Categorized | Editorial, Local, News

Politics and Economic Stupidity don’t go well together…

Editorial – January 23, 2015 :

But did it go beyond that?

Joseph E. Stiglitz, writing in the International Economics column, wrote an article, “The Politics of Economic Stupidity.” In it he stated “The big problem facing the world in 2015 is not economic. We know how to escape our current malaise. The problem is our stupid politics.” Then he ended after a brief discussion in terms simple enough for the non-economic student, after quoting President Bill Clinton’s campaign message in 1992, ““It’s the economy, stupid;” with his own phrase: “It’s the politics, stupid” and, “Demand, demand, demand.”

No one has to agree, but the sincere, transparent and accountable, will agree that in Montserrat’s case, it really isn’t about money or economics. It cannot be about money, for even though our leaders like to speak about the word ‘austerity’ as it relates to the UK, we do not hear HMG telling Montserrat about it, but rather asking for reasonableness and justification. Not for budgetary support, but for developmental needs.

So it comes down to politics; not between opposing sides but just corrupted politics and politicians. Is it economic stupidity, ignorance and/or corruption that drive them? The question is posed for not only the Montserrat Government (GoM) but includes HMG. The Governor sits as the chairman of Cabinet, shares his office with DFID and they sit together in press conferences, although it must be the transparency and accountable issue that kept the former Premier away from them. DFID sits on MDV board and also on procurement board, no doubt conflicting as we have noted before. When before did Montserrat boast these top three biggies, being economists

The problems that led to audits and reports that cause DFID to have to take time to pause, rather than saying enough is enough and done, only because it’s a new government that said, like the others, they believe in transparency and accountability, have been written about by us and questions posed to all sides.

Do the right thing we encouraged as we questioned them about, things Stiglitz spoke of – politics and policies that choked off demand. He said, “In the absence of demand, investment and jobs will fail to materialize. It is that simple.” With which or what nerve the former Premier addressed his question about transparency and accountability to this 120-days-old government, in the face of what we have been asking and what the reports are now confirming have been practiced, or not practiced?

See today’s front page story and read the links as well as this and others: http://www.themontserratreporter.com/pipers-pond-has-montserrat-been-intentionally-mislead-by-the-dfid-and-the-mdc/.

As noted in one of the Fraud Investigation report, in every project document is the concern and measures for the risk of fraud and corruption. “DFID business cases have a section that deals with the governance, corruption and fraud risks associated with each intervention made.”.

Are these concerned statements that they sign and agree to, just treated like “water thrown on ducks backs?” Premier Meade at the Charrette said that the discussions were “…undertaking long-term planning to return the Island to its former glory.” Same thing, was it?

So, who is, and who will be held accountable, and what is the prize?

Of all the nerve! There are many reports, letters and documents and discussions that should be, or should have been shared, but not seen by Governor, Minister, other officials, much more the press. Is that a fact? When you happen to learn about one, you get a reason, unreasonable or worse of course, why it went into oblivion.

The former MDC chairman in a letter to MNIAlive complained: “Can you therefore explain why you have not yet advised your readers that no financial irregularities existed”?

Really! Is that supposed to mean that the fact the books show that $500 was budgeted and spent for an item or project, that the whole transaction was not fraught with nepotism, bid rigging, bribery, kickbacks and fraud? All of these, proven carry jail terms. No, it is not only those who falsify the figures are thieves, let’s use a kinder word, cheats!. One top official who may well have to answer their share of questions agrees and says, maybe not jail, but held accountable.

To not follow the bylaws of a corporation such as MDC is serious business. Note what can happens, failure results even when someone else’s pocket bulges. So, the financials may be all good, but the details are calamitous. Reaction to the Premier’s call was swift and real as seen in this publication.

Remembering that while funds used at the MDC were not only for the projects which can visibly be seen at Carr’s Bay and Little Bay. Also involved were supposed to be projects all over Montserrat, to include building the private sector.

A Business Dictionary describes the following:

Bribery – The act of taking or receiving something with the intention of influencing the recipient in some way favorable to the party providing the bribe. Bribery is typically considered illegal and can be punishable by jail time or stiff fines if authorities find out about the bribe.

Bid rigging – Illegal conspiracy in which competitors join to artificially increase the prices of goods and/or services offered in bids to potential customers. It may also include carving up the potential business between the conspirators.

Kickback – Portion of an income demanded as a bribe by an official for facilitating the job or order from which the income is realized.

Was this the order of business with the MDC? Were these findings as described in the ‘Reports’?

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Editorial – January 23, 2015 :

But did it go beyond that?

Joseph E. Stiglitz, writing in the International Economics column, wrote an article, “The Politics of Economic Stupidity.” In it he stated “The big problem facing the world in 2015 is not economic. We know how to escape our current malaise. The problem is our stupid politics.” Then he ended after a brief discussion in terms simple enough for the non-economic student, after quoting President Bill Clinton’s campaign message in 1992, ““It’s the economy, stupid;” with his own phrase: “It’s the politics, stupid” and, “Demand, demand, demand.”

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No one has to agree, but the sincere, transparent and accountable, will agree that in Montserrat’s case, it really isn’t about money or economics. It cannot be about money, for even though our leaders like to speak about the word ‘austerity’ as it relates to the UK, we do not hear HMG telling Montserrat about it, but rather asking for reasonableness and justification. Not for budgetary support, but for developmental needs.

So it comes down to politics; not between opposing sides but just corrupted politics and politicians. Is it economic stupidity, ignorance and/or corruption that drive them? The question is posed for not only the Montserrat Government (GoM) but includes HMG. The Governor sits as the chairman of Cabinet, shares his office with DFID and they sit together in press conferences, although it must be the transparency and accountable issue that kept the former Premier away from them. DFID sits on MDV board and also on procurement board, no doubt conflicting as we have noted before. When before did Montserrat boast these top three biggies, being economists

The problems that led to audits and reports that cause DFID to have to take time to pause, rather than saying enough is enough and done, only because it’s a new government that said, like the others, they believe in transparency and accountability, have been written about by us and questions posed to all sides.

Do the right thing we encouraged as we questioned them about, things Stiglitz spoke of – politics and policies that choked off demand. He said, “In the absence of demand, investment and jobs will fail to materialize. It is that simple.” With which or what nerve the former Premier addressed his question about transparency and accountability to this 120-days-old government, in the face of what we have been asking and what the reports are now confirming have been practiced, or not practiced?

See today’s front page story and read the links as well as this and others: http://www.themontserratreporter.com/pipers-pond-has-montserrat-been-intentionally-mislead-by-the-dfid-and-the-mdc/.

As noted in one of the Fraud Investigation report, in every project document is the concern and measures for the risk of fraud and corruption. “DFID business cases have a section that deals with the governance, corruption and fraud risks associated with each intervention made.”.

Are these concerned statements that they sign and agree to, just treated like “water thrown on ducks backs?” Premier Meade at the Charrette said that the discussions were “…undertaking long-term planning to return the Island to its former glory.” Same thing, was it?

So, who is, and who will be held accountable, and what is the prize?

Of all the nerve! There are many reports, letters and documents and discussions that should be, or should have been shared, but not seen by Governor, Minister, other officials, much more the press. Is that a fact? When you happen to learn about one, you get a reason, unreasonable or worse of course, why it went into oblivion.

The former MDC chairman in a letter to MNIAlive complained: “Can you therefore explain why you have not yet advised your readers that no financial irregularities existed”?

Really! Is that supposed to mean that the fact the books show that $500 was budgeted and spent for an item or project, that the whole transaction was not fraught with nepotism, bid rigging, bribery, kickbacks and fraud? All of these, proven carry jail terms. No, it is not only those who falsify the figures are thieves, let’s use a kinder word, cheats!. One top official who may well have to answer their share of questions agrees and says, maybe not jail, but held accountable.

To not follow the bylaws of a corporation such as MDC is serious business. Note what can happens, failure results even when someone else’s pocket bulges. So, the financials may be all good, but the details are calamitous. Reaction to the Premier’s call was swift and real as seen in this publication.

Remembering that while funds used at the MDC were not only for the projects which can visibly be seen at Carr’s Bay and Little Bay. Also involved were supposed to be projects all over Montserrat, to include building the private sector.

A Business Dictionary describes the following:

Bribery – The act of taking or receiving something with the intention of influencing the recipient in some way favorable to the party providing the bribe. Bribery is typically considered illegal and can be punishable by jail time or stiff fines if authorities find out about the bribe.

Bid rigging – Illegal conspiracy in which competitors join to artificially increase the prices of goods and/or services offered in bids to potential customers. It may also include carving up the potential business between the conspirators.

Kickback – Portion of an income demanded as a bribe by an official for facilitating the job or order from which the income is realized.

Was this the order of business with the MDC? Were these findings as described in the ‘Reports’?