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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Caribbean oddity

I dont think its a Dominican one, but I am sure we do it more than other islands.

Its both a very serious thing (which it is) and a total joke (which it is as well).

I refer to how the government calls a signing ceremony complete with speeches and hushed tones to launch everything from a public convenience to fixing a road to building a sea wall to giving a scholarship.

Imagine if after a surgery procedure a doc comes out and calls a press conference to announce that they had successfully stitched your forehead. Well...the irony of this is that these are things that governments are SUPPOSED to do, yet somehow they turn it into a back slapping self congratulation complete with odes to the PM and accolades for all.

Its so funny its sad.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What to do....

Dominica doesnt need much.

1. sustain itself food wise. All the talk of exporting food ignores the fact that we import way too much food. If Dominica concentrates on simply feeding itself we can achieve serious success.

2. take control of our geothermal resource. this means more than government expropriating the the resource but actually engaging in exploiting the resource in two definite ways. first in reducing the cost of electricity in such a way as to revolutionise the cost of living for the local population. second in creating a real opportunity to sell energy to the rest of the region and to create a competitive advantage for business to be located in dominica.

3. get rid of income tax and become an indirect tax jurisdiction. this is always controversial because like all small caribbean states we have been taught that ttaxation is our way of life. unfortunately our infrastructure is still one of the poorest in the caribbean and consumption is dropping like a stone. its a double whammy we dont need. by leaving vat and corporate tax and eliminating base income tax, we can sell the perception of a tax free jurisdiction which frees up everyone mentally. The population needs to dream.

4. engage in community planning. for too long new communities in dominica have developed organically without any support or guidance from government. the nightmare in picard is evidence of what happens when you leave a population and new arrivals to simply make their way.

thats a decent start.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Marijuana

There is something fundamentally wrong with the criminalisation of a whole heap of young people for smoking small quantities of herb when we have a serious social problem caused by alcohol in the Caribbean.

That is not to say we want wholesale smoking everywhere but marijuana is the least of our concerns.

Incest, child abuse, domestic abuse, corruption, political victimisation.

Yet there are kids in jail for being so idle as to have the time to smoke a plant. A social problem it is yes...but not a criminal one.

The Tip

WIll be returning. Its going to be more interesting this time round actually. And it will still be free.

Cant say much more except that I am tired of people asking me about it :-)

Tough times

These are tough times for anyone in advertising. In a region where the idea of the value of an advertising agency, is just below that of a photographer (or picture take outer).

We are pitching to more accounts than ever though because tough times brings about a need to differentiate, or die. Therefore we are talking to people who would traditionally skip over us.

Its interesting. In a market where distributors and wholesalers have cannibalised marketing and advertising and have created the standards of cheap n dirty that allow any con man with a few dollars to appear to be doing so much, we need change.

Long live introspection and fear. It creates a need to think.