It appears that forty percent of well-educated Bahamians emigrate from the Bahamas (even more emigrate from the rest of the Caribbean). Bahamas Ambassador CA Smith’s “bold” solution to remedy this “brain drain?” Have the countries that our smart countrymen flee too tax their people to pay “concessionary rates” for the education of our “human capital.”
In other words: another international welfare scheme.
Politicians create regulations that drive away smart Bahamians from the Bahamas and then they hold conferences and release press releases — at taxpayer expense — patting themselves on the back for coming up with “bold” ideas for new regulations.
Bahamians are not some abstraction called “human capital.” They are individuals with diverse tastes and desires. If the Bahamas’ growing economic distinction of “it’s not what you know, but who you know” (an economy of pull as opposed to productivity) doesn’t drive them away; then the sterility of our intellectually bankrupt Ministry of Culture will (culture dictated by government decree is a contradiction in terms).
Here’s a real “bold” proposal for Mr. Smith and his colleagues to mull over: If we are losing smart Bahamians to other countries, let’s attract some of their brainy people. A good place to start is education: let’s attract the best foreign teachers from all over the world so they can teach our kids. They give our kids a world-class education (paid for by their governments training them), and we give them low salaries and daily access to the best beaches in the world (which cost us nothing). (Observe that this policy is a complete reversal of the brain destruction policy pursued by Roker in the late 80’s where the best foreign teachers were forced out of Bahamian schools to the detriment of Bahamian schoolchildren).
However, this proposal is merely a short-term band-aid for the real problem: shrinking freedom.
In the Caribbean, we have governments that spend an inordinate amount of their time regulating — that is, violating the rights of — innocent individuals (always for the so-called “public good”), while shirking on their duties to catch real criminals: thieves, rapists and murderers. Sadly, many of our politicians see productive people merely as “human capital” which they can loot from (legally of course!)
Smart people like freedom. Politically, this is the ultimate “pull” factor for “brainy people.” Freedom means freedom from the initiation of physical force; whether illegally by criminals, or legally by politicians who imitate the criminals methods (for supposed “good ends” of course while ignoring the basic principle of ethics that “good” ends never justify illegitimate means).
Freedom means that if you are not violating the rights of others, government’s job is lassez-faire: to leave you alone. For details see the writings of one of the smartest people (in my opinion) of the 20th century, philosopher Ayn Rand. Specifically her two essays: “Man’s Rights” and “The Nature of Government“. (I recommend you print these two essays out and give them to your local politician). You want to keep the brains in the Bahamas? The principles outlined in these two brilliant essays are a rational place to start. – MARK DA CUNHA (Dec 23, 2009)