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Forum: Gouyave Talk
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Re: Beyond The Paint,The Belvidare of Central Depradine Street

Whatever we produce must be sold in a global economy where we have no power to set the price paid for our labor. Today I bought one pound of coffee bean from Kenya, Africa (Kenya AA). It cost me $16.00 US dollars. The coffee planter in Kenya got less than $1.00 US dollar for that pound of coffee. Yes, it costs money to do business and move raw materials and bring it to market and customers– we know that. But this kind of gap in producers and consumers is way too wide.

What can we do to lessen the gap? That to me is where all of us should be putting all our energy and creative thoughts into resolving. We can also come up with more creative ways to harvest nutmegs. Like putting nets under trees to catch the falling nutmegs, and just pulling the net into a harvesting tractor which can cut down on the labor cost and the need to have many workers walking the floors of nutmeg trees picking up one nutmeg at a time. We get tied up in all this arguments over estate owners, workers, and our leader of choice and ignore the real reason why the resources we have are not profitable and lead to nation building. It has been that way from the first day the British wanted the island to hand it over to their private investors to produce raw products to export and be taxed by the mother country.

We produce for almost nothing towards our country, the investors – British Land owners, ship to their mother country, it is taxed, that tax money is used to buy gold which is then stored in the Bank of London, and then more paper money is printed against that stored gold, and the British economy expands. Meanwhile, if they can keep the locals where the raw materials are extracted fighting each other, that’s a good thing for them. Gairy, the workers, and the planter class, should have gotten together and demanded more money for our raw materials and then have a fair distribution of the pay check. Instead, Politicians like Gairy saw an opportunity to elevate themselves by exploiting the incapacity of the working masses to clearly understand where the source of their evils lies. It was not too hard to get workers to hate. But that hate never left the island. The British were not afraid of Gairy because he could successfully demand better prices for the raw materials the workers produced. They feared the disruption he could cause in their supply of raw materials. His pseudo nationalism was just a nuisance to business for them. And as a developing nation we suffered as we burn down our own estates and eliminated the only jobs poor workers knew all their lives how to do. IMO, that was not a sensible approach. In the end we gained nothing! More useless revolutions that would soon consume us just like the others before.