Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Steve Lyston | Don't blame poor for poverty

Published:Monday | August 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM
There are many times when things are not going right in the society, and politicians and other business interests are quick to blame the poor for the poverty that exists within the nation.
If we seriously want to address poverty, then why don’t we look at the inequality in the distribution of resources?
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There are many times when things are not going right in the society, and politicians and other business interests are quick to blame the poor for the poverty that exists within the nation.

Meanwhile, other significant factors are ignored, such as who the decision-makers for the nation are and what decisions have been made regarding the nation's resources.

We fail to educate our people, yet we are quick to speak negatively about population and birth rates and agree with other external parties that population growth is our main problem. As a result, they try to bring solutions to curb that birth rate.

If we seriously want to address poverty, then why don't we look at the inequality in the distribution of resources? Why not have an amendment to the constitution that will allow us to set term limits for politicians, board members and other advisors.

How about the nation having a political system that will not stifle new builders from bringing new solutions? Are we willing to have a system in the country that does not allow for a rich versus poor scenario, but genuinely deals with equality?

Will we have a system where even the poorest among us will have an opportunity to succeed? Will we have a system where financial institutions cease to reject the business ideas of potential borrowers so that they themselves can find a way to use those ideas for their gain? Will they cease to use regulations and cease implementing laws to stop those with inventions and ideas from bringing them to the fore - while they capitalise on it for themselves? Even the credit unions are not what they used to be.

 

REGULATIONS TO SHACKLE

 

The poor are often being met with regulations to bond, bind or shackle them because the politicians and other business leaders in the nation know that once the poor become empowered financially, it would reduce the profitability of the rich. Furthermore, the poor would make better choices at the polls in choosing leaders.

How about lowering the consumption tax and increasing the minimum wage. Cut out temporary fixes like cutting grass in public places and create real jobs. Put funds into restoring broken families and carry out other more meaningful activities, such as sending social workers into communities, giving people milk powder, cornmeal and other nutritionally beneficial items.

Why not invest in building more clinics and begin to train more nurses at the community level? Give doctors duty-free concessions on SUVs, particularly if they are working in the rural areas.

Every parish should have a security checkpoint that vehicles must go through with detectors to detect illegal firearm.

For small businesses, utilities are among their biggest costs. Why not set a flat rate or have the Government subsidise those items so that they can stay afloat and grow to provide more jobs. The profits will, therefore, be kept in the country. As it stands, the profits are being channeled out of the country.

Why are the drug lords, extortionists and those silent or hidden partners not being dealt with the way they should be, when their actions interfere with foreign exchange and trade.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

 

- Provide cash and capital contribution to build more labs and research centres to study our fruits and herbs for creating more jobs and farming opportunities.

- Begin to write off the debts for the poorer class and, in particular, for the small businesses.

- Shift our number-one focus from building roads to focusing on family empowerment.

- Begin to listen to God's voice for growth and strategy. (Jeremiah 17: 5-11)

- Reduce all or eliminate some bank charges.

- Cease having two nations where there is one for the tourists and one for the local populous.

- Have free tuition for tertiary-level students studying agricultural science, social work, medicine and geology and bond them for five years to serve their country.

- Have an instant freeze on land or property divestments.

- There needs to be a major campaign to encourage people to get married.

- Begin to remove the zinc fences from the communities.

 

STRICTER LAWS

 

There has to be stricter laws governing the prices on property rentals and how companies price the goods that have been sitting at their landing points for over 90 days. Ex-factory prices need to be reviewed.

Have stricter laws to streamline the tourism sector and stop the all-inclusives from blocking the members of the local communities from benefiting from the tourist activities and stopping them from playing their part in building the communities.

The responsibility for the poverty does not lie solely on the shoulders of the poor. Others in society must take responsibility, too.

- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.