Norman's Jamaican economy papers
I wonder if there is a plausible connection between a lack of neoliberal retreat or questioning in Jamaica and the decline in regionalist agenda stemming from UWI both from the academy, research output and student activities?
Plus added to that, the local policy and political elite that sign on to these neoliberal oriented agreements do so without a full understanding or have already ideologically bought into the idea that this external model is good for development by virtue of it being foreign…were they educated at UWI or overseas?
what i am getting to is a possible answer… if the government has not direction to get out of this quagmire, and if regionalism is a possible direction…if UWI is not showing that leadership now…then perhaps this is where it can be created…and perhaps we will see results in a few decades or so..if and only if it is deliberate, purposeful and strategic.
This is just my musing on how to get to that 2nd independence message….
Thanks for the paper. Very insightful. I will be using with my students this semester. Blessings.
With regard to the maritime area, I had a number of ideas when I concluded my undergraduate studies at London University and specialised in the law of international trade. Someone from Barbados had written to me on this and a number of thoughts were sent as regards what could be done in a spirit of Caribbean co-operation for collective benefit. Expanding ship registration in the Caribbean ; providing a range of maritime related services, inclusive of more aggressively moving into areas of maritime insurance and related areas – and utilising Charter parties with a jurisdictional clause for arbitration in the Caribbean, with say an arbitration centre established in the Bahamas – would be just a few thoughts.
Being educated overseas does not automatically mean an adherence to the neo-liberal template. I believe it true to say that in large part, especially amongst the political directorate in Jamaica, there is not willingness to rock ““ or ““ question the Euro-American boat.
Investment capital is always a practical consideration – but ““ do the Chinese not want to expand global influence and ustilise the excess US dollars that they hold, while the dollar still has some value. Any ideas anyone?
Older, maybe not much wiser – I fear that 50 years on with Jamaica in-dependence ““ while tourist cruise ships do visit the region, in many ways numerous opportunities have sailed by us.
I liked your speech on 50th anniversary of Jamaica”™s ” In-Dependence”. I enjoyed your reminiscences & reflections.
It occurred to me that if you changed the word ” Jamaica” to ” Uganda” and replaced for example, Walter Rodney and George Beckford with Dan Nabudere and Omwony Ojwok, we could have switched places and our audience would not know the difference ““ the same Industrialisation or Recolonisation ” by Invitation”; the same disappointment on the breakup of the federation (in our case, the East African Federation); the neo-colonial character of the ‘Independence Pact’; the same optimism (illusion) over the possibility for a radical transformation; the same retrogression over 30 years; etc. etc.
The British Empire knew what it was doing. We had illusions. Can we learn from experience?
I have only two brief comments. One is that like you I agree with Kari Levitt”™s definition of development as a ” cultural process” – ” the creativity, the resourcefulness and the talent of the mass of our people”. In Uganda we (our small Maoist movement) disbanded our ” armed struggle” in 1980 because we were very thin on the ground. We were not deep culturally. And so we adopted what we called ” the grass-rooting” strategy (I have a bit of this in the paper I sent you). Therefore I no longer use the concept of ” development state” ““ that concept has been hijacked by the neoliberals. Many of our own colleagues on the left ( I hesitate to give names)use the term ” development state” but when you look closely at what they advocate it is the same neo-liberal recipe.
I think we need new words to express what we mean. I am now using the term ” national self-realisation”. At least it captures the essence of development as a process driven by the people (and not by the neo-colonial state), and it encompasses political and cultural dimensions as well as economic.
The second is the four areas for ” shared sovereignty” for Caricom: the Common Market; external trade policy; regional security; and environment and climate change. I would add a fifth one for your consideration, namely, a common currency (which also means a common fiscal and monetary policy). This is the most challenging. And just because Europe is having difficulties does not mean that it has no chance in our neo-colonies. In fact, I believe that we need ” our own money”. We don”™t have to create it in one leap; we can do it in stages. We could create our own regional monetary agreements, including flexible regional bloc exchange rate regimes, and the creation of regional currencies. In COMESA we used to have UAPTA (Unit if Account for the Preferential Trade Area), which the IMF and our short-sighted leaders killed. Anyway, you might want to think about it.
I hope your vision helps to guide the future of Jamaica and the region.
Let us keep on talking.
With warm regards,
When you state:-
” In Uganda we (our small Maoist movement) disbanded our ” armed struggle” in 1980 because we were very thin on the ground ”
I observe that while your group was putting down arms, the neo-liberal – and – neo-conservative factions were retaining and expanding the use of their own ( cf. Bush versus Obama).
Maybe we need to rethink the future.
” We don”™t have to create it in one leap; we can do it in stages. We could create our own regional monetary agreements, including flexible regional bloc exchange rate regimes, and the creation of regional currencies”
Look at the AU – the all Africa telecommunications developments funded by Libya under Gadaffi. Look at the gold backed currency funded by Libya under Gadaffi and the postion – or – potential position of Africa under the Gaddafi led initiative – and look at Libya now – relative to your post.
I agree with you here:
“I would add a fifth one for your consideration, namely, a common currency (which also means a common fiscal and monetary policy). This is the most challenging. And just because Europe is having difficulties does not mean that it has no chance in our neo-colonies. In fact, I believe that we need ” our own money”. We don”™t have to create it in one leap; we can do it in stages. We could create our own regional monetary agreements, including flexible regional bloc exchange rate regimes, and the creation of regional currencies. ”
In Caricom at least it should be fairly straightforward. Belize, the Bahamas, Barbados and the OECS should be able to easily form a common currency already as their currencies are fixed to the US dollar and all that they would need to agree on is the new fixed exchange rate (whether it be 1:1 or 2:1 or 2.7:1 or 3:1). Then it would be up to the other states in the CSME to join. Trinidad & Tobago has a floating currency but it is managed in such a way that it is essentially fixed. I think Suriname’s dollar is also fixed. I’m not sure what regime governs Guyana’s dollar. And in Jamaica the local currency might as well be dumped anyway since no benefit is derived from its constant devaluation anyway. In fact if Jamaica were to move towards the conditions where it could adopt a fixed exchange rate then likely its economy would be on the mend and the adoption of a fixed exchange rate could act as one kind of safeguard against any future government excessive spending. One of the major benefits then of not just having a fixed dollar, but a common currency with the rest of the CSME would be to safeguard against IMF predation as the IMF couldn’t possibly prescribe devaluation as one of its fixes for any CSME state at that point since the currency in question would not be wholly under the control of any single state.
” This is the most challenging. And just because Europe is having difficulties does not mean that it has no chance in our neo-colonies. In fact, I believe that we need ” our own money”. We don”™t have to create it in one leap; we can do it in stages”
“…In one leap”? It has been 50 years and more mate – which planet are we on?
Courtenay, you are attributing that quote to the wrong person. Yash wrote that, not me (I was merely quoting him).
Additionally I think you misunderstood what Yash wrote. I never got the sense that he was saying European monetary integration occurred in one leap but that we don’t have to create our own common currency in one go.
My apology – correction noted.
” “¦In one leap”? It has been 50 years and more mate – which planet are we on?
We are well behind in the integratioin process and I do feel that the clock is ticking against the Caribbean and we need to be far more pro-active and either do something bold with CARICOM or abandon it.
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