Thursday, April 8, 2010


Business Perspectives TV PROGRAM this week, very constructive. Good program this week, with solutions and ideas for the future course of events.

BUSINESS PERSPECTIVES by the Chamber of Commerce of Belize City

Saw the program, again by chance while rolling through the channels last night.

Some interesting callers phoned into the program. One subject that came up was the police and how the living allowance for a constable was too low. Forget the amount, but it sure is. In today’s Belize, it would need $600 for rent in towns, $100 for electricity, $50 for water, for family of 2 kids, and $100 for butane.
Most policemen here with families that take houses that are abandoned, or vandalized camp out. When they can sucker somebody to rent them, they leave behind oodles of damage, and hundreds of dollars in utilities when they get transferred. Most of them, cook over wood fires in the back yards.
In reference I go back to the 1950’s in Western Canada. I remember when in British Columbia, that boarding houses back then, slept 3 to 5 people wearing long johns in a bed in one room and you ate communally. I met a couple of Royal Canadian Mountain Police and I remember they had to sign a paper that said they could not get married for five years. They used to get transferred just like constables in Belize. Population of Canada at that time was about 4.5 million people. The RCMP looked splendid in those red jacket uniforms and left bastard children all over CANADA, as the girls went crazy over them.
Don’t know how it is now, but obviously Belize has to switch to town and village based permanent police forces that can establish homes and invest in the community. This means an elected Sheriff system on a two year basis. With a permanent force of civil service accredited and tested police. We have to change and the CHAMBER program touched on it a bit seeking answers to our policing situation that does not work in Belize. Will the UDP show the leadership to get to it? That is the question?

The problem brought up of how each new elected government of amateurs make a balls up of things when they come into office. Through lack of experience. It was pointed out by one panel member; that BARBADOS a few years ago, institutionalized POLICY MAKING, between the CABINET and STAKEHOLDERS in the PRIVATE SECTOR. Have no idea how it works, but we need something like that for sure. Each new government makes a mess of things. Be worth investigating.
We can take the UDP for instance. They came into office with the premeditated plan to borrow their way into the good graces of the public. They inherited a 76 % to GDP ratio which is bad, but went ahead with their plans to BORROW and consequently after two years, we now have a debt of 107% to GDP ratio, which they say will increase to over 110% by the end of 2010. Even spider monkeys know this is unsustainable. This is amateur night and the idea of a sobering effect of an institutionalized process to CABINET POLICY MAKING, through involving the PRIVATE SECTOR like BARBADOS is an intriguing one. The speaker said it was more successful after some disaster they experienced over there in BARBADOS.
At the moment the UDP is responsible for a 31% increase in the national debt. Never mind that a lot of infra-structure needed doing. As true as it is, that is no excuse for poor management. If we assume 3 % of that 31 %, was allowable debt by the UDP in the last two years. Since they inherited 76% of the debt. It means that 28% of the NATIONAL DEBT OF BELIZE today by the UDP in the last two years, is pure amateur incompetence and poor management at the political party level. No matter how many excuses you make or rationalizations, or finger pointing. 28% of the national debt is the UDP fault and incompetence due to amateurism, or poor leadership. The statistics tell the true story.
Obviously, the institutionalized POLICY MAKING involving the Private Sectors would put a rein on an expanding government and the associated costs. We need something like that. Lets look at BARBADOS and see if what they are doing is working and can be used in Belize?

Senator Hulse came off the wall, being against food self sustainability. In some measure he has a point, but the food equation is more complex than we got from his diatribe. It would be worth a program of itself, as he suggested. There are a lot of varieties of food imported, we can replace by local manufacture. Plus as the population grows, more diversity in food products is needed. The situation is more complex than his simplistic diatribe. I think he is thinking of diets of olden days in his youth? It’s not the same anymore as 40 years ago. True, much of what we do now needs to be orientated to exporting.

Interesting comment on the middle men coming from Guatemala buying cattle and the suggestion by one caller that we simply sell and deliver our own cattle to the butchers in Guatemala? Needs a follow up, by some entrepreneur businessman.

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