Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bahamians with College Degrees (AKA Brain Drain)


A few thoughts on:

Ten reasons Bahamian college graduates don't want to come home


While I agree with the thrust of this and want to add a hearty “hear, hear” I am going to take a contrarian approach to some of the points where I feel it might be helpful to the overall discussion.

One: On getting a job. Some are available with the right attitude, work ethic, and connections. Obstacles all. And when you get one, it may not be a good fit.

So, don't get a job. Freelance or start a business. (We throw up a whole different of obstacles for people trying this so watch out.)

Many job applications are written with the applicant already in mind. This is a result of our work permit laws. We might be better off requiring a mentor/mentee hire requirement when giving out high level work permits. (Or require a hire at a matching pay with the Bahamian being sent to the company's head office country / country of origin of the hired expat for training.)

Two: Something I wrote on facebook today:

“In the Bahamas the saying "It's not what you know but who you know" is popular. Although this practice has some problems and is worse when it is happening in government as opposed to private enterprise, there are honest motivations for this as well as dishonest. It can often come down to the fact that "I feel like I can trust X because I know his family and how he was raised and, even though he has less paper qualifications than Y, I think I am going with him. Plus, if he causes me any problems, I can get his father to sort him out." Don't underestimate this factor. It is also my feeling that the more shady / unethical the situation is in a society, the greater the role this factor plays in such decisions. #cronyism

Three: Are they getting a college / university education to become a better person / citizen? To pursue their love even if it reduces their income potential? To increase their earning potential?

If the latter, does it not behoove them to see what pays in their country (if that is where they want to live and work) and see who is making the kind of money they hope to make before they choose what degree to go away and get? If they are looking for ROI, this needs to be considered. Right? What is the sense in me going off to study orbital mechanics and zero gravity manufacturing and then coming back to the Bahamas and saying there is no job waiting for me and my country let me down? I came back with a degree in Ocean Engineering in 1981 and have never worked a job in engineering. I could get an attitude about how that all worked out but I have chosen not to.

Re: Innovation. That is against the law here. I know from experience. You need a business license to go into business. If they don't have a preexisting category on the application form, they refuse to give you a license for that business. Innovators need not apply. They do not know how to put other at the bottom of that form the last time I applied.

Four: How do we know they are qualified? No one knows what you are actually qualified and fitted to do until you start doing it and make a track record for yourself.

Five: Probably, but you need to compare take home pay and the buying power it gives.

Six: See Seth Godin's STOP STEALING DREAMS

Eight: You got that right. Welcome to the struggle to improve our common home. It can seem hopeless, keep on hoping.

Nine: There is a beauty to a slow pace if it is done for the right reasons and in the right way. I agree we have it wrong in so many ways though. Just don't throw out the baby with the bath water and shoot for the trappings of a wealthy life rather than a quality life.

Ten: And somehow we seem to like it that way. Successive governments have not made a serious impact on changing this in my adult lifetime. Neither have we citizens.

Like I say, I greatly agree with the thrust of this article. I just think we need to consider some other points of view. The main thing I think is we need more Bahamians thinking of providing jobs for themselves and perhaps for others, rather than looking for jobs. It is high time we started dismantling the barriers we have in place that hinder Bahamians trying to start business and especially, in this day and age, online businesses catering to offshore customers.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How do you speak HORN Bahamas?

OK, so I was on twitter the other day and saw a tweet:


that I could not help but respond to in a sort of whimsical way:

So there you have it Bahamas. Tell us how you speak Horn.

Don't forget to take a peek at the Naked Ghosts!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Acceptable Discrimination?

Acceptable Discrimination?

I keep asking this basic question and so far I don't recall a serious answer if any answer at all.

Right ( "up in" ~;-) ) now, we are all about trying to get something passed to prevent discrimination based on X.

My question is:

What things are acceptable for a government to discriminate against its people for?

Is the list of things that are acceptable to use as a basis for discrimination so long that we find it simpler to list that things that are not acceptable?

I really would like some intelligent response to this thought.

all the best,

drew

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bahamas Development Thoughts

Bahamas Development Thoughts

Creative Commons License
Bahamas Development Thoughts by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Well, I can't seem to comment on this link: https://www.facebook.com/WLarryRoberts/posts/10151642230956175

So here is my simple take. We need to roll back Nassau / New Providence development. The history is here. Let Freeport / Grand Bahama have the Manhattan / Hong Kong deal. (Can our rock support sky scrapers?) Move our working parliament to Grand Bahama. Have a ceremonial opening and closing of parliament here in the old buildings and use them as museums for the rest of the time.

Further, all new government office hires that do not deal face to face with customers shall be hired for jobs in Grand Bahama. With telecommunications and the net, the jobs can easily be there. Land should be more affordable. Congestion should be less. Quality of life should be greater. I think they even have enough water to drink down there.

Promote historical tourism in New Providence. Promote your Vegas style tourism in Gran Bahama if you like. Keep the out islands boutique as suggested.

No government incentives / help for further development on New Providence. No government incentives / help for large scale development on the out islands.

And now for my crazy idea. I need to get in my quota of crazy ideas. (I may have posted this before. It is not a new idea to me.)

Pick and island other than New Providence. Preferably a decent sized island. Eliminate the need for work permits on that one island. Make it so that so long as a person is eligible to come here as a tourist, they are welcome to come to that one island and live full time and work, either as an employee or in a business they start / own / run.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Free Markets And More

Free Markets And More

Creative Commons License
Free Markets And More by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Free markets, limited liability corporations and other distortions.

This will hopefully be a good beginning in setting down some of these ideas. Also hopefully, I will continue to add to and refine these ideas with time and quality feedback.

I have been putting forward the idea for some time now that a limited liability corporation is in fact a government meddling in a free market and that said meddling gives us in effect a non-Free market. At the minimum it is a distortion of the Free market caused by the government.

I cannot seem to get too much discussion going around this point, especially with respect to some of my more pro Free market, pro libertarian, pro capitalist friends. Take me up on this guys. It might be a worthwhile discussion.

Now, limited liability corporations may be a worthwhile meddling in a Free market, but they are a meddling and if you are a Free market proponent, and especially one on the more strict end of things, the case needs to be made.

Also, when people want to have the government step in and deal with what they see as abuses of living people by corporations, you need to be open to the possibility that they may not in fact be calling for any initial government meddling in the Free market but rather wanting to government to correct the abuses made possible and arising from the initial meddling done in creating these limited liability corporations in the first place. (Even if they do not make the argument in these terms.)

Let's move on from the mere fact of limited liability corporations and the inherent meddling in and distortion of the markets by governments when they allow for the creation of said corporations to businesses that need to government to step in and "force" rights of way and other similar things to make things "work".

Let's take a phone or electric company. Did the government force any private land owner to sell some land or grant a right of way through or over some land in order to make the effort viable? If so, we are already not dealing with a Free market situation. The government has already meddled in that market with possibly long lasting consequences. This meddling needs to be at least acknowledged when discussing problems relating to the company and its effects on people.

Then we come to the calls to privatize government corporations and services. Fine and dandy. Unless we simply replace a government monopoly with a privately owned monopoly. You will have to make a much stronger case to try and justify that situation.

What benefits does society derive from a private monopoly, possibly overseen by government regulators? What negatives arise?

What benefits does society derive from a government owned monopoly, possibly overseen by semi-independent regulators?

Or do you not want to see any monopolies at all? Do you not buy the idea of natural monopolies?

That is enough for tonight. Hopefully more thoughts to come.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Department Of Beach Surveys

 The Department Of Beach Surveys.

Creative Commons License
The Department Of Beach Surveys by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The government hires people and sends them to the beach every day. They get a clipboard and a short form to fill out daily. Something like:

Date:
Location:
Survey Taker:

Did you see any sea life today? Y/N
Did you see any birds today? Y/N
Did you see any land animals on the beach today? Y/N
Was it Windy / Calm?
Was it Sunny / Rainy?
Did you encounter any tourists on the beach today? Y/N
   If Yes, did they seem to be having a good time? Y/N
Did you have an enjoyable day at the beach today? Y/N
Optionally note below anything of interest you might want to.

Perhaps if other countries do not have enough beaches, they could send those workers to our country to do the surveys here.

Previous mentions of this concept:

2009
http://www.bahamasissues.com/archive/index.php/t-21481-p-2.html

"What happens to all the untrainable people who got jobs as political favors and are unskilled and basically unhireable anywhere else other than the civil service?

Reassign them to the Department Of Beach Surveys.

Or to the Department Of Redundancy Department Bureau Department Council Board Department."

 2006
http://www.varlinux.org/?p=11290

"
Well, for my country, I keep suggesting the department of beach surveys.
Instead of laying off workers who become redundant or for any other reason, assign them to the department of beach surveys.
They must report to the beach each workday. They are responsible for their own lunches. (This will spur industry as the lunches will be provided by lunch wagons and the like.)
They will be responsible for taking statistics on seagull sightings, fish sightings, tides, seaweed, beach erosion and may other things.
Of course, thay can take swim breaks, rest breaks under the palms, etc.
Everyone is happy. Government does not have to lay off votes. Re-assigned workers get to enjoy the natural beauty of our wonderful beaches on all workdays except for bad weather days, these can be in office or home offices to write up data and reports from fine weather days.
Regular citizens are happy because the regular government departments run better due to not being overstaffed by de-motivated workers.
Win, win, win!"

2009
 http://www.varlinux.org/?p=17061

"
I often suggest down here that we institute the Department of Beach Surveys.
Move those who don’t want to work and the other dead wood into the new agency. Send them to the beach every day with a clipboard and pencil with a for that they have to tick off.
At the beach today did you see:
[] Sand
[] Water
[] Fish
[] Seagull
[] Other marine bird
[] Non-marine bird
[] People other than Government Workers
[] Tourist
[] Boat
[] Jet plane
[] Prop plane
[] Car
[] Truck
etc.
Put up signs: “Your Tax Dollars At Work”
At least the other government offices may not be so gummed up…"