Anguilla has great potential. It is almost phenomenal that we have attained the level of progress in a single generation that has made the country almost unrecognizable and left us having a great fight to maintain aspects of our culture. Certainly some of the more primitive life styles have vanished and we have adapted a good portion of the modern ways of life. To some extent in our preservation effort we have managed to maintain more of our heritage than other islands. For instance, St. Martin / St. Marten have perhaps lost much more of their heritage than we have, to a robust tourist economy which most people claim is out of control. Anguilla has managed to control its growth with reasonable development while containing aspects of our past, not allowing everything to be consumed in our effort to build an economy.
In mentioning St. Maarten /St. Martin, it was with intention; I want to focus on particular aspects of economic growth in connection with my topic. Certainly, both island have sustained a long history of friendliness between governments and people and have managed to advance their economy in very obvious different directions while fostering desirable growth and satisfaction in their pursuit. Having some first hand knowledge of both countries, since I balance my stay in proportion; it is to some degree deserving to say that St. Martin French and Dutch sides have an acceptable record of sustainability since forging ahead in its progress as a tourist destination and no holds bard economic development strategy. Especially the Dutch side of the Island that has left out nothing in its pursuit of economic growth. But in so doing has sacrificed a significant portion of human capital and community life. One of the foremost criticisms of St. Maarten is the class proportion, where it depends on which district you name, you can get an immediate imaginary picture of the quality of life and living standards implied.
Anguilla on the other hand has always endeavored to meticulously craft its journey into a sustainable economic growth pattern which has actually failed so far. It would appear that most governments of the island have followed that pattern, set forth by the original concept of slow growth sound economy but until now have not succeeded in maintaining any sustainability in the economic growth factor of the island. We are actually well known for a boom and burst economy which always has a devastating effect on the island and the people. As a country we seem to know the kind of model we wish to develop but have consistently failed to maintain a pattern of steady growth. It might be time to consider reshaping our growth pattern and minimizing some of the exclusives that seem to direct most of the conversation on our growth model. Unlike St. Maarten we seem to build a single pivot economy with no spread that would support the desired sustainability. It would seem that indeed we know what is required, because certainly we have had a good look how St. Marten has managed to maintain a much better model of sustainability than we have, while we have consistently criticized that as a model off limit. There is growing evidence that the people of Anguilla spend more of its disposable income and savings on St. Maarten rather than Anguilla. This entrenched custom where Anguillians feel that St. Maarten / St. Martin is better than Anguilla If you wants to be entertained, to be amused, to purchase, to stroll in town, to window shop, gaming, playing and to find what ever you need; this mind set has impeded some degree of our growth, lamenting that since we can get it on St marten, we don’t need it here on Anguilla.
It is irresponsible government to allow its people to be chasing goods and services. Every government should minimize risk to the livelihood of its people, especially when we must travel the seas for minimal, but important things.