I have this crazy vision of economic equality for the Caribbean, which I started to outline last week in the article How To Get Reparations For Dummies.
Feedback ranged from “that was brilliant” to the less than favourable. One reader from Guyana went on to say: “I particularly like his ideas better than the ten-point plan [CARICOM Reparations Justice Programme (CRJP) Ten-Point Action Plan] because it encourages making demands from a position of power rather asking for handouts like victims.”
This wasn’t my intention; but I appreciate her point and the feedback.
One recurring point, when reading most of the comments on reparations, is that the commentators may have overlooked three things:
1. The views of the citizens in former colonial powers. The populace in Britain and the United States have been resistant to reparations. A quick Google search will show various surveys done attesting to this fact.
It is extremely unlikely to get reparations in light of this. What politician would agree to reparations, given no political backing?
Why not demand something that the British or American citizen has little or no say in?
Citizens of the former colonial powers are sleeping well and without any guilty conscience.
2. Receiving any amount of United States dollars or British pounds in reparations will not address the economic inequality inherent in the global financial system. The financial system is rigged. As a trader I would know.
The International Monetary Fund and major central banks ensure that power is in the hands of a few.
One simple way this is done is via the construction and interaction of the world’s currencies.
Currencies should move up and down owing to economic activity. However, some currencies have an elevated status only due to a few countries agreeing that it should be so.
This is part of the appeal of bitcoin (and other cryptographic currencies) for many persons. Those currencies can’t be readily manipulated by governments or central banks.
3. Any reparations (as currently designed) would not be distributed equally amongst Caribbean citizens. I should probably reiterate that
I am in full support of reparations at this point. However, I believe that better, simpler designs exist.
A general summary of my plan would be to make a Caribbean currency and make that currency “important” by backing it with a couple of billion dollars held by other international central banks. Thus, under these conditions and only under these conditions, our governments could print money without the currencies being devalued and then put the ten-point plan in place.
Instead of CARICOM asking for ten things, why not ask/demand one thing that can accomplish those ten?
The benefits of my plan:
It doesn’t need full approval of British or
American citizens. Monetary policy is done behind closed doors with little or no oversight. For example, the US Federal Reserve at one point printed more than US$80 billion monthly without needing any United States congressional approval.
Fewer parties are involved in negotiations.
The plan addresses economic inequality in a global financial system.
There is greater wealth transfer for the average citizen. The currency citizens are holding is worth more immediately.
Governments can now print money without their currencies being devalued.
Finally, I should point out that I am not attacking anyone’s efforts. CARICOM can continue their ten-point action plan and should. I would just like the regional central banks to begin to think about my one-point action plan.
Why treat the symptoms when you can deal with the cause?
(Craig Harewood is the investment director at OurInterest Inc. Visit www.ourinterest.org)