Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Crawford's promotion of migration folly

Published:Saturday | January 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I do not usually target politicians for criticism, because I find it more pertinent to talk about ideas. However, I must object to junior minister of government and Member of Parliament Damian Crawford's endorsement of an insidious idea, which I find unsettlingly popular among my peers: that their wholly self-serving decision to emigrate from Jamaica will probably benefit the country more in the long run, through remittances. This is folly.

Money, whether in the form of remittances or foreign investment, does not build a nation; people do. That is, the people who stay and spend their lives cultivating communal bonds, labouring to build institutions and industries from the ground up, and raising the next generation of responsible citizens.

The total contribution of remittances to Jamaica's development will always be far less than those remitters collectively would have contributed at home.

The junior minister seems to be encouraging us to shirk our most fundamental civic duties, as long as we send home a few foreign notes. Can we expect emigration or brain drain denialism to feature in future People's National Party platforms? If so, this would be a disturbing evolution in the 'if you don't like it, there are five flights a day to Miami' line of thinking.



Kingston 8