When our productivity champion is less than inspiring

Say what you like about the newly installed United States president Donald John Trump, but he is one man who has truly earned his productivity stripes.

And should anyone even think about challenging this, the evidence is there for all to see, not only in terms of his US$4 billion-plus in Real Net Worth, but the numerous office towers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses that the 70-year-old real estate mogul has built, renovated, and managed over the past three to four decades.

From Florida to Hawaii, Mr Trump has amassed an impressive portfolio of properties that speak to his homegrown success, not to forget his international holdings in Canada, Turkey, Panama, South Korea, the Philippines, India, and Uruguay.

However, his record of personal and professional achievement certainly did not stop there.

On his way to taking the White House, Mr Trump positioned himself to become the real man behind the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants from 1996 to 2015, and lent his name to the branding of various products which helped to assure him a place on Forbes’ list as the 324th wealthiest person in the world (113th in the United States).

Mr Trump even hosted his own reality TV show, making it difficult for anyone to disagree with his declaration this week, on the eve of his presidential inauguration, that: “I think I outworked anybody who ever ran for office.”

Certainly, no one can criticize Donald Trump on the basis of hard work!

This does not mean that the outgoing president Barack Obama was any political snooze either.

From his entry into the White House exactly eight years ago, up until his final departure today, Obama has been constantly on the move.

And as if his own presidential tenure was not bruising enough, we would have seen Mr Obama and his First Lady Michelle go all out to assist Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in her very contentious run last year for the White House, albeit an unsuccessful bid for the Oval Office.

Still it was easy to surmise without having intimate knowledge of all of his day-to-day happenings, that his has been a most productive and very inspiring presidency.

Which brings us to our very own domestic political situation, and the bold move this week by the National Productivity Council in announcing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as the National Productivity Champion.

To tell the truth it was one accolade that certainly took us completely by surprise. Indeed, we were tempted to say it was laughable, except that the problem of productivity is far too serious a challenge for us nationally.

In accepting the title, Mr Stuart warned in a release issued by the Barbados Government Information Service that “people must be committed to the pursuit of excellence and they will not be if they are not productive”.

“It is not simply a goal, but it has to become a way of life,” he said.

Stuart also expressed the view that people in general should exceed themselves, and that wanting the best should be their very nature.

“Instead of setting standards and encouraging persons to rise to them, we in the Caribbean have been meeting people at their level, and so the desire to rise is being killed very softly,” he contended.

We cannot fault the Prime Minister on account of his advice.

However, we would wish that the same be applied to his leadership of our country, for fear of anyone being left with the impression that he certainly does not practice what he preaches.

This is not to suggest that our Prime Minister does not show up for work. Indeed there has been no evidence of which we are aware of him playing truant, being seriously ill or having to be away from the job for any extended time over the past six years.

What we had though are very pronounced periods of vacuum, which, when coupled with his Government’s seeming inability to settle even the very mundane while bungling its response to critical matters such as our water supply, garbage disposal, road, housing, sewage and the like, put paid to any suggestion of our leader championing anything, much less productivity in this country.

And we are very surprised that the Akhentoolove Corbin–led Productivity Council would have sought to put him in this position of public ridicule given the need for others to draw inspiration from the champion’s example.

Perhaps if this was the Society For a Quieter Barbados that was asking our Prime Minister to be its champion, given his obvious ability to maintain lengthy periods of silence, then we would be very supportive; or if he were to take on the role of Literary Champion, given his undeniable expertise in terms of the use of prose.

But our Prime Minister – the National Productivity Champion?

11 Responses to When our productivity champion is less than inspiring

  1. Sebastian Da Costa
    Sebastian Da Costa January 20, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Maybe the speaker of the house should have this title

  2. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne January 20, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    After reading this, I cannot help but say that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart got this country on mute while America is celebrating her brand new president.

  3. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne January 20, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I seem to recall Trump was supposed to put some golfing development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and he wanted people to take a ferry to Barbados and goto some airport to be designed around the parish of St. Lucy.

  4. Ivy-Anne Duke
    Ivy-Anne Duke January 20, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Brilliant editorial. . .and so true!

  5. Ivy-Anne Duke
    Ivy-Anne Duke January 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    A new oxymoron has been added to our lexicon – Stuart productivity

  6. Tony Webster January 22, 2017 at 12:59 am

    The fateful day that Caesar went to meet his maker, did someone perhaps whisper to him, that it was a “good idea”…. that the exact time, and the exact place, both augured well?

    Perhaps,this Right Honourable gentleman fond of classic literature, ought to beware the Ides of marching whispers…and particularly marching whisperers who might have a lean and hungry look. As all the click-bait ads will tell you: “this game will keep you up all night”. No ….take your mind out of the gutter…The ads simply mean…”unable to sleep”.
    Shame on wunna.

  7. Richard Johnston January 22, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Utter horse manure. Forbes magazine estimates Trump’s “fortune” at less than US$1 billion, and he has sued them before when he felt they slighted him. (Say ‘thin-skinned’) Most of the large projects bear his name licensed to them, and he has no appreciable personal stake in them. He has been shown to disrespect women and regard them as sexual objects.

    He has achieved whatever wealth he possesses not through honest business dealings but through bullying, lying, cheating, stiffing his suppliers, reneging on agreements and benefiting from tax loopholes he has no intention of closing now that he could. There are two dozen legal cases outstanding, of the hundreds he has been the object of. He was shown to be fraudulent in his “Trump University” scam, and his supposed charity that is still being investigated in New York was paying his personal expenses.

    He will never publish his tax returns because first of all they would show how much less he is worth than he boasts, but also because they would reveal his legal maneuverings including settlements he agreed to rather than face greater scrutiny; and they would show the pittance he has ever given back to society in the form of charitable contributions. Instead of “draining the swamp” in Washington he has made room in his cabinet for billionaires, Wall Street bankers, relatives and other predators like himself. He is a monster and a threat to the world, an embarrassment to all right-thinking Americans.

  8. Nathaniel Samuels January 22, 2017 at 9:26 am

    If the Prime Minister was an honest and fair man, he would have refused the accolade of being named the National Productivity Champion because he knows that he is far from that; he should have realized that that accolade, if accepted, would have made him the laughing stock of all Barbados. I am sure his Cabinet colleagues are really having a laugh

  9. Tony Webster January 22, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    @Richard Johnson: you are way too kind to the gentleman Trump.
    Me? I cannot find words, especially adjectives, to describe this menacing psuedo-humanoid, grasping, groping, and grimacing former-democrat-but-morphed-into-a-sorta-Republican and leader of the most powerful nation on God’s Green Earth.

    God, like you ent listenin’ to muh prayers: you ent reach here yet?

    • Richard Johnston January 22, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Tony, I wake every morning hoping my prayer has been answered, but DT is still there.


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