The Political Economy

of the Netherlands Antilles

and the Future of the Caribbean 

DRGTPE supplement on a Caribbean islands economy

Samuel van Houten Genootschap 
November 2006, 170 pages, ISBN ISBN-10: 90-802263-3-5 
ISBN-13: 978-90-802263-3-3

Non-printable PDF with the full text (1 MB) (Acrobat 5 or higher)

€ 24.95 (exclusive handling)

Temporarily out of print

This brilliant and engaging book shows that unemployment in the Netherlands Antilles can be reduced from 15% to 4.5% and that the national debt is not out of control at 84.4% but sustainable at 66.3% of Gross Domestic Product. Poverty and unemployment arise now from a wrong system of taxation. Already in 1889 the tax theorist Cohen Stuart gave the analogy of a bridge to clarify that workers should be exempt of taxes to allow them to support themselves at a decent minimum income. His rule has been neglected. Elimination of the tax void below the minimum wage, where taxes are officially levied but not collected since one cannot get a job there due to that minimum wage, will allow employment at the same net income and at no cost. Benefits can also be turned into wage cost subsidies. The Antilles have a bright future so that a split-up and debt-relief by the Netherlands are not needed. The future of the Caribbean lies in a Caribbean Union similar to the European Union.

Thomas Colignatus (1954) is an econometrician who worked at the Dutch Central Planning Bureau (CPB) where he developed the theory of Definition & Reality in the General Theory of Political Economy. This approach is applied here to the Netherlands Antilles and the future of the Caribbean. Other countries, and a world that faces the risk of global collapse due to overpopulation, can greatly benefit from the example application provided here. See

This book intends to show: 

  • Some practical issues in the Netherlands Antilles can be solved, such as unemployment, the national debt, pensions, the high rate of interest. Those solutions can be attained without splitting up the Netherlands Antilles into separate countries
  • Adequate national decision making and co-ordination requires the constitutional amendment for the Economic Supreme Court, as a separate power next to the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches. Parliament would keep the power to determine the budget, but would lose the power to manipulate information 
  • Instead of more fragmentation one needs more integration (with Economic Supreme Courts for co-ordination)
  • This holds for the whole Caribbean, so that the advisable course is to create a Caribbean Union similar like the European Union
  • These are examples for the world as the solution approach for the risk of global collapse as a result of overpopulation. 
These practical issues in the Netherlands Antilles can be seen as examples for other nations. Since the current imbalance of constitutional powers has many victims, it may be hoped that the parliaments of our democratic nations investigate the issues mentioned above and consider these examples, so that there is more hope for improvement in the living conditions of their peoples.