"Bermuda's Human Capital: Protectionism, Entitlement and Meritocratic Ideals".

  Excerpts from the speech:

"In Bermuda however, we have a situation where we have a Term Limits policy in place that to all intents and purposes, and despite the initial good intentions, is now potentially driving knowledge workers out of our country and very possibly directly into the open arms of our competitor countries.  This will absolutely be to the detriment of Bermuda as a whole. 

Some will say that overtly protectionist policies such as these are important to ensure that Bermudians are not disenfranchised in their own country.  To answer this, Business knows it is completely unsustainable to even think about domiciling in Bermuda and not involve the citizen population.  However there is a point where fair and just policies to advance the current and future prospects of Bermudians may quickly be passed, and instead protectionist policies become too burdensome and difficult, and not only become barriers to entry of new business, but may even drive existing business away.

Immigration over protectionism is akin to countries imposing tariffs on less expensive but identical overseas manufactured products to ensure that localized manufacturers can get the price necessary to sustain the profitability of the company, and thus keep the workers employed.  This as we all know is becoming rapidly unsustainable, as much of the world is moving towards free trade, thus removing all protectionist tariffs.

In Bermuda, the simple fact is, Bermudians as a whole will collectively and economically "do better" when Free Trade of Human Capital is encouraged albeit with the careful and measured management by the Department of Immigration.  Make no mistake about it; other jurisdictions are, to put it bluntly, gunning for us.  We as a country must be very clear that our Comparative Advantage, with the addition of overseas knowledge workers, is far more beneficial to us as a whole than the absolute disadvantage of us trying to go it alone. 

Currently in Bermuda, there seems to be broad agreement by Government and Business that a pervasive attitude of entitlement is creeping in.  Bermuda and Bermudians have traditionally in the past embraced the culture that hard work will lead to great success, and much of where we are today is because of that attitude.  However, we are in danger of losing that competitive advantage as it seems that more and more Bermudians simply believe that we should just get "it" without really having to work for "it".

Avoiding protectionist policies and counteracting the culture of entitlement is a crucial way to move towards a more meritocratic workplace.  Meritocratic ideals mean that appointments are made and responsibilities are based on demonstrated ability. "   Putting the best person for the job in the job, can in fact cause the entire population to "rise with the tide".