A background of crisis Last week I indicated that the first international conference on financing for development held in Monterrey, Mexico at the end of 2002 was a precursor to the launching by the United Nations of its global development agenda.
Introduction Last week I put forward the hypothesis that a paradigm shift is underway in international best practice in the area of financing for development.
Introduction As promised, today I continue discussing the topic: financing for development and its linkage to efforts directed at recovering stolen public assets belonging to Guyana.
Introduction Beginning with this brief introduction, in coming weeks I explore the linkage between initiatives to recover stolen public assets in Guyana and financing for its development.
Introduction Today’s column follows-up on 1) my earlier estimation of the value of potentially recoverable stolen public assets and 2) the ticking time-bombs that threaten the survival of sugar and rice.
Introduction Perhaps a window on public sentiment is reflected in the surprising number of persons that responded to last Sunday’s column, which linked the recovery of stolen public assets initiative to not so discreet intimations of destabilization of the sugar and rice industries.
Political economy fragility Today’s column elaborates on organizational elements, briefly portrayed last week, which are needed for establishing Guyana’s stolen public assets recovery initiative.
As part of the series on managing Guyana’s public investment regime, today’s column proposes a mechanism whereby our newly elected government could, at this unique democratic opening, embark on seeking bread (investible resources) and justice for Guyanese whose national wealth has been rapaciously plundered in recent years.
Introduction I was caught completely off-guard at the depth of the consternation and disbelief expressed by quite a few readers who responded to the estimates that I had provided of the amount of money Guyana loses due to three corrupt practices (public procurement fraud; illicit capital flight; and the underground economy) in last week’s column ($313billion or about US$1.5billion).
Shock and dismay Today’s lesson (4) continues identifying the orders of magnitude of corruption-linked economic haemorrhage currently taking place in Guyana.
Introduction After some introductory material, the lessons dealt with so far in this series on the management of Guyana’s public investment regime have concentrated on: 1) the “basic steps” needed to establish an adequately functioning organization of this regime and 2) the types of failures and weaknesses displayed in public projects during the 2000s.
Introduction Today’s column concludes my examination of project failures and weaknesses revealed in public investment management in Guyana during the 2000s.
Introduction Lesson 2 in the present series of SN columns was presented in two parts over successive weeks; the main content of which was summarized in two schedules carried in last week’s column.
As promised, this week’s column provides the second of a two-part lesson on the topic: organizing the management of Guyana’s public investment regime.
Introduction Last week I introduced the first in the present series of lessons explaining Guyana’s public investment management regime.
Introduction Surprisingly, considering what appears to be the public’s main preoccupations today, thus far I have already received an unusual number of queries concerning the notion of “pathological altruism”, which I had introduced in recent columns that discussed the Venezuelan PetroCaribe scheme.
Introduction As I write this concluding column on PetroCaribe, global crude oil prices have resumed their decline.
Introduction Today’s column, along with next week’s will concentrate on 1) an evaluation of the role the PetroCaribe initiative has been playing in the region’s regime of crude oil importation, since its establishment in 2005, and 2) an assessment of the near-to-medium prospects of this initiative, with special reference to Guyana’s membership.
Introduction: Lifeline or noose I shall outline the key details of the Venezuela PetroCaribe initiative in the next section of this column but upfront I wish to categorically assert that Guyana along with other members of this initiative have benefited greatly from it since its establishment in 2005 and for sure right up to the middle of 2014.
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.
Biggest challenges Thus far, discussion of the 2012 Preliminary Census has focussed on 1) the population decline over the intercensal period 2002-2012; 2) the effect of outward migration; 3) estimating what the population might have been if it were not for item 2; and 4) making the inference, based on the preliminary data that high levels of brain drain (observed in previous intercensal periods) persisted.
Introduction The Bureau of Statistics’ (BoS) Preliminary Population and Housing Census Report for 2012 announced a decline in the population from 751,223 persons at the 2002 Census to 747,884 persons.
Introduction At the request of several readers today’s column will evaluate the proposal which is finding favour in several highly-indebted Caricom countries for the payment of slavery reparations by the former slave-owning countries to slave descendants in the region, to be made in the form of national debt relief.