Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Beware of logistics hub myths from mudslinging Mason

Published:Wednesday | March 5, 2014 | 3:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Ronald Mason, despite his postgraduate economic training that he flaunted in his opinion piece 'That screeching environmentalist' (Sunday Gleaner, March 2, 2014), has demonstrated that he is a cowardly, petty man without the courage to name the source of his patronising sexist vitriol - "screeching environmentalist" with "her knickers in a wad", who is also his "good lady" who requires his superior intellect to set her right.

Rather than make an economic argument that has any substance, Mason gives us an anecdote that we are somehow meant to universalise, while taking the easy path of slinging ideological mud at the uptown lady who can't understand poverty in the deeply insightful way he can, because, well, he drove around in his car with (wow!) his window down (how daring, big man!) and got begged five times.

Mason could probably better understand poverty if he walked the urban streets and rural tracts of Jamaica, and took route taxis and Coasters to get wherever he was going.

Clearly, he has not read Diana McCaulay's novel, Dog-Heart, one of the rare pieces of contemporary literature that interrogates the economic and political inequalities in the Jamaican society that leads to the sorts of beggars Mason exploits to make his rhetorical point.

HOW MANY WILL BE EMPLOYED?

What Mason needs to do to be credible is to objectively provide the economic facts that would prove how poverty in Jamaica will be eradicated by Chinese infrastructure projects that destroy the Jamaican natural environment.

These projects help to alleviate poverty in China (which is why the Chinese government funds them) by exporting poor Chinese labourers and undesirables, but please provide the actualities as to how they alleviate poverty in Jamaica.

How many of the people begging at those street lights will have employment of any type in the logistics hub? What sorts of impoverished Jamaicans, whose language proficiency in English, Spanish, Mandarin is low to nil, will get employed?

The cliché "Poverty, my good lady, is the greatest threat to the environment" is the slogan repeated by the main threat to the Jamaican environment, the Government of Jamaica.

It is economically prudent to build the logistics hub somewhere other than the most intact mangrove forests in Jamaica.

ESTHER FIGUEROA (PhD)

mediavagabond@gmail.com

Gordon Town, St Andrew