Recession Fears Rising
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The current recession is revealing tremendous fears within the Caribbean. We have almost magically survived recessions in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s but the current recession, is so huge and imposing that we have been jolted into reality. Our leaders are pretending that they did not see it coming. We are forced to ask why our central bankers and highly trained economists are so inept that they appear clueless.
Astute economists have been posting that we are in a forty year downward spiral fuelled by a world made smaller by technological developments and the collapse of most socialists and communists economies and societies, driving us to a more capitalist based world economy.
Concomitant with the wave of neo-capitalism , is a brutal consumerism that is rapidly inflicting change on traditional cultural norms throughout the world. It is in this all consuming and vicious vortex that the Caribbean region finds itself. Underdeveloped and under prepared, we are swimming in a strange ocean of social/ economic events , that are set to drown us if we do not act quickly.
We are not alarmists but it is now crystal clear that there are vulturine investors and developers, who are going to attempt to exploit the region. Our main focus at this time should be to create our own solutions . However such an approach seems unpopular with a regional intelligentsia that is not prepared to unearth its creativity in order to give the region a fighting chance at survival.
We re not pessimists either but we submit that once again the poor in the region will be the ones to feel the full brunt of our inability to confront the realities of a changed world. Once more the unions and working class will see their gains disappear or diminish because the international agencies will prescribe lower wages and a decrease in services , to the poor, that are underwritten by regional governments.
These agencies will offer the same old remedies and the ailments will return in another few years when the same weak and ineffective medicine will be recommended again. Against this background fears within the region are rising on a daily basis. Disappearing foreign reserves, high levels of unemployment and outstanding inadequacies such as those in housing and health services are driving this fear . We can only hope that this fear does not result in widespread disillusionment within the region.