An economy or economic system consists of the production, distribution or trade and consumption of limited goods and services by different agents in a geographical location. Economic growth is the increase in the market value of the goods and services produced by an economy overtime. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product or GDP. We live in a culture that breeds economic division. The upper class own and operate business and e-commerce agencies that diversify the system.
The middle class to lower percentage operate at the lower level and usually work for the upper class. At the bottom of the economic ladder is the lower class that makes up the majority of households. They are under- valued, underrated and usually turn to social agencies for assistance. As it pertains to the maladies currently being experienced in the Bahamas the list begins; Corrupt Government officials Local and Government policies and procedures that impede economic growth in some sectors of society.
Crooked land owners Criminals and persons willing to break laws and take bribes for a dollar. Homes without father figures and single mother families. With prevailing trends to pay for and obtain products, goods and services under the table many have become engaged in practices that break down the channels that allow the free flow of economic empowerment. They flood the proper legitimate awareness which forces the common man to have to resort to the same measures to make an honest living.
Local and government policies and procedures that complicate and stall the processes thus providing red tape which affect the time and longevity of business arrangements when dealing with the local agencies that are suppose to assist the regulators in that agency. Criminals are growing daily due to the lack of accountability and punishment involving crimes within society. A society without boundaries results in total anarchy. Criminals are brought before the relevant authorities then due to negligence and corruption within those systems results in those persons being allowed back into society to further protect the course of justice.
We are raising a society of callous and willfully disrespectful young men who due to the absence of a father figure , these young men turn to each other for a connection n and a sort of belonging which in turn results in disregard for authority figures such as police and adults. Mothers have lost control in the homes as they now have to take on the role of both parents which in retrospect leaves their kids with freedom to roam and live lives on the streets instead of in the homes.
Crooked land owners who allow illegals to occupy their properties which are hooked up on illegal systems such as electricity, contaminated water, and resulting in less than favorable living conditions. These grounds breed disease, contempt, less than sanitary living environments thus forcing an unsafe state. For a country to profit from its natural resources, the people have to provide an economic plan for sustainable growth which currently is at a loss in the Bahamas.
The economy is riddled with corruption, negligence, apathy and lack of proper infrastructure to enable the society to pull itself out of the decline which exists today. Statistics have shown from 1998-2012 the economic state of the country has been as follows; More persons on social programs, unemployment at an all time high, crimes have increased in three areas- murder, rape, stealing by means of employment. The war on drugs was lost many years ago due to corrupt public officials turning a blind eye to the movements of those persons who are invested in that culture of life.
According to recent reports, the economic turnaround is on its way. However, the statistics do not go along with the actual facts. Another problem of the Bahamian economy is its poor management of finances. The truth is we as average Bahamians are not great with finance on a personal level, much less on a national level. As a result, many lost their homes, life savings, jobs and now find that they are poor with the little prospect of improving in the near future. Presently, our National Debt is 4. 2 billion dollars, our current GDP is 65%.
According to the Bahamas Handbook, The Bahamas’ economy has grown a cumulative total of just a little over 6% over the past ten years. It is unlikely that it will be able to grow out of its debt burden. If nothing is done to prevent this ongoing decline, our debt to GDP will reach a staggering 70%. This means that we will find it increasingly difficult to borrow money from international money lenders. However, when they do lend us money it will be at a much higher interest rate, which in turn will push us further into debt.
If the government goes further into debt, they will have to collect money to service that debt. This means more taxes. More taxes will lead to a higher cost of living and doing business in the Bahamas. As a result more people will lose their jobs, more businesses will close, and crime will continue to increase. If there isn’t a solution to these problems faced in the Bahamas, we will slide into poverty and considering the crime level now when we are still a relatively rich nation, we can see how easily we can become another Jamaica or Haiti.
In conclusion, I quote the words of our present Prime Minister The Right Honorable Perry Chrstie on the faults of our economy;“It reminds us why we must continue to be very, very proactive in direct foreign investment; why we must continue to look for opportunities to control costs; why people who represent workers and have to deal with the government must be mindful of the condition of the economy of our country, and why we must recognize that we are in this together and we must get out of it together.”