Well, it’s certainly past time! Time for some group with clout to sit down this government and explain the facts of (economic) life for a country. The Private Sector Commission (PSC) decided to call in all the political parties for a palaver on what the politics of unilateralism is doing to the economic prospects of our country. The perspective goes beyond the specific poor decisions made in so many areas – such as dropping tax reform like a hot potato – but involves the context of business decisions. Of which, this government is clueless!!
The economists would like us to believe businessmen or entrepreneurs make their decisions to invest or not invest, or pull their funds from the market, etc…based on “rational choice”. That is, at every intersection of the variables in their business environment, they examine the pros and cons of the available choices and then make a “rational” choice. Sounds good, doesn’t it? For what it’s worth, the rational choice model was extended by the economists into every aspect of our lives. Looking at the supermarket shelf, are we going to buy the Heinz, Hunt’s or Del Monte Ketchup?
But your Eyewitness figures you’ve spotted the flaw in the argument – which has pulled the rug out from under the economists influencing governmental policy. You didn’t choose the Hunt’s because of that comparison of qualities, did you? You went with your GUT feeling. The decision was more emotional than rational. The irrelevance of the “Rational choice” model becomes even clearer when we think about how we make our POLITICAL decisions. Did we really compare and contrast the PPP and the PNC according to some set of factors? Naaah!! You know we didn’t! Gut feeling, Budday!
And we return to the point about the PSC’s timely call to get the Government to stop with the schupidness it’s on. It’s been known from the days of Walter Raleigh that Guyana’s chock-full of resources. Rational choice theory would’ve predicted that businesses with capital and knowhow would’ve sat down and done their comparisons, etc…and invested! Some did, of course, but not nearly enough.
Why? They were scared away by their gut feeling about a country ruled by arbitrary despots like Burnham. This loss of confidence can happen even in developed countries – like the Great Depression, which Keynes said, was caused by “animal spirits” – his name for gut feeling.
Right now, the animal spirits pervading businesses in Guyana are driven by the feeling these yahoos in Government don’t know their ass from their elbow when it comes to investment.
The ongoing vendetta on old privatisation deals is a perfect example.
Why are PNC privatisations like Demerara Timbers, National Paints…getting free passes?
…and oil negotiations
Lumumba really made mincemeat out of Trotman when the Natural Resource Committee examined the bonus the latter had claimed he “negotiated” with Exxon, didn’t he? We discovered sooo many things. Trotman let on as to how the US$18 million figure for the bonus was arrived at by some other department (most likely Foreign Affairs) because that’d be around the amount they’d need to handle Venezuela’s border controversy at the ICJ.
Can you imagine NEGOTIATING for a bonus and not even connecting it to the amount of oil under the ground? Here we are, a certified shithole country that’s salivating for an injection of funds up front and we ASK for a measly US$18 million when we have 3.5 BILLION bbls?? It gets even scarier when we consider Trotman was the man who’d proposed early in the day that Exxon could extend funds to us up front against future revenues.
Your Eyewitness won’t even mention Trotman’s admission that there’s no “paper trail” on the bonus. It was all “verbal”!!
PM Freundel Stuart on his intention to have Barbados withdraw from the CCJ: “I’m not going to have Barbados disrespected by any politicians wearing robes. It is not going to happen.”
Imagine the uproar if Jagdeo had said the same!!