On Land

Over ten years ago I attended a lecture being given at the College of The Bahamas by Eris Moncur. His topic was, not surprisingly (as it was the Quincentennial year), the site of Columbus’ landfall. Now I’m not going to debate that now; anyone who knows Mr Moncur even slightly knows what his view on the matter is. What I am going to raise is something he said, somewhat in passing, in that lecture. It was this: Bahamians are millionaires.

Now many of us are fond of thinking of ourselves as “poor”: “So-and-so like to take advantage of poor people,” we say, or “The government job is to help poor people get ahead”. I am not entirely sure what the cut-off point for wealth is; I suspect that poverty is something we own, while wealth belongs to the other guy. Be that as it may (and that’s certainly fodder for another column), I want to argue Mr Moncur’s case, because I agree with him. Many, if not most, Bahamians are extremely rich.


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