Sinckler knocks consumerism

Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, has criticised rising levels of consumerism which he said has made it difficult for governments and societies to keep up with the demands of such a standard of living.

During his contribution yesterday to the debate on the Resolution for the Barbados Green Economy Scoping Study, Sinckler said consumerism has resulted in several deficits, notably “between the governed and the government, deficits between the demands and the supplies, and deficits between the costs associated with providing that standard of living and the capacity of all of the agents within the society … to be able to sustain that quality of life”.

He pointed to the example of the energy sector, where according to him, over the last 50 years there has been a “disconnect” between the demands of a modern society and the provision of energy, particularly fossil fuel energy.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

“In fact I believe two or three of the major recessions since the 1950s can be laid squarely at the feet of disruptions in oil production…We know that during those times and in between those times because of the demands of emerging economies such as India and China, that those have caused oil prices to skyrocket and elevate as the demand outstripped for some period of time, the supply, and the futuristic markets speculated about what would happen and drove up prices of oil,” Sinckler said.

“We love when the oil is flowing and coming to Barbados, and other countries love it because it helps sustain that driven consumerism … But we hate when it gets to a point where we can’t afford it, and we blame everybody for the problems which it throws upon us.”

The minister lamented that it was not until the last decade and a half, that there were steps towards a driven policy to transform economies in a manner which would pave the way for the creation of the concept of a green economy.

“It’s amazing how these things happen, that we have had to be beaten and pummelled into the ground of uncertainty about our futures, for us to take heed of that. But not any more so than having to face the spectre of significant and fundamental and far-seated and deep-rooted changes in our very significant environment through the process of climate change.

“Again … very much driven, if not fuelled, by the basic level of consumerism in our societies. For us to have bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger plants, bigger everything to produce bigger blocs of pollution to change our ozone layer, to change our climate for us to then inculcate in ourselves that our very basic concept of the post-globalisation era economies and society that is driven by consumption, that that in fact, may very well be the biggest challenge that we have in sustaining human and plant and animal life on this earth,” Sinckler said.

11 Responses to Sinckler knocks consumerism

  1. Hal Austin November 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Is this economic illiterate seriously our minister of finance. The three key drivers of liberal democratic economies are consumers, the private sector and, failing that, government.
    Is he suggesting abandoning the consumer driver?| In the US, the wealthiest economy in the world, 70 per cent of GDP is driven by consumers.
    Does Mr Sinckler understand his portfolio? Does prime minister Stuart really understand the level of Sinckler’s incompetence|?

  2. jrsmith November 12, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    This is where we are at, this is what we have to put up with, this is the best which can be done by our government ministers.
    How they explain in no uncertain terms the failure of 3 decades of political mis- management exposing the fact that the lot before them done nothing much and this lot has done nothing at all, but we can all blame climate change …

  3. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce November 12, 2016 at 6:37 pm
  4. Randy Hartman
    Randy Hartman November 12, 2016 at 9:17 pm


  5. Dennis Connell
    Dennis Connell November 13, 2016 at 12:24 am

    You are FIRED.

  6. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole November 13, 2016 at 1:49 am

    @ Barbados Today Please fact check what the Minister says before publishing. The last recession 2008 to 2012 was not in anyway related to energy or oil. It was started by subprime mortgages crisis and poor regulation of non depository financial institutions. Barbados is a small open economy and it will therefore be difficult to reduce imports since it imports almost everything at present. This can only stop immediately if there is a war that affects importation. There is therefore a challenge and opportunity for government to create an environment for entrepreneurial activity to thrive so that the level of exports will offset imports and to introduce the 3 R’s , reduce, reuse and recycle.

  7. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole November 13, 2016 at 2:16 am

    It is interesting that there was a debate on the Resolution for the Barbados Green Economy Scoping Study. How can this be when Minister Lowe is still bent on building a Gassification plant in Barbados? Why are you wasting the taxpayers money?

  8. Lynda Bonnett
    Lynda Bonnett November 13, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I think you,frumble,kellman and general secretary should stay away from the all seen to have a disconnect sonewhere

  9. Jus me November 13, 2016 at 8:19 am

    GREED BO!!
    Ignorant Geedy Politicians keep us all poor

  10. Hal Austin November 14, 2016 at 3:16 am

    The recession caused by the sub-prime crisis did not last from 2008 to 2012. It was from 2007/8 and by 2009 the global economy as growing again. Plse check your facts.

  11. Tony Waterman November 14, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    If there is no Consumerism, then a lot of Factories will close Mr.Sinckler, and where then will we be,do you really know what you are doing????
    @Hal Austin “Does Mr Sinckler understand his portfolio? Does prime minister Stuart really understand the level of Sinckler’s incompetence|?”” and the Answer is!!!!!NO NO NO.

    “Lawd have Mercy”


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