REPORT #443 November 2001

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

I read in the Amandala PUP Cabinet Minister Coye's famous speech, where he claims his political party has failed in it's social contract with the human resources of Belize.

There were both good points, ambivalent points and at least one serious paragraph that was totally confusing. That is the paragraph, I want to clear up in Minister Coye's mind. If he, a RULER of the leading controlling political party does not know the right course of action in his mind, then obviously many of his party are similarly confused. In brief, he is thinking in terms of being a Ministerial RULER and not in terms of political parties GOVERNING. Different kinds of horse to pull the cart of economic and social success.

Basically, in trying to figure out "CAUSE AND EFFECT" of the political process and trying to rationalize the failure of the political process his party persues in reality, versus the lauded ambitious and probably in some cases sincere efforts by some members of his party, to improve Belize. This paragraph of Coye's shows his basic lack of understanding of the processes of political framework structure on cause and effect.

At heart is his idea of the cause and effects of, as he says; "the relentless adoption of the idealogy of free market", and then he goes on to blame all the failures of the PUP political party to achieve success, on the adoption of this one idea. Coye goes on to describe around the world, millions of unemployed and abandoned, not counting those in Belize itself. The segments of the population that remain disempowered and impoverished. The distorted patterns of wealth accumulation. And what he says is the "neo classic orthodoxy of free market pre-emminence being unsustainable." This last comment of Coye's explains his ideas and confusion. It is contrary to the results found in a pragmatic manner, even in segments of Belize, mostly rural and not that of the port town of Belize City Creole culture. When Coye talks this way, obviously he has not figured out the facts yet, or the causes of the imbalances he blames on everything else, but his political party.

Let's see if we can sort out the inconsistancies and misunderstandings in Minister Coye' intrepretation of events and results!

The FREE MARKET idealogy and FREE ENTERPRISE method of governing has proved itself in over 50 different states and 50 different types of government models in the USA alone. Not counting Switzerland and their 22 Federated Cantons. There is probably no better working social system, or social services networks than in these countries. They are the envy of the whole world, even Belizeans, as there are more Belizeans in the USA than exist in Belize attests. These social safety net systems are ever changing in rules and legislation to meet the circumstances. They also depend and fluctuate on the tax revenue the government enjoys. Not frozen in time, like the Belize Political system frozen in 19 th century political empire building exploitation methodologies. His own party are trying to change that, with social security and unemployment payments. Two steps probably for the good of the general government employed salaried population; but totally useless when dealing with the hill villages of much of rural Belize, like in Cayo West, or Toledo North and West who do not work on salaried occupations. Solving social safety network problems in these areas of the country require a completely different approach from the port town city dwellers.

Minister Coye is ignoring, or simply has no experience of the social assistance, cash loans, scholarships, education, widow pensions and other aspects of Belizean Cooperatives and Credit Unions. These outdo the PUP central government a thousand times in effectiveness. Because the systems are designed to be personal and cater to each members situation, based on personal knowledge.

Another example would be Lima, Peru. The shantytowns on the hills of Lima are outside Municiple, or Federal administration. They must fend for themselves, collect garbage, deal with sewage, water, sanitation, crime, transportation, electricity and the myriad things a government is supposed to do. They do this very well, even with their own bus service. None of these shanty towns enjoy any financial or other inputs from the city or national government itself. They are ignored and left to fend for themselves. Most of it is FREE ENTERPRISE, or volunteer, as the need may arise. For 15 years these shantytowns have served themselves outside of bureaucracies. They are all poor and they help each other, through loose knit operations to do what is necessary. None of which is LEGAL by any political or bureaucratic sense. Yet they do it and well. The centralized government of Peru and city government of Lima, has simply failed their population, so they had to do it themselves. There is a lesson here and I am not sure if you can talk sense to Minister Coye about this. His mind seems to be closed.

As I see Minister Coye's dilemma in thinking, it appears to be the strait jacket he is thinking in; of a centralized ruling government, like the one in which he serves. In that, his criticisms are correct. The political framework in which his party RULES is not GOVERNING. It is inefficient by design. The original purpose of which, was to squeeze and loot as much tribute as possible out of conquered colonies for benefit of the home empire nucleus. When Coye talks about free market practices as being unsustainable, he is saying, it does not work within his experience; which is a centralized looting model of colonial government, now transferred from an absentee Monarchy Queen, to a local bunch of exploitive political parties and opportunists. He is certainly right in that FREE MARKET policies do not work in this environment. He is perfectly right in that the government, a centralized political party run elected dictatorship will not, and cannot provide the social services net, for the many disadvantaged in Belize the nation of six rural districts.

We see that every day.

Where Health Cabinet Minister Coye goes wrong, is in drawing the conclusion that the fault is FREE MARKET and FREE ENTERPRISE and cannot solve the problems. On the contrary, the FAULT is the system of RULING his party uses. Instead of GOVERNING.

The proof are places like the 50 different State governments of the USA and say the 22 Cantons of Switzerland, who all follow FREE MARKET and FREE ENTERPRISE and have better and larger social service safety nets than any other country in the world, other than say the oil rich KINGDOMS of the middle east. Which will disintergrate into tribal anarchy and fuedalism once the oil richs are gone.

Nope! The problem in Belize is the political framework in which a party RULES instead of a political framework that allows people to govern themselves like in Belizean Fisheries Cooperatives, or Credit Unions, or the shanty towns of Lima, Peru. The problem with Minister Coye and most of his fellow party elected representatives is that the political framework in Belize allows them as humans, to cater to self gratification, self interest and self enrichment. The political framework in Belize is at fault, because it allows the worst attributes of human nature to surface. Temptation and opportunity give even Belizean Jesuits problems. Neither the PUP or the UDP members have proved to be an exception. Contrary to what Coye concludes, FREE ENTERPRISE and FREE MARKET practised in a political framework that is multi-layered democratic governments does work. The proof is there. It works better than any country with our model of government.

Minister Coye speaks of the distorted patterns of wealth accumulation. In any society, two percent of the population create the opportunities for wealth for all the others. This study has been done many times, by many people. ALL PEOPLE are not equal! Nor are they equally ambitious. Socialism and Communism tries to say, a centralized government controlling all people and all business, can do a better job. That has been proven so badly wrong as a philosphy it is not even worth challenging, or discussing here. Port town intellectuals who think this way, are simply uneducated confused provincials. No different than the villagers of the TALIBAN. Different idealogy, but similar philosophy. The only reward such wealthy ambitious and driven people get, are status and bigger toys to play with. They usually work a whole lot more hours and harder than any salaried person. But, the political system and society has to let these two percent get their rewards, otherwise they will not support the rest of the country and population, through their drive, ideas and risk taking. The role of government is to separate them from a portion of their wealth through taxes, to create the social service net for those needing it. But the line of separation of wealth through taxes is a sticky and tricky one. Too much and you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, too little and this small two percent of driven individuals who create wealth and business, become monopolists and exploit populations, through corrupt political frameworks. Finding the right tax situation is always a flexible thing. Right now, the USA is currently going through such adjustments, using many interest rate cuts this year and tax exemptions that favor the wealthy two percent, in order to get the economy going again. The government cannot do this. It has to be these driven ambitious individuals who create wealth. When you find and identify them, you have to nurture their skills. Does Minister Coye expect the crackheads and alcoholics and security loving civil servants of Belize City to create national wealth and build an economy that can be taxed? Can't be done! People answer different drives and dreams. People are not equal!

Minister Coye claims that the central party run government has enjoyed a measure of success resulting from collective and cooperative social philosphy. I would answer that statement with the comment "BALDERDASH!" The centralized ruling system his party uses, is and has been holding back development in Belize and social safety systems resulting from local governments for decades. Until, you change the Belize political framework and place it into as many lower levels and layers of smaller governments with financial independence through equitable financial disbursements of national revenues, you have not begun to even start to address the problem of social safety nets. It is your concept and that of your fellow PUP and the UDP political plunder and rule RULERS that is holding Belize back from realizing the real potential of it's human resources. Only local small government layers with financial independence disbursed from the national revenues can deal with local social problems, because they personally know the person across the counter and their difficulties and circumstances. The Toledo Hill Villages could look after themselves if the national government would share national revenue resources with them. Instead, the political parties blow it on their elected representatives and the port of Belize City which has received hundreds of millions over the decades.

It is a shame, Minister Coye sees the problems, but he cannot see the CAUSE and EFFECT and draws the wrong conclusions from a RULER mentality, instead of allowing people to govern themselves.

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