Jamaica Gleaner In Focus

Published: Monday Sunday | January 25, 2009

Obama to the world!
"An observer of the wall-to-wall coverage of the events leading up to Obama's swearing-in as president might think he was witnessing nothing less than the second coming," grumbles the World Socialist website on Inauguration Day.

Obama's dilemma
It is safe to assume that no other leader of a democratic country has ever been greeted with such overwhelming public acclaim as Barack Obama was at his inauguration as the 44th president of the United States on January 20.

Local government and crisis governance
Local government is not just a part of Jamaica's democracy. It must be seen as a part of how we govern ourselves out of our crisis. The crisis is not just economic. It is a crisis of governance itself. The failure to get local governance right is a part of that crisis.

A blueprint for tax reform
Tax Reform is long overdue in Jamaica. The last major rationalisation of the Jamaican tax system occurred between the late 1980s and early 1990s when the General Consumption Tax (GCT) was introduced. Today, the GCT is considered one of our more successful taxes, with a compliance rate of approximately 60 per cent.

Recognising an unsung hero
Sparks from the fire of hope and a concerted approach to the handling of public affairs that has been kindled in these times by President Barack Obama must be allowed to settle and burst into flames here in Jamaica in 2009.

Public or private morality?
Who is better able to serve Jamaica as governor general than Dr Patrick Allen, one who will not make a distinction between private and public morality! Menno Simons, a Mennonite leader advocated that the Church was "an assembly of the righteous, at odds with the world". The reality is that the dichotomy between the sacred and the secular is a flawed argument and not pragmatic.

A Caribbean wish list for Obama
There has been much media discussion about what the Caribbean should expect, or hope to secure, from the Obama administration. My own wish list of priorities for the new administration falls under five headings: Gaza, transnational crime, economic development, Haiti, and Cuba.