Go Lean Commentary
Like it or not, the Caribbean is in competition with the rest of the world – and we are losing!
Economically we are Third World. So we lose even more when our people flee to go to more prosperous countries, at the expense of societal abandonment to our communities.
It is what it is – we lose 70% of our college-educated to the brain drain – no community can thrive with such a disposition. So we are losing in the modern battles of trade and globalization. It is a crisis.
Alas, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste!
This is the premise of the book Go Lean…Caribbean; it posits (Page 3) that the Caribbean has a fighting chance for survival in the modern world because we have one huge advantage:
We have the “greatest address in the world”…
… this is in terms of terrain, fauna/flora, hospitality, culture, food, drink (rum) and tobacco (cigars).
It seems so illogical, to have this advantage and yet to lose in the global war for prosperity.
Again, it is what it is! People leave … a large number of Caribbean people have fled and now live abroad. They live in places like the US, Canada, the UK and Europe. There is so much for us to learn from these foreign destinations, as this commentary has considered. We have asked (and answered) the questions, poised as follows:
- Why do our Diaspora leave – this greatest address in the world – and what can we learn from their experiences?
- What can we gather for the Pros and Cons of life in those foreign abodes?
This consideration was completed in a series detailing the destinations for our fleeing countrymen. The full series was detailed 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
Now we must consider other countries, not ones that our Diaspora has fled to, but rather ones that compete with us and are doing MUCH BETTER jobs of contending in this competitive environment. We must consider China and India:
What Things Do We Want from China and 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 so much is missing and/or defective in our region. We can truly benefit from places like China and India if we apply these 5 L’s in this competitive analysis:
Let’s start with China. They went from “zero to hero”, emerging as an economic Super Power in short order. We can look, listen and learn from the Chinese eco-system; their mainland (the Peoples Republic of China), the special territories of Hong Kong and Taiwan (the Republic of China). We can lend-a-hand in reforming and transforming our own Caribbean region – as China has had to do – and we can eventually lead a reboot and turn-around of Caribbean society; again as China has done.
This is the quest of the Go Lean movement, to make the Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play. Previously, these Go Lean blog-commentaries have considered the competitive analysis of the US, Canada, the UK and Europe to discern how we compete with these foreign locales. The competition is for our young people; we want them to set their sights – their hopes and dreams – on a viable future, right here in the Caribbean homeland and not to have to consider fleeing – like so many of their previous generations – to have the measures of success that the modern world conveys.
This Go Lean book makes an honest assessment of the Caribbean, our failing and our advantages. It urges us to study the good, bad and ugly of our society and that of other places and then to apply lessons-learned in our efforts to transform the Caribbean. China 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 places like China, 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…. On the other hand, the Federation must also implement the good examples learned from developments/communities….
So there are things that the Caribbean want and things that we do not want from places like China. 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 China
10 BAD Things We Don’t Want from China
|Market of 1.3 billion If “size does matter” then China is ‘King of Kings’; their 1.3 billion population cannot be ignored for trade. Considering modernity, this massive consumer market have basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, energy, telecommunication and media) that must be satisfied. So much profit (jobs) is to be gained by trying to provide for these needs. The Go Lean roadmap is based on the premise that Caribbean member-states need a bigger population, and so seeks the leverage of 42 million people in the region. The roadmap also seeks to explore all profit-seeking opportunities to first satiate the basic needs of those 42 million people. 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, by facilitating the regional market and also trade with China.||Bullying China realizes that “size does matter” and with its 1.3 billion population, they can “throw their weight around”. The current conflict in the South China Sea is a manifestation of that bullying ethos. China can be a “bad actor” at times; and they are a nuclear power. Though China has not displayed any military aggression towards the Caribbean, our security apparatus must be “on guard”. 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. We are not in the “nuclear club” and do not seek that status, so we must continue our alliance with nuclear powers. Our current alliance are based on proximity and colonial status, as the United States, the United Kingdom and France are all nuclear capable and have active Caribbean territories.|
|Capital China is now starting to exert its economic muscles in the Caribbean – they bring the wallets of their State-run entities, i.e. Export-Import Bank (China Exim Bank). The Caribbean region needs these foreign investments. They put the “money where the mouth is” as many China funded infrastructure projects in the Caribbean are managed by State-run engineering and construction firms. The CU/Go Lean roadmap calls for strenuous oversight for the regions monetary policy (Caribbean Dollar), thereby fostering better accountability and transparency.||Exploitation of Environment Chinese cities are notoriously bad for pollution; many residents wear surgical masks daily. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, many foreign athletes had to mitigate by going to venues only on participation days. The government’s “anything goes” ethos also apply in the rural areas, with an overall lack of environmental protection.
The CU/Go Lean stresses environmental protection in the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Self-Governing Entities, plus the ratings-&-rankings of the member-states delivery for the Social Contract forces adherence and compliance.
|Trade & Economic Growth China has grown tremendously in the past few decades by “opening up” and adopting the tenants of this one economic principle: “Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth”. The lesson for the Caribbean is that even with a much smaller 42 million population base, we can still grow our economy and trade outreach – plus we have the destination and culture the world wants. So we have a lot to trade on. The CU is a Trade federation so the emphasis is on all aspects of trade. See the book’s Trade SHIELD principles.||Trade Barrier China imposes restrictions on its trade imports to block too much foreign imports, even for intellectual property. But this is a product of negotiation. China could be better exposed to the beauty of Caribbean culture and related products, but first there must be effective messaging to correct their fallacies about Afro-Caribbean image. The Go Lean roadmap calls for a Sentinel for Caribbean image. A lot of the fallacies in China stem from false white supremacy precepts. The CU will “message this out”.|
|Infrastructure Build China has been active in the Caribbean region regarding infrastructure projects; they have built stadia, hotels, airports, bridges and other projects. The engineering skills are greatly appreciated, especially when accompanied with Chinese funding options. The Go Lean roadmap calls for new strategies to facilitate infrastructure projects. We need partners like China’s State-run engineering and construction firms.||Shoddy Workmanship
Even China itself questions the workmanship of its State-run engineering and construction firms. For the 2008 Beijing Olympics the primary stadium – Bird Nest – was engineered by a German firm. Also, the recent Baha Mar project in the Bahamas, is plagued with quality concerns. The CU structure calls for advancing the engineering competence in the region, over time, so that Caribbean stakeholders can facilitate these projects ourselves.
|Progressive Technocracy The Chinese government is headed mostly by technocrats as opposed to lawyers and politicians; (Go Lean book Page 64). Their steady societal growth of the recent decades is reflective of a technocratic ethos. The Go Lean roadmap details community ethos that reflect technocratic principles, like: Lean Operations, Return on Investments, Cooperatives, Incubators, NGO’s and R&D.||Religious Orthodoxy While atheistic communism is the official principle of China’s government, religious institutions are still thriving, along with many negative orthodoxy: human rights abuses for minority groups, superstitions of ingredients from endangered animals (elephant & rhino tusks, shark fins, etc.). The CU/Go Lean roadmap features minority equalization and protections despite any religious orthodoxy.|
Chinese Imports (cont’d)
10 GOOD Things We Want from China
10 BAD Things We Don’t Want from China
|Protected economy China is a good example of economic stewards protecting their economy for domestic stakeholders first. Consider the mandate for movies; only a minimum is allowed from foreign producers, thereby fostering a domestic industry. The CU, while encouraging foreign participation, sees the value of incentivizing (subsidies) domestic participants for greater colloquialism; this will create more local jobs.||Restricted economy China’s protective motives go too far; it is now considered restrictive; consider the blocking of outside internet and e-commerce. A bilateral approach should allow for more give-and-take.
The CU/Go Lean roadmap calls for negotiated bilateral trade permissiveness. We must give-and-take; this is the only way to “win” with globalization.
|Justice Principles China has multi-layers of governance: national, provincial and municipal. Yet, still there are justice accords that the country ensures. In addition, there are treaties that China has ratified. This compliance ensures some accountability. The CU/Go Lean roadmap prioritizes justice among its community values. Even though local and national governance exist, there is accountability to regional justice institutions; with the deployment of the CariPol and Caribbean Court.||International Justice Adherence China often plays the role of “bad actor” for enforcement of international accords. Take the case of “Legal High” for example. This drama involves legal drugs used to mix narcotics for sale in Black Markets, think “Meth”. In most cases, the drugs come from factories in China; see this BBC story and the Appendix VIDEO. The Go Lean roadmap prepares the region for mitigations against “bad actors”, domestic and foreign. The security apparatus will work lock-step with CU Trade efforts.|
|Commitment to Sports The Chinese legacies for soccer/football , basketball and even their Olympic models (Track & Field) inspire athletes that they can earn a living based on their talents, disciplines and abilities. The governments attempt to identify those with genius qualifiers as early as possible and then foster the skills progressively as they mature. The Go Lean roadmap includes a comprehensive sport promotion and administration apparatus to facilitate amateur, collegiate and professional sports careers.||Unsportsmanlike Competition Chinese athletes push themselves to the full limits, many times beyond unreasonableness. During recent Olympics, many Chinese female gymnasts were much younger than required for their psychological development. Plus with the threat of performance enhancing drugs, many bad sportsmanship have been expressed. 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.|
|Commitment to Progressive Healthcare With 1.3 Billion people, there will be classes of rich, poor and middle class. But with the communistic structure, a safety net is supposed to be there for all; but with that market size, the “least common denominator” will be low. Ancient Chinese medicine is fully supported by the government, but, the best example of the country’s health progression is available to Armed Forces personnel. The CU/Go Lean roadmap prioritizes advances in health care for all citizens in the region. There are deliverables for cancer treatments, mental health and universal plans.||Organ Transplants According to a previous blog, China has a lot of mileage in the medical history of organ transplantation and the impact on social values. This is a recent history anywhere, as the medical capability only became viable since the 1970′s. With the billions of people living in the rural areas, it is not inconceivable that “bad actors” view the masses as prime harvesting grounds for organ transplantation. The Go Lean roadmap allows for a regional registry and protections for organ transplantation across the 42 million population, as bad actors will appear here too.|
|Family Cohesion It is common for multiple generations of Chinese families to live in the same house; this allows for automatic elder care and childcare arrangements.
The Go Lean roadmap encourages repatriation; family reunification is one additional benefit. This will also encourage the Caribbean youth to plan for a future at home.
|Family Planning – Size Decades ago, China started its One Child policy to mitigate population explosion. The threat of infanticide is high as couples may not get the One Child sex they want.
Rather than excessive population, the Caribbean population is declining because of the excessive brain drain/societal abandonment. We can encourage any family planning preference for our region.
In addition, the book specifically addresses China and Taiwan with these direct references of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocates:
|Community Ethos – Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Money Multiplier||Page 22|
|Community Ethos – Job Multiplier||Page 22|
|Community Ethos – Cooperatives||Page 25|
|Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good||Page 37|
|Strategy – CU Vision and Mission||Page 45|
|Strategy – Customers – Foreign Direct Investors||Page 48|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization||Page 57|
|Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union||Page 63|
|Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy||Page 64|
|Tactical – $800 Billion Economy – How and When – Trade||Page 67|
|Tactical – $800 Billion Economy – How? Example of WWII Rebuild in China/Taiwan||Page 69|
|Tactical – Growth Approach – Trade and Globalization||Page 70|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Cari-Pol – Marshalls & Investigations||Page 77|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Caribbean Court of Justice||Page 90|
|Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change||Page 101|
|Implementation – Ways to Deliver||Page 109|
|Implementation – Trade Mission Objectives||Page 117|
|Implementation – Ways to Benefit Globalization||Page 119|
|Planning – Ways to Improve Trade||Page 128|
|Planning – Ways to Improve Interstate Commerce||Page 129|
|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 Better Manage the Social Contract||Page 170|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Justice||Page 177|
|Appendix – Trade S.H.I.E.L.D. Principles||Page 264|
In addition, this subject of China and our Caribbean trade empowerment has been directly addressed and further elaborated upon in these previous blog/commentaries:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8823||Lessons from China – WeChat: Model for Caribbean Social Media|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8819||Lessons from China – South China Seas: Exclusive Economic Zones|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8817||Lessons from China – Mobile Games Apps: The new Playground|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8815||Lessons from China – Organ Transplantation: Facts and Fiction|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8813||Lessons from China – Why China will soon be Hollywood’s #1 market|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8799||Lessons from China – Too Big To Ignore|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6231||China’s Caribbean Playbook: America’s Script|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5435||China Internet Policing – Model for Caribbean|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2488||Role Model Jack Ma brings Trade Marketplace Alibaba to America|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=294||Bahamas and China’s New Visa Agreement|
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 Chinese society. While Caribbean people are not fleeing their homeland to relocate to China. there is a Diaspora issue associated with Caribbean-China relations: Indentured Servitude. At the end of the era of Caribbean slavery (1830’s to 1840’s), the plantation system required a replacement labor source; many Chinese nationals were thusly “recruited” as Indentured Servants to the region – British, French and Spanish lands – see here:
There were two main waves of Chinese migration to the Caribbean region. The first wave of Chinese consisted of indentured labourers who were brought to the Caribbean predominantly Trinidad, British Guiana and Cuba, to work on sugar plantations during the post-Emancipation period. The second wave was comprised of free voluntary migrants, consisting of either small groups (usually relatives) to British Guiana, Jamaica and Trinidad from the 1890’s to the 1940’s. In fact the most modern Caribbean Chinese are descended from this second group. – Caribbean-Atlas.com
Derivatives of the 18,000-plus Chinese immigrants are still here in the Caribbean today. These descendents have grown in numbers and power (economic and political) in the region. They are part of the fabric of our society. They are home in the Caribbean; and we are at home with them; see the profile of the Lee-Chen families in this previous blog-commentary. This is our Chino-Caribbean heritage. These ones, as a Chinese Diaspora, desire these imports from China and are on alert for influences they do not want.
All in all, there are Good lessons and Bad lessons that we can learned from China. We can also advance “from zero to hero”, as China has done. Yes, we can!
So let’s pay more than the usual attention to the developments of China, to China and from China. Everyone is urged to lean-in to this Go Lean/CU roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation, to make our Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂
Appendix VIDEO – What goes on inside a Chinese ‘legal high’ factory? BBC News – https://youtu.be/BnhgWG-cp5w
Published on Sep 6, 2016 – The BBC has been shown footage filmed inside a laboratory in China that makes so-called “legal highs”. The sale, distribution and manufacture of the drugs was banned in the UK in 2016 as many of them were found to have lethal side effects.
But Radio 4’s File on Four programme managed to order a small sample of a legal high from an online supplier in China.
The drug was posted to the UK concealed inside a plastic container designed to hold a water softener.
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