One of the more interesting aspects of any community’s existence has to do with how this or that class fragment, or this or that business operator copes when conditions begin to deteriorate.
We make this observation to underscore the extent to which some small business are reeling, some are teetering on the brink of failure and some others have already bitten the dust.
There is also all that other collateral damage that persists as the damaging rot percolates throughout the wider community.
These people are crying out and pleading for someone to hear their urgent call for help.
This matter is one that should be dealt with now.
As we move throughout this island, we invariably come upon all manner of Bahamians – inclusive of some hardy individuals who live on one Family Island or the other and who only come to ‘Town’ as business or their health demands.
They too are hurting.
And so too are hundreds of millions of the world’s workers.
It is important for us to understand that much of this nation’s fate is determined by external realities and forces. This means that while we may wish things otherwise, the fact of the matter remains that wish as we might, we cannot wish the facts away.
Among the facts that cannot be wished away or prayed away or even hoped away has to do with the reality that this small island developing state relies on both foreign direct investment and external sources for the employment of our people and for the goods and services they consume.
Simply put, The Bahamas is export-dependent and import-reliant.
This is precisely why we today bring to the public’s attention any number of issues emanating from this so-called fact of life.
In this regard, it is salutary to note that “…U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned consumers Wednesday the worsening drought blanketing more than half of the country will lead to higher prices for everything from hamburger meat and bacon to breads and cereals later this year…”
As Vilsack also notes, “…The searing heat and sparse rainfall, which has depleted lakes and reservoirs and left some farmers helpless as their corn and soybean crops wither away in bone-dry fields, has left the country suffering through its worst drought since 1956. Especially devastated has been the Midwest, where much of the country’s corn, soybean and other crops are grown…”
We are told that Vilsack also has a warning to the effect that “…a sharp drop in crop yields also would make its way into processed foods that line grocery store shelves early in 2013…”
This is another wake-up call to all who have ears and all who have eyes, the days of business as usual are over.
In addition, the handwriting on the wall tells those who can read and understand that we must be up and doing as regards not only land reform, but also as regards policy designed to encourage Bahamians to own and work more of the land that is theirs’ by birthright.
This call comes at a time when the hype associated with the elections is all but done – and in a time when reality now bites.
The general elections have come and they have gone.
The roads are still dug up; the digging continues and small business operations are still reeling; these so even as bigger enterprises also experience their share of the hurt and expense of these massive public works.
In the meantime, the world economy continues to wobble from disaster to disaster. Now, there is talk of even more disaster as a massive heat wave in America’s heartland threatens that great nation’s farming based industries.
So no matter how the cookie crumbles, those small island developing states such as ours can and should brace themselves for the higher prices that will surge their way in the coming months.
Evidently, this surge in prices will – of necessity – bite into the quantum of disposable income that usually funds matters pertaining to recreation and tourism.
This brute reality determines how we either sink or swim.
Indeed, the so-called Bahamian dream now finds itself trampled underfoot as so many among us lose themselves in a mushy mire of magical hope, rum and other spirituous liquors and ganja.
Scores more end up either maimed or dead.
No matter how people end up in times like these and a place like this can and should be traced right back to the over-arching world economy; how it is being managed and how it might be managed, moving forward.
This is the reality we must face sooner rather than later.