It’s the economy, clowns

By Raffique Shah
June 27, 2015

Raffique ShahIt is quite an indictment against most if not all of the adult population of this country that focus of attention in this election campaign thus far has been on scandals aplenty that titillate our perverted taste buds.

We are riveted to Jack Warner’s nocturnal meanderings that have traversed paper trails involving large sums of money allegedly paid to his former friends in the UNC, and crept into the private lives of the Prime Minister and her friends.

That first telephone call we receive on mornings, “Yuh hear what Jack say last night?” has become a pre-breakfast staple.

And as if to confirm these new parameters of politics, the PM responds, telling us how Jack cried like a baby when she fired him from Cabinet. Or to spice up the platform fare, we have the very principled Ms Anna Deonarine, a Warner co-star of yesterday, worming her way back into the UNC fold.

Is this the level of politics we have accepted? It must be. Because nightly, large numbers of people don their party garbs, leave the comfort of their homes and journey to wherever these clowns are performing.

No politician, not so far as I have heard, has addressed what ought to be one of the most important issues that faces us—the state of the economy.

Yes, the PM and her ministers reel out lists of their accomplishments—houses distributed, increases in social benefits, schools built or repaired, 57,000 jobs created, and so on. And they promise how much more they will share should they be re-elected to power.

But are they telling the people the truth about what lies ahead, what possible cutbacks any government that comes to power will be forced to implement if the economy is to return to growth? Not a word of caution, far less wisdom, coming from their mouths.

I should add that equally, I have not heard Keith Rowley and the PNM address these issues, although I have heard much less of them than the UNC.

Even as we revel in the salacious scandals that seep into the sanctity of our homes, whether we like it or not, the electorate should be doing some mental arithmetic in weighing what’s on offer come September 7.

The Partnership Government, between fiscal 2011 and 2015, will have enjoyed revenues totalling $269 billion, and spent approximately $300 billion. In other words, they spent more than they (or we?) earned—which, I should add, is nothing unusual by international standards.

In fact, in the five years leading to the snap election of 2010, the PNM government got some $218 billion in revenues and spent $223 billion, meaning that they too incurred deficits.

The PNM started numerous mega-projects during 2002-2010: all the high-rise office buildings in Port of Spain, as well as the Hyatt, NAPA, etc. They also started work on the interchanges along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, massive housing construction (including Las Alturas!), scores of early childhood centres and more.

They completed few. The snap election in 2010 brought the Partnership to power, and they had the pleasure of completing most of these projects, to which they lay claim.

In politics, there is nothing unusual about such cycle: whoever happens to be in office on completion enjoys fruits that may have been planted long before their time.

But these are what an informed electorate should be examining as they determine which way to cast their votes.

More importantly at this juncture is: whither the economy? Put another way, what are the challenges facing the new government post-election?

Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran recently joined the chorus of economists and international agencies that have called on Government to effect radical changes if our declining oil-and-gas dependent economy is to rebound.

Specifically, he said, “…The new Government must initiate politically unattractive but durable fiscal reforms within the first two years of coming into office. These…must address reduction of fuel subsidies, duplication…of social programmes, leakages of the VAT…The goal must be to arrest and reverse recurring fiscal deficits…”

Last week, economist Dr Terrence Farrell, who has repeatedly said what Rambarran is now saying, also made a case for “smaller government”. He argued that if diversification of the economy is to happen, government must withdraw from many of its historical involvements in state enterprises and related activities.

I should stress that I do not agree with those who argue for the complete removal of fuel subsidies. I think we must develop mechanisms that will allow poorer people to enjoy subsidised cooking gas, electricity and housing, efficient public transport, etc.

The well-to-do and wealthy must pay up.

These are issues that should be dealt with on the campaign trail because whoever takes office on September 8 will have to deal with them head-on.

26 Responses to “It’s the economy, clowns”


  • This is a terrific piece I hope every potential voter reads it.
    And similar to what President Clinton’s campaign manager said ‘its the economy stupid’

  • Raffique Shah is totally correct in his summation of the political affairs of T&T. Election campaigns have traditionally always been about mauvais langue, bacchanal, fetes and entertainment. Jack Warner is now taking us to new depths of ignorance and unfortunately is being catered to by the Express, fast becoming a gossip rag.
    Political parties have never been compelled by the voters to state their philosophies as it relates to economics, social programs or governing. The public still demonstrate their Third World desire for political gimmicks,handouts and music trucks.

  • I am a regular reader. Love your comments. I always have a good laugh,you always tell it like it is This piece is very good. Hope our electorate is reading this.

    Gweneth,
    Brooklyn

  • The economy is sailing at an unprecedented pace. (1) new oil and gas exploration at an all time high, (2) 3.3% unemployment the lowest in the Western Hemisphere, (3) huge investments in infrastructure, that is yielding results in creating a more efficient nation, (4) large investments in all sphere of education. TNT is the First Nation to reach the UN goal in early childhood education, (5) huge investments in health care, Arima, Point Fortin, San Fernando, El Dorado, expansion in Port of Spain General, new oncology center, health centers now open longer with longer days and hours.,(6) poverty has been on the decline as old age went up, disability grants, housing grants etc…

    The new vision is blue, green and silver. Blue as per development around the nation waters, beach facilities, retirement facility in Mayaro, new methods of reducing soil erosion. Green recycling, green energy as is shown in some schools with solar panels, possible solar panel factories, silver as per using retirees to volunteer, work if they so desire.

    If ever this government is guilty it is guilty of over performance. Yes the green man must be given a response only because the bacchanal loving newspapers need it.
    Fiscal collection with an easier tax collection system, along with more revenue generation is needed.

  • How many times in the past have we been promised to diversify our industries with the intent of bringing a positive turnaround of the economy on election campaign trails? I think this time around a barometer should be set up to measure performance in delivering through proper governance right across the board. However, I am of the firm belief that the real issues are crime and corruption which seem to be ingrained at all levels of society across all barriers of ethnicity that really make us look like real immature people in the eyes of the international world. Immature in the sense that we have been blessed with excellent resources but we seem unable to get ourselves from the morass of continual decadence of inability rather than elevating ourselves into excellence by exercising initiative in our policies development and implementation. The tangled web that is weaved by ourselves by taking us on different tangents of immorality, impropriety, thievery, etc.

    • “The wise shall live off the foolish” Are there any scheduled TV debates for the combatants? Please inform me of such,since it’s my favourite political involvement.After almost every TV debate “some politicians” must seriously consider “stand up” as a profession. (smile)

  • To be a professional liar one has to be convincing and believable. Our Prime Minister has made lying more than just an art form, she does it well and with compelling demeanor to suit her personality, that she would momentarily have you wonder if all you knew about her were just whispers in the wind. In yesterday’s newspapers she is quoted as saying “I planted rice in a lagoon. I call on Dr Rowley to condemn those comments. Does he agree with that statement? One-third of the population of this land is of mixed descent, are you saying they must deny part of their heritage? If you cannot answer, you will lose one-third of the population”. Here she is pleading with Dr. Rowley to rein in a PNM activist, whom the newspapers has labelled as “racist”.
    I must interject here that I myself had to plant lagoon rice in my minor years, because it was the only way the family could have enough food to survive. Kamla is reminding Dr. Rowley that he stands to loose a large part of the douglas (mixed population), if he does not acccede to her wishes. But first let us deal with her morality. In politics, it used to be considered a courtesy that politicians should show respect for ethical and moral discourse and concerns. But Kamla has shown that her reality is what she shows at the moment of her utterings. It was Kamla who orchestrated the famous ousting of Dr. Rowley from Parliament, by using her surrogates to castigate Dr. Rowley as a rapist. That was not good enough, they went on to state that Dr. Rowley’s father was a rapist, suggested that his son might become a rapist and his future grandsons might be rapists. Her sat there soaked all of the b**l sh*t, did not call on her parliamentarians to subside or recant, but rather approved.
    She does not feel tainted by that kind of behavior. She rather enjoys that kind of dirty and vacuous behavior as long as her enemy is on the receiving end of the dirtiness. In her statement, she takes the liberty of being a champion of the douglas,by reminding Dr. Rowley that part of their heritage was the lagoon and they would pay attention to his reply. But Kamla’s racist behavior occurs in subtle forms. Just recently, when asked about her choice of September 7, 2015 as the date for the General Election, she reminded us that she has consulted with the Hindus and the Muslims and the date does not coincide with any important dates on their calendars. It is interesting that the media did not challenge her on such a blatant racial and ethnic display of racism. It is important to understand the importance of calling that date – it is Labor Day in Brooklyn.
    It is also true that in the hIndu and Muslim communities that date is not important. But in the Christian communities, a lot of Trinidadians travel to the U.S to participate in the festivals. Kamla has access to the number of people who travel to take part in the festivals in Brooklyn. Those numbers can mean a lot in the election count, so, it is not by guess that she
    consulted with the Muslims and Hindus but did not think it important or necessary to consult with the Christians. Such is the nature of the kind of racism that Kamla exhibits. In the Lifesport programme, her Sports Minister has been quoted as explaining that the $400,000,000 was geared to the betterment of “little black boys”. What Kamla did not tell us or made prominent is the fact that the Board she convened to run that programme was filled with Hindus. One would be a hypocrite not to acknowledge these actions as racist. Every political move that she has made can be construed as racist in nature. I am aware that the media in our country is cowed into addressing these concerns, but they are real and there is no way most commentators would dare address them for fear of losing face.
    There is no hard evidence to show or believe that the majority of douglas (mixed race) will agree with Kamla’s assessment, but she uses it anyway to give the impression that she is sympathetic with whatever cause (or causes) they might make known. She is bold and candid enough to give that impression or low you to think that she has such an affinity. One does not need a pollster to know which side of the divide douglas are on, it is definitely not on Kamla’s side but if she has to take the praise, she will take it. The woman overseers the worst governments this country and the region has seen but she persists in telling lies as if there were not truths. She is so immersed in the art form, that I doubt that she can distinguish one from the other. It would be a grave mistake for this country to return her government to power, especially when, in this case, she chose a date that she believes that a significant number of Afros would be out of the country on election day and they were not afforded the courtesy of consultation, as she did with the Muslims and Hindus.

    • I too must plant rice in the lagoon if only to live in a multi-million dollar house today. If this is my aim in life. Rice planting and giving one self a SC status accreditation as a lawyer is a good way to go in life. Perhaps WE DO NOT HAVE TO EARN ANYTHING IN THIS LIFE. I wonder if I will have the same karma doing that. Or perhaps this applies to only certain persons of a particular race. Am I a racists for making this point?

  • Kian my esteemed Countryman sometimes one has to marry things together in order to really grasp the depth to which certain traits are ingrained in individuals. I follow the politics of Guyana, Suriname, Fiji and T&T very closely because I am doing an informal study of the interactive behaviors between people of Indian Descent and People of African descent. What I have discovered from examining the positions and utterings of politicians in the PPP in Guyana and the PP in T&T, is that it is almost as though they have some authored text that they read from, and which informs their thinking. This to me cannot be coincidental.

    The Prime Minister’s psychology of seeing T&T as a province of India and Indians in which little black boys and little black girls belong to the lower caste is no different from what one finds in the thinking of the PPP in Guyana. One former leader authored a pictographic book on the peoples of Guyana, and the only images in it were Indians.

    We spend a lot of time championing the value of inclusiveness, but we have to understand and accept that for some, that is a non starter. For Kamla, her associates and some who comment in this blog, there is only one kind of inclusiveness that is tolerable. And that is for little black boys and little black girls to accept the status they have prescribed for them.

    In one of my psychology college courses the Professor offered up the theory that racial prejudice is so much of a group personality ego booster, that taking away from those who use it as a psychological crutch and elevator would probably send them insane. When the Prime Minister of a nation like T&T believes that there is nothing wrong with publicly stating that she set a national election date based on the schedule of the two religions within which she and most of her ethnic group are ensconced, that does not need deep figuring to image what we are dealing with.

    The problem is that we traditionally have attributed such foul and abhorrent racial prejudice to Europeans. I have always been and remained convinced that Europeans learned the finer features of that craft from their study of occupation of India. Because it is in India that the first national social stratifying system where people were ranked in an order based on their physical appearance, and where it was prescribed that status was inherited and generational, extending into perpetuity.

    I have long lost any interest in being politically correct in my outpourings on these issues. I do not argue that everyone behaves the same way, or maybe that even the majority behaves this way. What I argue is that those who do are channeling ideas and thinking about human groupings that have been fastened in their heritage. It does not attract everyone in the group certainly. But for those who succumb to the attraction, it is more important and influencing than religion, and personally, I reject all arguments that I should understand them, and try to change them. I throw away damaged articles, I do not attempt to repair them because the cost of doing so is more than they are worth.

    • I suggest that you focus on uplifting the thousands of Black, disadvantaged youth in the US.
      I am sure that you could make a valuable contribution.
      You also do a study on why Africa has the most failed nations in the World, based on UN stats.
      Focus on repairing you own. You will be busy all over the world.

    • Jerry C. Hussain

      Perhaps Miss K is Guyanese!

  • Rodwell, you and I cannot and should not allow these paganistic people on this blog to control what we know and experience as facts. I too follow what you have observed and have had many discussions on the same matter. We CANNOT ignore what we see, hear, know and experience. It remains indelible in our minds and the only thing that we can do about is to learn more and investigate why things are the way we know it to be. It is definitely not an anomaly. When you have the TMans and Mamoos of the world trying to convince us that we are crazy and are not really seeing what we are seeing then we know we are really living in a mad mad mad world. About a month ago, I posted a blog in which I sought to understand why the TMans and Mamoos behave the way they do and came upon a video which tends to explain, a culture, an indoctrination, belief and a people who exhibit certain beliefs that appear to be different from what we accept in the western world. This following video gives a vivid reply to that quest. It is not racist as some would want to interpret it. It is in fact indoctrination and beliefs and this video tells it well, as narrated by those without any axe top grind or are of the same beliefs system. So in keeping with tis issue I again submit for viewing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM85zVt6xCU&feature=youtu.be

    Please don’t allow the negativity of TMan and company to dissuade your thorough participation. They are incessant pornographers of untruths and lies and would try to negate anything you say no matter how factual. Please take a look. Chow!

    • Kian:Your revelation about the “date” of the election caught my attention.T&T aspires to be a “first” world nation;therefore,it’s Government (a democracy)must allow the electorate to participate in “advance polls”…Sometimes,(e.g.)in Canada a large percentage of people “cast” their ballots about a month before the general election.Also,on two occasions I had the privilege to work as a “poll” clerk for the Canadian Government.I am still “amazed” how a “visually impaired” person “casts a ballot”

      • Thanks for understanding the point that I am making about the date of the election. A democracy survives best when there is full participation. An election date should NEVER be a ‘hidden’ agenda or a date best suited for some and not suited for another. It was an act of good faith when the Prime Minister chose to consult with two minority religions but at the same time, the refusal to consult with the majority christian religion is an act of discrimination. Selective democracy can NEVER be successful. Ask the white people of South Africa, whilst they enjoyed certain privileges under their system, they were never comfortable and at ease, they lived in constant fear of loosing that privilege. Now that apartheid is broken, they are still in the minority but enjoying life with less concerns for their security. That is what a democracy does. September 7th is a good date for the hindus and a good date for the muslims but for many christians it is a busy date for them. The Prime Minister knows this. Since she acknowledged the selective process of picking that date, then she knew before that such would be the case. Therefore it is in effect an act of discrimination on her part. We want a participatory democracy not a selective one.

        • Jerry C. Hussain

          Is it not strange that it was the same strategy for Section 34 and emailgate that followed the passing of Section 34? Or is this NOT consistency FOR THEM to get the LIES past the post. I do believe GOD is with us. I feel so sorry for them.

  • Is this why you guys are so pissed?

    Indian Americans: The fastest growing and the highest income group

    Indian Americans have come a long way since they immigrated to this land of opportunity, especially since the 1960’s. Although there have been many who came to the United States, seeking education and better job opportunities since 1600, the main wave of people of Indian origin started only in the last four decades and ever since they have become one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in the United States. They have excelled in almost all the fields and today they are an elite group with the highest household income along with the highest level of education among all he groups in this country.

    According to a 2007 census report, there were as many as 2,765,815 persons of Indian origin living in the United states, constituting 0.9% of the total U.S. population. The median household income for US residents born in India is $91,195 against a $50,740 average for the total population, a recent US survey has revealed. According to the same report, the overall median household income for foreign- born and native US residents is $46,881 and $51,249 respectively.

    According to the 2000 census, about 64% of Indian Americans have attained a Bachelor’s degree or more.(compared to 28% nationally, and 44% average for all Asian American groups). Almost 40% of all Indians have a master’s, doctorate or other professional degree, which is five times the national average. (Source: The Indian American Centre for Political Awareness.)

    Overall, about 85 per cent of the total US population – 68 per cent of the foreign-born and 88 per cent of the native-born – are high school graduates. Egypt and Nigeria have rates above 60 per cent while about 80 per cent of the US residents born in China are high school graduates.

    These high levels of education have enabled Indian Americans to become a productive segment of the American population, with 72.3% participating in the U.S. work force, of which 57.7% are employed in managerial and professional specialties. A University of California, Berkeley, study reported that one-third of the engineers in Silicon Valley are of Indian descent, while 7% of valley hi-tech firms are led by Indian CEOs.

    Indian Americans own 50% of all economy lodges and 35% of all hotels in the United States, which have a combined marke t value of almost $40 billion. (Source: Little India Magazine). In 2002, there were over 223,000 Asian Indian-owned firms in the U.S., employing more than 610,000 workers, and generating more than $88 billion in revenue.

    • We hear you Sat Maharaj!!!!!

      • Tman does not realize that with this recitation, he proves the applicability of the prophecy:

        2 Esdras 15:46-48:

        46 And thou, Asia, that art partaker of the hope of Babylon, and art the glory of her person:

        47 Woe be unto thee, thou wretch, because thou hast made thyself like unto her…

        48 Thou hast followed her that is hated in all her works and inventions …

        I for one am not “pissed” at anybody’s accomplishments, still less folly dressed up as accomplishment.

        If you make a God of Mammon and Materialism, and thereby follow Babylon in all the ways hated of God, that will be to your ultimate prophesied destruction.

        That is a reason to issue a caution as to your moral and spiritual values, not something to envy.

        In the sight of God, it is not good to “be the glory of your own person”. This is the sin of pride displayed by those who trumpet their own supposed accomplishments.

        Shalom.

        “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Psalms 16:18)

  • “?I am mindful of the ongoing public comments about the status of the Integrity Commission and very mindful of my powers and responsibilities in relation to that Commission,? Carmona began.

    ?Simplistic and sometimes inane referencing without moor, to presidential powers that I have and do not have, may have appealed to those engaged in ?rumshop’ logic but I am about the Constitution and the law, the rule of law, due process and the audi alterem partem rule.?”

    The above are the utterings in part of the President Anthony Carmona, after he had sworn his two new appointments to the Integrity Commission. Some of his wordings appear to be in response to his handling of the revolt (for the want of simplistic term) that occurred when the Chairman of the Commission, Zainool Hosein took it upon himself to declare that the Integrity Commission had halted the investigation into emailgate. During the course of these last five years, we the people, have been inundated with so much uncertainty and concerns for the future of the Republic, that we yearn for the soothing voices of maturity, emanating from the offices of power and authority, to re-assure us that we are on sound footing, that we gravitate to any voice that promises hope. Much to our chagrin, the President’s quotation of law, process and the audi alterem partem rule did not make us feel any better about ourselves nor gave us the re-assurance that our lives will be made better by the occasion of his act of appointing these new people. When he took the reins of the Presidency more than two years ago, I cannot remember another time in our history when an appointment made so much headlines and having so many quotations made about the brilliance of his anointing. Coming from a law background with not just local accolades but international as well, he gave every reason why better should be expected of him. So the expectation of him being a sound and judicious President was not far fetched in the minds of the people. We had high hopes for his presence in the corridors of power and prominence. No one can argue with the President’s knowledge or his ability to uphold and counsel on the laws of the land but on the issue of these new appointments to the Integrity Commission, it is the feeling of most people that he is wrong. Why is he wrong? It is not on the matter of law that we make such a judgement, because such judgement should not be assessed by mere quotation of laws. Such judgements are made based on intangibles. Those of us who are not privy to the machinations of law, know justice. One does not have to be immersed in the readings of the law to understand when justice is served. Justice must not just be served, it must also appear to be served. When that intangible exist then the people will call it justice. After the verdict of IC Chairman Zainool Hosein, most right thinking people lost confidence and faith in the Integrity Commission. That feeling was cemented when the retired Deputy Chairman, Justice Ventour stated his reasons for not agreeing with Zainool Hosein. It was very clear that Judge Ventour, who was the chief investigator on the Commission had the experience of knowing more about the case than Zainool Hosein felt discomforted by the decision. It is the belief of many that President Carmona lost an opportunity to reshape hope and re-install integrity into the Integrity Commission, when he kept Zainool Hosein and decided to add to already maimed group of individuals. Most believed that keeping a Commission staffed by the same individuals was a bad idea because we have lost belief in the integrity of all of them.
    In this scenario the people have demonstrated a higher sense of judgement than that displayed by the honorable President.
    The high moment of the President’s tenure had to have been his inauguration. He had been steadily loosing ground ever since that day. The public first got to see him use his judgement in the case by his intervention in the matter with the comedienne Rachel Price. Most right thinking people felt that he demeaned himself by using law in which to address his discomfort with the utterances of a comedian. It is a case where he should never have given the jokes she made such prominence. That act lowered his ethical capital and mastery of social skills. Many viewed his behavior as equivalent to that of a jealous lover.
    Then came the case of his ethical and moral judgement in the taking of housing allowance in the amount of $28,000 per month which based on the knowledge made public he was not entitled to.
    His moral and ethical judgement remains questionable for the past several months as he continues his failure to address this matter to the satisfaction of all concerned. If he feels that he is entitled to this money, he should possess the moral authority to come out and say so. After all it is the people’s money that is in question not his. As President he has a moral and ethical duty to address that question and put it to rest. But no, he continues to allow those questionable acts to add to his deteriorating public persona. This is unacceptable for the President of a Country. In everything he does, he should do it with the authority of his good character and not the seeming political props of those who appointed him. His behavior leaves many questions not only of his unimpeachable character but his many questionable acts of his ability to make better social and integral decisions for the betterment of the population.
    When your character becomes a feature in the comedians den and people’s view of you becomes a laughing stock, it is time to look at yourself and take an inventory of why things are this way. The country is in shambles. There is no one in public life at present who commands the attention of honorable men and women.
    People are yearning for officeholders whom they can look up to with sincerity and valor. When you have the authority to become that person, whom the people expects you to be and you fail to step up to the plate, then, how can you look at yourself in the mirror and not question whether you are making a difference in the eyes of the young and future leaders of this nation?
    I believe the case is made for a failed Presidency, a failed government, a failed Prime Minister, a failed parliament, a failed Judiciary and a failed country. May God help us all!!

    • Re Carmona and “rumshop logic”:

      In their more lucid moments, lawyers themselves say:

      “When the law is against you, argue the facts. When the facts are against you, argue the law. When both are against you, call the other lawyer names.”

      I too am disappointed in President Carmona, whom I knew personally growing up. I thought he was better than that.

      But then again we all make mistakes.

      I just don’t like the ones dressed up as considered “legal opinions” resting on rather shaky foundations of fact and truth, and that are so weak they must call the other side names.

      Shalom.

  • Congrats to the team!

    It’s official! The 2012 Olympic Games men’s 4×100 metres silver medal goes to Trinidad and Tobago. “This is bitter-sweet,” anchorman Richard “Torpedo” Thompson told the Express. “We live for a moment and not necessarily a monetary award.”

  • What you left out TMAN is the fact that those opportunities that Indian Americans and many other minorities enjoy in the US are products of struggles and sacrifices of black Americans. Like the typical parasite that comes after the heavy lifting is over, you boast about what Indian Americans have.

    What about what people have contributed to America and the world. African Americans gave the world the Traffic lights, the technique to store blood plasma, the shoe machine, the filament and screw base for he light bulb, all the products we use today from the peanut,the lubricating cup, and many other products used by mankind around the world. When the dust has settled, people will be more impressed by what is contributed to human kind, than what some passenger accomplishes in an environment that he or she made no contribution in freeing up.

    Advertently or inadvertently you have corroborated the view of what Indians bring to diverse societies. A very primitive and vain attitude and understanding of what it requires to build a world. They would sit on the sideline until the heavy lifting is over, and then traipse to feed from the spoils, salivating greedily afterwards on what benefits they derive from it.

    And therein lies the causes for the fissures in societies like T&T, Guyana and Fiji. A caste infested and indoctrinated psyche that is at the back of all human kind in terms of the ability to think cogently. Sure they can pass tests. I saw a picture recently of parents climbing buildings to help their kids cheat at exams. In addition they believe that it is their right to cheat at exams. Given this, I the boasts of academic accomplishments means very little to me.

    • You are totally correct. The civil rights movement in the US paved the way for many minorities to benefit from the actions of many famous African Americans, who sacrificed to advance the cause of colored peoples.
      Indians, Hispanics,Africans from the continent, and Caribbean peoples all came later and found success in every field of endeavor in the US.
      You are also quite correct in your references to the Caste system in India.Some progress is being made to outlaw Caste discrimination in India. In places like T&T, the effect of the caste system is negligible and not really practiced since most Trinis of Indian descent are totally unfamiliar with the details of such a system. The “Brahmins by boat” who perpetuate such a system are a dying breed.
      I am sure that most of the world famous Indian intelligentsia did not cheat on their exams. Their international accomplishments are there for the world to
      see.Besides, the stereotype of the corrupt, cheating Indian has used up its usefulness and is wearing thin. People are too well informed today to buy into that crude sort of stereotyping.
      To use your expression, “building a world” takes money, entrepreneurial spirit, discipline, hard work and education. If those who possess these qualities are vain, then vanity be my guide.The Indian diaspora universally have attempted to move forward. Too often they realize that they have left a sub-continent which lags in some ways in spite of its huge population and robust advancements.
      I have learned to appreciate the accomplishments of all of the world’s peoples.

  • The India diaspora, and one can easily use a sample in this blog as an example, most often bring a deep and primitive prejudice in their interactions with People of African Descent/. So when one sees them boasting about how academic accomplishments, the slimy purpose is not missed. You cannot help it, it is in your nature, and I have seen you resort to it a number of times. So please, disabuse yourself of the supremacist myth, because you aint smarter than anyone.

    Indians and many other none white groups in the diaspora harbor a visceral anti black prejudice that is mostly ignored or glossed over because white supremacy have always been per-eminent in the focus of black people. That has always struck me kind of strange, because racial and color supremacy existed in India long before it became a manifest pattern in the behaviors and attitudes of white people. The Indian Caste system preceded the Atlantic slave trade by thousands of years. It is naive I contend, to argue that a group with a longer history in a behavioral trait will be less likely to exhibit patterns of those traits than others to whom, comparatively speaking, it is rather recent.

    • I suggest that less energy should be spent on obsessing about the Indian diaspora and more time should be dedicated towards improving the lives of Africans wherever they reside.

  • Thank you for your enlighteing advice to the public on what to consider before voting. I hope that many people would heed your advice and vote wisely.

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