Premier Dr. Ewart Brown, the prime advocate for casinos in Bermuda, speaking to Sandy's Rotary and writing as a guest columnist in this newspaper, claims that "as many as 3,000 new jobs and up to $146 million could be added to our economy".

Since 1994 (see sidebar), all job growth in Bermuda happened because we imported non-Bermudians.

Department of Statistics reports tell us that between 1994 and 2008, only 250 Bermudians - that's right, only 250 - joined the Bermudian segment of the island's national workforce.

In 2007 there were 27,180 Bermudians and 12,579 non-Bermudians in the national workforce. A year later, there were 27,272 Bermudians and 13,033 non-Bermudians.

In those 12 months only 92 additional Bermudians joined the national workforce but 454 additional non-Bermudians came in.

For every one Bermudian, five non-Bermudians.

Eighteen years ago, in 1992, only 886 people were born in Bermuda. At most, 95 per cent - or about 840 - might actually be Bermudian.

In 2006, only 798 people were born in Bermuda. About 755 might be Bermudian.

The last time the number of births in Bermuda exceeded 1,000 was in 1971. Clearly, Bermuda's birthrate is falling.

In an expanding economy requiring additional workers, Bermudians cannot fill the need for additional labour, so Bermuda imports labour.

Driven by the arithmetic imbalance between a falling birthrate and an expanding economy, Bermuda has been importing labour for more than 40 years.


What will happen if, as projected by the Premier, the proposed casinos add "3,000 new jobs"?

Given what has already happened, given what you now know and given Bermuda's existing economy, from where will 3,000 additional workers come?

Clearly, they will come from overseas. Bermuda will have to import 3,000 additional people.

Will all of them work in the Premier's projected casinos?

Let's assume they do not. Let's assume the Premier and Government ensures that only Bermudians are permitted to work in the proposed network of casinos. If that happens, then about 3,000 (the $300,000 Innovation Group report on Gaming in Bermuda projects 2,975 or 2,339 or 1,727 new jobs) Bermudians will have to leave the employment they already hold.

That means retail clerks, chambermaids, underwriters, parks employees, garage mechanics, taxi drivers and so on will all have to give up their existing jobs.

They will then move across to take up the new - additional - jobs in the casinos.

They will have to fill all the 3,000 jobs in the projected casinos, spin-off industries and associated activities. But that leaves those 3,000 now vacated jobs unfilled.

Who will fill those 3,000 posts? Think hard. Re-read the first six paragraphs and work it out for yourself - because I won't tell you. You must work it out for yourself and when you have, we can go on.

Rapidly starting up the proposed casinos and just as rapidly importing 3,000 non-Bermudians to work somewhere in Bermuda's economy will have enormous social impact.

It will be like swamping our existing community of Bermudians and non-Bermudians with a relative tidal wave of fresh new non-Bermudians.

The social impact and consequences will be wide, deep, far reaching and long lasting.

If only 2,339 or 1,727 non-Bermudians are rapidly imported, the social impacts and consequences will be the same, just slightly diminished.

Either way, such a rapid influx of additional non-Bermudians will bring consequences.

An increasingly nationalistic - becoming almost xenophobic - community of Bermudians will react. There is nothing exceptional about any of that. There is nothing wrong with any of that.

The whole world over, it is just the way that humankind works.

And Bermudians are all too human.

The still cracking gunshots and still falling bodies show us that Bermudians are normal human beings. Not 'different'.


Bermuda really is not what calypsonian Hubert Smith once sang about. 'Nice' Bermudians can - and do - behave unsociably. Bermudians do react and there are consequences.

Three thousand new jobs? Who is managing and thinking nationally and strategically?

Who sees the whole picture and not just the $146 million in possible potential income and the enhancement of local entertainment? Who is in touch with reality and the real world?

A while ago, the Premier referred to "socially dangerous space". In this casino matter, I do not see that any proponent has considered "socially dangerous space".