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LETTER OF THE DAY - Nation's youth being stifled

Published:Tuesday | January 18, 2011 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I am a trained teacher of physics and physical education and am unable to find employment in Jamaica.

I have written tons of applications and have attended numerous interviews across the island for almost a year. Still, to this day, I remain penniless and unemployed. I spend most of my days writing applications and waiting with anticlimactic optimism for phone calls in response to them. Now I have nowhere to turn except to my parents' house where I once lived.

Jamaica has very limited opportunity for persons like myself. I have tried to be self-employed in the fields of computer engineering/repairs and alternative energy, but the taxation policies of the ruling political party have almost annihilated these sectors in Jamaica.

The promise of jobs and more jobs in the JLP campaign of 2007 has become the ballad of the Jamaican fool. Though I applaud the measures taken by Audley Shaw to stabilise the Jamaican dollar, his focus seems to be biased towards macroeconomic issues. Jamaica needs to produce to earn revenue, not just tax its citizens. The microeconomic sector has the capacity to do both. That is, producing goods and services for export as well as paying taxes to the Government.

The Government has failed to create a viable framework, plan or vision for the microeconomic environment of this country. The small-business sector is crippled. Stores, shops and offices are either closing down or cutting staff.

The Government needed to have relaxed the taxation policies in this sector and stimulated growth, instead of providing 'free' 'formal', book-based education for all students up to the secondary level. They should have focused more on skill training in diverse areas, which would create the framework for horizontal growth in the microeconomic sector.

In the final analysis, the youth of this nation are being stifled. We are led, by politically and economically, controlled by visionless tyrants. How else can you explain my state of unemployment, depression and hopelessness? The state of the world economy should never be used as any excuse to us.

We have learnt from history where Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal policy rescued the United States from the bowels of the Great Depression in the 1930s. He did not blame President Hoover's policies either. He simply had a vision and worked towards it. His emphasis was, first and foremost, to get average persons back to work.

This saw the emergence of a booming automobile industry which helped to spark a tremendous economic recovery. A similar transformation took place in Russia under Stalin, and in Germany, under Adolf Hitler.

I am, etc.,

RAUL FINLAYSON

raoultown@hotmail.com