October 25th, 2007 by De Onion
I was wrong about the Premier’s economic advisers.
Given some of the economic garbage coming out of politician’s mouths of late, any adult supervision is an improvement.
October 21st, 2007 by De Onion
I’ve been unplugged completely for almost two weeks and have logged back in for a few minutes… I see on Vexed Bermoothies that the Premier has announced his council of economic advisers. I have a few other posts written but may appear over the next couple of days (airplane time is good for something after all).
But now back to economic advisers…
The advisers only appear impressive to people who don’t know how business and economics work. These are all very busy people who will give advice at meetings/dinners a few times a year in exchange for what are likely fees and expenses. They will have neither the time, nor the expertise to provide meaningful value-added.
In summary: The economic advisers are a pure ego and image move designed to appeal to people who don’t know any better.
I hope very much that they will prove me wrong, but somehow I doubt it.
Personally I have little faith in the only member of the group I have known in an economic context as he loudly, publicly (with a smile on his face) proclaimed that Bermuda was “pricing itself out of the market” because of the scarcity of people willing to work for wages competitive with countries with a far lower standard of living and that was a bad thing. Of course, when that high pricing comes from silly high incomes and standards of living and with rampant over-employment then it’s not a bad thing if Bermuda can’t compete for clerical administrative jobs with second or third world nations (or fishing, or farming, or mass-market tourism, for that matter), and it’s probably best outsource those jobs anyway and focus on what we’re really good at. To believe otherwise is to ignore the very basic economic principle of comparative advantage.
Law of comparative advantage: the total output of a group of individuals, an entire economy, or a group of nations will be greatest when the output of each good is produced by the person, firm, or nation with the lowest opportunity cost.
Opportunity cost is the cost of doing something at the expense of something else. The opportunity cost of having a person working in fishing at $8 an hour is that the same person can’t work construction and create houses at $20 an hour. The opportunity cost of having administrators making $40,000 a year in fund services is that they make $50,000 a year in insurance. That is not a bad thing.
October 3rd, 2007 by De Onion
I am going to be on the road till the end of October, so posting will be light.
See you in November
(but blogging is almost as addictive as the stuff that Dr. Brown must be sniffing if he did as this article says and implied that those who were critical of policy were drunk and don’t just understand jurisdictional risk in a global context.)
He also dismissed reports coming out of a insurers conference in Monaco that businesses weren’t happy with the current political climate saying the people who had been doing the talking had been drinking.
Please tell me this was just the reporter taking undue liberties. Seriously, this is getting ridiculous.
October 2nd, 2007 by De Onion
Pictures like this scare me.
We are a mosquito on the back of a giant, far more so than a decade ago.
I would rather live in a world where the US President and Congress thinks that Bermuda is a small Caribbean tourist destination which at the height of its power deserves mention and thought only insomuch as it’s in the chorus of that Beach Boys song right before “…Bahama, come on pretty mama…” and not where we are an offshore jurisdiction that allows Bermuda based hedge funds…er…I mean reinsurance companies to function in a tax-free environment. We exist and are as wealthy as we are in a large measure because the USA has neglected to notice the rest of the world when making policy. It is in our best interest if things stay that way.
October 2nd, 2007 by De Onion
October 1st, 2007 by De Onion
What is quality of life?
One place where economics fails quite miserably is in making people happy – bringing joy to our lives. We get to see this perhaps best when we see that in economic growth terms we are hugely wealthier than our grandparents – and yet, are we happier?
So here’s a list I made by writing non-stop for 10 minutes a list of the things that are special about Bermuda that bring joy into my life.
Running on the railway trail.
Swimming in the morning
High finance all day
2 Hours from NYC
Dinner with friends on the water
Windsurfing after work
Drinking rum and playing guitar with friends till 2AM
Walking all the way up and down South Shore
Live music almost every night in the summer
Going on vacation to St. George’s once a summer
Holding the door
The rude lady in the post office who has been nice to me for the past 12 years
Working with really smart people doing really cool stuff
Watching the sun rise from Heydon Chapel
May 24 – cheering or running
Funny accents – from all over
Facebook groups about the waitresses at Cafe 10
Kid’s projects at the Ag Show
Planting cedars and watching them grow
Rocks – awe at the ocean at Spittal Pond
That’s 10 minutes – but I got a bit distracted and I’m sure if I did it again then I’d have a whole different set of joys. Nonetheless, I think it carries what’s really important. It’s not this legislation, it’s not winning, it’s not revenge, it’s not what a politician did today, it’s not how much money I have, how old I am, if I’m a mason or a hedge fund manager. The simple truth of it all is that what brings quality of life is to be able to do the things that bring joy – and that’s really what we should be looking at when we chose Bermuda’s direction.
What really matters to us?
What do we want to keep?
What do we want to lose?
Anonymous comments are welcome – I want to know: What brings joy to your life in Bermuda?