Go Lean Commentary
Opportunity cost is defined as …
“the value of the best alternative forgone, in a situation in which a choice needs to be made between several mutually exclusive alternatives given limited resources. Assuming the best choice is made, it is the ‘cost’ incurred by not enjoying the benefit that would be had by taking the second best choice available”.[a]
See linked VIDEO below for sample/example.
The CariCom is viewed as a failure in many circles in the Caribbean and internationally!
- Just what is the opportunity cost for all the time, talent and treasuries exerted into CariCom thus far?
- Could those investments have generated a better return in other endeavors?
- Has CariCom even measured … the opportunity cost?
This CariCom “wasted opportunity” stance is also declared in the book Go Lean…Caribbean, and all of its aligned blog submissions. This issue – CariCom mis-firings – had previously been addressed in many Go Lean blog-commentaries (to date):
a. http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=816 – The Future of CariCom
b. http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=476 – Grenada PM Urges CARICOM on ICT
c. http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=451 – CARICOM Chairman to deliver address on reparations
d. http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=346 – Caribbean leaders convene for CARICOM summit in St Vincent
All in all, the book and accompanying blogs assert that the Caribbean Community construct is a failed manifestation of regional integration. CariCom has failed because it has only achieved so little of what it attempted, and only attempted so little of what’s possible – they have just stood by as “Rome burned”. Even CariCom themselves have acknowledged that their branded endeavor, CSME or Caribbean Single Market & Economy has sputtered, despite investing millions of Euros, according to this article:
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — The European Union (EU) is willing to fund a study that would explore the opportunity costs of not having a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in place.
Ewout Sandker, head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU to Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago and the Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories, made the announcement on Monday during the high level advocacy forum on statistics in Grenada.
As he underlined the importance of a solid data foundation for development in general, and regional integration in particular, Sandker posed some questions to the forum and made reference to the path the European Union took towards integration.
He told the gathering of senior government officials, statisticians, and representatives of international organisations that, in the 1980s, the EU conducted a study that calculated the opportunity cost of not having a fully integrated market in Europe. The results, he related, were “quite amazing”. They were an “enormous push” to regional integration and provided a good opportunity for mobilizing the private sector in Europe, which saw the benefits they were not getting by not having a fully integrated market, he said.
“Something like that could be done in the Caribbean as well, and we would be happy to provide funding for such a study (of) the cost of not having CARICOM,” Sandker said.
Over the past decade, the European Union has been providing support to the Community to strengthen regional statistics and to improve its use in policy-making. About €4M of the €57M Ninth European Development Fund (EDF) cycle to the Community was allotted to produce and disseminate economic statistics, to harmonise statistical structures across the region and to train staff to use the economic statistics to monitor the regional integration process.
The EU and the Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) deepened support to the field of statistics under the 10th EDF to build on earlier achievements and to fill the gaps that remained.
From the €18M allocated to the CSME under the 10th EDF, about €2M was allocated to strengthen the intra-regional systems to produce and disseminate timely, high quality, harmonized statistics to monitor the CSME. The funding, Sandker said, was used to monitor regional integration, further develop merchandise trade statistics and to boost social and environmental statistics, among other areas.
Statistical monitoring of the integration movement, he said, was particularly close to his heart. “I’ve been working on it the first time I was in Guyana with the CARICOM Secretariat and I believe that monitoring of both compliance of regional integration commitments at the national level, and secondly, the impact of regional integration activities and processes are absolutely key to the success of the regional integration enterprise.
“If you can’t measure it; if you don’t know the compliance at national levels with different areas of integration, how can you allocate resources in a sensible way? If you don’t know, you cannot prioritise. If you don’t know what is the impact of the regional integration process, how can you argue that it is a good thing? How can you argue that you should go further and deeper,” he queried.
Source: Caribbean News Now – Regional News Source (Retrieved 05/31/2014) –
The people of the region deserve better!
This book Go Lean… Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), a graduated iteration of regional integration for the democracies and territories in and around the Caribbean Sea. The following 3 prime directives are explored in full details in the roadmap:
- 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.
This re-boot roadmap commences with the recognition that all the Caribbean is in crisis, and in the “same boat” despite their colonial heritage or language. All the geographical member-states, 30 in all, therefore need to confederate, collaborate, and convene for solutions. This pronouncement is made in the Declaration of Interdependence, (Page 10). This Preamble statement includes this verbiage:
While our rights to exercise good governance and promote a more perfect society are the natural assumptions among the powers of the earth, no one other than ourselves can be held accountable for our failure to succeed if we do not try to promote the opportunities that a democratic society fosters. …
The vision of the CU is a confederation of the 30 member-states of the Caribbean into an integrated Single Market with a different brand name other than CSME, rather the Caribbean Union Trade Federation – and this time … we vest the entity with real roles/responsibilities and also include the Spanish, French and Dutch homelands from the outset. Tactically, the CU allows for a separation-of-powers between the member-state governments and the new federal agencies. The Go Lean book details these series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies designed to re-boot the delivery of the regional solutions, so badly needed and hoped for:
|Anecdote – Caribbean Single Market & Economy||Page 15|
|Community Ethos – Money Multiplier||Page 22|
|Community Ethos – Job Multiplier||Page 22|
|Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens||Page 23|
|Community Ethos – Lean Operations||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Cooperatives||Page 25|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future||Page 26|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good||Page 37|
|Strategic – Vision – Integrated Region in a Single Market||Page 45|
|Strategic – Vision – Agents of Change||Page 57|
|Tactical – Confederating a Non-sovereign Union||Page 63|
|Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy||Page 64|
|Tactical – Growing to $800 Billion Regional Economy||Page 67|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers||Page 71|
|Tactical – Interstate Commerce Admin – Econometrics Data Analysis||Page 79|
|Anecdote – Turning Around CariCom||Page 92|
|Anecdote – “Lean” in Government||Page 93|
|Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change||Page 101|
|Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up||Page 102|
|Implementation – Security Initiatives at Start-up||Page 103|
|Implementation – Ways to Deliver||Page 109|
|Planning – Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region||Page 127|
|Planning – Ways to Model the EU||Page 130|
|Planning – Ways to Measure Progress||Page 147|
|Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy||Page 151|
|Anecdote – Governmental Integration: CariCom Parliament||Page 167|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance||Page 168|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives||Page 176|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security||Page 180|
|Appendix – Trade SHIELD – “Harvest“ Comprehensive Data Analysis||Page 264|
The Go Lean roadmap for the CU stresses the importance of a solid data foundation to analyze and measure progress. This models the effort of the European Economic Community (EEC – predecessor to the EU) in the 1980s; they commissioned a study to calculate the opportunity cost of not having a fully integrated European market. The results of that study were compelling and propelled the completion of the regional integration effort. The foregoing article recommends a similar exercise for the Caribbean, so as to provide a good opportunity to mobilize the private and public sectors in the region to dive deeper in the integrated Single Market. The Go Lean…Caribbean roadmap (370 pages) is a Caribbean study in compliance with this recommendation.
a. Investopedia online resource. Retrieved 2010-09-18 from: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/opportunitycost.asp.
b. Video link: http://www.investopedia.com/video/play/opportunity-cost/