Immigration Policy Exacerbates Worker Productivity Crisis

Go Lean Commentary

The book Go Lean … Caribbean seeks to elevate society in the Caribbean homeland. The book is a 370-page roadmap with turn-by-turn directions on how to transform – remediate and mitigate – the engines of regional commerce, security and governance. While this type of advocacy is the normal sphere of Chambers of Commerce in their pledge to support the business communities, the Go Lean effort is different; it is not motivated by normal profit incentives, but rather the Greater Good for the Caribbean people.

 CU Blog - Immigration Policy Exacerbates Worker Productivity Crisis - Photo 3

(This commentary is not affiliated with any Chamber of Commerce)

Here’s a question for the Caribbean in general, and considering the subsequent news article, the Bahamas in particular:

What do you want from the world?

Do you want to have an advanced-modern society with all the latest “bells-and-whistles” of science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM)? Or do you want a closed society, designated for reaping by your native people only?

“Oh island in the sun, willed to me by my father’s hand” – Classic Caribbean/Calypso folk song.

There is truly a choice to make. There are closed societies in the world, think North Korea. Even here in the Caribbean, there is Cuba, which was cut-off from US trade for 55 years. The end result, their society “stood still in time” in terms of technological developments; (1950-era American automobiles proliferate in Cuba even today).

The disposition of these aforementioned societies may not be too appealing for the rest of the Caribbean. So the answer being given is one of global citizenship. The Caribbean member-states have expressed, explicitly and implicitly, that they want to be an advanced-modern society. This means one thing:

Give-and-take with the rest of the world.

So there must be some give-and-take with immigration policy. We must “give” some allowances to immigrants to take the returns of their talents.

Look at the Caribbean’s biggest neighbor (to the north), the United States of America. Immigration is what made the US a great nation; let’s consider just one example. Much of America’s leadership in the Space Race during the Cold War years of 1950 to 1991 was due to the contributions of one empowering immigrant: Rocket Scientist Wernher von Braun; see summary VIDEO here and more details in the Appendix below.

Wernher Von Braun Vision: ” MAN IN SPACE ” Walt Disney TV production, March 9, 1955 –

Uploaded on Sep 12, 2011 – Von Braun explain a future of space orbital mission with Space Shuttle rockets. A positive propagating for human voyage into space.

This discussion aligns with the book Go Lean … Caribbean. This book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU); the purpose of which is to elevate Caribbean society, for all 30 member-states. The book stresses the need for empowering immigration (Page 174), recognizing that some of the skill-sets necessary to elevate our society may not currently exist in the homeland, so we may actually need to import the talent.

This is also the strong point being enunciated by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation in the following news article:

By: Neil Hartnell, Business Editor, The Tribune Daily Newspaper – retrieved February 10, 2015 from:

The Immigration Department’s “closed door” work permit policies are exacerbating the Bahamas’ productivity crisis, a top private sector executive yesterday warning they were making it impossible for companies to hire the “unemployable”.

CU Blog - Immigration Policy Exacerbates Worker Productivity Crisis - Photo 2Robert Myers, the immediate past Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) chairman, told Tribune Business that restrictive Immigration policies were preventing businesses from recruiting middle management and skilled line staff essential to their smooth operation.

Apart from hindering the ability of local companies to expand, Mr Myers said they were also prevented from improving staff productivity and efficiency, as they could not “hire the educated to train the uneducated”.

Jerome Fitzgerald, minister of education, admitted last week that 40 per cent of the workforce lacked “a basic education”, with at least 35-38 per cent having failed to graduate from high school.

Mr Myers, though, pegged the number of high school leavers who were functionally illiterate and numerate [only] at 55 percent – a statistic that continues to limit business and GDP growth, and hinder government tax revenues.

“There’s a problem because the Immigration policies are only enabling these problems,” he told Tribune Business. “We have the wrong Immigration policies.

“There’s a desperate need to hire the educated to educate the uneducated and undereducated. We need to relax the Immigration policies, and do it with educated, not uneducated, people.

“The only way you can go out and hire this massive chunk in the economy is to bring in educated people capable of training those uneducated.”

Mr Myers said the Bahamas should tailor its work permit policies to reward, and incentivise, those companies who brought in expatriates to help train Bahamian staff.

“People like myself who could grow their businesses can’t, because it is cost prohibitive to bring in quality managers and line staff,” he told Tribune Business.

“It’s a layering effect. In order for me to grow and get uneducated people working, you need to bring in educated people.

“But you’ve made it so cost prohibitive to bring in line staff and middle managers, you’ve made it so expensive, that if I try to do that I become uncompetitive. So I can’t bring them in, and can’t hire uneducated people.”

Mr Myers said the Christie administration needed to “understand the connectivity of all this”, describing it as “reasonably complex but not rocket science”.

Arguing that the issue went to the heart of the Bahamas’ social fabric, he added: “If you have the wrong Immigration policies, you can’t improve education, the transfer of knowledge, employment and GDP growth. Crime goes up, and the uneducated are left to their own devices.”

Numerous Bahamian businesses have in the past complained to Tribune Business about what they have labelled “a dearth” of middle management talent in this nation, leaving them unable to fill positions essential to their smooth functioning with the right people.

However, in a bid to create employment for Bahamians, in a society struggling with a high 15.7 per cent jobless rate, the Immigration Department has tightened its work permit policies despite fears in some quarters it is trying to force ‘square pegs into round holes’ – forcing companies to take on unsuitable persons.

And several in the private sector have also suggested that it sometimes requires the hiring of one expatriate worker to create jobs for 10 or more Bahamians.

Mr Myers yesterday told Tribune Business that it was “so frustrating” that persons like himself and Mr Fitzgerald understood the problems, yet the Immigration Department was operating policies that were “completely contradictory” to the necessary solutions.

“When you have these problems lined up, teed up in education, crime and growth, stop making it more expensive for the educated to come in and teach the uneducated,” he added.

“Why does the Government not step in, and make it more competitive for businesses, increase the ease of doing business, increase GDP growth.

“I understand you’re trying to shut down Immigration to create employment, but these people are unemployable unless you open Immigration.”

Suggesting that Mr Fitzgerald’s comments, and Immigration policies, showed the Government’s ‘left hand and right hand’ did not know what each was doing, Mr Myers said the Bahamas’ “lack of governance is causing us to sink further”.

In a position paper he shared with Tribune Business yesterday, Mr Myers admitted that some businesses had resorted to hiring illegal Haitians in a bid to find productive workers for low income jobs.

“The Haitian workforce has also had a negative affect on businesses, as the Haitian workers are not always English literate, thus creating the same training and mobility problems for growth and development of businesses,” the ex-BCCEC chairman wrote.

“The Department of Immigration’s policies have caused further burden to businesses as they attempt to create more employment for Bahamians. While this may seem like a positive policy, it in fact negatively impacts Bahamian businesses for all the above said reasons and decreases productivity, making the Bahamas a more expensive and a less competitive nation.

“National security is at risk as we see direct correlations between the failing educational system and increases in violent crimes and drugs. The uneducated will fall victim to illegal activity if they have no hope or ability to become productive members of our society. People with no hope turn to drugs, in many cases for temporary relief. Our choices become one of two: Provide better education or build more courts, police stations and jails.”

So let’s repeat that question to the Caribbean: what kind of society do you want?

Do you want cutting-edge technology?

If so, then you must be prepared to welcome empowering immigrants!

There is no better alternative approach/strategy!

There are however many tactics that can align with this empowering immigration approach/strategy. The Go Lean book promotes a tactic of Separation-of-Powers between CU federal agencies and Caribbean member-state governments; offering the installation of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and Self-Governing Entities (SGE) to operate in controlled bordered territories like campuses, industrial parks, research laboratories, industrial plants and even aero-space launch facilities – much like advocate Wernher Von Braun campaigned and successfully implementated in the US in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Look today at all the economic spin-off benefits that the US has enjoyed because of the contributions of this one empowering immigrant: satellite communications, GPS, aero-space industrial developments, space exploration, etc.

(There is a Caribbean expression of aero-space initiatives in the European Space Agency in the Caribbean-leaning territory of French Guiana; this Agency would be a SGE under the CU/Go Lean scheme).

Under the EEZ/SGE scheme, the CU maintains exclusive jurisdiction and regulatory oversight for the employment of immigrants. This separation-of-powers will mitigate all the threats of negative immigration policies, as related in the foregoing article. This is technocratic: Just get it done! Just do it!

The CU – applying best-practices for agile deliveries – would facilitate the required elevation of society with these 3 prime directives:

  • 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, specifically in EEZ’s and SGE’s.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance, with the appropriate separation-of-powers, to support these engines.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean asserts that EEZ’s and SGE’s can be strategic, tactical and operationally efficient for elevating Caribbean society. These points are pronounced early in the book with this Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 11 and 14), with these statements:

v.        Whereas the natural formation of our landmass and coastlines entail a large portion of waterscapes, the reality of management of our interior calls for extended oversight of the waterways between the islands. The internationally accepted 12-mile limits for national borders must be extended by International Tribunals to encompass the areas in between islands. The individual states must maintain their 12-mile borders while the sovereignty of this expanded area, the Exclusive Economic Zone, must be vested in the accedence of this Federation.

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 like tourism … impacting the region with more jobs.

The subjects of EEZ’s, SGE’s and empowering immigration jobs has been directly addressed and further elaborated upon in these previous blog/commentaries: Concerns about ‘Citizenship By Investment Programs’ Jamaica-Canada employment programme pumps millions into local economy Migrant flow into US from Caribbean spikes Obama’s immigration tweaks in the US leave Big Tech wanting more Disney World – Role Model for Self Governing Entities Using SGE’s to Welcome the Dreaded ‘Plutocracy’ Where the Jobs Are – Ship-breaking under SGE Structure Fairgrounds as SGE and Landlords for Sports Leagues Puerto Rico’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Project Breaks Ground – Model of Medical SGE

The Go Lean book itself details the economic principles and community ethos to adopt, plus the executions of strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to forge benefits from empowering immigrants, Self-Governing Entities, and Exclusive Economic Zones in the Caribbean region:

Economic Principles – People Choose because Resources are Limited Page 21
Economic Principles – All Choices Involve Costs Page 21
Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives Page 21
Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Economic Principles – Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth Page 21
Economic Principles – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments (ROI) Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development Page 30
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Negotiations Page 32
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederating 30 Member-states in a Union Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Build and Foster Local Economic Engines Page 45
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing Economy – New High Multiplier Industries Page 68
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Department of State – Self-Governing Entities Page 80
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Interior Department – Exclusive Economic Zone Page 82
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change – SGE Licenses Page 101
Implementation – Steps to Implement Self-Governing Entities Page 103
Implementation – Anecdote – French Guiana Space Agency – Example of a SGE Page 103
Implementation – Benefits from the Exclusive Economic Zone Page 104
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Self-Governing Entities Page 127
Planning – Ways to Improve Interstate Commerce Page 129
Planning – Lessons from New York City Page 137
Planning – Lessons from Omaha Page 138
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Empowering Immigration Page 174
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Natural Resources – EEZ and SGE’s Page 183
Anecdote – Caribbean Industrialist & Entrepreneur Role Model Page 189
Advocacy – Ways to Promote Fairgrounds Page 192
Advocacy – Ways to Develop Ship-Building as SGE’s Page 209
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Prison Industrial Complex as SGE’s Page 211
Advocacy – Ways to Protect Human Rights Page 220
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the One Percent – Job Creators Inducements Page 224
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Urban Living – Self-Governing Entities Page 234
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Rural Living – Self-Governing Entities Page 235
Advocacy – Ways to Promote World-Heritage-Sites as SGE’s Page 248
Appendix – Job Multipliers Realities Page 259
Appendix – Airport Cities – Models for Self Governing Entities Page 287

There is a role for the contributions of many impactful and empowering immigrants in this vision for the elevation of the Caribbean homeland. Since the skills needed for today’s global economy are not plentiful in the Caribbean today, we must invite others to join us. These ones will only come initially for profit, not love of community, not the Greater Good. This Greater Good preferred community ethos only comes after some sacrifice; after these ones assimilate their Caribbean homelands and want to protect it as their home … and for their offspring and next generations.

This is why  empowering immigrants should give more than they take; they should not be looking for jobs, rather they should create jobs. In the case of the foregoing news article, the Chamber of Commerce estimates 1 empowering immigrant creates 10 jobs. This job multiplier reality should not be ignored. Especially in this era of empowering STEM careers. We need to build and retain that talent in the Caribbean homeland now.

The Caribbean, including the Bahamas, need to send this message:

  • Scientists – Welcome!
  • Technologists – Welcome!
  • Engineers – Welcome!
  • Medical Practitioners – Welcome!
  • Job Creators – Welcome!
  • Foreign Direct Investors – Welcome!

The Go Lean … Caribbean roadmap invites the contributions of empowering immigrants, especially under the guise of SGE’s. With the right applications from people, tools and techniques many SGE initiatives can have a positive impact in changing society, with minimal risks and threats of negative consequences – the roadmap mitigates the threats of corporate abuse of plutocracies. There are many examples and models to apply from other societies (i.e. Werner von Braun in the US Space program despite his Nazi past – see Appendix below).

Change has come to the Caribbean. Everyone is hereby urged to lean-in to this roadmap to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. If Caribbean people want change, progress, empowerment, growth, jobs (STEM and otherwise), justice and security, then the move to welcome empowering immigrants must be normalized. These ones must be welcomed. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix: America’s most empowering immigrant: Wernher von Braun

CU Blog - Immigration Policy Exacerbates Worker Productivity Crisis - Photo 1Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was a German and later American aerospace engineer and space architect. He was one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Germany and the United States and is considered one of the “Fathers of Rocket Science”. He was also a member of the Nazi party and the Schutzstaffel (SS), and was suspected of perpetrating war crimes during World War II.

In his twenties and early thirties, Braun was already the central figure in the Nazis’ rocket development program, responsible for the design and realization of the V-2 rocket during World War II. After the war, he and selected members of his rocket team were taken to the United States as part of the secret Operation Paperclip. Braun worked on the United States Army’s intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) program before his group was assimilated by NASA. Under NASA, he served as director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center and as the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the super-booster that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon.[1] According to one NASA source, he is “without doubt, the greatest rocket scientist in history”.[2] In 1975 he received the National Medal of Science.

See full biography VIDEO here:


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