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Say Vat? It's Voodoo Ecomomics

EDITOR, The Tribune.

I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with the path this country is on. Our leaders seem to have no clue about how to run a country or more simply, how to prioritise their responsibilities. They are failing at managing the economy, crime, health and immigration, just to name a few.

The lack of understanding of the human condition and economics was abundantly clear to me in Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’s pledge to remove VAT from breadbasket items and create tax exempt zones “over the hill”.

The Prime Minister says “we in the FNM will attack poverty aggressively and the underprivileged aggressively to ensure we uplift as many as possible.” There are two simple things he does not seem to understand from his statements, firstly, poverty is subjective and is usually a result of poor decisions and the wrong mindset. Giving a person money or opportunities that they cannot appreciate will result in the squandering of both.

Secondly, if people are not properly educated and coached to change how they think about managing resources and learn to make better decisions then, barring an act of God, they will remain poor. Spending money instead of investing or saving it will make you poor.

Borrowing for your wants and begging for your needs will keep you poor. Getting a loan to buy a car that is more than your annual salary while still living at home with your parents or renting will help you to stay poor. Having little to no education while single with children ensures that you remain poor with your highest priority being survival. People in survival mode seldom seek to prepare themselves for the future as they are too preoccupied with the present, that keeps them poor.

If the Prime Minster is serious about addressing poverty in this country then he and those he desires to help must understand one thing, the government cannot do it alone, people must want and be prepared to work at getting themselves out of poverty. It takes information, effort and time combined with opportunity. People need to know the cold truth about how to better their lives, for this they need education, not pipe dreams!

In order to pay for his VAT breaks the government has to generate revenue from somewhere else or borrow more money. That cost will be passed to the middle class and businesses in the form of new or increased taxes. Property taxes will become a penalty, the price one pays for home ownership. Does he not see this plan will increase unemployment as businesses seek to control costs and will drive up the cost of living for everyone? Does he not see that the gambling houses will continue to siphon wealth from the inner cities to the detriment of those who live there?

Voodoo economics has this country in the economic state it is in at this time. Sensible, rational visionary leadership is needed but lacking.

I have buyer’s remorse in a big way!

JB

Nassau,

February 9, 2018.

Comments

DDK 3 months, 1 week ago

JB, your statements are fair and, to my way of thinking, completely accurate. I truly believe that one of the BIGGEST PROBLEMS with our government, and many others, is that the politicians do not think or act like businesspeople, unless they think and act like crooked ones. If only they would run the country like they were operating a well-oiled, successful company, The People would benefit. Instead, they are fixated by the almighty vote, and in a majority of cases, the almighty dollar and how to make as much of it as they can while working for The People. As they are not spending their money, but The People's, they squander it at will. Some are well-intended but most, if not of the dictator ilk, tend to bend to public opinion and/or peer pressure. If the Government were run sensibly and fairly, the votes would follow. As it isn't, The People keep jumping from party to party chasing the elusive dream of a decent life. By now the Prime Minister should realize that his VAT off of bread-basket items and "over-the-hill" initiatives are/were NOT good ideas, however well-intended. How refreshing it would be if an elected government would produce a set of well thought-out five-year, yes five-year plans, and get on with it. This Government has already used up one of its five years, allowing for campaign time for the next election. The economy continues to languish, criminals continues to thrive, illegals continue to enter the country, services and education still get a D grade, cost of living continues to rise and our representatives and ministers seem to have a huge box of Bandaids of varying shapes and sizes...........

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joeblow 3 months, 1 week ago

Many spoke of Dr Minnis being a businessman as a plus for his being PM. Unfortunately being in business in the Bahamas has LESS to do with business knowledge and more to do with connections, deals and government contracts! Maybe that's why he's challenged with understanding business concepts!

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