Go Lean Commentary
The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money. – Margaret Thatcher
Many Caribbean member-states feature a governmental structure of democratic socialism; (see Appendix below).
In some places, socialism is a bad word – think Venezuela – but other states feature an advanced prosperous country despite the socialism tag – think Canada. In general, socialism can be depicted as a scale with leftist communism on one end and right-wing capitalism on the other end. The observation and analysis of these varying states during good times and bad times is that the left-leaning socialism countries tend to suffer from a lot of societal abandonment, especially when things go bad, for the reason as described by Margaret Thatcher above. (Consider for example, the Caribbean island of Barbuda, before their recent disaster, there was no private land-ownership).
So many Caribbean member-states have “run out of other people’s money”, thus ensuring a crisis. Alas, this …
… crisis is a terrible thing to waste – American Economist Paul Romer
The crisis in the Caribbean region right now is in response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 that have devastated many islands – think Puerto Rico, Barbuda and Dominica. It is a good time to re-think the affinity for democratic socialism. These natural disasters are forcing our region to re-think one of the hallmarks of capitalism; our policies on …
… Trade; American Trade to be exact.
Yet still, it becomes obvious what the problem is for so many Caribbean member-states, they seem to “just” want to spend other people’s money rather than do the heavy-lifting – Big Deal – of growing their own economy/wealth. Notice this theme in the news article here from the St. Lucia Times daily newspaper regarding the urgings of their Prime Minister Allen Chastanet:
Title: Prime Minister Chastanet proposes new US-Caribbean trade initiative
Prime Minister Chastanet discussed the recent hurricanes that have devastated parts of the Caribbean, rebuilding the Caribbean and Caribbean – US relations.
He said recent events have showed that the Caribbean needs to diversify in terms of its sources of food, pointing to a shutdown of the American hub for several days.
“The support has had to come from the south because while we were going through this, you had two hurricanes heading up north. And literally Miami was on a shutdown. So unfortunately the American hub got shutdown almost for ten days out of Miami. And so it really has shown us that we need to diversify ourselves a bit and maybe look a bit more to Panama in terms of supplies of food,” Chastanet.
Chastanet said the resilience of the Caribbean is very strong and the region will band together to recover from the disasters.
Chastanet proposed the establishment of a new private sector led initiative what would allow US companies to invest in St Lucia tax free and have their resources sent back home without facing heavy US government taxes.
He said there are great investment opportunities in the Caribbean for American companies.
“Can we not get an incentive, and that’s what we’re in discussions with the US about, that if US companies invest into the Caribbean, that those investments in our books are always tax free that the US allow those funds to be repatriated back into the US tax-free, only on those investments. So 1, it accomplishes getting the funds back into the United States of America. It creates an avenue for the private sector to participate in this growth and brings a lot of money to the table, Chastanet said.
Prime Minister Chastanet is expected to address the UN General Assembly today.
Source: Posted September 21, 2017; retrieved October 11, 2017 from: https://stluciatimes.com/2017/09/21/prime-minister-chastanet-proposes-new-us-caribbean-trade-initiative
As related, the Prime Minister of St. Lucia – also Chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and a governing stakeholder of CariCom – wants to “count America’s money”! He is lobbying for a law – in the US – in which American investors will have tax concessions on their tax obligations to the US Treasury. (There would be no benefit to the US in this scheme).
He is the Chief Executive of a Caribbean member-state urging the US government to skip on their revenue collections so as to benefit the Caribbean; in effect he is “counting” America’s government revenues. See the full interview in the Appendix VIDEO below.
It should be noted that there is no such bill in the US Congress proposing these measures; so this is not lobbying. Rather the imagery of this whole appeal is just that of a foreign Head of Government begging for money with a sign that reads:
“Will NOT work for food”.
No, this is not the branding or image we should want to project to the watching world. But rather, the Honorable Prime Minister’s earlier words reflect the ethos we really need to portray:
Chastanet said the resilience of the Caribbean is very strong and the region will band together to recover from the disasters.
Rather than looking to the US to solve our problems, we want to band together – an interdependence – and work for our own remediation. This is the theme of the book Go Lean…Caribbean and the accompanying blog-commentaries. “Band together” should have been the only appeal at the United Nations. These words should have been echoed in public forums and private discussions with other Caribbean leaders. The Go Lean movement describes this “banding” as a confederation of the 30 Caribbean member-states, including the 2 US Territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. This formation of a Single Market and accompanying Security Pact would usher in the economic empowerments and security/emergency optimization that the region needs.
The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of this confederation, the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This complex organization structure is designed for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies. This includes Self-Governing Entities, bordered campuses that practice pure capitalism.
The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines can be successful, but only if it is a regional pursuit – all the member-states band together. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):
i. Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.
xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.
xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.
xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.
Our appeal to the PM of St. Lucia and to the leaders of all the other member-states:
This is not our first hurricane nor will it be our last. We must recover from these ones and be prepared for others, a lot more of them. “Begging” should not be our recovery plan!
On the other hand, the Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.
The branding of the CU is a Trade federation, so there is emphasis for optimizing trade for the Caribbean region. Yes, there is tactical plan to establish trade routes beyond Miami-to-the-Caribbean. The Go Lean roadmap posits that with the close proximity of Trinidad to the South American country of Venezuela (7 miles), there could be an elaborate network of transportation options to facilitate the shipment of goods (and passengers) into the Singe Market.
This roadmap is a Big Deal / Big Idea for the Caribbean region; in many ways, the community commitment for the Caribbean may be similar to the American commitment in the 1960’s to Go to the Moon. The Go Lean book relates this on Page 127:
|The Bottom Line on Kennedy’s Quest for the MoonOn 25 May 1961, US President John F. Kennedy announced his support for the American Space program’s “Apollo” missions and redefined the ultimate goal of the Space Race in an address to a special joint session of Congress:
His justification for the Moon Race was both that it was vital to national security and that it would focus the nation’s energies in other scientific and social fields.
This quest was succeeded. At 10:56 pm EDT, on 20 July 1969, the first human (American Astronaut Neil Armstrong) ventured out of the Apollo 11 landing craft and set foot on the Moon declaring: “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind“.
Other countries have had subsequent moon landings.
Can we get the support of the Prime Minister of St. Lucia and the other Heads of Government throughout the whole region for our “Moon Shot” equivalent, our Big Deal / Big Idea? This is the actual title of one advocacy in the Go Lean book. Consider the specific plans, excerpts and headlines here from Page 127, entitled:
10 Big Ideas … in the Caribbean Region
|Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
The CU is a big idea for the Caribbean, our parallel of the American “moon quest”, allowing for the unification of theregion into one market of 42 million people. This creates the world’s 29th largest economy, based on 2010 figures.The pre-ascension GDP figures are actually less that $800 Billion, but the aggregation into a Single Market willmanifest the economic “catch-up” principle, in 5 years. Further, after 10 years the CU’s GDP should double andrank among the Top 20 or G20 nations.
|Currency Union / Single Currency|
|Defense / Homeland Security Pact|
|Confederation Without Sovereignty|
|Four Languages in Unison|
|Self-Governing Entities (SGE)|
|Virtual “Union Atlantic Turnpike” Operations
Ferries, Causeways/Bridges, Pipelines, Tunnels, Railways and limited access highways will function as “blood vessels to connect all the organs” within the region, thus allowing easier transport of goods and people among the islands and the mainland states (Belize, Guyana or Suriname) – See Appendix IC Alaska Marine Highway [on Page 280].
Forge electronic commerce industries so that the Internet Communications Technology (ICT) can be a great equalizer in economic battles of global trade. This includes e-Government (outsourcing and in-sourcing for member-states systems) and e-Delivery, Postal Electronic Last Leg mail, e-Learning and wireline/wireless/satellite initiatives.
|e-Learning – Versus – Studying Abroad|
|Cuba & Haiti|
There have been a number of blog-commentaries by the Go Lean movement that highlighted the art and science of optimizing our eco-system for “Trade and Transport”. See a sample list here:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13140||Region-wide Industrial Reboot of Caribbean Pipelines|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=12322||Ferries 101 – Launch of a Region-wide Inter-Island Ferry System|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9179||The Vision of Ferries for Snowbirds to Head South|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4897||Plan for Natural Gas Distribution for Caribbean Consumption|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3225||Caribbean is Less Competitive Due to Increasing Aviation Taxes|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=829||Facilitating Trade with Trucks and Trains|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=673||Future Model: Ghost Ships – Autonomous Cargo Vessels|
In summary, it is only logical to expect any stewards of society to “corral” the resources, assets and people of the community to effect change, to elevate. On the other hand, it is not logical to expect others to do it for us. This is a child’s expectation for his/her parents. This is inappropriate for independent Caribbean member-states. The aforementioned Economist, Paul Romer, asserted the appropriate strategic plan:
“Economic growth occurs whenever people take resources and re-arrange them in ways that are more valuable”.
Obviously, this economist was advocating a capitalist agenda, in contrast to the democratic socialism practice in the region.
There is only a 7-mile strait between the Caribbean island Trinidad of and its southern neighbor. It is only logical to consider that trade route when the northern route – Miami – is impeded. Such a tactical plan will allow for resiliency for post-disaster scenarios. A potpourri of transportation options – Union Atlantic Turnpike – to facilitate interstate commerce among the islands and coastal states is a better plan than begging for other people’s money.
To all you Caribbean leaders: Do not be surprised when a hurricane hits. Count on it! There will be more … such scenario’s. Climate Change is undeniable! Destructive storms will manifest! Bad actors will emerge. There is a need for security empowerments along with economic empowerments. The economic solution for the Caribbean cannot be: Counting other people’s money.
Now is the time for all of the Caribbean – the leaders and the people – to lean-in for the empowerments described here in the book Go Lean…Caribbean. It is conceivable, believable and achievable to prosper ourselves where planted here in the region; to reform and transform and make our own homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂
Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.
Appendix VIDEO – Saint Lucia PM Allen Chastanet: Caribbean Needs To Diversify Search For Relief | CNBC – https://youtu.be/asg87s29c4E
Published on Sep 20, 2017 – Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, talks about rebuilding the hard-hit Caribbean after recent storms left the islands devastated. Also Prime Minister Chastanet addresses insurance coverage.
- Category: News & Politics
- License: Standard YouTube License
Appendix – Democratic Socialism
Democratic socialism is a political ideology that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production, often with an emphasis on democratic management of enterprises within a socialist economic system.
Democratic socialists see capitalism as inherently incompatible with the democratic values of liberty, equality and solidarity; and believe that the issues inherent to capitalism can only be solved by superseding private ownership with some form of social ownership. Ultimately, democratic socialists believe that reforms aimed at addressing the economic contradictions of capitalism will only cause more problems to emerge elsewhere in the economy, that capitalism can never be sufficiently “humanized” and that it must therefore ultimately be replaced with socialism.
Democratic socialism is distinguished from both the Soviet model of centralized socialism and from social democracy, where “social democracy” refers to support for political democracy; the nationalization and public ownership of key industries but otherwise preserving and strongly regulating, private ownership of the means of production; regulated markets in a mixed economy; and a robust welfare state. The distinction with the former is made on the basis of the authoritarian form of government and centralized economic system that emerged in the Soviet Union during the 20th century, while the distinction with the latter is made on the basis that democratic socialism is committed to systemic transformation of the economy while social democracy is not.
The term “democratic socialism” is sometimes used synonymously with “socialism” and the adjective “democratic” is often added to distinguish it from the Leninist, Stalinist and Maoist types of socialism, which are widely viewed as being non-democratic in practice.
Democratic socialism is not specifically revolutionary or reformist, as many types of democratic socialism can fall into either category, with some forms overlapping with social democracy, supporting reforms within capitalism as a prelude to the establishment of socialism. Some forms of democratic socialism accept social democratic reformism to gradually convert the capitalist economy to a socialist one using pre-existing democratic institutions, while other forms are revolutionary in their political orientation and advocate for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the transformation of the capitalist economy to a socialist economy.
Relation to economics
Democratic socialists have espoused a variety of different socialist economic models. Some democratic socialists advocate forms of market socialism where socially-owned enterprises operate in competitive markets and in some cases are self-managed by their workforce. On the other hand, other democratic socialists advocate for a non-market participatory economy based on decentralized economic planning.
Democratic socialism has historically been committed to a decentralized form of economic planning opposed to Stalinist-style command planning, where productive units are integrated into a single organization and organized on the basis of self-management.
Contemporary proponents of market socialism have argued that the major reasons for the failure (economic shortcomings) of Soviet-type planned economies was the totalitarian nature of the political systems they were combined with, lack of democracy and their failure to create rules for the efficient operation of state enterprises.
Source: Retrieved October 11, 2017 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism