Carl Bliss, Contributor
Politicians from both sides of the divide, in order to pander to the poor and dispossessed, keep promising jobs, jobs, jobs. For years I have held the view that their focus is all wrong.
To begin with, the creation or provision of real jobs has never been a government responsibility. THE ECONOMY IS. They constantly miss the boat by narrowly focusing on jobs. Real jobs must come from the productive sector in our chosen economic model.
The job of Government is to fix the economy so that the natural entrepreneurial energies of our people can be unleashed. At any rate, jobs provided by the State only last for the life of a particular government.
We are second to none not only on the track. Given the right environment, our people will show their creative prowess in the field of business, agriculture and commerce, as we have shown in select periods of our history.
It has always baffled me that we have spent so many trillions of dollars educating and preparing our people over the past 50 years, only to frustrate them with more roadblocks once they leave the formal school system in search of their dreams. It seems all we have to show for the incredible expenditures on 'education' is a poor human infrastructure.
DESTROY NATURAL CREATIVITY
For starters, I believe the years spent in our school system often serve to limit and destroy our natural creativity, and leave so many hopelessly unemployable at the end. In fact, most of the accomplished captains of industry of the past were hugely successful, yet were unencumbered by formal schooling!
This is not in any way to suggest that formal education is unnecessary. However, poor-quality formal education surely is. It is time for Government to redefine its role.
For God's sake, concentrate on, and excel at, those things that Government alone can do and leave the rest to us!
Let's take a quick look at the things that Government should do:
Any cursory examination of the above would readily show how absolutely incompetent governments have been over these past 50 years. Each of the above items would earn them an F. It is time to change. We cannot keep doing what we have always done and expect different outcomes. That is the definition of insanity.
Our number one priority at this juncture is fixing the economy. With a strong economy, everything else will fall in place. This must be the absolute preoccupation of our Government. We cannot borrow our way out of our problems. The International Monetary Fund can only give us breathing space. We will have to fix Jamaica and earn our way out of debt.
TOO MANY ROADBLOCKS
There are far too many roadblocks to getting into entrepreneurial activity. Government must re-examine all its agencies that interface with businesses and the public generally, with a view to removing all obstacles in their way. Too many of these agencies are more concerned with income generation than facilitating business development and growth.
It's simply too costly for the majority of potential entrepreneurs to get into business in Jamaica. There is too much red tape. People with ideas must be facilitated. It is they who will be leading us to the Promised Land. We are tired of different administrations promising to deal with excessive bureaucracy, only to end up with more cumbersome, out-of-touch government departments in their place.
We need a conference of all stakeholders in the society whose job it will be to redefine and agree to our respective roles going forward into the next 50 years.
If Government does what it alone can and should concentrate on, we are likely to see significant progress in the fields of education, health care, law and order, and the creation of a more just and clean society. If the productive sector is allowed to do what it can do naturally and well, we will have to be importing workers for the excess jobs generated by this economy.
Email feedback to email@example.com and Cabliss@flowja.com.