Dominica

I sometimes post comments to news articles about Dominica, and I realise that Dominicans occasionally wonder who I am that I would do that. Here’s a brief explanation.

I first went to Dominica in 2000 to work for an online gold brokerage that was locating there because of Dominica’s financial privacy regulations, which at that time were among the most civilised in the world. When I arrived the first people I knew were expats in the offshore finance industry. I was taken aback by their negative comments toward Dominica and Dominicans, and frankly I found them indefensibly rude and condescending. For example, they would often say how they couldn’t wait to fly off for a weekend somewhere else, whereas I would find myself happily spending month after month in my fascinating new country without the slightest desire to go anywhere else.

I lived there pretty solidly for three years, and fell in love with this beautiful place at which I felt at home, and its quirky, independently-minded (if occasionally somewhat quarrelsome) people.

In the years afterwards I spent more time in the U.S. for family reasons, but I’ve travelled back and forth often, trying not to be away for longer than a few months at a time, especially to ensure that my youngest son (whose mother is Dominican) felt at home there.

Many Dominicans are very passionate about politics, and among my friends are both steadfast supporters of the government and those who bitterly oppose it. I’m nonpartisan, and focus more on which policies are most conducive to promoting economic development in Dominica. I do wish that both sides of Dominica’s political divide would tone down their rhetoric and focus on policy, but I suppose strong words are part of the nature of politics in a land with passionate people.

My comments on policy have led me to be variously accused both of being a Labourite and a UWP supporter, which I expect that means that I’m on the right track. To be specific, I think that we would do best to look at the low tax and generally minimal government policies of successful small countries like Singapore, Bermuda, and Liechtenstein, rather than the disastrous anti-freedom examples of destitute socialist countries like Venezuela or Cuba. I do understand why the government has had to rely on whatever countries were willing to donate aid, that’s fair enough, but we should always remember that this doesn’t mean those countries are role models for economic development.

Now I’ve started a second business based in Dominica, New World University, which I convinced my partners should be located here. Our goal is to reach students all over the world through distance learning and partner organisations. So as far as I’m concerned, I’ve cast my lot in with Dominica. I’ve found that’s good enough for most Dominicans, and if that’s not good enough for you, well, ou pa ka jete koshonee ou ba mwen.

Questions? Just want to argue with me about one of my comments? Feel free to email me: steve@stevefoerster.com