Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Letter of the Day | Solving crime will catapult economy

Published:Friday | August 25, 2017 | 12:00 AMTHE EDITOR, Sir:

It appears that no one believes that the will is there to solve the crime in Jamaica. Neither of the two main political parties demonstrates any level of success, and we believe that they are to blame in the first place. So after many years of failure, we have lost confidence in our and our leaders' ability to turn things around.

My big concern is that I don't see the Government's Economic Reform Programme working to build the economy at a rate that will turn Jamaica around. It was absolutely necessary for the PNP to implement it when it did, and I applaud them for having the guts to do it. It cost the party the election, but it was necessary, at the time, to preventing economic disaster.

However, ever since the start of the Economic Reform Programme, our economy has either declined or experienced minor levels of growth.

This year, we may experience 1.0-1.5 per cent growth. I foresee that same minor level of growth for the next four or five years. During the past six years or so, how many students have graduated from high school and university, with the majority of them having no jobs?

My daughter spent six months working in Hawaii last year and had a wonderful time there. The people were relaxed and friendly, they were comfortable financially; they have good hospitals and schools. There were no grilles on the houses, and she could go anywhere, day or night, safely.

She worked as a neonatal nurse and in the hospital at which she worked. they had 80 ICU beds in the neonatal wing of the hospital. that is more than all the ICU beds in all the hospitals in Jamaica! Hawaii has half the population of Jamaica and has 10 million tourists per year.

 

FREE TO TRAVEL

 

Unlike Jamaica, they are in the middle of the ocean five hours flight from the West Coast of the US. Tourists go there for sun and sea like Jamaica, but also, they are free to travel anywhere and do anything they want and experience the food and culture of the island. Wouldn't that be the dream of the persons in our tourist industry?

In Jamaica, we have two million tourists who spend very little money because they are imprisoned in the all-inclusive hotel!

Suppose we like Hawaii, had 10 million tourists coming and spending their money. We would have in excess of US$10 billion per year from tourism. What would Jamaica look like then? How would our people be living, and would they still be dreaming of leaving their country of birth?

We need to realise that the root cause of our problems is crime. All else will fall into place once we solve it.

JOHN MAHFOOD

john.mahfood@yahoo.com.