Introduction As indicated last week, in order to promote an intelligent appraisal of PetroCaribe and the current regime of Guyana’s oil importation, an appreciation of the trajectory of the current global crude oil price is essential.
Market price: demand and supply Today the PetroCaribe Agreement and Guyana’s oil importation has to be contextualized against the dramatic fall in the global price of oil, which started in mid-2014.
Introduction Last week’s column revealed that in 2015, even as Guyana approaches half a century of Independence, several classical features of its colonial economic structure remain intact by global standards.
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.
Part4 Introduction Today’s column concludes this four-part series on the Guyana state. On January 20 the President announced May 11 as the elections date.
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.
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.
Part1 Introduction There is a connecting thread to Guyana’s ongoing narrative of multiple unfolding crises, major economic contradictions, and threats of state violence against government critics.
This week’s column concludes the discussion of inequality and poverty in Guyana. It focuses on the moral and ethical aspects of these phenomena.
Introduction As promised last week, today’s column begins with a brief report on the only recent study that I know of, which provides a quantitative measure of the direct impact of the global economy on poverty and inequality within nations.
There are two crucial issues which remain to be tackled in this series on inequality and poverty in contemporary Guyana.
Introduction This week I complete my presentation of Piketty’s recent paradigm- shifting contribution to the study of income and wealth inequality (Capital in the 21st Century), which I had introduced last week.
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.
In today’s column I propose to take last week’s discussion concerning the impact of massive wage and salary spreads along with the prevalence of the phantom economy on Guyana’s inequality and poverty one step further, through engaging an important emerging global line of thought on these matters.
Absolute v relative poverty This week I shall follow up on three matters related to last week’s discussion of poverty and inequality in the context of Guyana’s growth, joblessness 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.
Introduction Last week I introduced a Table showing that, over the eight years 2006 to 2013, the average net annual increase in the public sector minimum wage (adjusted for annual inflation) was shockingly low, about one percent.
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.
Inequality and poverty are independent though symbiotically related forces driving Guyana’s political economy.
Introduction The class of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) human development indicators is an intellectual derivate of the deprivation of basic needs approach, to poverty assessment discussed last week.
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.
Introduction In Guyana, inequality and poverty have a lot to do with people’s perception of these.
Inequality results As indicated, this week I begin with reporting the key results of official studies that sought to measure inequality and poverty in Guyana.
Introduction For this and several columns to come, I shall be discussing a number of independent but related topics, under the broad theme of inequality and poverty in Guyana.