What Went Wrong? Failing the Lessons from ‘Infrastructure 101’ – Encore

“You must have been absent that day when they gave out brains” – Stinging criticism from a High School Bully.

We have all had to contend with bullies during the days of our upbringing. What insult did they toss at you?

Put downs
Name calling
“Mama” jokes

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. We all survived the bullying experiences, but did we learn? From a Caribbean perspective, we must be cognizant that our development has been arrested; we have defects and dysfunctions in every aspect of Caribbean life. What Went Wrong?

Were we truly absent that day that brains were given out? Answer that question as the personification of the Caribbean region. Because it truly seems as though our personified Caribbean was absent on the days that “Economic Principles” were taught. These principles have been ratified again and again. There are lessons that we must learn .. and apply in our Caribbean society. We cannot make progress without them; here they are – high level – from the book Go Lean…Caribbean (Page 21):

  • People Choose
  • All Choices Involve Costs
  • People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways:
    Incentives are actions, awards, or rewards that determine the choices people make. Incentives can be positive or negative. When incentives change, people change their behaviors in predictable ways.
  • Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices and Incentives:
    People cooperate and govern their actions through both written and unwritten rules that determine methods of allocating scarce resources. These rules determine what is produced, how it is produced, and for whom it is produced. As the rules change, so do individual choices, incentives, and behavior.
  • Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth
  • The Consequences of Choice Lie in the Future

Once we learn the “Economic Principles” then we learn the lessons from Infrastructure 101; we learn how important it is for governments to always prioritize Big Capital investments – think bridges, tunnels, highways, ports, etc.

The focus must always be on the future.

This is What Went Wrong in the Caribbean’s development; we have not always been future-focused. We may have only ever “put out fires”, rather than investing for the long term benefit of future citizens. Think about it:

How many tunnels, highways, nuclear power plants, solar farm and wind turbine arrays do we truly have in the Caribbean member-sates?
Answer: Minimal.

This commentary continues the July series from the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean. This submission, 5-of-6 on the theme “What Went Wrong?“, focuses on Caribbean history and why we still have many of the same defects that other societies – think North America and Europe yes, but even India and China – have already remediated. The full catalog:

  1. What Went Wrong? Asking ‘Why’ is Important
  2. What Went Wrong? ‘We’ never had our war!
  3. What Went Wrong? ‘7 to 1’ – Caribbean ‘Less Than’
  4. What Went Wrong? ‘Be our Guest’ – The Rules of Hospitality
  5. What Went Wrong? Failing the Lessons from Infrastructure 101
  6. What Went Wrong? Losing the Best; Nation-building with the Rest

In this series, reference is made to the need for a comprehensive roadmap for investing in Big Infrastructure projects; one that would elevate the economic engines of Caribbean society, for the full 30 member-states. We are making reference to projects that are too big for any one member-state alone, we would need the whole Caribbean neighborhood, despite the language, race, colonial heritage or political structure. The movement behind the Go Lean book posits that we can confederate and deputize the Infrastructure 101 eco-system for the whole region.

We can correct … What Went Wrong in our Caribbean development.

It is very apropos to Encore a previous blog-commentary from August 10, 2016 on the excellent role model the country of India is providing for investing in Big Infrastructure projects to transform its country. See that blog-commentary here-now:


Go Lean CommentaryBuild It and They Will Come – India’s $90 Billion Investment

Here are some interesting rankings about India:

World largest population: # 2 – 1.2 Billion people (Only behind China)

Ease of doing business? # 132 (2015; 130 for 2016; see Appendix B)

That gap, between 2 and 132, is a wide chasm for India to bridge.

What is this country to do? And what lessons can we learn from them, here in the Caribbean?

(Though our population is so small, our Ease of Doing Business rating is equally depressing; the best Caribbean option is Jamaica at 64).

The answer is investment!

Working for a Return on Investments is one of the driving forces of the book (and movement) Go Lean … Caribbean. The book asserts that in order to get the optimal return on any investment a community must adopt the appropriate “community ethos”, the fundamental spirit of a culture that drives the beliefs, customs and practices of its society. In this case, the identifying ethos is: Deferred Gratification.

CU Blog - Build It and They Will Come - India's $90 Billion Investment - Photo 1India is embarking on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. This is a ribbon of development along a route from Delhi to Mumbai, that traverses 6 (internal) states in India; see Appendix A. (India is a Federal Republic, with a President over the federal government, while states are led by governors). This plan so resembles the roadmap for the for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the CU.

This commentary is the 3 of 3 from the Go Lean movement on the subject of Infrastructure Policy. As related in previous submissions in this series, the assertion is that “if we build it, they will come”. This is a movie metaphor, yes, but it accurately depicts the surety of investing in capital infrastructure projects; or perhaps even more poignant, it conveys the surety of failure of not investing. The other commentaries detailed in this series are as follows:

  1. Before & After – Washington DC’s Streetcars Model
  2. Clinton vs Trump Campaigns – Politics of Infrastructure
  3. India’s Model – $90 billion infrastructure projects.

All of these commentaries are economic in nature, stressing the community investments required for nation-building. As depicted in this VIDEO here, India is playing catch-up in this regards with an aggressive plan – a “quantum leap”:

VIDEO – Amitabh Kant at TEDxDelhi on India’s Infrastructure Development – https://youtu.be/8BvMybtJ1-E

TEDx Talks
Published on Dec 17, 2012 –
Presently posted as CEO & MD of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation.Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor is a mega infra-structure project of $90 billion covering an overall length of 1483 KMs between the political capital and the business capital of India.

A dynamic personality, Amitabh Kant has conceptualized and executed the positioning and branding of Kerala as “God’s Own Country” and later the “Incredible !ndia” campaign. Both these campaigns have won several International awards and embraced a host of activities — Infrastructure development, product enhancement, changes in organizational culture and promotional partnerships based on intensive market research. He has structured large infrastructure projects for diversification of India’s tourism product and sourced international funding through the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and UNDP.
During his tenure as Chairman and Managing Director, India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) he radically restructured the organization and turned it around into a highly profitable commercial enterprise. He also has wide ranging experience in innovative technical and financial structuring of Private — Public — Partnership in infrastructure projects and implemented the Calicut Airport project based on User’s fee, the BSES Kerala Power project and the Mattanchary Bridge project.

As demonstrated here in India, big infrastructure projects are necessary community investments – a “quantum leap” with a $90 Billion industrial corridor along 1500 kilometers. Is it possible for the Caribbean to consider such deployments?

Yes! The book Go Lean … Caribbean details exactly how the Big Infrastructure Projects for our region are to be conceived and achieved, (Page 127), with Self-Governing Entities and Exclusive Economic Zones. Most importantly, the roadmap details a plan to fund the projects.

The Go Lean/CU movement champions the cause of building and optimizing the overall Caribbean infrastructure. According to the foregoing VIDEO, it is important to identify and qualify funding sources for such ventures. There is the need for “new guards” for the Caribbean in this perspective. So there is the expectation that integrating and consolidating to a Single Market will contribute to the fulfillment of the Go Lean prime directives, defined here as follows:

  • 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 – including the funding of capital projects – to support these engines.

The Go Lean roadmap anticipates the opportunities of major infrastructure investments. However, the roadmap recognizes that many of the projects envisioned for the region may be too big for just one member-state alone; that it will take regional – super-national coordination. This point is highlighted in the opening Declaration of Interdependence, (Pages 12 & 14):

xiv.    Whereas government services cannot be delivered without the appropriate funding mechanisms, “new guards” must be incorporated to assess, accrue, calculate and collect revenues, fees and other income sources for the Federation and member-states. The Federation can spur government revenues directly through cross-border services and indirectly by fostering industries and economic activities not possible without this Union.

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 … impacting the region with more jobs.

xxix.  Whereas all Caribbean democracies depend of the free flow of capital for municipal, public and private financing, the institutions of capital markets can be better organized around a regional monetary union. The Federation must institute the controls to insure transparency, accounting integrity and analysis independence of the securities markets, thereby shifting the primary source of capital away from foreign lenders to domestic investors, comprising institutions and individuals.

The CU mission is to plan, fund, deploy and maintain infrastructure projects that are too big for any one member-state alone. Crossing borders will mean including member-states of various legalities: some independent member-states and some dependent overseas territories. This brings to the fore an array of issues, like legislative authority and currency. The Go Lean/CU regional roadmap undoubtedly calls for a common currency strategy; thusly, it calls for the establishment of the allied Caribbean Central Bank (CCB) to manage the monetary and currency affairs of each member-state in the region, independent or dependent territory. The Go Lean book describes the breath-and-width of the CCB as a technocratic institution with better stewardship, than in the recent past. From the outset, this stewardship was envisioned and pronounced in the same Declaration of Interdependence (Page 13):

xxiii. Whereas many countries in our region are dependent OverseasTerritory of imperial powers, the systems of governance can be instituted on a regional and local basis, rather than requiring oversight or accountability from distant masters far removed from their subjects of administration. The Federation must facilitate success in autonomous rule by sharing tools, systems and teamwork within the geographical region.

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.

xxv.   Whereas the legacy of international democracies had been imperiled due to a global financial crisis, the structure of the Federation must allow for financial stability and assurance of the Federation’s institutions. To mandate the economic vibrancy of the region, monetary and fiscal controls and policies must be incorporated as proactive and reactive measures. These measures must address threats against the financial integrity of the Federation and of the member-states.

The CU roadmap drives change among the economic, security and governing engines. These solutions are as new community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocates; sampled as follows:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles: People Choose because Resources are Limited Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles: All Choices Involve Costs Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles: Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles: Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Money Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Integrate and Consolidate into a Single Market Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Facilitating Currency Union, Caribbean Dollar Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Collaborate for the Caribbean Central Bank Page 45
Anecdote – Caribbean Currencies Page 64
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – $800 Billion Economy – How and When – Trade Page 67
Tactical – Recovering from Economic Bubbles Page 69
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers – Caribbean Central Bank Page 73
Implementation – Assemble Caribbean Central Bank Page 96
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Start-up Benefits from the EEZ Page 104
Implementation – Steps to Implement Self-Governing Entities Page 105
Implementation – Trade Mission Objectives Page 117
Implementation – Ways to Benefit Globalization Page 119
Planning – Ways to Improve Trade Page 128
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Reforms for Banking Regulations Page 199
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Wall Street – Better Liquidity from Regional Capital Markets Page 200
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Transportation Page 205
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Urban Living – Optimize Transportation Options Page 234
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Rural Living – Optimize Transportation Options Page 235

The Caribbean region must learn this important lesson from the country of India: infrastructure is not optional. Put in the infrastructure in advance and it brings growth; it becomes an investment. But play catch-up afterwards and it bears a heavy cost burden.

Previous Go Lean commentaries highlighted other countries and communities that did the hard-work, the heavy-lifting, to facilitate their infrastructural needs so as to better compete in the world’s markets. This is the world that we in the Caribbean competes in – with trade and culture – so it is important to consider all lessons learned. Here is a sample of issues addressed and elaborated upon in previous blog/commentaries:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8549 Enhancing Sports Infrastructure for an Olympic dream – Some Day Maybe
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7989 Transforming Infrastructure with ‘Free Money’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7384 Infrastructure for Oil Refineries – Strategy for Advanced Economics
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6231 China’s Caribbean Playbook: Helping Transform the region
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6016 The Need for Infrastructure to abate Climate Change’s excessive heat
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5921 The Art & Science of Impact Analyses for Big infrastructure projects
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3028 India is doing better than many Emerging Market countries. Why?
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2953 Funding Caribbean Entrepreneurs – The ‘Crowdfunding’ Way
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2750 Good Model: Disney World as a Self-Governing Entity
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2670 A Lesson in History of Infrastructure Projects: Rockefeller’s Pipeline
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2435 Latin America’s Dream and Trade Role-model: Korea
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2090 Elaborating on the CU and CCB as Hallmarks of a Technocracy

The Caribbean is arguably the best address on the planet, but for modern life and conveniences, and to better compete with the rest of the world regarding trade and culture, we need to upgrade our infrastructure, and then keep pace with industrial best-practices. We need to make these investments. The returns on these investments are jobs and economic empowerments; (think entrepreneurship).

There is no choice to “opt-out”. If we do not invest, our people will “opt-out” instead, as has been the past experience, especially evident with our societal abandonment rate (brain drain) of 70%.

This past – our status quo – cannot continue as our future.

We must do better!

India did … so can we.

Ease of doing business is a real metric. We can “inch up” the chart and elevate our business eco-system accordingly; India increased from 132 to 130 in 2016.

The governments, institutions and businesses are hereby urged to “lean-in” for the deployments/empowerments as described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. This is our “quantum leap”; the solutions herein are conceivable, believable & achievable. Yes, we can, “build it and they – progress – will come” to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix A – Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project

The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project is a planned State-Sponsored Industrial Development Project of the Government of India. It is one of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects with an estimated investment of US$90 billion and is planned as a hi-tech industrial zone spread across seven states along the 1,500 km long Western Dedicated Freight Corridor which serves as its backbone.[1]

It includes 24 industrial regions, eight smart cities, two airports, five power projects, two mass rapid transit systems and two logistical hubs.[1] The eight investment regions proposed to be developed in Phase I of DMIC are Dadri-Noida-Ghaziabad (in UP); Manesar- Bawal (in Haryana); Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana and Jodhpur- Pali-Marwar (in Rajasthan); Pithampur-Dhar-Mhow (in MP); Ahmedabad-Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) in Gujarat; the Shendra-Bidkin Industrial Park and Dighi Port Industrial Area in Maharashtra.[1]

India needs to employ over 100 million people within the next decade and so this project assumes vital importance to develop manufacturing centres that could employ millions.

The ambitious Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) has received major boost with India and Japan inking an agreement to set up a project development fund. The initial size of the Fund will be ₹10 billion (US$148.6 million). Both the Japanese and Indian governments are likely to contribute equally. The work is already underway and progressing at a rapid pace, with the Dedicated Freight Corridor expected to be completed by 2017.[2]

Source: Retrieved August 10, 2016 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delhi_Mumbai_Industrial_Corridor_Project


Appendix B – World Bank 2016 Ease of Doing Business Ranking

CU Blog - Build It and They Will Come - India's $90 Billion Investment - Photo 2

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