A N TI G U A
                               January 2010




    The Economics of A Small Place




ANTIGUA January 2010  ...
Special                                                Contents
   Thanks                               Fact Sheet        ...
Antigua in Brief
Sources: Population - Family pic. iconarchive.com; first column and mortality: World Bank; Racial data: e...
Book A Small Place




                                                                    The thing you have always

One ...
It is at this point that Kincaid       An English Place
states the thesis of the first section of
her book: “A tourist is ...
Book A Small Place
    “Do you ever wonder why some people blow            “told these girls over and over again to stop
t...
Market Street is appropriately named,
                                                                                    ...
Book A Small Place
    Kincaid proceeds to list the problems the          even their lives are tourist attraction. The
cor...
Development

                                                                                                             ...
Development
insurance, with 35% of the poorest fifth having
insurance and 69.1% of the richest fifth.
     As far as the o...
percentage of income recipients (see Lorenz and
                                                                          ...
Human Development Index




                                                                                              ...
Development
Inequality = Bad?
     Before moving on to the final two core values          instability. When a small segmen...
Development
Self-Esteem                                                        local population constantly sees people fro...
Source: Piraszewska, K. "Economic Significance of Tourism in the Lesser Antilles." Miscellanea Geographica. Vol. 1 2, 206....
Development
                                                                big surprise, however, comes with the redone
 ...
Briefing
      Inequality?            Industry




A bit of inequality and a bunch of tourism are clear parts of Antigua. ...
Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
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Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
Economics of a Small Place
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Economics of a Small Place

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Final product of a research project I conducted on and in the Caribbean island of Antigua, which was sponsored by the Donald. H. Harrison Honors Program at Birmingham-Southern College. The final product is a magazine in the style of Time magazine.

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Economics of a Small Place

  1. 1. A N TI G U A January 2010 The Economics of A Small Place ANTIGUA January 2010 1 Ryan L. Melvin
  2. 2. Special Contents Thanks Fact Sheet 3 Book: A Small Place 4 Economic Development 9 The Museum of Antigua and Briefing: Inequality/Industry 17 Barbuda, whose staff helped me set up several of my interviews and were kind enough to let me Voices of Antigua 20 use their research library. Commentary: The Line 27 Interview with Dr. Murphy 28 Travel Tips 30 The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center, whose director took the time to explain to me some of the more pressing issues on the island. The Methodist Church in the Image Source: www.archaeologya Caribbean and the Americas, ntigua.org/biograph y.htm whose Connexional Secretary, Otto Wade, and staff member, Haley Mills, travel Phyllis Edwards, sat down to companion and bodyguard Dr. Murphy, who took time out talk with me, set up staff extraordinaire. of his busy schedule to talk to interviews, and served as a local me about island culture and the contact in preparing for the trip work of Jamaica Kincaid. to the island. Author's Note Special thanks also go to Dr. Rossmann, who agreed to sponsor this project; Dr. Hagen, for her guidance from the initial stages through the final product; and Meredith Wiggins in BSC's Writing Center for reading over my work. Als, it should The Donald C. Harrison Honors Program for be noted my layout blatantly rips off Time providing motivation, inspiration and funding. Magazine. 2 ANTIGUA January 2010
  3. 3. Antigua in Brief Sources: Population - Family pic. iconarchive.com; first column and mortality: World Bank; Racial data: everyculture.com; Remainder: UN data; map: eird.org. The Island - Flag: unimaps.com; Data: UN data. Society - telephone, internet, and import/export: Un data. Poverty data: "Living Conditions in Antigua and Barbuda: Poverty in a Services Economy in Transition," Prepared by Kairi Consultants Ltd in Association with the National Assessment Team of Antigua and Barbuda, made available by caribank.org. NOTE: Some data may be for Antigua and Barbuda, date The Numbers 90,000 85.8% 30,000 Population people of live in adults can read* the capital city, St. John's 0.8% annual 93% of people 11/1,000 growth rate are of African decent infant mortality rate 38% of the 13% of people population in cities are unemployed * 2009 Human Development Report states 99% literacy rate 75 170 The Island degrees F ­ lowest square miles of land average temp. for Antigua and Barbuda 85 degrees F ­ highest average temp. 21.4% is forested 38 endangered species 41.4 inches of rainfall A Guide to Antigua's Flag 179 100 Society telephone subscriptions per residents The sun represents the "dawn 72.3 100 of a new era." 18.3% 15,485 internet subscribers per residents Red is for the "dynamism of the people." or below local poverty level of $2,366 8,414 Black is for soil, representing the African heritage. USD, with just above the line. 82.4% The three layers ­ gold, blue, and white ­ together represent of those living in poverty own a TV; 90.7% 20.3% Antigua's tourism resources ­ sun, sea, and sand. own a stove; own an car; and 10.7% The V in the figure is a symbol for "Victory." range is 2005-2009 own a computer. Source: Museum of Antigua and Barbuda ANTIGUA January 2010 3
  4. 4. Book A Small Place The thing you have always One islander's suspected about yourself the minute you become a tourist take on tourism is true: A tourist is an ugly human being. ­ A Small Place, p.14 A Small Place, by Jamaica Kincaid is a diatribe Next, the monolithic tourist considers how against tourism. Its powerful, second­person wonderful it is to escape bad weather and come to narrative form gives pause to potential travelers. a place where it hardly ever rains. Such a tourist This work is not – for the most part – about the fails to consider what actually living in a place environmental impacts of tourism, as one might where it seldom rains must be like – constantly expect in today’s increasingly eco­conscious dealing with drought. The tourist then leaves the world, but about the cultural impact. Kincaid airport, moving quickly and smoothly through spends her 81 pages lamenting the lack of self­ customs, being exempt from searches by virtue of identity Antigua has due to its high – nearly being white. absolute – reliance on the tourism industry and Leaving the airport, the tourist gets in the car the lingering effects of British rule. with a swindling taxi driver who may or not Kincaid starts her text with a narrative of actually have a license. The car is a nicer model what a tourist might see and experience upon first than most people in the U.S. can afford, because arriving in Antigua. At the airport, a tourist sees the government encourages banks to make loans the name V.C. Bird – prime minister at the time for cars. Government ministers own some major when A Small Place was written. But why would car dealerships. On the way to the hotel, the someone want to have an airport named after tourist sees a closed library, which was damaged himself? Why not have your name on a school, in 1974 by an earthquake. On the front of the library, or hospital? In Antigua, the answer is building is a sign that reads, “Repairs are because the quality of these institutions is too low. pending.” Once settled, the tourist orders dinner No one would want an Antiguan school, library, – food produced in Antigua, shipped to Miami, or hospital named after herself . and then back to Antigua. 4 ANTIGUA January 2010
  5. 5. It is at this point that Kincaid An English Place states the thesis of the first section of her book: “A tourist is an ugly The next section of Kincaid’s human being.” According to Kincaid, book focuses on ways that Antigua tourists are not ugly people in their A walk down has changed during her lifetime. day­to­day life. They are only “ugly She says that the Antigua she grew High Street human being[s]” when they are up in no longer exists, for two tourists. When a person decides to reasons. The first is “the usual be a tourist, that person goes “from reason, the passing of time.” Things being that nice blob just sitting like a change with time. The second boob in your amniotic sac of the reason is “the bad minded people modern experience to being a person who used to rule over it, the visiting heaps of death and ruin and English.” It is this second reason on feeling alive about and inspired at which Kincaid focuses her attention. the sign of it.” Kincaid begins by saying that Tourists marvel at the the English have “hardly any idea “harmony” with nature that less­ what to do with themselves now developed nations have. The tourist, The street that was once the that they no longer have one quarter center of Antigua's colonial however, actually thinks of this of the earth’s human population government now houses harmony as “backwardness.” bowing and scraping before them.” restaurants, local businesses, Kincaid accuses the tourist of She goes on to say that the idea of and stray dogs. believing “their [the native’s] building an empire was a bad one ancestors were not clever in the ways from the start and that “no natural yours [the tourist’s] were.” As the disaster imaginable could equal the tourist observes these strange harm they did.” Kincaid states that people, she never takes the time to the English caused such harm by imagine that maybe the people living loving their home so much that they in that place might not like her. tried to turn every place they visited But why would people living on into England. Rather than Anglo­ Antigua not like those who come to forming the world, Kincaid says, visit? According to Kincaid, the they should have stayed at home. reason a tourist leaves home is so Before Antigua became that he can escape the “banality” of completely independent, all of the his own life. As Kincaid says: government of Antigua as a colony "For every native of every place took place on High Street. In her is a potential tourist, and every reminiscence on this part of the city tourist is a native of somewhere. of St. John’s, Kincaid first recalls the Every native everywhere lives a life library that once sat atop the of overwhelming and crushing Department of Treasury. Along banality and boredom and with the library and the treasury, desperation and depression, and there was a post office, a courtroom, every deed, good and bad, is an a place to get a passport at the attempt to forget this." government offices, and Barclays It is the tourist that finds a way Bank. At this point, Kincaid to escape his own banality. The explains that the Barclay brothers natives who are watched by the were slave traders, and when slave tourist “are too poor to escape the trading ended, they made even reality of their [the natives’] lives; more money in the banking industry. Kincaid says most and they are too poor to live islanders her age remember the properly in the place where they name of the first black cashier hired live.” The natives are stuck at home; at Barclays. meanwhile, the tourist is turning the Here, Kincaid’s tone switches natives’ boring lives into a source of from dispassionate explanation to entertainment. unadulterated hatred: ANTIGUA January 2010 5
  6. 6. Book A Small Place “Do you ever wonder why some people blow “told these girls over and over again to stop things up? I can imagine that if my life had taken a behaving as if they were monkeys just out of certain turn, there would be Barclays bank, and trees.” This was not racism to Antiguans. They there I would be, both of us in ashes.” thought they British simply had bad manners. Her anger comes from the way that the This section of the text closes with an Barclay brothers, as slave traders, treated so many accusation that all the English ever taught human beings. She says that for those treated like Antiguans was to lie to, cheat, steal from, and kill commodities, “heaven is not enough of a reward,” each other. The reason that people like the and for those who turned human beings into Antiguans don’t like capitalism is that for a long commodities, hell is not enough of a punishment. time they were themselves capital. Kincaid says To drive home the point, Kincaid then describes that the English destroyed her own history for the the Mill Reef Club, which was built exclusively for sake of glorifying their own. They made Antigua white people, where black people were allowed a broken place without an identity of its own. All only as servants. Similar to the bank, everyone of of this Kincaid writes in the second person, so it is her generation remembers the name of the first not simply the British who broke Antigua, it is black person to stay at the Mill Reef Club. “you.” As an example of how white people treated the inhabitants of Antigua, Kincaid tells the story of a Czechoslovakian dentist who came to Antigua A Changed Place to escape the Holocaust. In Antigua, the man set himself up as a pediatrician. Before allowing After her polemic on the British, Kincaid talks patients to see him, according to Kincaid, he more about what causes her anger and what would send his wife out to inspect them to make motivated her to write ­ another street in the sure that “there was nothing else about us – apart capital city of St. John’s. Just a few blocks over from the color of our skin – that would offend the from High Street is Market Street. doctor.” For example, Kincaid recalls one visit to One day while walking down Market Street, the doctor before which Kincaid’s mother made Kincaid looked around her and realized that sure there was no dirt under Kincaid’s nails, on Antigua was in worse shape than when it was her neck, or behind her ears. ruled by the British. She asked herself how Kincaid also tells of a school headmistress Antigua could have gotten into such a poor hired by the colonial government to run a girls’ situation. The answer, Kincaid says, is known by school, which had only recently started accepting all Antiguans: “The government is corrupt. Them children born outside of marriage. According to are thief, them are big thief." Kincaid, no Antiguan had considered that this Kincaid’s primary exemplar of the problems now­removed rule might have existed to keep with Antigua’s government is a library. As she black children out. Kincaid says the headmistress said earlier in the text, there was an earthquake in A brief history of Antigua 1775 B.C.E. Ca. 35 C.E. 1493 1632 1640s 1666 First recorded Arawak­ Columbus English Slavery and French rule Source: Museum of Antigua and Barbuda date of speaking names colonize sugar­ Antigua for 3 humans in people settle Antigua after Antigua growing come months Antigua on the island a cathedral in to the island Seville, Spain 1736 C.E. 1808 1834 1939 1967 1981 Prince Klaas End of slave Emancipation Era of trade Independence Complete plots slave trade of slaves unions begins in Association independence insurrection with Great Britain 6 ANTIGUA January 2010
  7. 7. Market Street is appropriately named, as it contains numerous local shops and street vendors. Antigua's public library currently sits above Lolita's, a local boutique, on Market Street. 1974 that damaged the original library. The tourists “buy all those awful things that tourists library’s collection was moved to what was always buy, all those awful things they then take supposed to be a temporary location – above a home, put in their attics, and their children have to boutique on Market Street: throw out when the tourists finally die.” “Imagine, then, the bitterness and shame in It is government corruption that Kincaid me as I tell you this. I was standing on Market blames for this transformation of the capital city. Street in front of the library. The library! But why Foreign businessmen who own property on is the library on Market Street?” Antigua often also have diplomatic passports from She goes on to ask how the government has the small island country. Whenever a new taken so long to repair such an integral part of the development from foreign investors shows up, it island’s culture. Kincaid reminisces about the old often turns out that the construction company library, saying that she used to spend the evenings belongs to the same government minister who of her childhood there, sometimes trying to steal approved the development. Similarly, when the books that she liked the most, and being condominiums are constructed, several rooms are thwarted by the librarian. The librarian in the sometimes given to the minister who made the current location, says Kincaid, cannot even locate construction possible. Also, most government the books that people request from the collection. vehicles, Kincaid points out, are the model sold by The old library was beautiful and iconic; the a dealership owned by one government minister. current library is someone’s attic and an Amidst all this trouble, Kincaid doesn’t seem appropriate metaphor for Kincaid’s perception of to think the situation is likely to improve with the island today. time. She laments the fact that children are often Kincaid vocalizes her frustration and that of encouraged to attend Antigua’s Hotel Training those who left the island many years ago and School. The school, Kincaid says, “teaches return home to find it in its current state. She says, Antiguans how to be good servants, how to be a “Antiguans returning to Antigua after a long good nobody, which is what a servant is.” She absence … are shocked and offended by the sight suggests that even though the people were of a library sitting on top of a dry­goods store.” emancipated from slavery, they still don’t have In place of its old position as the center of their freedom. In her view, Antiguans are still island government and culture, St. John’s, says slaves – slaves to a corrupt government, slaves to Kincaid, has become a tourist trap, a place where tourists and the tourism industry. ANTIGUA January 2010 7
  8. 8. Book A Small Place Kincaid proceeds to list the problems the even their lives are tourist attraction. The corrupt government and the tourism industry government corruption simply adds to this feeling have brought to the island. Among these of low self­worth. problems are drugs, which the government A Small Place concludes on a different note ignores. There is a house of prostitution, which, than the rest of the book. Kincaid talks about the according to Kincaid, is run by friends of the unsurpassed and unchanging beauty of the island: prime minister. There are also casinos that cater to “The unreal way in which it is beautiful now that the tourists. Kincaid also tells of a time when the they [Antiguans] are free people is the unreal way government knowingly allowed meat in which it was beautiful when they were slaves.” contaminated by radiation to be sold on Antigua. The text's last paragraph conveys a sense of She continues with tales of cloak­and­dagger hope. The people are no longer slaves. They are conspiracies about the deaths of officials who no longer “human rubbish.” But neither are they opposed the corruption on the island. noble and exalted. Kincaid says, “They are just Kincaid says that Antiguans have absorbed human beings.” tourism into their day­to­day lives so fully that Those awful things that tourists always buy What exactly do tourists buy on Antigua? During a meeting with the director of the Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center, a non­profit organization on Antigua, I found out. 45% 42% local art 33% 32% T­shirts A cruise ship filled with 31% tourists docks near Heritage Quay in St. John's. other clothing jewelry momentos e.g., keychains T-shirt Image Source: clker.com 28% local pottery Throughout St. John's are also duty free shops with higher­end items. 8 ANTIGUA January 2010
  9. 9. Development Economic Report Source: "Living Conditions in Antigua and Barbuda: Poverty in a Services Economy in Transition." Prepared by Kairi Consultants Ltd in Association with the National Assessment Team of Antigua and development on Antigua Do the numbers agree with Kincaid's assessment of Antigua's development? According to economists Todaro and Smith in both of these complaints seem serious, only a small their text Economic Development, there are three segment of Kincaid’s work is dedicated to them, so core values of economic development: sustenance, it seems safe to assume that Kincaid does not give self­esteem, and freedom from servitude. In them much weight. economic terms, part of Jamaica Kincaid’s Do the economic data agree with Kincaid on argument in A Small Place is that these three values this first issue of sustenance? According to a report are not all at work in Antigua’s development. prepared for the Caribbean Development Bank, healthcare does seem to be widely available to the population. For example, 89.6% of children born in Antigua are delivered in a hospital. However, Sustenance the number of assisted births is likely much higher, as it is the poorest fifth of the population that has The first value – sustenance – covers whether the greatest percentage of hospital births – 94.1%. people in a country can meet their basic needs. Higher socio­economic brackets of the population Basic needs are goods or services necessary for life have the ability to pay for other methods of – including food, shelter, healthcare, and safety. In assisted birthing. Furthermore, the report states short, economic development requires that the that Antigua and Barbuda achieve almost 100% goal of all economic activity be to improve the immunization of children by the age of 5 – that is, overall quality of life for the populace. According 100% of the World Health Organization’s to Todaro and Smith, such improvement is recommended immunizations. indicated by rising per capita incomes, elimination According to the report, Antigua has both of absolute poverty (the state where a population’s public and private health services, both of which basic needs are barely being met), job creation, and seem to be widely available. In fact, 33% of the Barbuda. Accessible at http://www.caribank.org decreases in income disparity. population uses community clinics, and 24.8% of Kincaid seems to indicate only a minor lack in the poorest fifth of the population utilizes private terms of this first value. According to A Small healthcare. As far as Kincaid’s complaint that the Place, Antiguans do not – or at least did not when richest in the population use healthcare outside of the book was written – trust the doctors on the country, only 1.7% of the richest fifth of the Antigua. In fact, whenever government ministers population (which is 0.5% of the total population) fall ill, according to Kincaid, they fly to New York, use out­of­state health services. However, it is true because they do not trust Antiguan doctors. that only people from the richest fifth of the Furthermore, Kincaid makes a passing reference to population use non­Antiguan healthcare. One Antigua’s defense force, which she says is too negative, however, is that only a little more than small to actually defend the country. Although half of the population (51.1%) has health ANTIGUA January 2010 9
  10. 10. Development insurance, with 35% of the poorest fifth having insurance and 69.1% of the richest fifth. As far as the other indicators of the population’s ability to meet needs, 13.4% of Antiguans are unemployed (cf., 10% in the U.S.). In terms of safety, only 3.1% of islanders report being victims of crime annually (cf., 3.73% in the U.S.). Also according to the report, 5.5% of the population has inadequate access to running water (meaning no piped water) and 20.4% of the population has low­quality housing (defined as a pit latrine “or worse”). The final measure suggested by Todaro and Smith for the first development core value is “lessening income inequalities.” Unfortunately, there does not seem to be long­term data on Antigua’s economic disparity, so an accurate determination on whether inequalities are lessening is unlikely. However, there are current analyses on economic equality for Antigua. Analyzing Inequality There are many ways to measure the level of An old construction sign on a road from English Harbour to economic inequality in a country. One standard measure is the Gini index. In order to calculate the Shirley Heights serves as a metaphor for Antigua as a Gini coefficient, economists use something called a developing country. Lorenz Curve. Lorenz Curves plot percentage of income (or consumption) versus the cumulative Health and Poverty Statistics for Antigua Births in a hospital 89.6% Children Immunized ~100% People with health insurance 51.1% Poor access to water 5.5% Chart Source: "Living Conditions in Antigua and Barbuda: Poverty in a Children not in school 4.2% Services Economy in Transition" In this chart, "indigent" means unable to purchase minimum amounts of food, and "vulnerable" means living at 125% of Unemployment rate 13.4% the poverty level. 10 ANTIGUA January 2010
  11. 11. percentage of income recipients (see Lorenz and Gini box). Lorenz curve and Gini index for Antigua and Sources: U.S. Data - Wolfram Alpha. General development data and Analysis instructions - Todaro, T.P. and S.C. Smith, Economic Development, ninth edition, 2006, Boston: Peason Addison Wesley. As a type of yardstick, Lorenz Curves have a line that runs along the diagonal of the graph (45°). If the population measured by the curve had Barbuda perfect equality, the actual curve would match this benchmark exactly. Actual Lorenz Curves bow away from the 45° line – the line of equality. The larger the bow, the more inequality there is in the population. For example, a perfectly unequal population – where one person or household made all the income – would run along the bottom horizontal axis and up the right vertical. Such a A line would be as far away from the line of equality as possible B Someone who looks at a Lorenz Curve can get an idea of approximately how much inequality there is in a population by seeing how far the curve is from the diagonal line. A Gini coefficient quantifies this difference by dividing the area Chart Source: "Living Conditions in Antigua and Barbuda: Poverty in a Services Economy in Transition" Annotation between the two curves by the total area under the and shading, mine. line of equality. Therefore, a Gini coefficient of 0 would report perfect equality, and a Gini The Lorenz Curve (curved line) plots coefficient of 1 means perfect inequality. cumulative percent of income (or in the case of According to Todaro and Smith, 0.50 to 0.70 is the graph above, consumption) versus considered a highly unequal distribution. cumulative percent of the population. For Populations in the 0.20 to 0.35 range are typically example, if you were to go over to 30 on the considered to have a relatively equal income horizontal axis, the value on the vertical axis distribution. For comparison, the United States of matching that point shows the percent of America has a Gini coefficient of about 0.45. consumption for the bottom (or poorest) 30% of The Caribbean Development Bank gives a Gini the population. At 50 on the horizontal, the coefficient of 0.48. This value, according to the vertical value is the percent consumption for the report, is “high, even by Caribbean standards.” By lower 50% of the population. Finally, 100 on the general standards, this number is just below the horizontal axis shows the consumption percent lower limit of the highly unequal range. However, for the entire population, which must be 100%. by comparison the U.S. really isn’t doing that In a situation of complete equality ­ where much better. The report suggests that the everyone (or at least every household) had the Antiguan government’s preference for indirect same income ­ the Lorenz Curve would match methods of taxation and the large number of the line of equality (straight, diagonal line). Such possible tax exemptions play a role in inequality. a situation does not exist for any significant population in the world, so actual curves fall under the line of equality. A Gini coefficient is what's known as an aggregate measure of inequality, meaning that the coefficient attempts to condense inequality data into a single number (see below). This number shows quantitatively how much difference there is between the actual economic distribution and perfect equality (0 is perfectly When contrasted with local shops and middle­to­low income equal and 1 is perfectly unequal). housing, high­end tourist spots like yacht clubs and resorts Area A create the appearance of economic disparity. Gini coefficient = Area (A+B) ANTIGUA January 2010 11
  12. 12. Human Development Index Sources: Calculation instructions from Todaro and Smith, 2006. Antigua and U.S. Data from 2009 UN Human Development report, undp.org. Warning: Math Ahead (but with careful explanation) In the 1990s, the United Nations decided to [ log (GDP/capita) ­ log (100) ] Income Index = make a comparative analysis of developing and [ log (40,000) ­ log (100) ] developed nations. In order to facilitate quantitative comparison, the UN developed The For Antigua, the results is Human Development Index (HDI). Income Index = 0.873 The index attempts to combine multiple aspects of developed society into a single measure, which ranges from 0 to 1. The lowest rank, 0, Life Expectancy Index represents the lowest measurable development, and 1 represents the highest measurable development. The UN estimates that the current maximum This value is calculated using weighted reasonable life expectancy for a country is 85, and the lower limit is 25. The life expectancy index is averages (meaning some variables count more than calculated by subtracting 25 (the lower limit) from others) of life­expectancy, education, and standard a country's life expectancy and dividing that of living. In order to calculate the HDI, four figure by the the upper limit (85) minus the lower pieces of information are needed. They are GDP limit (25). per capita, life expectancy, adult literacy rate, and school enrollment. Life expectancy (Life expectancy) ­ 25 Index = (85 ­ 25) Antigua HDI raw data Antigua Life expectancy index = 0.786 GDP per capita ($ PPP) 18,691 Education Index The education index is where the weighted Life expectancy (yrs.) 72.2 (est.) averages come into play. This index first converts the percents to decimal form (divide by 100). These numbers are then called the adult literacy Adult literacy (%) 99.0 index and the gross enrollment index. The education index is calculated by adding two­ thirds (weighted more heavily) of the literacy Gross enrollment (%) 85.6 (est) index to one­third (weighted less heavily) of the enrollment index. For Antigua, the result of this simple calculation is Income Index Education index = 0.945 The income index requires Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in U.S. dollars For the final calculation of the HDI, each of these Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). PPP compares the three calculated indices are equally weighted into purchasing power of a country's currency to that an average, meaning that one­third of all three of the U.S. dollar by comparing how much certain figures is added together into a final number. For goods cost in one country to how much they cost Antigua, this is in the United States. The maximum a country can achieve in GDP per capita is $40,000 PPP, a HDI = 0.868 benchmark set by Luxembourg. The HDI which gives Antigua a rank of 47 among the 187 algorithm uses a natural logarithmic function in nations compared by the U.N. Compare this to the order to convert the GDP per capita to a decimal. twelfth­ranked ranked U.S. with an HDI of 0.956. 12 ANTIGUA January 2010
  13. 13. Development Inequality = Bad? Before moving on to the final two core values instability. When a small segment of the for development, there’s a question that needs to population controls inordinate amounts of capital, be answered. Why is reduction of inequality so that segment is able to lobby political institutions important to economic development? It seems like to create policies that result in more control of there should be an obvious answer, but things get capital for the upper class, widening the gap. a little more complicated when you realize we’re Using capital for lobbying and political purposes not talking about poverty. A nation could removes it from industrial sectors where the eliminate poverty and still have quite a bit of money could encourage increased economic inequality. growth. Furthermore, Todaro and Smith reference the histories of Iran and El Salvador as examples of inter­country conflict and political upheaval that result from extreme inequality. The final reason for assigning a negative value judgment to inequality is society's view of it. Whether morality should be a factor is a debate for another time. Either way, the fact remains that people make moral judgments and often make decisions based on them, and in terms of morals, inequality is generally considered a bad thing. Along roadways away from tourist­heavy and yachter areas, the landscape contains old shack houses and private construction projects that stalled when funds ran out. Perhaps a look back to a basic economic development can help with figuring out why a lot of emphasis is placed on inequality when dealing with development. The economists Todaro and Smith provide three primary answers to the question of what’s wrong with inequality. The first reason is that a large income gap leads to an inefficient economy. High levels of inequality usually correlate to small fractions of the population qualifying for credit and low levels of saving. Savings typically come from the middle class, since the highest earners in the upper class tend to spend money on foreign travel and luxury goods. Economists refer to this phenomenon as capital flight. At times, capital flight even results in the lower class saving and investing more in a given nation’s economy. Finally, economic inefficiency becomes a cyclical effect. High­ income sectors emphasize quality in higher education, often at the expense of primary Back in St. John's, where tourists arrive frequently via cruise education, which the poorer sectors need to have ships, construction projects continue, unplagued by the improved to get out of poverty. insufficient fund base that troubles less­developed sections of Second, extreme inequality leads to political the island. ANTIGUA January 2010 13
  14. 14. Development Self-Esteem local population constantly sees people from developed nations coming to visit. Jamaica The last two values of economic development Kincaid was making this very point when she are less quantifiable than the first category (though wrote that Antiguans envy tourists because that won’t stop me from trying). Self­esteem and tourists have the resources to escape their own freedom from servitude are also interrelated – banality and boredom. By seeing people who especially for a one­industry service economy like are comparatively rich all the time, Antiguans Antigua. who don’t have as much are continuously reminded of their own poverty, causing a feeling of low self­worth. It is important to remember that these statements are really just conjecture at this point. In order to know if Antiguans really do have low self­esteem as a result of tourism, someone needs to go ask them about their thoughts on tourists, which is exactly what I did. However, I’m saving those conversations for later (later being page 20). In the meantime, though, we can look at Antigua’s score on the Human Development Index (see page 12), since Todaro and Smith suggest that economic prosperity is linked to self­esteem. Antigua scores a 0.868 on the HDI, ranking them Just a few minutes' walk from where the cruise ships dock in 47 of 187, which is in the top third of countries St. John's is a casino, which, according to locals, is a analyzed. By comparison, the United States scores significant attraction for tourists. 0.956, making us number 12 of 187. Antigua is not at the top of the list, but they are definitely not at Self­esteem is about having a sense of self­ the bottom, either. worth and not feeling like a pawn for other In fact, as of 2008, the Organization for people. Although what it means to have this Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) strong sense of identity might vary from culture to labeled Antigua a high­income country, putting Sources: 2008 OECD Data - worldbank.org; 2003 OECD Data - Todaro and Smith, 2006. culture, there are some modern values that seem them in highest category of countries when ranked somewhat widespread. The most prominent of by income per capita – for the economists in the these values, Todaro and Smith point out, are the audience, GNI per capita. It might be interesting desires for economic prosperity and technological to note that this ranking is an improvement from capabilities. 2003 when Antigua and Barbuda was ranked as an Just offhand, this idea seems like it would be Upper­middle­income country – the second particularly true for a tourist economy where the highest category. Buildings outside of tourist areas have nowhere near the shine of those in St. John's or other spots frequented by tourists. 14 ANTIGUA January 2010
  15. 15. Source: Piraszewska, K. "Economic Significance of Tourism in the Lesser Antilles." Miscellanea Geographica. Vol. 1 2, 206. 269-275. Just outside of the East Bus Station, which is used by tourists and locals to navigate the island, vendors sell Antigua bags, t­ shirts, and other souvenirs. Freedom from Servitude Kincaid argues that Antiguans don’t have the freedom to choose what they spend their lives Since the idea of self­esteem includes not doing. Her main example is that children are feeling like a tool for others to use, it is connected encouraged to aspire to attend a school that to the idea of freedom. Jamaica Kincaid links teaches individuals how to work at hotels. Antigua’s services economy to the island’s history Kincaid's point is that Antiguans work in tourism, of slavery. In her view, the rich people in the and that’s just the way it is. They don’t really world see Antiguans as objects of interest – things have a choice. In describing this last value for to be seen, like tourist attractions. In her mind, development, Todaro and Smith use some this state is reminiscent of a time when the people language that is, coincidentally, apropos of of Antigua were objects for sale. Antigua’s history: “Freedom here is to be understood as the sense of emancipation from alienating material conditions of life and from social servitude to nature, ignorance, other people …” (emphasis added). How much freedom do the people of the island really have in their careers? As I tried to find out exactly how much of Antigua’s economy depends on tourism, I found estimates ranging between 40 and 60%. The problem was that there was no explanation for the method used to arrive at the percentages. What qualifies something as depending on tourism? I eventually found a study with a satisfactorily explained ­ and pretty insightful ­ method. The study, “Economic Significance of Tourism Several banks on Antigua serve tourists through in the Lesser Antilles,” was done by Katarzyna currency exchange and 24­hour ATM access. Piraszewska at the Institute of Developing ANTIGUA January 2010 15
  16. 16. Development big surprise, however, comes with the redone employment figures. According to the study, the percent of jobs on Antigua that depend on tourism is a whopping 94.8%. So, if we’re asking the question of whether someone can have a job not related to tourism, the answer is “not really.” But, if not having a job in tourism just means not directly interacting with tourists, then people have a pretty good shot, since only 33.6% of jobs are directly related to tourism. Now, there is one glaring problem with these figures. They are old. The paper giving these numbers was published in 2001. The problem is that most current figures on tourism don’t provide much information on what the basis of the numbers is. The U.S. State Department reports a figure of 50% for Antigua and Barbuda (even this figure is a little dated, being from 2005). Assuming that this number represents the tourism industry and not the tourism economy, that Every Sunday and Thursday night at Shirley Heights (the represents a 48.8% increase from the earlier figure highest point on the island) there is a steel band and reggae of 33.6%. If the tourism economy figure similarly singer, along with grilled food and drinks. This twice­weekly increased, then all of Antigua’s (actually, a little party, with a cover charge on par with U.S. clubs, is a major more than all of it) economy would be dependent attraction for tourists. on tourism. Countries. The method used is called the satellite accounting method. Rather than limiting itself to employment and transaction statistics that are directly related to tourism – like hotels, restaurants, resorts, etc. – the methods tries to find jobs and transactions that exist because of tourism – that is, ones that are indirectly related. For example, the soap being used in hotels where tourists stay would not have been purchased if it weren’t for tourism. Fortunately, the study parses out the direct and indirect data for comparison. By just looking Along the city streets in Antigua's capital, tour guides and at the part of the GDP of Antigua and Barbuda taxi drivers offer excursions and transportation. made up of the tourism industry – that is, directly from tourism – the figure is 24.0%. I have to say, Regardless of the dates and exact numbers, it Source: 2008 Tourism Industry % of GDP - state.gov after having gone to Antigua, if someone told me is quite apparent that Antigua’s economy is that only 24% of the GDP came from tourism, I overwhelmingly dependent on tourism, and wouldn’t believe it. (By the way, the number that almost all of the job market services tourism in most Antiguans give when asked is 85%). some capacity. So, at least by the numbers, Similarly, by looking at employment directly from Kincaid may have hit that one on the nose. It the tourism industry, 33.6% of jobs come from certainly doesn’t look like someone from Antigua tourism. can have a job not related to tourism, since in 2001 Now, looking at what the study calls “Tourism about 95% of the jobs came from that area. Economy,” which is direct and indirect composition of the GDP and job market, the numbers go up substantially. The percent of GDP from the tourism economy is 77.7%, which is, honestly, slightly lower than I would expect. The 16 ANTIGUA January 2010
  17. 17. Briefing Inequality? Industry A bit of inequality and a bunch of tourism are clear parts of Antigua. However, this is the current state of the island. So one important question might be, “How did things get this way?” Appearance of Inequality find out what was wrong with my original intuition! First of all, the statistics suggest much less of Researching the reason for the appearance of an inequality gap than my perception of the economic disparity actually ended up disproving island. In fact, one of the things that got me another of my intuitions: that researching the interested in looking into Antigua’s economy was appearance of economic disparity was going to be that the island seemed to have a starker contrast in long and tedious and require looking into the quality of life between the people in tourist centuries of political history. Turns out, it just took areas of the island and the people who lived in one newspaper article from 2001 that the Museum sections not frequented by tourists. of Antigua and Barbuda happened to include in Basically, the numbers violate my intuition. response to my general request for information on My training from the physical sciences (one of my Antiguan economics and history. The article is a majors is Physics) tells me that a violation of transcription of the Antiguan equivalent of a State sensibilities calls for immediate action: I have to of the Union address. ANTIGUA January 2010 17

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