Way Forward – Common ‘Solutions’ for the Bahamas – An Inadequate Plan

Go Lean Commentary

Flash back to 1958 …

The planners for stewardship of the British Caribbean conceived the West Indies Federation, and they left-off, left-out …

… the Bahamas. – (See Appendix B below).

Wow! This country was reported to have a population between 88,000 (1955) and 113,000 (1960) and yet the planners made no provision for their Way Forward. They assumed that their fate would be tied to the neighboring United States of America.

So while the instincts and wisdom of these planners were that the common lands of the British Caribbean needed to integrate to deploy common solutions, these ones felt that the poor Bahamas could just be satisfied with a Way Forward of being “parasites” of a larger more prosperous host, the USA.

The more things changed, the more they have remained the same!

In the 60 years since, the Bahamas has made progress; sometimes 2 steps forward, 1 step back; sometimes 1 step forward, 2 steps back. All the governmental developments in those 60 years (i.e.: women’s suffrage, majority rule populist party, independence, opposition party emergence, flip-flop of power between parties, etc.) have only resulted in a realignment of the stakeholders within the same regime – like “reshuffling the decks on the Titanic”. The “parasite” status remains.

Thusly, there is the need for a Way Forward for this country, for the Bahamas. A call had gone out for such a Way Forward plan; one that finally considers integration with its neighbors and strategic alliances and partnerships.

The call has been heeded. One national commentator composed and published a White Paper to address this quest for a Way Forward. This publication identified some viable solutions, but still under the overall strategy of being tied to the American hegemony – depending on American trade and security. That White Paper – see the full publication here – is presented with these following 5 parts:

White Paper Title: A Nation in Chaos – The Solution Series – EXCERPT
By: Stephen McQueen

Part 1: Scope of The Problem

Part 2: Simple but Multifaceted

Part 3: The Re-education Process

Part 4: Self-Economic Empowerment

Part 5: The Need for Strategic Alliances

    … those that have a common enemy might well find that they also have shared interests and can therefore be of benefit to each other in a common cause. Therein lies the concept of being allies.

    For small island nations like The Bahamas, one wonders for what common cause if any should we ally ourselves with other nations? And, do we not already have allies in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM), The Commonwealth, the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS)? Notwithstanding the fact that I am largely unaware of the benefits of being involved with the above-mentioned communities, as a lay person, it appears that we may not be deriving the kind of benefit that The Bahamas truly needs for economic protection from much larger and far more economically and otherwise powerful nations. The UN provides peace-keeping forces, CARICOM is an economic body for the Caribbean, and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) is a regional agreement signed on by some Caribbean nations and is intended to strengthen member states’ economic power and stability. Dr. Christopher Curry of the University of The Bahamas believes that CSME will strengthen The Bahamas’ hand against the WTO. (Curry, 2019)

    Isn’t it time that we as a people look within and collectively raise ourselves to a better standing upon the world’s stage?

    The position of “First World” nations toward small island nations like The Bahamas and the Caribbean wreaks of containment – a philosophy designed and intentionally carried out to prevent the growth, development and advancement of developing nations even after we have been pillaged for hundreds of years. According to Curry, “First, Second, Third World are social constructs devised by global north states to designate other states in a subordinate role to the ‘more advanced states’.” (Curry, 2019) It is a philosophy intended to prevent our nations from becoming global leaders and masters of our own destinies by subjugating our nations to rules designed for and by “First World” nations for their greater benefit and the furtherance of their economies. For instance, and without any justification, and merely because it had the wherewithal so to do, “the Netherlands adds Bahamas to Tax Havens blacklist.” (Robards, 2019)

See the full White Paper here: http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=17118

This published plan, despite the best intentions, is inadequate!

The Bahamas needs more! See the Appendix VIDEO below depicting the current economic outlook from an external viewpoint.

It turns out that the Bahamas wants more than just a “parasite” status with the US; they want to be considered protégés. After 60 years of an ever-increasing brain-drain, in which the country has sat idle and watched 61 percent of its tertiary-educated citizens abandoned the homeland for life in the Diaspora abroad – mostly to the US homeland. This country now wants to be a homeland where its citizens can prosper where planted.

Is there a Way Forward for that?!

Way Forward
This commentary continues the consideration on the Way Forward – this one just for the Bahamas – for the rest of the Caribbean region. This member-state is in dire straits, near-Failed-State status with Push-and-Pull factors pressuring the youth to seek refuge elsewhere. Yet, the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean asserts that this crisis can be useful as an excuse to forge change in the Bahamian homeland. It is high time to reform and transform the Bahamas.

This is entry 3-of-3 for this April 2019 series of commentaries related to the Way Forward for Caribbean member-states. The full series is presented as follows:

  1. Way Forward: Puerto Rico learns its “status” with America
  2. Way Forward: Virgin Islands – America’s youngest colony
  3. Way Forward: “Solutions White Paper” – An Inadequate Plan for the Bahamas

While this series posits that “no man is an island”, this entry doubles down on the assertion that “no island is an island” either; that the Bahamas and all the tropical islands and coastal states of the political Caribbean need to come together, collaborate, cooperate, convene, and confederate for a better stewardship for their full homelands.

There is no longer any excusing, rationalizing or minimizing the reality of the Bahamian plight. One of their communities, the 2nd city of Freeport, has already been identified as falling into a Ghost Town status. A Way Forward for that city alone has already been published by this movement behind the Go Lean book. Consider this excerpt:

Excerpt from: Blog # 400 – A Vision of Freeport as a Self-Governing Entity

Freeport is beautiful! “It has great potential” …

… unfortunately, this has been the descriptor for over 60 years: “Great Potential”. In actuality, this town is the epitome of a failing community as it has been “rocked” by one crisis after another: hurricanesfinancial crisisabandonment by Direct Foreign Investors, abandonment by residents, and the eventual manifestation of deficient planning; bringing the age-old lesson to the fore: “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

The complaint there of the everyday man, everyday, is that the oversight of the city’s affairs by the central government in Nassau is deficient, flawed and shortsighted for Freeport. The critics are demanding a referendum to consider different secession options from Nassau. But the options being considered are not “all of nothing from Nassau”, but rather, Freeport is seeking some degree of autonomy and then becoming a Self-Governing Entity (SGE) … .

There is a lot of history associated with the issues of SGE’s and Freeport.

The closest, most successful SGE is in the Orlando, Florida area: Walt Disney World Resort. This resort is administered as a SGE, empowered by the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special government district created in 1965 that essentially gave the Walt Disney Company the standard powers and autonomy of an incorporated city. Today, the resort hosts 52.5 million visitors as the most popular vacation destination in the world. But early in the site selection process (1959), Walt Disney’s team toured Freeport for consideration for his planned resort[a]. Today tourism is the primary economic driver for Freeport, but declining, with only less than 280,000[b] annual visitors. (Freeport’s economic history has been likened to the Concorde Supersonic jet airplane; considered advanced for a time and then … the cutting-edge had an expiration date, so it became stagnant and stale in its appeal).

It is time now for empowerments like this in all of the Bahamas, and all of the Caribbean! It is time now to build a foundation on the unified society that was once envisioned for the British West Indies. But now we have the hindsight to realize that we need to go even deeper for a more sound foundation. We need and want all of the West Indies: American, British, Dutch, French and Spanish. We want such a firmer foundation. We want:

Bedrock, Baby!

Yes, we can. These strategies, tactics and implementations proposed here in the Go Lean roadmap are conceivable, believable and achievable. We must do this now! We must make our homeland a better place to live, work and play.

We encourage everyone in the Bahamas in particular and the Caribbean in general to lean-in for this Go Lean roadmap.  🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), 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.

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.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

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.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix A VIDEO – Discussing The Bahamian Economy – https://youtu.be/Hx0XPWYp0zQ

World Investment News
Published on Jul 19, 2016 – World Investment News Editor-in-Chief Stan Aron and Project Director Simone Goldsmith discuss the different facets and the potential of the economy of The Bahamas, published in the 2016 July and August edition of Harvard Business Review.

World Investment News Online sites:

MORE: See an additional VIDEO here on the Bahamas economic landscape – Financial Sector:
Chapter 1: What will drive growth in the Bahamas? – https://youtu.be/do4VmKgA10c


Appendix B – 10 Territories in the British West Indies – Go Lean Book (Page 301)

West Indies Federation Population Distribution as of 1958
Province Capital Population Area (km²) Pop. %
Antigua and Barbuda St. John’s 57,000 440 1.75%
Barbados Bridgetown 234,000 431 7.17%
Cayman Islands (attached to Jamaica) George Town 9,000 264 0.28%
Dominica Roseau 61,000 750 1.87%
Grenada St. George’s 91,000 344 2.79%
Jamaica Kingston 1,660,000 10,991 50.85%
Montserrat Plymouth 13,000 102 0.40%
Saint Christopher (St. Kitts) – Nevis – Anguilla Basseterre 55,600 351 1.70%
Saint Lucia Castries 95,000 616 2.91%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Kingstown 83,000 389 2.54%
Trinidad and Tobago Port-of-Spain 900,000 5,131 27.57%
Turks and Caicos Islands (attached to Jamaica) Cockburn Town 6,000 430 0.18%
Federation of the West Indies Chaguaramas 3,264,600 20,239 km2 100.00%
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