The Soloist, Contributor
The economic outlook is gloomy because the Government that rescued us from a fate worse than death (its predecessor), seems now totally at a loss for solutions. Reality has set in. They finally got the memo, the entire world has been in a recession for close to 10 years. Duh!
So, as the voices increase with advice to stop waiting on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement, we all should shut up and produce our way out of this mess. Farming is an easy path to follow. Former Agriculture Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, like the late Michael Manley, was on the right path with agriculture. Why has that been stopped? We seemed to have been getting somewhere with a rice-growing experiment; we had even found varieties that would thrive here and identified farmers to grow it. I even tasted it with rather pleasant surprise. Where the hell is that project?
Or is it easier to import rice with borrowed money only to have to spend years repaying those loans? We plant cane but import sugar, why not simply plant enough to both consume and export?
On another matter. I hear us gloating that the number of murders last year was just over 1,000. Really now, people, how about aiming to keep it below 100? There are countries on this same planet (our region too), that see fewer than 10 murders for the year. I once visited an island where there were no police because the worst crime was the occasional drunken brawl! Everyone was either working or in school.
But no sooner have we reported the figures and what seems to be the case? Murders on the rise again ... and in a hospital at that!
Once again, two businesses have been started by foreign interests when we should have had the foresight to own them. So with one foreigner extracting valuable resources from our red mud and another recycling our waste, more of our foreign-exchange earnings will once again be repatriated.
I see where Dr Aggrey Irons is expressing concern over teens and their growing consumption of porn. I would like to suggest that like technology, there is just more access to pornographic material nowadays. In my day (the '70s), we had True Confessions magazines doing the rounds in a class of 40 till they were tattered and torn. And we hid them well; teachers suspected we had them, but never found them in our possession. We respected them enough to not want them to be disappointed in our choice of reading material.
If we found a hardcore novel at home, that also suffered a similar fate. The only difference is that we did not get to spend hours on the stuff to the detriment of our lessons because parents were more vigilant.
Our erring ways have simply caught up with us. Our authorities do not ban cable providers from supplying pornographic channels. No one stops clubs from providing live sex onstage, and the audience can participate in many cases. Teens included! No one is stopping the vendors of pornographic DVDs/magazines along street corners or on the steps of public buildings (such as my bank downtown). Hell, no one is stopping ordinary corner bars from showing explicit sex tapes to drinking customers in broad daylight. My eyes nearly fell to the floor one afternoon when I stepped across a street into a bar to purchase a cold drink while attending a long, boring funeral. The 'stars' were locals and the location was Spanish Town. Everyone sat glued to the screen.
So let's wake up and put in the necessary checks and balances (more hands-on parents), rather that wait to vent on prime time news after the horse has bolted.