Category Archives: Recession

Re-charting our Ruins

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 4, 2020

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

—James 1:5 KJV

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFifty eight years ago Eric Williams (PNM) and Rudranath Capildeo (DLP/UNC) went to Marlborough House to discuss the path forward to create an independent nation. Williams was determined to take the country into independence while Capildeo wanted to make sure that Afro-Trinbagonians, the majority group, did not discriminate against Indo-Trinbagonians. Subsuming their party interests to the national interest, they inscribed a minority platform into the country’s constitution that protected the rights of Indo-Trinbagonians and other ethnic groups.
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Hungry people, angry people

By Raffique Shah
April 27, 2020

Raffique ShahMy younger brother Farouk caught me unawares one evening last week when he telephoned me saying, “The PM used the ‘F’ word today!” “What?” I asked in shock, thinking that either Prime Minister Keith Rowley or Farouk was going off. “He did!” Farouk persisted. “He spoke about food.” The joke was on me, and we enjoyed a hearty laugh at my expense.
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A COVID Recovery Road Map with Too Many Junctions

By Stephen Kangal
April 26, 2020

Stephen KangalA third Road Multi-Sectoral and micro and macro conceptualised Map is now being engineered and brainstormed by the PNM Government. Both the previous 2020 and 2030 Vision Road Maps were shelved because the PNM is politically notorious for conceptualization plans but total failures when it comes to critical implementation commitments.
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Mobilizing Our Social & Cultural Capital

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 22, 2019

All you guys have done is reference to us getting jobs. I do not want a job. I want change, I want a future….You are ignoring our future….What are you doing to give us a voice?

—Stefan Lander, student, St. Mary’s College

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTo hear Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance, tell it, the 2020 budget has nothing to do with the upcoming local elections or the 2020 general elections. It emanated from the government’s genuine interest in the welfare of our people.

The words had barely come out of Imbert’s mouth when Rohan Sinanan, PNM’s campaign manager, declared: “I am very pleased; I think my job as campaign manager was made significantly easier with a wonderful budget” (Express, October 10).
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Greed is killing us not so softly

By Raffique Shah
October 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSome day last week, after I had eaten a very modest lunch, I was snacking on a few locally-manufactured crackers when my wife asked, “You still hungry, nah?” She has noted with unnecessary concern that I eat smaller portions, which I attribute to ageing and my now mostly sedentary lifestyle, the latter imposed on me by my infirmity. I don’t need calories that I won’t burn as I did during my very active pre-Parkinson’s life. That reality notwithstanding, the urge to snack on junk remains undiminished, much to my dismay.
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Budget biggest ‘bag’ thieves lay their hands on

By Raffique Shah
October 07, 2019

Raffique ShahIt is a newspaper commentator’s dilemma—having to write on the Finance Minister’s annual budget presentation, as readers expect him to, both before and after the Appropriation Bill is laid in Parliament. This becomes even more challenging when the package covers the year leading to a general election when the Government, and here I mean any government, engages in distributing largesse like the proverbial “parsad” at “pujas”, throwing goodies at the electorate with the expectation that they will yield votes.
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Oil in turmoil

By Raffique Shah
August 29, 2019

Raffique ShahI had planned to write a column sometime before the 2019-2020 Budget presentation on the successor-companies to State-owned oil giant Petrotrin, seeking to have the Minister of Energy and/or Corporation Sole (the Minister of Finance) inform the public of their progress or regress or stagnation. I thought that in the spirit of transparency, especially after citizens were stunned when we were told in 2017 or thereabout that the one-time pillar of the national economy was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and mired in multi-billion-dollar debts, we the public should know early o’clock if the new enterprises were faring any better.
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Turmoil in the global village

By Raffique Shah
August 14, 2019

Raffique ShahIt’s so easy for us to be so overwhelmed by our own mess—and there’s more than enough sewage there to drown us all—that we are unmindful of what’s happening in the wider world, developments that could impact our small island state negatively.

When the fallout from certain actions by powerful leaders hit us in the face with a bang, we will come awake startled, crying out: Oh Jeezanages! I was watching Marlene McDonald and her gang…ah didn’t see that bolt from Donald Trump (or Xi Jinping or Boris Johnson or Vladimir Putin) coming this way!
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Staying Woke!

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 14, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast week I urged the government to suspend or postpone the construction of the Toco-Manzanilla Highway. I drew on Lord Maynard Keynes to emphasize that an economist must possess several gifts (mathematics, history, philosophy) and “must study the present in light of the past for the purposes of the future.” This implies that development consists of more than building roads, particularly if citizens are unable to walk or ride on them in relative safety.
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Identifying and fighting economic apartheid

By Raffique Shah
June 14, 2019

Raffique ShahTrinidad and Tobago should be grateful for having among its citizens patriots who are unafraid to speak out on issues that affect us all, and more importantly, who bear allegiance to the country, not to any political party. Of course, such persons have the right to support a party of their choice at any point in time. But they also jealously maintain their independence by criticising the policies and actions of the party they voted for when they are convinced it has made decisions that are inimical to the best interests of the nation.
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