Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Prosperity requires teamwork

Published:Friday | March 11, 2016 | 3:00 AM


A lot of unconventional things are happening in Government these days, and almost everyone is in a let's wait and see what happens mode. I find this a tad worrying, because if we have no principled objectives to what is offered, shouldn't we be having more conversations about how we can exploit policy, posture and positions of government to produce the promised prosperity? That is how it is going to have to happen. I worry that an unhealthy portion of our populace seems to expect that prosperity is going to be served to us on a silver platter by this new, vibrant bunch of politicians in Government. Perhaps for the purpose of campaigning, that idea may have been conveyed - at least to those who did not know better. But let's get real!

Government is primarily in place to provide the policy framework within which the machinery of a qualified and hopefully motivated and driven populace can work to provide cutting-edge service across the public and private sectors and industries. There is no denying that there is an 'Andrew Mania' trending across Jamaica at the moment. There is a sense that many believe (or at the very least hope) that things are going to be different this time around. There is also a sense that this is the last chance for Jamaica to engage the disconnected and to change our predominant social and economic paradigms to reflect a true sense of equitable prosperity for Jamaicans. But is this all on Andrew Holness? It can't be. Policies need people to play by them, or they are without purpose.

Let us not therefore stand in the bleachers and look on as though the course and outcome of the game has nothing to do with us. Instead, let us get in the game and play to win. If Holness loses, Jamaica loses; if he wins, we all win. We don't have the luxury of spectatorship. Complaints should not be mere ranting, but should come from actual difficulties faced when in the process of doing something to move the country forward.




The sheer unpredictability of people's behaviour and responses to specific stimuli does render economics more of an art than a science - albeit that it uses a lot of scientific principles to plot a path. The fact that it depends on people's reaction that a policy may or may not resonate with the populace means that there really is no clear economic path that must succeed, and another that must fail (especially in the centre of the continuum of economic theories). Success will come more from the attitude of the people than on the details of the plotted path. It all depends on how determined they are to win.

An anonymous quote states: "Choice, not circumstances, determines success." It seems to me that we would all be better served if we choose to get engaged. It is this choice to act that will bring us success. As we go forward then, let us remember "Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction."

Charles Evans