The PLP’s regularly purported solution to our economic woes is that we must diversify our economy. Shadow Finance Minister David Burt is back in the paper suggesting dismay at the lack of focus in the budget towards such efforts.
“For going on three years now, the OBA has refused to diversify the economy, shown a lack of vision for the future of this country, and now the people of this country are going to be made to pay for their lack of action on economic diversification and economic growth with increased taxes, which will cause increased pain,” he said.
The trouble is that they offer pie in the sky suggestions like we should “invest in FinTech”. If the most overused play in the OBA’s playbook is to try to solve every problem in isolation, the PLP’s would be to throw money at every problem. This is why we’re massively in debt. Every problem had massive amounts of money thrown at it and in most every case we didn’t get reasonable return on investment.
If Bermuda really wants to diversify its economy and give rise to innovation the government has to do everything it can to GET OUT OF THE WAY (if I could emphasize that more I would). It is very important to understand that we became a leader in insurance because we created a streamlined regulatory environment. That is what is required to create new industries. Top venture capitalist Marc Andreessen covered it incredibly well in “What it will take to create the next great silicon valleys, plural”.
We have to have a government dedicated to streamlining the regulatory environment for startups to thrive. We don’t need to throw money at it. The right regulatory environment will attract money. It will also attract talent. We have to create the right regulatory environment and then make it incredibly easy for money and talent to come to the island. That’s it. If we do that, we’ll increase money flows to the island, boost the local economy and create jobs for Bermudians.