Buy out Berbice River Bridge for public good – overseas economist to Govt

 

By Samuel Sukhnandan

As the time draws closer to the date set for the imposition of fare increases at the Berbice River Bridge, there continues to be great worry over whether this could in fact take effect, or whether the Government would step in and reverse the decision.

Economics Professor Tarron Khemraj

Overseas-based economist Professor Tarron Khemraj feels that Government should buy over the bridge in its entirety. He told Guyana Times on Sunday that the bridge is now financially unsustainable, as compared to when the proposal for its construction was implemented.
“As I said, the demand was not there then; hence the need now for high tolls. Berbice has suffered from depopulation in the past 15-20 years. Therefore, I support buying out or nationalising the bridge,” Khemraj noted.
He said that once the Government owns the bridge, some decisions would have to be made to address the high operating costs of this type of bridge. According to him, decisions would have to be made with the objective of motivating private sector employment in Berbice.
A former advisor to the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj is also opposed to increasing the bridge tolls, especially because the traffic flow to accommodate the higher tolls is not there.
“This is why they have to increase the price to make up the revenues,” he explained, adding that the Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) seem to have forgotten the concept of price elasticity.
“The higher price will contract demand — even though they tried to curtail all substitutes, like the private boat operators and the ferry — and therefore compound the pressure on an already vulnerable region…The BBCI is caught between a rock and a hard place,” he said.

No vision
The economist spared no effort in chastising the coalition Government for appearing not to be certain about what they are doing.
“They rolled up village economies, free markets, green economy, petro-based economy, small business, etc., all in one,” he said.
At this stage, Khemraj said, it is clear the bridge has a dimension of higher public good than the private aspect. Therefore, he recommended, Government should buy out all of the shares.
“That’s a solution, albeit it can’t be the sole policy action; it will have to be followed by other actions. When you have a public good, the Government has to provide a subsidy. Otherwise, the private sector does not have the incentive to do so,” he explained.
While the BBCI is ultimately responsible to its shareholders, the economist told Guyana Times that BCCI officials have to bear in mind what the demand response is going to be if they take the price too high.
“These are clearly exorbitant proposed increases. I can see some kind of a strategic tit-for-tat occurring. The Government can respond by allowing the private boat operators to do business, which will further hurt the investment return. The Government will be more willing to finance any shortfall in the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), but unlikely BBCI,” he added.
He called it ‘unfortunate politics.’ However, Khemraj said he is under the impression that the BBCI is falling for the ‘sunk cost fallacy’. “If you don’t cover your operating costs, you have to let the investment go. You can’t let sunk cost guide future actions,” he opined.
The new fares the BCCI proposes to impose for use of the bridge stipulate that cars and minibuses will now be charged $8040; pickups, small trucks and four-wheel-drive vehicles, $14,600; medium trucks, $27,720; large trucks, $49,600; Articulated trucks, $116,680; freight, $1680; and boats passing through the river will be charged $401,040.
Government has outrightly rejected the proposed toll increases, but has simultaneously stated its non-support for a buyout. Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had told the media that the proposal to buyout the shares of the BBCI is not on Government’s agenda at this time.
The proposed increases are scheduled to take effect on November 12.

https://guyanatimesgy.com/buyo...s-economist-to-govt/

Original Post

I don’t know what’s the eureka moment here.  I said this years ago that the entire concept is flawed.  The arithmetic would never work as a stand-alone entity.  

The issue, the WB said no but BJ  applied his communist economics and the rest is history.  This was a bad decision as much as Skeldon, given the economics.  

The PNC will run them into the ground, bankrupt, take over, bail out NIS and everyone else will get screwed.  I see this ending real bad!!

Dis TK is de same man who write lengthy articles criticizing the financing of the bridge and was prescient re its eventual demise. But now, years later he loss he tongue and mentions not ONE word about rat man and he friends.

"The economist spared no effort in chastising the coalition Government for appearing not to be certain about what they are doing"

Imagine, de same man who predict the disaster now calling fuh "buyout" suh rat man and he friends kyan get deh money back. Who want buy a losing entity, eh TK? Talking about "public good" while dem Berbicians getting rob blind.

Let de dam ting go bankrupt, govt tek it over NIS get de money back. Screw rat man, labba man and dey frens. 

Hey hey hey...dem bais seh dem is doers. Dem gat street sense. Dat dem bais like TK only gat book sense which is no sense. Only hustlers, huckers and pushers can develop kuntry. Hey hey hey. Dem coolie gat to pay foh all dem steet sense. Government gat foh prevent dem coolies and dem few blackman who na vote foh Jagdoe from suffering. Dem need to buy or nationalise it at wan discount. Hey hey hey. 

Iguana posted:

Dis TK is de same man who write lengthy articles criticizing the financing of the bridge and was prescient re its eventual demise. But now, years later he loss he tongue and mentions not ONE word about rat man and he friends.

"The economist spared no effort in chastising the coalition Government for appearing not to be certain about what they are doing"

Imagine, de same man who predict the disaster now calling fuh "buyout" suh rat man and he friends kyan get deh money back. Who want buy a losing entity, eh TK? Talking about "public good" while dem Berbicians getting rob blind.

Let de dam ting go bankrupt, govt tek it over NIS get de money back. Screw rat man, labba man and dey frens. 

bai, yuh goffa remembuh labba and rat all from de same rodents family. Blood tickuh dan watuh.

Mars posted:
Iguana posted:

Dis TK is de same man who write lengthy articles criticizing the financing of the bridge and was prescient re its eventual demise. But now, years later he loss he tongue and mentions not ONE word about rat man and he friends.

"The economist spared no effort in chastising the coalition Government for appearing not to be certain about what they are doing"

Imagine, de same man who predict the disaster now calling fuh "buyout" suh rat man and he friends kyan get deh money back. Who want buy a losing entity, eh TK? Talking about "public good" while dem Berbicians getting rob blind.

Let de dam ting go bankrupt, govt tek it over NIS get de money back. Screw rat man, labba man and dey frens. 

bai, yuh goffa remembuh labba and rat all from de same rodents family. Blood tickuh dan watuh.

yuh right bai. Bald rat, thick lip labba rat, toupe rat. Rat is rat. lol.

Iguana posted:

Dis TK is de same man who write lengthy articles criticizing the financing of the bridge and was prescient re its eventual demise. But now, years later he loss he tongue and mentions not ONE word about rat man and he friends.

"The economist spared no effort in chastising the coalition Government for appearing not to be certain about what they are doing"

Imagine, de same man who predict the disaster now calling fuh "buyout" suh rat man and he friends kyan get deh money back. Who want buy a losing entity, eh TK? Talking about "public good" while dem Berbicians getting rob blind.

Let de dam ting go bankrupt, govt tek it over NIS get de money back. Screw rat man, labba man and dey frens. 

Hey hey hey. Ayoo reasonin like dem fish market lady. Hey hey hey.

Baseman posted:

I don’t know what’s the eureka moment here.  I said this years ago that the entire concept is flawed.  The arithmetic would never work as a stand-alone entity.  

The issue, the WB said no but BJ  applied his communist economics and the rest is history.  This was a bad decision as much as Skeldon, given the economics.  

The PNC will run them into the ground, bankrupt, take over, bail out NIS and everyone else will get screwed.  I see this ending real bad!!

Everyone here with the exception of a few insisted the BOOT scheme was unworkable with the expected traffic volume at their initial cost of 45 million. Then the projected rates were around 1 US per car and 3 for two axle trucks. The cost inflated to 65 million!

Last edited by Former Member
Labba posted:
Iguana posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey. Ayoo reasonin like dem fish market lady. Hey hey hey.

You gat some nerve talking about "fish market lady" when you walkin' around wid pink lipstick

 

Like ayoo vex de man call ayoo bluff. Hey hey hey...

Yuh like dem moon gazer howling at de moon...."ayoo, ayooooooooooo"

Iguana posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey. Ayoo reasonin like dem fish market lady. Hey hey hey.

You gat some nerve talking about "fish market lady"

 

Oye Iguiana,

TK is a good son of the soil, the only problem them political parties don't want give him chance for his ideas to uplift the Country.Them rather give the fake Dr.'s and street hustlers the position.

One personal observation sometimes he gets too emotional when his mattie are being oppressed, maybe i am wrong.Just my two cents.

Last edited by Django
Django posted:
Iguana posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey. Ayoo reasonin like dem fish market lady. Hey hey hey.

You gat some nerve talking about "fish market lady"

 

Oye Iguiana,

TK is a good son of the soil, the only problem them political parties don't want give him chance for his ideas to uplift the Country.Them rather give the fake Dr.'s and street hustlers the position.

One personal observation sometimes get too emotional when his mattie are being oppressed, maybe i am wrong.Just my two cents.

Bai, I duz juss mess wid he. End of de day I gone home and he strap up he goadie and gane to de gym.

caribny posted:

Private investors shouldn't be bailed out from their mistakes. Let them ho bankrupt and the gov't will then acquire it.  Jagdeo's friends, knowing that they cannot increase tolls, want to be bailed out from their bad investment.

He is not advocating a bail out but a take over. The only reason available to prevent a government take over is the supposed flight of investors when the government do not keep their word. However, the present controlling company has very little skin in the game and this is mainly a crony capitalism scheme with the government investing the most. It is not amoral to simply step in and save an asset the government owns and also to prevent price gouging of citizens on a vital infrastructural asset.

Iguana posted:

Dis TK is de same man who write lengthy articles criticizing the financing of the bridge and was prescient re its eventual demise. But now, years later he loss he tongue and mentions not ONE word about rat man and he friends.

"The economist spared no effort in chastising the coalition Government for appearing not to be certain about what they are doing"

Imagine, de same man who predict the disaster now calling fuh "buyout" suh rat man and he friends kyan get deh money back. Who want buy a losing entity, eh TK? Talking about "public good" while dem Berbicians getting rob blind.

Let de dam ting go bankrupt, govt tek it over NIS get de money back. Screw rat man, labba man and dey frens. 

I do not see the logical contradiction of having spoken out against a poorly planned  investment and now asking for a buyout of the same. That it was a crony capitalist project does not mean the present government cannot intervene and seize the asset as in lieu of national and economic security. They are actually obliged as best practice to solve this problem and they have few options ( actually relegated only to what TK suggests). They already own the majority share of the company. 

Letting it go bankrupt would mean seizing it from the banks similarly to preserve the same practices repeating itself. They will be faced with the same problem of income being insufficient to maintain the present rates per vehicle. Government are not profit making entities so they would be better placed to subsidize the fees. 

Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...dem bais seh dem is doers. Dem gat street sense. Dat dem bais like TK only gat book sense which is no sense. Only hustlers, huckers and pushers can develop kuntry. Hey hey hey. Dem coolie gat to pay foh all dem steet sense. Government gat foh prevent dem coolies and dem few blackman who na vote foh Jagdoe from suffering. Dem need to buy or nationalise it at wan discount. Hey hey hey. 

You are making a rather disingenuous argument. An economist is a social scientist dealing with data produced by real world problems. Writing articles is not a sterile exercise but one grounded in practical examination of  real world practices. 

I am always perplexed that in this modern reality that people still make the silly distinction as to book sense vs practical sense. It does not exist. Most engineers never build anything. They design them for other lower level workers to execute. An engineer deals with producing workable designs but it takes the minds of those like TK with a synoptic view of the particular specialty to do the oversight analysis and come up with scenarios that validates the design as economically sound.

 

The engineer relies on these kinds of analysis to temper his design strategies. Both fields rely on "book sense" since the validation of design soundness is always on the theoretical foundations in physics and material science and its economic viability on the theory of market analysis ( which is often harder to grasp since much of it is on assumptions). The design of a bridge is completely book sense. The build is where on the practical expressions of engineering strategies and economics are validated. I think TK has proved his worth in projecting what would happen with the economics of this bridge and its present reality as a failure. 

 

 

Last edited by Former Member
D2 posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...dem bais seh dem is doers. Dem gat street sense. Dat dem bais like TK only gat book sense which is no sense. Only hustlers, huckers and pushers can develop kuntry. Hey hey hey. Dem coolie gat to pay foh all dem steet sense. Government gat foh prevent dem coolies and dem few blackman who na vote foh Jagdoe from suffering. Dem need to buy or nationalise it at wan discount. Hey hey hey. 

You are making a rather disingenuous argument. An economist is a social scientist dealing with data produced by real world problems. Writing articles is not a sterile exercise but one grounded in practical examination of  real world practices. 

I am always perplexed that in this modern reality that people still make the silly distinction as to book sense vs practical sense. It does not exist. Most engineers never build anything. They design them for other lower level workers to execute. An engineer deals with producing workable designs but it takes the minds of those like TK with a synoptic view of the particular specialty to do the oversight analysis and come up with scenarios that validates the design as economically sound.

 

The engineer relies on these kinds of analysis to temper his design strategies. Both fields rely on "book sense" since the validation of design soundness is always on the theoretical foundations in physics and material science. They design of a bridge is completely book sense. 

 

 

Labba is TK's alter ego, albeit a rather silly one. He's just having a bit of fun arguing with himself.

Mars posted:
 
 

Labba is TK's alter ego, albeit a rather silly one. He's just having a bit of fun arguing with himself.

He is being silly if he is posting with an alias that disparages his work. Further he is supporting a false meme that book sense ( episteme) vs practical knowledge has great value in our modern world. Much of  our world is moved by planning that comes completely out of theoretical foundations of many disciplines. Most of what we do to innovate has never been done before so it is "book sense" or the theoretical foundations of our understanding  that creates change. 

Last edited by Former Member
Baseman posted:

All ayuh relax.  Come 2020 the PPP will be back in power and these problems will be addressed.  Clearly the PNC dropping the ball al over the damn place. 

Yes we will see a full privatization of all assets with his cronies receiving this at pennies to the dollar, and then getting gov't subsidies when investors dont earn inflated returns while having minimal investment.

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