Saturday, March 19, 2011



Under the PUP previous administration, Ralp Fonseca introduced GDP ratios for judging the economy of Belize. For the first three years, I did not like them, but finally got used to working with them and intrepreting what they meant. My most favorite GDP ratio was the NATIONAL DEBT TO GDP RATIO.
Under Barrow and the UDP, they have scrapped GDP ratios. Too revealing most believe and gone back to the old colonial accounting method, which is totally worthless in my opinion and hides a lot of skullduggery by the political party in power.
Generally speaking there is a feeling that we survived the two years of the World Depression well. Not excellent, but came through reasonably, due to good stewardship. Because of this I was tempted to raise the report card for the UDP ten points, depending on the budget presentation. The budget this 2011 is a repeat of the 2010 budget with a few more million to spend, which we will borrow.
Unless there is a game changing dynamic, such as a FREE ZONE between Guatemala, Salvador and Belize, I don´t see any future overall improvements possible for our economy, unless you are counting on a one crop product, as the UDP seem to be doing with OIL. To me that is the wrong way to think. We need diversity economically.
To get to the point, I was unhappy and so apparently are others on the listserves to do with Belize about the UDP colonial accounting government methodology system. It hides a lot of mischief and knee jerk financial shennanigans. Personally I would like Finance Minister, elected dictator Barrow to go back to the PUP system of GDP ratios. So the final figure for the UDP report card is an additional 6 points. For a total approval rating of 60% with this budget reading. PM BARROW lost 4 points possible, due to the old colonial accounting system he is using for reporting to the public. It is not good enough for the modern era.
The PRIVATE SECTOR feel that the UDP and the civil service are not using their smarts in the interest of developing Belize economically good enough. I tend to agree with them. It´s a mixed bag, but we could do a lot better if we had a bigger market next door for our entrepreneurs to work with. At 350,000 people scattered in 9 small towns and 400 villages around 6000 square miles of rugged terrain, we have no local market to speak of and so any arguments that our market would be swamped by our neighbors is moot. To the contrary, a FREE TRADE ZONE would give Belizean future entrepreneurs a LARGER MARKET to build with. It is now for the UDP and our civil service to get cracking and start doing the obvious.

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