No To Privatization Without Economic Enfranchisement

The Caribbean Is One Nation.

National Flag of Barbados
Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Group
We have previously stated that privatization will not solve Barbados’ economic problems. We base our position on the current state of the economy and its inability to function at the maximum level. Selling off state assets will only make the situation more volatile and consequently lead to more unemployment and economically empower the more dominant corporate class
While we are aware that state agencies are often used to give party supporters jobs and other goodies, we really cannot blame the recipient party supporters for the actions of opportunistic politicians. Private investors will certainly not dish out such patronage but they will seek to make high the highest profits from their investments. In other words failing enterprises do not usually attract the highest offers and we are afraid that disposing state enterprises that are now run down and functioning very poorly , will not attract their real potential value. The very first tragedy of private ownership will be the  termination of as many workers as possible.
Government will find itself scrambling or unable to offer the displaced workers any substantial “parting packages” and then the National Insurance will be under more pressure to distribute and pay unemployment benefits.  While we are not totally against private sector  involvement  of state agencies, we are not convinced that the private sector in Barbados has demonstrated that it is any better  equipped to  reform or innovate the changes needed in the fast moving new world economy.
We are totally opposed to selling off vital state agencies to already firmly entrenched corporate entities. This will lead to the further establishment of corporate oligarchies, that will eventually control a much bigger and disproportionate sate of the economic pie.  Those who are looking and comparing Barbados’ economic model with those of more advanced economies are making a huge mistake. In the United States, all huge public contracts are mandated to give specific opportunities to minority business groups  based sometimes on ethnicity and gender.

The MCG will therefore only support large scale privatization if it embraces the concept of economic enfranchisement for those businesses that need a leg up. Any radical change of government fiscal or social policy must contain the goal of moving the goal post so that those who have been perpetually failing to get a shot are given a real opportunity at scoring. Any other approach is counterproductive and basically is,  in simple Bajan parlance: Unfair.
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