CLINT CHAN TACK
UWI economist Dr Roger Hosein said a "CEPEP mentality" will not help this country's economy grow. Hosein made this comment at the launch of the Usurance digital platform at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain on Thursday night. The platform is the creation of Arima-based Universal Insurance Brokers. Hosein told his audience that this country remains in a recession. "We created this recession."
According to Hosein, the recession was orchestrated over time by the use of endogenous policy actions. Endogenous is defined as something which has an internal cause or origin. Quoting 16th Century French philosopher Jean Bodin, Hosein said, "Men of a fat and fertile soil are most commonly effeminate and cowards." He added a barren country makes men "temperate by necessity and by consequence, careful, vigilant and industrious."
Hosein praised Universal founder Troy Gabriel and his wife Melesha for proving Bodin's theory. He said it was instructive that they started their business in 2015 at the height of the recession. This year, Hosein said it was noteworthy that they were identifying growth. Hosein disclosed that he made a living as a boy, catching crabs and later selling eggs. While he received a PhD from the University of Cambridge, Hosein said, "I didn't learn any new economics at Cambridge."
Hosein told his audience he learnt "the tricks of the trade" from catching crabs and selling eggs. After that, Hosein said he "went out into the world and started to apply the tricks of the trade." Hosein said he did so intelligently at a high level. He explained that even in the best of circumstances, growth in the country's non-energy sector will still be ten per cent less of what it was in 2015. But with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP)of $23 billion, Hosein said TT's GDP remains the largest in the Caribbean. This provides ample opportunties, he said, for those people who are prepared to work hard, go strong and go intelligent.
Hosein said plumbers and masons could create opportunities for themselves by working diligently from 8 am to 4 pm, taking either no cigarette break or one cigarette break. Referring to TT's success in LNG, Hosein said this underscored the importance of entering a market when production is on the upswing. People must do the things that allow them to win. Hosein this can be done by intensively use "the factors of production at your disposal."