Dr Clive Thomas

Guyana then and now: Small, poor, open and trade-dependent

Then and now Sadly, as we approach Republic Day 2015, and after about half a century of independence, the classic description of the Guyana colonial economy as very small (even micro by global standards), poor, highly open, and exceptionally dependent on trade in primary commodities remains as broadly accurate today as it was back then.

Beyond the criminal state: The dynamics of state terrorism and looting national resources Part 3

So far Parts 1 & 2 of this four-part series of columns have argued that the proximate or immediately precipitating factor driving the multifaceted crises which have emerged in Guyana today, stems from the unprecedented torrent of financial lawlessness, abuses and irregularities unleashed by the minority PPP/C executive, which came into office following the November 2011 national elections.

Beyond the criminal state: The dynamics of state terrorism and looting national resources

Part2   Introduction   Last week, in Part 1 of this four-part series of columns I had argued that the proximate or immediately preceding factor driving the several ongoing crises and threatening contradictions in Guyana (starkly symbolized in the presidential prorogation of the National Assembly on November 10, 2014) has been the uncontrolled torrent of financial abuses, irregularities, and lawlessness perpetrated by the PPP/C executive since the November 2011 elections.

Inequality in Guyana: Insights from Piketty’s Capital in the 21st century

Introduction Last week’s column sought to make it very clear that, in my view, Guyana’s burgeoning inequality and poverty are the direct products of decisions and collective choices made by the ruling cabal of politicians, controllers of criminal networks, economic and financial rogues, and other marauders, who as I have indicated, consider themselves not only ‘too big to jail’ but also destined by the gods to rule Guyana.

Guyana: More on Growth, Poverty, Jobs, Inequality and the Minimum Wage

Introduction   Over the past two weeks I have been displaying a Table that I had specifically constructed for this series indicating: 1) the annual public sector nominal minimum wage increases announced by government for the years 2006 to 2013.When these are adjusted for annual price increases (inflation) it is revealed these increases had only grown annually by about one percent on average.

The Minimum Wage, Trade Unions and Guyana’s Fight against Surging Inequality and Poverty

Introduction   To be brutally frank upfront, without 1) strong independent trade unions pushing for national real minimum wage increases, the payment of living wages and the provision of substantial job programmes 2) a considerable strengthening of class-based ideology and politics among political actors and worker representatives 3) rising public awareness and consciousness (fuelled by public advocacy arising from evidence- based analyses), the struggle against grinding inequality and poverty in Guyana is as good as lost.

Basic needs and poverty as deprivation

Challenges My last column noted that poverty measures based on income/consumption surveys, like the previously considered World Bank 1992, UNDP1999, and the HIES 2006 surveys have been seriously challenged by several analysts.