THE EDITOR, Sir:
Government senator Lambert Brown, in his contributions to the debate on the Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2012, is reported to have labelled the private sector as a "lazy" bunch of people who have failed to take advantage of business opportunities locally. Well, well, what do we have here?
Whoever gave Mr Brown such right? Does he have a clue as to what it is like doing business in Jamaica? Let me ask:
(1) How many businesses has Mr Brown ever owned or operated?
(2) How many payrolls has he ever had to 'find'?
(3) Does he know what it means to put up his house or some other valuable asset in order to secure a bank loan for the purpose of doing a business?
(4) Does he know what it means to be unable to find the duty and other charges to get a shipment off the wharf or to purchase raw materials to keep a factory going?
(5) Does he know what it means to have borrowed money at one rate and to see that rate increase each month - all because a government says it needs to 'stabilise' the dollar?
(6) Does he know how it feels to stay awake at nights thinking about where to find the next dollar to pay the bank so as to avoid a foreclosure?
Until he can answer 'yes' to these and many other questions, he had better keep his damned mouth shut.
Want to know what the real cost of doing business in Jamaica is? Just go ask those who have been FINSAC'd or those who came close to it. Go tell them how 'lazy' they were to sit around and allow their most valuable assets to be taken away.
who feels it knows
Perhaps Mr Brown believes that running a small trade union gives him all the knowledge and experience in the world, and that allows him to be an authority on business in general. Well, I have news for you, sir: trade unions are geared towards further frustrating the effort of many businesses under the guise of protecting workers' rights.
Here is something to think about: Since you're so convinced that Jamaica is 'ripe' for investment and that there is a trailerload of money out there to be made, why don't you put your money where your mouth is? Go start a business tomorrow, any business, and see what the real world of business is like.
See what it is like dealing with the bureaucracy. See what it is like getting a tax compliance certificate, the various permits, and clearances. See what is like dealing with nonchalant government workers, customs officials, security personnel, and many more.
Only he who feels it knows it.