by Larry Smith
As Franklyn Wilson noted, the country's overall approach to immigration was settled as far back as the early 1970s, and yet we can still waste time over it today. The issue was put to rest by the implementation of a strict Bahamianisation policy by the new PLP government, accompanied by a massive investment in education.
These two policy shifts reversed a trend towards the wholesale recruitment of expatriates, and broadened educational opportunities for Bahamians who could then expand the nation's middle class.
As the late Dr Keva Bethel described the period immediately following the Second World War: "The highest forms of employment to which the majority of Bahamians were likely to be able to aspire...were posts in the civil service, teaching, nursing, or the church. Moreover, only a proportionately modest number actually achieved those positions."
But in the first years after majority rule in 1967, the government spent as much as 19 per cent of the annual budget on education, building new schools throughout the country to provide better education for all Bahamian children.