Letter of the Day: Government should be ashamed of beggar posture
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Jamaica's finance minister, Dr Peter Phillips, is off to the Third International Conference for Financing and Development in Ethiopia. I understand that one of the issues that he will be looking at is the middle-income status of Jamaica and other CARICOM countries. Apparently, it would seem that we have a problem with the world no longer classing our countries as 'poor'.
As I understand it, the designation of our countries as 'middle-income' now means that we don't qualify for certain types of international assistance, which means that we are now entitled to less. However, while I think I understand why our CARICOM leaders are not too happy with this, I must say that I am somewhat disappointed.
Why is it that we must always be a people that like the world to take so much pity on us to the point of always feeling sorry for us and giving us more handouts?
We always have our leaders telling us that we are a proud people. How then can we believe them when they are on this determined quest to get the world to see us a too poor to help ourselves?
Isn't it quite ironic that foreigners, who once saw us as poor, now see us as 'middle-income', which means that they see us as improving our lot, while our own leaders still see us a being poor and thus not improving? How is it that these foreigners can see the good in us, but we can't? Talk about a people not believing in themselves!
Yes, I know that this 'poor' designation that we seek is really just an attempt to enable us to get more handouts. However, isn't it sad that after all of these years of Independence, we still don't believe in our own capacity to solve our own problems?
I wonder if our leaders don't feel even one ounce of shame knowing that they are trying to get the world to give us more handouts under what everybody, including us, knows to be a false pretence?
I thought it was a good thing that the rest of the world now sees us as a people who are working hard to improving our lot. I am still disappointed that, unlike these foreigners, we in CARICOM don't think we ought to be seen as a progressive people, too.
MICHAEL A. DINGWALL