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Paradise lost - FT.com
December 19, 2013 5:03 pm
Paradise lost

By Robin Wiggleswort

The Caribbean is suffering from crippling government debt, endemic crime and a middle-class brain drain that have contributed to an economic meltdown of alarming proportions...

Persaud blames an “anti-growth coalition” for the Caribbean’s plight, a tight-knit nexus of politicians, business interests and unions that benefit from the status quo – one of the invisible flaws of small states where everyone knows one another. “The Caribbean is at a crossroads, it desperately needs political leadership,” he argues. “It can overcome these challenges, as other small states have, but it requires courage.”

Some fear that the erosion of the local middle classes – both the backbone of civil society as well as the most demanding voters – eases the pressure on politicians to shape up. “The depletion of our brightest graduates, our middle class and some of our most enterprising workers has drained the foundations of our society,” laments Trevor Munroe, a Jamaican academic, former union leader and founder of National Integrity Action, an anti-corruption watchdog. “Remittances are a big plus, but the big minus is the weakening of society’s internal drivers for reform.”
Caribbean  criminality  brain_drain  emigration  small_states  anti-growth  anti-development  tourism  cultural_detachment  middle_class  leadership  courage  civil_society  crony_capitalism  business_interests  cronyism  demanding_voters  debt 
december 2013 by jerryking

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