“Why Morality is Important” SOLUTIONS BARBADOS PERSPECTIVE: by Grenville Phillips II
Barbados is a small independent island, with a vulnerable open economy, in one of the most hazard prone regions on Earth. We need a benefactor – someone who can support us in challenging times.
We were taught to accept the Queen as our benefactor, but she did not help us when we went through our last financial crisis in 1991. Our politicians appear to have accepted that China is a better fit. We are already indebted to China. Given the reckless way in which our politicians, from both established parties, have borrowed in the past, it is foreseen that our debts to China will soon become unsustainable – we will not be able to afford to repay them. What then?
Our financial professionals and business persons are recommending that we accept the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as our benefactor. However, The IMF is an option if Barbados has the misfortune of electing the undisciplined politicians of the BLP or DLP. They have both brought us to the brink of economic ruin. However, the IMF will be no benefactor to Barbados.
Guyana’s IMF experience is instructive. Within one year, of the Guyanese people were surrendered to the IMF by their irresponsible politicians, Guyana had fallen from being one of the richest Caribbean countries to one of the poorest. Guyana’s politicians oversaw: a 70% devaluation of the dollar, doubling of income tax rates, a lack of supplies and maintenance parts, reduced social services, mass emigration of professionals, and 75% of the population in poverty.
Solutions Barbados has published the only non-austerity plan, that has been verified to reverse all of the previous downgrades and return Barbados to investment grade within one year. Therefore, we have not yet run out of good options.
If Barbadians have the misfortune of selecting the IMF directed extreme austerity promised by others, then they will find that the IMF is not the benefactor they were convinced that they were, but it will be too late for all of us. To whom should our politicians then surrender Barbados after they have wasted our resources? To the Queen, the Chinese, or the IMF?
Perhaps we should remember the words of those who survived with far less resources and more hardship than we ever had. The wisdom of our fore-parents is recorded in our Constitution.
“Now, therefore, the people of Barbados proclaim that they are a sovereign nation founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, the dignity of the human person, their unshakable faith in fundamental human rights and freedoms, and the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions; affirm their belief that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law;”
Perhaps we need to be reminded that our benefactor is God, and He gives wisdom which can be applied to our knowledge in order to provide creative and productive results. However, God has conditions for His help.
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)
It is in all of our best interests if those whom we elect to represent all of us cultivate a relationship with God. Irresponsible living does not facilitate that. This is why morality is crucial to managing public affairs, especially when a nation has run out of all good options.