An employment fable: two trees and a lizard
A fable to inspire debate on trickledown economics, job creation and protecting Bermudians in the global economy One day during the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal, a lizard was eavesdropping on a conversation between a cedar tree and a palmetto.
The cedar was expressing dissatisfaction that Government allowed the PGA champion golfers to bring their foreign caddies to work in Bermuda without following the normal work permit policy.
“Why didn’t government advertise those jobs?” questioned the cedar.
The cedar continued angrily, “They are giving work to foreigners at a time when Bermudians most need employment!”.
That set off the palmetto venting: “I agree. And there’s nothing special about those foreign caddies. Anyone can carry a bag!”.
The lizard decided to challenge the thinking of the trees.
He quizzed them: “Do you realise that we would not even have a PGA event in Bermuda if you did not allow the best players in the world to come here and bring their caddies? And, there is more to being a caddie than carrying a bag, you know?”
The cedar replied sharply: “If the PGA doesn’t like our work permit rules, they can take their tournament elsewhere!”
The palmetto paused to reflect.
With one eyebrow raised the lizard asked: “So you think the sacrifice of four caddie jobs is not worth the benefit of all the other employment opportunities created for Bermudians in supporting the tournament?”
The cedar responded angrily: “Oh, here we go. Bermudians should be happy with the support jobs. I’m tired of hearing that trickle-down economics nonsense. Those four golfers and their caddies split $1.3 million for three days work. Bermudians need a bigger slice of the pie!”
Having reconsidered his position, the palmetto said: “Cedar, he’s got a point. If we don’t sacrifice those caddie jobs, there’s no tournament and everyone loses … taxi drivers, hotels, bars and restaurants everyone”.
“Shut up palmetto’, the cedar rebuked. “You’re starting to sound like the lizard. He’s not even a real Bermudian!”
The lizard was not tempted to respond to the insult. He was content knowing that the realities of job creation in the global economy were better known that day.
Doug is a Partner in Management Consulting firm Expertise. Please send feedback on two trees and a lizard to doug[AT]expertise.bm.