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Establishing a social plan for wealth creation

Dark truth: there were zero births for 2015 from any mother under the age of 16 in Bermuda. While this seems initially encouraging, there are reportedly 20 terminated pregnancies each month

“Bermuda is another world”. In the western hemisphere or the Americas, there isn’t another country or island jurisdiction that has a racial profile like Bermuda. Most countries such as the United States or the Caribbean have either an overwhelming, absolute majority of one kind with a segment of others. In the Caribbean, it is more pronounced with examples of black populations that are typically 95 per cent and higher.

America is changing its racial demographic proportions, a real factor in elections, which were formerly decided exclusively by the majority white population.

Like the US, subtly Bermuda is changing also and it will be a curious phenomenon to see whether we will evolve to politics, which survives the factor of racial demographics as a determinant; in other words, when race doesn’t really matter. Migration is a huge contributor to the US equation, but declining birthrates along with emigration seems to be the change agent affecting Bermuda. Our own information produced by the Government’s statistical department shows an interesting trend: 2015 had 583 births and 457 resident deaths, which is an apparent 126 gain. However, that figure is total resident births, which includes 20 per cent of that number who are non Bermudians. Then it is estimated, but undocumented, that between 200 and 280 persons leave the island each year. Included in that number are a significant amount of Bermudians seeking better opportunities. With those combined statistics, the net increase quickly evaporates and spells negative growth.

Gone are the days of old, when, notwithstanding there being very little money around, families with five or more children was a norm. Today it would seem only those who could afford professional nannies are seen nursing three children.

Add this to another interesting statistic of zero births for 2015 from any mother under the age of 16. On first glance, it seems encouraging that no girl under the age of 16 had a child, but on reflection it reveals a dark truth. There are reportedly 20 terminated pregnancies each month; yes, a staggering 200-plus unwanted babies per year. The sagging economy and disproportionate wealth distribution are the real culprits causing the negative population growth trend. Bermuda is now visibly becoming the predicted home of the rich and as the trend continues, it is forecast that a new racial composition is on the not too distant horizon. We have managed to create the economic environment where the foreign population, upon whom we have become highly dependent, through no fault of theirs has better resources and therefore a better chance of succeeding or just simply surviving than do many Bermudians.

The disposable income is more expressed by segments of the foreign population than locals. Ask any businessman in the city. They would know because they won’t survive without attracting that demographic for clientele.

We have all read the biblical words “be fruitful and multiply” but few understood the fine print in the footnote, which has an economic component. Only those with means can sustain that biblical imperative. Education is a huge factor of those means, without which one does not have the wherewithal to access or to carve out a niche in the Bermudian economy or any economy, for that matter. It is a universal truth.

The question of whether our dilemma is by deliberate, social engineering or happenstance is probably less important than whether we let fate decide our future, or question what can be done to decipher a formula to reverse the negative birth trend.

The 34 young men murdered and the underlying causes adds fuel to the negative trend, which affects the overall picture. Thirty-four potential paycheques missing and 34 possible relationships, which could have generated population growth, is part of the equation. The picture is cloaked in our statistical data, but as usual we hide or subtly mislead through distracting with other examples, while omitting what it really tells us. No amount of madness or brute force will counter or put a dent in the trend. Pursuing economic growth with a creative movement to allow diversification in the ownership and creation of wealth is the most viable way of returning to a sustainable and natural population growth.

The genius already exists to do it, but it means contending with those who see a benefit from maintaining the status quo, along with those who are without a plan for wealth creation.