is also an economic fact as many Caribbean states get 4 to 7 percent of their GDP as remittances back to the homeland from the Diaspora living abroad, mostly in North America and Western Europe. But a strategy to stimulate the remittance side of the Diaspora equation is dysfunctional. The community would do better to encourage 100 percent of their citizens economic output rather than just 4 to 7 percent.

This latter scenario is just ‘Doubling-down on Failure’. This is a losing proposition for the Caribbean – the Inter-American Development Bank reported that Caribbean member-states lose about 10 to 11 percent of GDP from emigration and spent cost of education on those expatriates. Focusing on remittance is just a bad strategy for Diaspora dynamics; rather the focus should be on reducing the Diaspora by dissuading future generations from leaving.

This is why the messaging in this VIDEO is so distressing. It is like the subtle message to the Caribbean population is that they need to leave their homeland, go get success and then please remember to invest in us afterwards. This is the jump-off-the-page thought of this address from the Prime Minister of St. Lucia last month. See here:

VIDEOPM 38th Independence Message to Diaspora

Published on Feb 4, 2017 – St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Allen M. Chastanet’s formal address to the Diaspora on the occasion of Independence Day 2017.
o  Category: News & Politics
o  License: Standard YouTube License

Say it ain’t so!

It is so unfortunate that the people in the Caribbean are beating down the doors to get out of their Caribbean homeland, to seek refuge in these places like the US, Canada and Western Europe. And yet it seems like the Chief Executive of this Caribbean country is encouraging more of it – there is a similar sentiment in the rest of the Caribbean member-states. As a result, we have such a sad state of affairs for our Caribbean eco-system as we are suffering from a bad record of societal abandonment. The reasons why people leave have been identified as “push and pull”:

“Push” refers to people who feel compelled to leave, to seek refuge in a foreign land. “Refuge” is an appropriate word; because of societal defects, many from the Caribbean must leave as refugees – think LGBTDisabilityDomestic-abuseMedically-challenged – for their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. For these people, they are “on fire” and need to stop-drop-and-roll.

“Pull”, on the other hand refers to the lure of a more prosperous life abroad; many times our people are emigrating for economics solely.

If only we can mitigate these “push and pull” factors, then we can dissuade our people from leaving in the first place. If only we can go from ‘good to great‘ here in the Caribbean homeland. This would be the ideal. But this is not our reality. Considering the messaging from the current Prime Minister of St. Lucia, it is obvious that we cannot depend on the right roadmap to come from the region’s governance.

The alternate strategy being proposed here is to prosper where we’re planted in the Caribbean. But this goal requires heavy-lifting. It is easier said than done. This is the focus of the book Go Lean…Caribbean, to elevate the Caribbean economy so that there would be optimal opportunities at home and no need to supplant to another land.

One of the missions of the book Go Lean…Caribbean is to lower the “pull” attraction of life in foreign lands. This is part 3 of 3 in a series on “Why Caribbean people need to Stay Home“, positing that the “grass is not necessarily greener on the other side”; definitely not for the communities they leave behind. The complete series is as follows:

  1.  Stay Home! Remembering ‘High Noon’ and its Back-Story
  2.  Stay Home! Immigration Realities in the US
  3.  Stay Home! Outreach to the Diaspora – Doubling-down on Failure

From a community perspective, it would be better for Caribbean people to work to remediate the problems in their homeland, rather than flee and send monies back home. But it turns out that this true individual-wise as well. Research shows that it is more advantageous for individuals to invest in their homelands or in themselves (as in advanced education) than to do the heavy-lift of migrating abroad. It turns out this strategy is an Economic Fallacy, that first generation immigrants do not really prosper in their foreign lands – they only survive; it takes their next generation to really thrive. Consider this US example, they usually make less money than legacy Americans:

On average, most Caribbean immigrants obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States (also known as receiving a green card) through three main channels: They qualify as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, through family-sponsored preferences, or as refugees and asylees. Compared to the total foreign-born population, Caribbean immigrants are less likely to be Limited English Proficient (LEP), but have lower educational attainment, lower median incomes, and higher poverty rates. – Migration Policy Institute, 2016.
CU Blog - Outreach to Diaspora - Doubling-Down on Failure - Photo 4

Then the problem with next generation success is that at that point in the timeline the stakeholders are not Diaspora anymore, their allegiance has shifted to their new homeland. We have so many immigrant experiences that relate this: Chinese, Italian, Irish, Cuban, etc.. Yes, the reality of Cubans in America is that many of their expatriates fled to exile hoping for a quick return. But now, by the second-and-third generations, their offspring really consider America as their home and Cuba as just their heritage. There will be no prospering back in Cuba.

So how do we in the Caribbean prosper where we are planted in the Caribbean? While this is a simple question (based on the Bible principle of Psalms 1:3), the answer is more complex.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. – New Living Translation

The book Go Lean…Caribbean concurs with this mission, to prosper where planted in the Caribbean. It serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to do the heavy-lifting of optimizing the societal engines in the region. This Go Lean roadmap uses cutting-edge delivery of best practices to employ strategies, tactics and implementations to impact its prime directives; identified with the following 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The successful execution of these directives will allow Caribbean stakeholders to prosper, while remaining as residents in their homeland. The Go Lean book seeks to optimize the entire Caribbean economic/security/governance eco-system to reach this goal. This vision is defined early in the book (Page 13 & 14) in the following pronouncements in the Declaration of Interdependence:

xix. Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores. This repatriation should be effected with the appropriate guards so as not to imperil the lives and securities of the repatriated citizens or the communities they inhabit. The right of repatriation is to be extended to any natural born citizens despite any previous naturalization to foreign sovereignties.

xxvi. Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries… In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing industries … – impacting the region with more jobs.

CU Blog - Outreach to Diaspora - Doubling-Down on Failure - Photo 3To be fair to the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, the Honourable Allen Chastanet, there is some concurrence to his contention, this Economic Fallacy; other PM’s in the region have made the same appeal. It is an assumption by many pundits in economic circles, though a minority opinion, that a country’s Diaspora community can be a great source for economic elevation. These pundits posit that the status quo in these developing countries would not lead to the sought-after elevation; it would take “new blood” and the Diaspora are considered candidates for bringing these 3 ingredients:

  • Trade
  • Investments
  • Skills and Knowledge Transfers

See the full report – – by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), an  independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. See the Executive Summary in the Photo here:

CU Blog - Outreach to Diaspora - Doubling-Down on Failure - Photo 2

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

This opinion is not shared by the movement behind the Go Lean book. The full MPI Report identifies countries where Diaspora outreach has yielded positive  results, like Peru, India and Somalia. A prime difference of these countries versus the Caribbean member-states is the National Sacrifice community ethos, it is undoubtedly missing in the Caribbean – member-states do not even have (work-free) holidays to honor the sacrifices of those that fought, bled and/or died for their country. Caribbean people normally do not show the same level of patriotism. Once Caribbean citizens leave their homeland, they rarely invest back in their ancestral homeland. They normally just send money back to their families. As for investment, they have better choices; think Wall Street.

In summary, the Caribbean Diaspora do not invest back in their homelands because they are not ready, willing nor able. This is the honest assessment of the Caribbean status quo. Thusly, an outreach to the Diaspora is doubling-down on failure!

The Go Lean book details features of assessments, community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to plant and exploit local opportunities in the Caribbean region. See this sample here:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economics Influence Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Privacy versus Public Protection Page 23
Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 24
Community Ethos – Non-Government Organizations Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-Arounds Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederate 30 Member-States Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Dissuade Next Generation from Emigrating Page 47
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Separation of Powers – Between Member-states -vs- CU Agencies Page 71
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – Ways to Model the EU Page 130
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Ways to Measure Progress Page 148
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Cancer Page 157
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Emergency Management – Deal with Disasters! Page 196
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Appendix – Education and Economic Growth – Each add’l year = 10% more $$$ Page 258

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people and governing institutions, to lean-in for the empowerments described here in this book Go Lean … Caribbean. It is time for the region to prosper right here where we are planted.

The Caribbean can succeed in this effort to improve the Caribbean as a place to live, work and play. The strategies and tactics of this quest have been detailed in many previous Go Lean blog-commentaries. Consider this sample: Two Pies: Economic Plan for a New Caribbean Integration Plan for Greater Caribbean Prosperity Vision and Values for a ‘New’ Caribbean A 6-part Series on Economic Fallacies Going from ‘Good to Great’ Street naming for Martin Luther King unveils a ‘Climate of Hate’ Better than America? Yes, We Can! American Defects: Racism – Is It Over?

An outreach to successful citizens living in the Diaspora is futile; it says this is what you have to do – leave – to prosper and be successful.

The alternative messaging for elevating the Caribbean should be: “Let’s double-down on … ”

  • job creation …
  • incubators for entrepreneurship …
  • bridging the Digital Divide
  • regional collaboration
  • e-Learning for At-Home education
  • and so on … (see Go Lean book Page 45 for full list of strategies).

This is what is needed to prosper where planted in the Caribbean. We need a turnaround. It must start in the head (thoughts, visions, etc.), penetrate the heart (feelings, motivations, etc.) and then manifest in speech and actions.

To the Prime Minister of St Lucia and all the other Heads of Government in the Caribbean region: Do better!

We will help. We hereby urge you to lean-in to the Go Lean roadmap.

To the residents on St. Lucia and all the other Caribbean communities, we urge: Stay Home! The grass is not greener on the other side. The effort to impact any change is easier here in the Caribbean than abroad in some foreign country. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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