Category Archives: Recession

Compassion and consumer power

By Raffique Shah
May 12, 2020

Raffique ShahBased on comments I’ve heard or read in the media on the likely economic realities that will confront us when Government eases the COVID-19 “lockdown”, I am worried about the future of Trinidad and Tobago. No one disputes that the country faces enormous problems, what with the near-collapse of the oil and gas sectors, the closure of several petrochemical plants in Point Lisas, and the absence of other export-driven industries that could earn substantial foreign exchange.
Continue reading Compassion and consumer power

In Defense of Teachers

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 29, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAlberta Smith (not her real name), my dear friend, has been a primary school teacher for thirty years. She didn’t like last week’s article and didn’t put water in her mouth to tell me so. She sent the following response which I was free to reproduce once I omitted her real name. She wrote:
Continue reading In Defense of Teachers

Road Map To Recovery Team Needs Rethinking

By A. Hotep
April 17, 2020

Road Map To Recovery Team Needs RethinkingPM Dr Keith Rowley’s “Road Map to Recovery” team is mostly the same tone-deaf people who have us in our financial and social crisis today. There was no inclusion of members of the African community who advocate for addressing our racial and cultural issues which remain at the heart of disunity, insecurity and discriminatory social behaviours in this country. Why was the Opposition leader not invited to be part of this group? I am not aware of members of this team placing environmental concerns at the top of their agenda. Where are those who are concerned about the development of our agriculture and water management sectors? I rather suspect some feminists would also have similar concerns about being omitted.
Continue reading Road Map To Recovery Team Needs Rethinking

Hooked on foreign foods

By Raffique Shah
April 14, 2020

Raffique ShahLarge mobs of presumably hungry consumers virtually laid siege to fast-foods restaurants across the country last Monday evening after Prime Minister Keith Rowley announced that all restaurants and retail food services will be closed for business until the end of this month. Embedded in that eruption was a conundrum this country faces as it battles the COVID-19 virus.
Continue reading Hooked on foreign foods

After crisis food rationing?

By Raffique Shah
April 06, 2020

Raffique ShahWhen we will have overcome the COVID-19 multi-pronged attack on Trinidad and Tobago, we will face associated problems ranging from the economy under severe stress such as it has never been before, with unemployment at a crisis level, disruption of the education system leaving all stakeholders confused, and possible shortage of foods. Just when the population thought it was safe to exhale, having survived the deadliest pandemic in modern history, the bugle will sound summoning couch-and television-weary troops to do battle again, and likely yet again, for love of country.
Continue reading After crisis food rationing?

How Our Banking System Dis-serves the Poor

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 02, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe issuance of the polymer $100 bill and the hardships it caused many citizens should make us realize how the banking system discriminates against the poor and looks down on them for having created an alternative financial system that serves their needs.

The Trinidad Express, in an insightful editorial, offered a useful history of banking in this country. It cautioned: “It is in the interest of the national economy and social harmony that policy makers and bankers understand T&T’s culture of savings and design instruments appropriate to them instead of demeaning them and pushing them underground.” (December 19).
Continue reading How Our Banking System Dis-serves the Poor

The Venezuela Myth Keeping Us From Transforming Our Economy

By Ellen Brown
February 09, 2019 – ellenbrown.com

USAModern Monetary Theory (MMT) is getting significant media attention these days, after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview that it should “be a larger part of our conversation” when it comes to funding the Green New Deal. According to MMT, the government can spend what it needs without worrying about deficits. MMT expert and Bernie Sanders advisor Prof. Stephanie Kelton says the government actually creates money when it spends. The real limit on spending is not an artificially imposed debt ceiling but a lack of labor and materials to do the work, leading to generalized price inflation. Only when that real ceiling is hit does the money need to be taxed back, and then not to fund government spending but to shrink the money supply in an economy that has run out of resources to put the extra money to work.
Continue reading The Venezuela Myth Keeping Us From Transforming Our Economy

Think small, earn big

By Raffique Shah
January 03, 2019

Raffique ShahI could have begun the New Year by griping about all the negatives of the old, cussing from politicians to crooks for the many woes we citizens face daily, ranging from a record high number of homicides to a seemingly stagnated economy, arguing that the current government is the worst we have had since the indigenous peoples ran things however many centuries ago, blah, blah, blah.
Continue reading Think small, earn big

Poor People Fed Up

By Danielle Frederick
August 21, 2018

MP Fitzgerald Hinds on the runAs I watched the assault on the Member of Parliament for Laventille West and the Local Government Councillor for the area by their constituents on August 14, 2018, I was saddened by the knowledge that what was playing out was a culmination of long unaddressed social and political factors that none of the actors, on either side, would acknowledge long enough to address. Let me be categorical in my condemnation of the actions of some residents of Beetham Gardens towards their Member of Parliament and Local Government Councillor. These men, Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and Councillor Akil Audain, represented the entire political class, and those chasing them represented the underclass created and sustained, in part, by the political class.
Continue reading Poor People Fed Up

Go after State lands thieves

By Raffique Shah
June 07, 2018

Raffique ShahI was about to write a column on my concerns with the Valuation Division of the Ministry of Finance, which plays a critical role in the implementation of the new Property Tax, when I read the lead story in the Sunday Express that pertained to a number of “hanky-panky” deals involving the distribution of State lands by officials of the Division of State Lands, which falls under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Continue reading Go after State lands thieves