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June 10, 2009


Erasmus Folly

As someone who has long held that the port should be at Clifton, this was an eye opening article. Thanks Larry. I am still skeptical that a container port is the first thing our cruise (from the sea) or air arrival tourists (in the taxi coming east) should see. However, given the massive costs, reality is reality and the least level of government involvement in the project is strongly desirable. It is most important that the port is moved from Nassau quickly and if this can be done without breaking the public treasury, then that has to be the obvious choice.

Even ports can be beautified though... perhaps the government should look heavily into any and all options that would 'beautify' the Arawak Cay port, so as to soften the 'industrial' nature of such a view. Incorporating trees intelligently, perhaps using massive murals or sculptures strategically or consulting the public for more ideas may work...

Thanks again for another informative piece of journalism though.


accept my data!


As for trees, for the love of GOD, stop planting USELESS palm trees. The things don't even grog coconuts! If they're going to plant trees they NEED to plat BIG, NATIVE TREES. With a big enough wall of GREEN maybe they could even hide the container ports from the view of ships entering.

Erasmus, how is a container port any worse than what they currently see. And what about the visitors who don't get off the plain and dash straight over to atlantis. What about the ones who actually go downtown...once they hit the first patch of backed up traffic due to big trucks trying to back out of that lot then they know "oh this is the end, time to turn around and go back. Nothing worth seeing beyond this point."

Erasmus Folly


Agreed on the trees, I think that is a great idea.

As to the port, while it is true that Arawak Cay is a mess now and will probably be a mess when the container port is moved there, you are not factoring in one thing - downtown will finally be able to develop. So, while Arawak Cay won't change too much, downtown will be transformed once the shipping companies are gone. The best part, this will actually happen quickly - rather than excruciatingly slowly if the port was going to Clifton. That is a valuable benefit that simply cannot be overlooked or underestimated.

We have to make Nassau Harbour have the same international ring to it as St. Tropez, Nice, Cannes, Miami Beach etc. These are all internationally recognized destinations. There is no reason Nassau shouldn't be either - it once was. Nowadays, Atlantis is internationally known, but Nassau has been forgotten - we can change that for the better and tap into the energy that Atlantis has brought to this country.



I beg to differ to your statement: It also turned out that a majority of Americans were in favour of a more equitable distribution of income. ..

helloooo???? I am an American who is not in favor of this .... and I really don't know anyone who is... except deadbeat irresponsible people who don't want to take care of their own affairs and would rather have someone else do it...

larry smith

Gallup has been asking Americans periodically for over 20 years whether the distribution of money and wealth in the US is "fair," or whether they should be "more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of the people."

Across the nine times the question has been asked, a majority of Americans have agreed with the thought that money and wealth should be more evenly distributed.

But that sentiment does not address the issue of exactly how this would be achieved.

The question related to that is phrased as follows: "Do you think our government should or should not redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich?"

In each of the four times Gallup has asked this question in recent years, between 45% and 51% of Americans have agreed with the fairly harsh-sounding policy of redistributing wealth by heavy taxes on the rich.

Gallup says that responses to the two income-redistribution questions can be combined to allow the classification of Americans into broad groups as follows:

* Forty-one percent are strong redistributionists

* Thirty-two percent are anti-redistributionists

* Fifteen percent are non-government redistributionists

Erasmus Folly

A 3% - 5% tax rise isn't going to kill anyone and is hardly that much more equitable either. Furthermore, the MAJORITY of Americans actually get a tax break! Don't mislead on what constitutes the majority.

Republicans love to act as if Democrats are communists or something. It is total bologna and that is why a 'majority' of Americans, as Larry stated, voted in the Democrats and Obama. The Republicans ran riot with the US Treasury's finances and gave huge tax breaks to the rich while bleeding the country dry - both in blood and treasure. No one is advocating FOR deadbeat irresponsible people - they are just saying that the super rich don't need to be super super super rich, as well as their kids and their kids kids, ad infinitum. The Republican straw man argument of equitable distribution is foolish.


Dear Erasmus:
Of course the Democrats do not have any of those, what do you call them? "super rich don't need to be super super super rich, as well as their kids and their kids kids, ad infinitum" right? :0)
If Governments, PLP, FNM, Democrat, Republican got it right with education, we wouldn't have so many dead beats, making this discussion of the self defeating concept of wealth redistribution, well more pointless than it already is.
I have no problem with all those that think they should have the right to decide what I do with my money, giving whatever portion of their money they would like away.

Erasmus Folly

No one is talking about EXTREME wealth redistribution. Every modern society has some form of taxation that gives the government the ability to do certain essential tasks: defend the country, police the country, educate the people, build and maintain infrastructure etc. Those things are paid for by taxes. The Democrats are talking about raising taxes between 3 - 5% on income tax for the highest bracket. That is not an exorbitant increase. More importantly, the MAJORITY of Americans would actually get a tax break.

Of course the democrats have the super super super rich as well, whose kids may be super rich one day as well - that makes their argument stronger - not weaker. They can see past their own immediate greed and self-interest to REMEMBER something called the PUBLIC GOOD. It is the basic understanding that if Johnny goes to school and is educated, Johnny is less likely, statistics show, to become a gang member, indulge in violent crime or traffic in narcotics. It is the basic 'contract' of society.

The Nassau Institute's total free market ideals miss this salient feature of FREE SOCIETY'S, that they lose 'freedom' to crime and other inconveniences like crumbling infrastructure, low productivity in the labour force and stifling bureaucracy precisely because they don't want to fund the GOVERNMENT that would need to pay for and thus improve those things. I am all for cutting government waste, but the idea that all government spending is bad is hogwash and we all know it. There is no intellectual honesty there. Trying to say that the Democrats are hypocrites because some of them are wealthy is totally missing the point and, even more importantly, makes their argument, not yours, stronger. They are enlightened wealthy people, unlike their greedy Bushite Republican counterparts.

Take a Bahamian example: I am all for the cutting of government expenditures to the likes of BTC, BEC, Bahamasair, ZNS, Bahamas Information Services, the general perks and abuses of cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries and the political class in general. Cutting wasteful spending is great and I am all for it! The point of cutting though is to make space for better spending on education, health care and the police in this country. The question shouldn't be: should resources be allocated by government, so much as it should be how much resources and how efficiently are they being allocated? The point being, it is a PRACTICAL question, not an IDEOLOGICAL question.

The National Lottery is another PRACTICAL and not an IDEOLOGICAL question, for the simple reason that whether gambling is legal or illegal, people in this country do it. That is an indisputable fact. So, the only REAL question is, how should gambling money be allocated, to enrich a few or to fund our education system? Rational people think this way, irrational people then start quoting scripture etc as if it pertains to the question - it simply doesn't.

I have tremendous respect for the advocacy that both the Nassau Institute and you Rick do. I really do. This government needs to understand that it is not a major power, that it cannot spend so liberally, that the bureaucracy is stifling growth, that taxes must be cut (duty in particular), etc. But these are circumstances that pertain most seriously to the Bahamas. The United States is a different matter entirely. They have to recalibrate their version of capitalism a bit. We have to get ours going entirely. Different stages of development!


Who ever said " that all government spending is bad" Erasmus? Certainly not the Nassau Institute?
I won't hold my breath to see what taxes will end up going up in the US as a result of Bush policies and Bush on steriods (Obama) policies.
It's interesting that only Libertarians (as I claim to be) and Conservatives (that I do not claim to be) are the only ideologues in the world.
There should be no left and right, but what's right and wrong. Don't get off track?
My concern with the government handling anything is what happens in the end. Getting hung up on calling people ideologues only serves to stifle the discussion.
We should be past that by now.
Thanks for your respect.

larry smith

If you claim to be a socialist or a libertarian, or a Baptist for that matter, you acknowledge subscribing to a particular set of beliefs and concepts - usually described as an ideology in terms of politics or faith in terms of religion.


Sure, so people that ascribe to other views, like say, Erasmus Folly you are not ideologues.
I have no problem being labeled as a Libertarian, but as you know very, calling someone an ideologue is meant to be derogatory.
And I think we are mature enough, and understand each other well enough to do better.
That's all.

Erasmus Folly

I wasn't calling 'you' an ideologue. We are well past that. I agree. I meant the praise for the advocacy seriously. I consider the Republicans ideologues these days and those were the people I was referring too. This is not a personal statement.

larry smith

Let's agree to respect each others views, no matter how wrong yours may be.


Who's views are wrong Larry? Mine or Erasmus Folly? :0)
I'd like to revisit a point if I may.
Erasmus Folly says:
"The Nassau Institute's total free market ideals miss this salient feature of FREE SOCIETY'S, that they lose 'freedom' to crime and other inconveniences like crumbling infrastructure, low productivity in the labour force and stifling bureaucracy precisely because they don't want to fund the GOVERNMENT that would need to pay for and thus improve those things."
I would be remiss if I did not point out that one of the Nassau Institute tenets supports the Rule of Law.
I pay my taxes and while I might not be happy to do so, it is the law. It sickens me though the number of people in high places and apparently wealthy and middle class and poor, that do not pay import duty when arriving at the airport. At least I witness them walk through without so much as filling in a form every time I travel. The revenue that is lost there and at the ports must be astounding.
As long as this continues, and the waste Erasmus Folly also dislikes, how can any responsible person just accept tax increases because one group might appear to better off than than the next?
It is easy to criticise the unseen, like the thousands (millions?) of dollars donated to help the needy by those same wealthy people in our community and the US.
Taxing people more than they are willing to pay creates other problems for Governments. Ours is no exception.

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