Transformations: Money Matters – ‘Getting over’ with ‘free money’

Go Lean Commentary

Here is a fact we have learned about transformations: there must be political transformations and practical transformations.

The Go Lean quest is to transform the 30 member-states in the Caribbean region. We are not the first …

    … and we guarantee that we will not be the last.

CU Blog - Transformations - Getting Over with Free Money - Photo 2So there are good, bad and ugly lessons for us to consider from other societies at other times. Take the recent example of Iraq. This is one of the lessons we have learned from that society: the practical transformation is easier than the political transformation. After the regime change by the United States in 2003 – a practical transformation – the country had a very tough time forging a stable society … because they could not succeed with the required political transformations. This is heavy-lifting, requiring collaboration, compromise and consensus-building. Iraq is not so homogeneous; they have sectarian discord, multiple ethnic groups that compose the country: Shiite, Sunni, Kurds, Yazidis  and others; different religions, races, ethnicities, languages, values and goals.

The dysfunctions created voids in leadership, administration and security. Enter ISIS!

This experience relates that one benefit of getting the political transformation right is some assurance of peace and security.

Another benefit: Money!

Once political transformations transpire, the opportunity emerges to acquire free money. Again, consider Iraq:

On November 20, 2004, the Paris Club of creditor nations agreed to write off 80% ($33 billion) of Iraq’s $42 billion debt to Club members. Iraq’s total external debt was around $120 billion at the time of the 2003 invasion, and had grown another $5 billion by 2004. The debt relief will be implemented in three stages: two of 30% each and one of 20%.[133]
Source: Retrieved May 11, 2016 from:

This point aligns with the book Go Lean…Caribbean, which asserts that the societal engines in the Caribbean (economy, security, and governance) are deficient and defective; in some cases we even feature Failed-States (think: Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico and others). The book posits that the region can improve and make our homelands a better place to live, work and play.

How? One way we can “get over the hump” of transformation is to acquire Free Money… as much as possible.

This is commentary 2 of 4, from the movement behind the Go Lean book, on the subject of transformations: how to move our region from the deficient-defective status quo to the undisputed title of “greatest address on the planet”. All these commentaries detail these issues, considering:

  1. Perfecting our Core Competence
  2. Money Matters – “Getting over” with “free money”
  3. Caribbean Postal Union (CPU) – Delivering the Future
  4. Civil Disobedience – Still Effective

The Go Lean book details the quest to transform the Caribbean; it features a how-to guide, a roadmap for elevating the region’s societal engines of economics, security and governance. It leads with economic issues, not political ones!

It recognizes that while political transformation is heavy-lifting – requiring collaboration, compromise and consensus-building – economic ones are a little easier. Show up in any community with a boatload of jobs and people will line-up around the corner to transform and accept the jobs … and any dependent conditions. (Free Money always comes with conditions!)

This is the Go Lean quest … but first, we acquire all the “free money” possible. (There should be no entitlement attitude to Foreign Aid).

A previous blog related how the community of Haiti was granted $500 million in grants-aid for the 2010 Earthquake; the money was collected and administered by the American Red Cross … but very little of it reached it’s target destination in Haiti. The assertion is that we must take the lead for our own administration and stewardship.

Build it, and they will come. – Movie Quotation

The Go Lean position is that if we put the technocratic processes in place, we will benefit from a lot of available grant-aid monies. These “free” monies can help us to “get over the hump”, to succeed with the needed transformations in our society; see VIDEO here:

VIDEO: Foreign Aid 101

Published on Mar 4, 2014 – Everything you need to know about U.S. foreign aid in 3 minutes, i.e. foreign aid is only less than 1 percent of the US federal government’s budget.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation for the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). As a federation or federal government representing all 30 member-states, the prime directives of this roadmap is the cause of elevating society by addressing these 3 focus areas:

  • 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 efforts with non-governmental agencies, to support these engines.

The samples and examples of so many other societies provide us with role models for how to procure grant/aid for our cause; see photo here.

CU Blog - Transformations - Getting Over with Free Money - Photo 1

Source: “Foreign Aid Explorer website”Foreign Aid Explorer. USAID. Posted July 27, 2015.

Continuing with Iraq, that country was able to procure a lot of grant/aid/loans from different international sources; see here:

Foreign aid to Iraq has increased to handle reconstruction efforts.
In 2004 the U.S. Agency for International Development was responsible for awarding contracts totaling US$900 million for capital construction, seaport renovation, personnel support, public educationpublic health, government administration, and airport management. The World Bank committed US$3 billion to US$5 billion for reconstruction over a five-year period, and smaller commitments came from Japan, the European UnionBritain, and SpainRussia canceled 65 percent of Iraq’s debt of US$8 billion, and Saudi Arabia offered an aid package totaling US$1 billion. Also, Iran has been accused of giving some monetary support to individual political parties. Some US$20 billion of US 2004 appropriations for Iraq were earmarked for reconstruction. Effective application of such funds, however, depends on substantial improvement in infrastructural and institutional resources. Because Iraq’s international debt situation had not been elaborated in 2005, for the foreseeable future US funds are expected to pay for capital investments in rebuilding.
Source: Retrieved May 11, 2016 from:

We can, and must, do better in the Caribbean, compared to Iraq, a country still in disarray. We are able to be more accountable, transparent and productive with grants/aid that we receive. The Go Lean book fully anticipated this strategy, as Page 115 cited:

The Go Lean/CU roadmap provides the scale and the means by which to plan and act for our Caribbean emergencies and natural disasters… But … the Caribbean must not be perennial beggars; we do need capital/money, especially to get started.

CariCom -vs- the Caribbean Union
The conclusion of consultants hired to advise the CariCom [(Caribbean Community Secretariat)] confessed that the Pact’s tacit strategy is to exploit the international donor community. The CU represents a break from this “Rich Man-Poor Man-Beggar Man-Thief” stance, and leans in to the alternate ethos of “Butcher-Baker-Candlestick Maker”. The CU vision is a Trade Federation that earns its keep thru trade and industriousness. In the Federation roadmap, the CariCom is re-constituted to the CU in Year 3.

In the Caribbean, we need grants/aid … to get started, to “get over the hump”; then we want to be able to stand-alone as a mature democracy – a regional Single Market. We need the initial help to optimize all 3 societal engines: economics, security and governance:

  • The economic help we seek should be viewed as seed money, so that we can sow in the fields of our marketplace, and later reap bountiful harvests. See Appendix VIDEO below.
  • The security help will allow us to foster a regional homeland security apparatus of our own; there is the specific need for military “hardware”; (think watercrafts, helicopters, and unmanned aerial drones).
  • For governance, we need technical assistance; the focus here is more on “software” or intellectual property, to provide better shepherding to the federal government, member-state governments and non-governmental organization (NGO) so as to execute the roadmap.

The following list from the Go Lean book is a sample of the strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies of the Go Lean/CU roadmap related to the quest to foster more international aid:

Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Customers – Member-State Governments Page 51
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers Page 71
Anecdote – Turning Around the CARICOM construct 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 – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Better Manage Debt Page 114
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid Page 115
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Reasons Why the CU Will Succeed Page 132
Planning – Lessons Learned from the West Indies Federation Page 134
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Credit Reporting – Improve Debt Management Page 155
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Revenue Sources … for Administration Page 172
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176

The Caribbean can truly be a great place to live, work and play. With the proper structures, we can qualify for a lot of ‘free money’, but free always comes with conditions and strings. That makes us dependent, not independent; we maintain a status of a parasite, not a protégé. This is why the strategy in the roadmap is not to depend on Foreign Aid for the long term, but rather to tease and tempt the people and institutions in the region to conform and acquiesce to behavioral changes needed in the community. Consider this as a “carrot and stick” motivation:

  • Comply and get the money
  • Non-compliance and future money is taken away

Remember, political transformations versus practical transformations…

… many politicians are arrogant, dogmatic and defiant; but when the budgets do not add up, they begrudgingly become willing to be practical and pragmatic. Math rules … over mania. Consider this:

There is a current issue in some Caribbean member-states where there is the need to correct constitutional deficiencies for gender equality; (the Bahamas in particular has a public referendum slated for June 7, 2016). One strong motivation is the compliance with the United Nation’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Future foreign aid and grants are tied to the successful execution of these constitutional reforms.

Previously, Go Lean blogs commented on transformations, identifying the status in Caribbean member-states; as sampled here: Being a ‘Good Neighbor’ – Like Puerto Rico needs right now State of the Caribbean Union China’s Caribbean Playbook: Helping Transform the region Dreading the ‘Caribbean Basin Security Initiative’ and planning for better Funding Caribbean Entrepreneurs – The ‘Crowdfunding’ Way Caribbean must work together to address rum subsidies Latin America’s Korean dream – A Model of a Rebuilt Economy CARICOM calls for innovative ideas to finance SmallIsland development America’s Naval Security – Model for Caribbean Security Status of Forces Agreement = Security Pact EU willing to fund study on cost of not having CARICOM Canada’s assessment: All is not well in the Caribbean – willing to help The Future of CariCom CARICOM deliver address on reparations – Looking for Free Money

There is a community ethos that fosters the building of effective economic engines, deploying an efficient security apparatus and organizing governing stewardship. It is called the Greater Good! The Go Lean roadmap describes any continuation of a dependent attitude, or expectation of entitlement to foreign aid, as “parasite” but the mature, independent attitude as “protégé”. So this roadmap calls on the Caribbean region to be collectively self-reliant – interdependent – both proactively and reactively.

Transformations …

… any transformation to the Caribbean societal engines must be permanent! The Go Lean book declares that for permanent change to take place, there must first be an adoption of new community ethos, the national spirit that drives the character and identity of its people. The roadmap was constructed with the primary community ethos of the Greater Good, not a profit motive, not a perennial-beggar motive nor a nationalistic motive; but rather a commitment for the “greatest good for the greatest number of people”.

Now is the time for all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in to this Go Lean regional solution. With this roadmap, the Caribbean can transform to a better society; a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix VIDEO – What’s Wrong With International Aid? –

Published on Oct 15, 2012 – Bran Dougherty-Johnson and Jennifer Holt designed the animated clip for Building Markets. Hatfarm produced the sound design.
Category: Nonprofits & Activism


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