Just returned from Barbados. I both admire and am afraid of Barbados.
Barbados represents the ultimate in first world mimickry. Its a beautiful little country with some of the hardest working people you can find. Its economy and living standards are first world, and its stability as a nation is great.
I admire all of those. Barbados has shown a capacity to absorb foreign direct investment to the point where it is attractive for foreign dollars to be in Barbados because foreigners want to holiday there, they want to live there, they want to even die there.
I get the sense that Bajans tolerate this success carefully. Its like the butler who takes shit all day because he knows he gets paid higher than even some white collar workers elsewhere and that he lives large. But deep down, he doesnt want to be a butler anymore.
A black bajan middle class may emerge, one that has landowning power. But right now they are as happy as any mid income family guy in Surbiton in the UK or Westchester in the US who really wishes he didnt have to wear a shirt and tie to work and wants to be free from being part of a robot working environment with team talks and quarterly targets.
I havent seen the balance yet. Maybe Martinique reflects it better. An island laissez-faire buffered with some colonial visitors and French patronage to give them enough income to continue being laissez faire in a great setting. Les Antillais rarely wear suits as a matter of fact.
Its funny when you think of it.