Go Lean Commentary
The phrase “New World” assumes that there was an “Old World“.
The Old World would refer to Europe. The New World on the other hand, refers to the lands in the Western Hemisphere – North, Central and South America, plus the Caribbean – that was first opened up with the 1492 Discovery by Christopher Columbus. After the first 100 years of legal and papal wrangling, the settlement of the New World by diverse European powers commenced in earnest in the 1600’s. This started a period of colonization by Imperial powers from Europe grappling for dominance and/or some presence in the Americas.
This colonization historicity was detailed in the book Go Lean…Caribbean; it summarized the European history of ebb-and-flow of the colonial power struggle in the Americas in general and in the Caribbean region in particular; see these samples:
The Bottom Line on European Colonialism – (Page 241)
The European colonial period was the era from the 1500s to the mid-1900s when several European powers (Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, France and Portugal) established colonies in the Americas, in a “Space Race” to dominate the New World. The Northern Coast of South America became a typical New World battleground for conflict and pushing between these powers, and many military campaigns and diplomatic initiatives (treaties) ensued. … When did this European Colonial “push-shove-match” end? Not until almost 500 years later, after World War II, after the effects of that war left all these European powers drained – of finances and the will to continue.
Appendix – US Virgin Islands – Economy Past, Present & Future – (Page 305)
The Virgin Islands were held by many European powers, including Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Denmark-Norway. The Danish West India Company settled on Saint Thomas in 1672, on Saint John in 1694, and purchased Saint Croix from France in 1733. The islands became royal Danish colonies in 1754, named the Danish-West Indian Islands. Like other Caribbean islands, sugarcane, produced by slave labor, drove the islands’ economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries, until the abolition of slavery by Danish Governor Peter von Scholten on July 3, 1848.
During the submarine warfare phases of the First World War, the United States, fearing that the islands might be seized by Germany as a submarine base, … approached Denmark with a view to buying them. After a few months of negotiations, a selling price of $25 million in United States gold coin was agreed. (This is equivalent to $2.2 Billion in 2012 dollars @ $1770 per ounce)…. The United States took possession of the islands on March 31, 1917.
To recap, here are the European countries that have shown “interest” in the Caribbean:
The Old World powers came to the New World, liked what they saw and fought over it. As referenced above, these Caribbean territories featured an economy based on African slavery. In the end, the European colonizers left the island and coastal territories, mostly in the hands of the descendants of former slaves. These mature empires and advanced democracies left these shores without the needed governance to lead their own affairs efficiently or effectively. Today, all of these European countries (listed above) function as better societies than their former colonies here in the Caribbean.
This is a sad but true reality. The Caribbean could be argued to be the “greatest address in the world”, in terms of terrain, fauna/flora, hospitality, culture, food, drink (rum) and tobacco (cigars). Yet, a large number of Caribbean people have fled and now live abroad. They live in places like the US, Canada, the UK and the European countries listed above.
This seems illogical, considering all the blood, sweat and tears for domination here in the Caribbean over the years, decades and centuries. But it is what it is! People leave … in droves. They do not only leave to go somewhere else (the destinations), but rather they leave just to get away from “here”.
So for Europe – not considering the UK-Britain-England this time – we must ask the questions of our Diaspora there:
- Why do they now live in Europe and what can we learn from that experience?
- What can we gather for the Pros and Cons of European life?
This commentary is Part 4 of 4 in a series examining the destinations of the Caribbean Diaspora. The full series is as follows:
- 10 Things We Want from the US and 10 Things We Do Not Want
- 10 Things We Want from Canada and 10 Things We Do Not Want
- 10 Things We Want from the UK and 10 Things We Do Not Want
- 10 Things We Want from Europe and 10 Things We Do Not Want
The stakeholders of this Go Lean … Caribbean movement truly believe that the Caribbean is the “greatest address in the world”. Yet still, we have an atrocious record of societal abandonment. This disposition is so acute that we report 70% of the region’s college-educated classes have fled the region for refuge elsewhere.
Refuge? An appropriate word, as there are “push and pull” reasons why Caribbean citizens leave such beauty to relocate to the cold and unknown places like Europe. Our societal defects – in the economic, security and governing engines – are that bad.
This is a crisis! Alas, the Go Lean book also asserts that a “crisis is a terrible thing to waste” (Page 8). Let’s look, listen and learn from the European mainland, and then let’s lend-a-hand and then eventually lead a reboot and turn-around of Caribbean society. We can do better than our recent past. We must do better!
This is the quest of the Go Lean book and subsequent movement, to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. Previously, these Go Lean blog-commentaries have looked inward and identified the many facets of our societal defects. Now, this commentary looks at these refuge countries that our people flee to, and glean the Good and Bad of those destinations. We want our people back … and to not lose anymore; so consider this review a competitive analysis to discern how we compete with these foreign locales. We want our young people to set their sights – their hopes and dreams – on a viable future, right here in the Caribbean homeland.
This honest assessment requires that we study the things that we, in the Caribbean, want and things that we do not want from places like Europe ; (the UK was previously considered separatedly). Here is a laundry list of the Good and the Bad and how the roadmap to elevate Caribbean society, the book Go Lean…Caribbean, describes how the lessons should be applied in the implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU):
10 GOOD Things We Want from Europe
10 BAD Things We Don’t Want from Europe
|Profit-Seeking Many people frame the motivation for New World expansion as the quest to expand sovereign empires, or a quest for religious missions; but many historians put the motivation accurately at “profit”. First there was the gold and other precious metals extracted from the Americas, then after exhaustion, then came slavery to exploit the agricultural opportunities for crops not grown in Europe: cotton, sugar cane, tobacco, etc. The Go Lean roadmap accepts that profit-seeking – not greed – is not a bad ethos; there must be growth in a community, otherwise people leave to seek profit elsewhere. The CU seeks to grow the regional GDP to US$800 Billion over 5 years.||History of Aggression To protect the Empire expansion goals, countries were willing to be aggressive militarily; as a result there where many scrimmages in the Caribbean, and many islands changed hands from one power to another. That aggression continued for the hundreds of years since the start of colonization of the New World, leading to World War I and World War II. Though there has not been any global conflicts in the 70 years since WW II, the community ethos is there, to become aggressive easily. The Go Lean roadmap anticipates the emergence of “bad actors”, so mitigations need to be proactive and reactive. The roadmap therefore stresses economics and security measures equally.|
|Tourists Tourism is still the primary economic driver for the Caribbean region. While there is a lot of competition for European tourists, the Caribbean continues to make the case that its region is the best tourist destination in the world. The region wants to continue to appeal to Europeans of all demographic persuasions to come visit the islands for stay-overs (land-based hotels) and/or cruise ships. We want to forge vacation options and traffic for the upper, middle and lower classes of European society. See VIDEO in the Appendix below. The CU forges plans, advocacies and re-boots to further enhance the Caribbean tourism product array.||Latent Racism For societies to promote the exploitation of slaves, there must have been an underlying creed of racism, or racial supremacy. This emerges from time to time, as reflected recently with the Middle East Refugee crisis. People with this mindset may not have a problem with coming to a Black majority Caribbean destination for leisure travel; it may be fun for them to be pampered by “servants”, but not so much for those facilitating the service. The Go Lean roadmap promotes racial equality in a free market. But accepting that the past was tainted, the roadmap also invites Truth and Reconciliation Commissions to settle many prior conflicts.|
|Capital There are many Financial Centers around the world and in Europe (Zurich, Paris, London, etc.). They have the capital the Caribbean needs for Direct Foreign Investments. To be attractive for these opportunities, we have to facilitate the corporate governance to allow for full transparency and accountability. The Go Lean roadmap calls for the emergence of a new financial eco-system around the Caribbean Dollar (C$) managed by a regional technocratic Caribbean Central Bank. This structure will allow for more liquidity in the existing regional stock exchanges.||Austerity The European Sovereign Debt Crisis (2009 – 2012) is mostly over now. But the remediation required more taxes and spending cuts, austerity. But economists assert that economic growth is the best way to counteract recession. So austerity measures may be a flawed strategy. The Go Lean roadmap presents strategies, tactics and implementation to grow the economy … sharply. The plan is to create 2.2 million new jobs and the incubation of many entrepreneurial endeavors. There is also the plan to streamline municipal operations and finances. This execution will eliminate the need for austerity measures.|
|Education System Germany provides tuition-free colleges (see Photo). Many other European states feature progressive education systems that foster more STEM careers. This commitment starts at kindergarten school and follows suit all the way up to college. Rather than incurring mounds of debt, the European model is a state investment in its youth. The Go Lean roadmap seeks to reboot the education eco-system and invest in STEM fields. One strategy is to deploy more e-Learning schemes. This will benefit people in urban and rural addresses of the Caribbean.||Study Abroad Going off to school is one of the most exciting times in a young student’s life, but for the CaribbeanEuropeanOverseasTerritories, it is also a rite of “passage” to the Diaspora. Places like Aruba, Curacao, Guadeloupe and Martinique have the experience of hosting graduations one week and final emigration-trips the next week. The CU/Go Lean roadmap seek to turn-around the tertiary education environment in the Caribbean, so that local students do not have to leave. They are encouraged to study in-country.|
|Health Care/Dental CareMany European member-states feature a Universal Health scheme. These programs provide examples of successful healthcare for all of its citizens. They ensure that everyone has access and quality delivery, including dental care. They have coverage for indigents, alleviating price shocks.The Go Lean roadmap calls for schemes to mandate healthcare insurance for every adult. With the leverage across the 30 member-states and 42 million people, the wholesale costs of products/services would be reduced.||GMO’sThere are Crony-Capitalists in most European powers, especially in the agricultural sectors. Leave unchecked, GMO’s could easily become the standard and deployed to the general public. (This is the American experience).The European Medicines Agency is a model for the corresponding Caribbean Medicine-Food-Nutrition regulatory agency. The Go Lean roadmap calls for strict food labeling, resembling the EU more so than the deceit/ American bad example. Life is more important than profit.|
European Imports (cont’d)
10 GOOD Things We Want from Europe
10 BAD Things We Don’t Want from Europe
|Human Rights Ideals The Nobel Prize is awarded by a committee in Stockholm, Sweden. Plus the United Nations Human Rights Commission is based in The Hague in the Netherlands. European are the most active in watching human/civil rights abuses around the world. The CU/Go Lean roadmap features monitoring for human rights in the Caribbean region. There is the need, we have a pattern of hatred towards certain minority groups.||Same Sex Marriage While there is a need for human rights and civil rights, many consider Same Sex Marriage to be “a bridge too far” too fast. For those communities with orthodox religious traditions, they balk at Same Sex Marriage being shoved on them. The CU advocates for human rights and civil rights. There must be a compromise to extend property and privacy rights without insulting religious standards.|
|Social Safety Nets The Western European nations all feature Democratic Socialism as the form of government, even with monarchs in some countries. This structure allows for more social “Safety Nets”, like unemployment benefits, welfare and disability. The people are still “covered” even if their plans for their life and career do not succeed. This incentivizes people to stay “home” for the “good, bad and the ugly”. To benefit the “Greater Good”, the CU plans a lot of “Safety Nets” for when Crap Happens, financed through insurance schemes: premiums and claims, spread across a wide region for more leverage (42 million people).||Taxes on Poor People The European states featuring Democratic Socialism feature a high tax structure – (see Photo/Chart below). This means poor people have the same tax burden as rich people. The preference is now to consider a progressive tax scheme where the rich bear a heavier burden than the poor, through either consumption or sliding scale. The CU/Go Lean roadmap proposes new balanced tax schemes that mostly “skim off the top”. The CU will deploy systems to help member-state governments do better at collecting their tax revenues. Overall the Caribbean tax burden will increase, but only marginally.|
|Police Training Security concerns are equally important in nation-building. With economic prosperity comes “bad actors”, so good law-enforcement is vital for social cohesion. In Europe, the incidences of police-civil-rights abuses is lower than say the Americans, one reason is good police training. The CU does not want a repeat of Cop-on-Black violence that the Americans experience. We want to follow the European models more for best-practices.||War on Terror Considering the historic past with former colonized people, the European mainland has to be “on guard” for bad actors and terrorism attacks; there have been recent attacks in France, Belgium and Germany. The EU is now cooperating with security intelligence globally to mitigate these threats. The CU seeks to implement a comprehensive security apparatus with robust intelligence gathering and analysis.|
|Media Arts – Film, TV, Music & e-Games While prospects for many traditional 20th Century jobs and industries (factories, auto, steel, mining) have declined in Europe due to the competitive imbalance of globalization and technology, electronic media-related industries now flourish. The challenge of language translation has been mitigated with technology – a global market has emerged. The CU roadmap posits that art and music can drive big economic returns. The only way to win in the global marketplace is to ensure that “we” produce/contribute and not just consume. The CU will ensure the complete eco-system is there to identify, foster & compensate stakeholders for this new world of electronic media..||Cultural Neutralizations – Domination of Euro-centric There are other cultures other than just White-Europeans. European (White) media brings European values, and these may not always advocate what’s best for Caribbean life. If not abated, the world gets the impression that Black-and-Brown only “takes”, rather than “give” to the world’s cultural landscape. Afro-Caribbean culture must be preserved and promoted to the rest of the world. The Go Lean book compares cultural protectionism as employed in France versus the free market approach. While France doesn’t lead many of the world’s media output, they maintain and promote their unique culture. This propels their tourism: 25 million to Paris alone.|
|Sports Professionalism The European legacies for Soccer/Football and even their Olympic models (Track & Field) inspire athletes that they can earn a living based on their talents, disciplines and abilities. The Go Lean roadmap includes a comprehensive sport promotion and administration apparatus to facilitate amateur, collegiate and professional sports careers.||Win at all costs ethic There is a worldwide movement to curb the sports world of performance enhancing drugs. Many European stakeholders have been identified and censured for bad sportsmanship in this area. The Go Lean roadmap calls for rebooting sports eco-system to include an Anti-Doping agency within the CU Trade Federation to elevate regulation and enforcement.|
Europe has been a frequent topic for considerations from the Go Lean movement (book and blogs). The opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 14) recognized that there is value in considering the Good and Bad examples of Europe, with this statement:
xxxiii. Whereas lessons can be learned and applied from the study of the recent history of other societies, the Federation must formalize statutes and organizational dimensions to avoid the pitfalls of communities like East Germany …. On the other hand, the Federation must also implement the good examples learned from developments/communities like … Germany….
Not just life in Europe is addressed by the Go Lean book, but also life in the remaining European Overseas Territories in the Caribbean (Dutch & French). The CU treaty includes the DutchTerritories (Netherland Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius) and also these FrenchTerritories (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy, and French Guiana eventually).
Though France and the Netherlands are among the most prosperous economies in the world, that prosperity has not always extended to these islands.
In addition, the book specifically addresses Europe, Dutch/French Territories and the Caribbean Diaspora in Europe with these direct references of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocates:
|Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Minority Equalizations – 4 Languages; One People||Page 24|
|Strategy – Invite empowering immigrants – Like STEM stakeholders from Europe||Page 46|
|Tactical – Confederation Models – i.e. Denmark, Sweden, Norway||Page 63|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Homeland Security – Model of NATO||Page 75|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Health Department – Medicine-Food-Nutrition Administration||Page 87|
|Implementation – Assemble Dutch and FrenchTerritories into the Caribbean Union||Page 96|
|Implementation – Trade Mission Objectives – Trade Mission Offices: Paris, Amsterdam, Spain||Page 117|
|Implementation – Reason to Repatriate – From Europe||Page 118|
|Implementation – Ways to Promote Independence – Autonomous Rule for Territories||Page 120|
|Planning – Ways to Improve Trade – Trade to Diaspora in Europe||Page 128|
|Planning – Ways to Model the European Union||Page 130|
|Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy – Encourage More Foreign Investment from Europe||Page 151|
|Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract||Page 170|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives – Models from French Origins||Page 178|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora – Large Pockets in Holland and France||Page 218|
|Advocacy – Ways to ImpactDutchTerritories||Page 246|
|Advocacy – Ways to ImpactFrenchTerritories||Page 247|
|Appendix – The Guianas Historic Timeline – Sample European Grappling||Page 307|
In addition, previous Go Lean blog/commentaries addressed many issues in regards to Europe, the Dutch/French Overseas Territories and the interactions of Caribbean people that live there in Europe; see sample list here:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7834||French Caribbean ready for the Martinique Surf Pro|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6247||Tragic images show refugee crisis at a tipping point in Europe|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5818||European Country of Greece: From Bad to Worse|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4971||The Legacy of Royal Charters in Europe: Good & Bad|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3090||Introduction to Europe – All Grown Up|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2809||A Lesson in History – Economics of East Berlin, Germany|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1364||Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic from London to Berlin|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1193||EU willing to fund study on cost of not having CARICOM|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1020||Revolutionary Changes needed in European Soccer|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=833||The Euro – One currency, Divergent Economies|
The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the CU. Our scope is to impact the Caribbean’s economic, security and governing engines, not European society. But we do hope to engage the Caribbean Diaspora living there. Perhaps even entice them to consider a Caribbean repatriation. 🙂
There are Good lessons and Bad lessons that we can learned from Europe. The Old World can now teach the New World important new lessons.
So let’s pay more than the usual attention to the lessons from “over there”. Everyone is urged to lean-in to this Go Lean/CU roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation, to make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂
Appendix VIDEO – Cayman looks to boost tourism from Europe – https://youtu.be/s6rQ5lsRp-Y
Uploaded on Jan 21, 2008 – Charles Clifford, Minister of Tourism for the Cayman Islands. The islands in the Caribbean are looking to boost tourism from the European region. The Mandarin Oriental is also planning to open a property in the islands. The interview was conducted by Breaking Travel News at Caribbean Marketplace.