LETTER OF THE DAY - Growing anger over economic mismanagement
THE EDITOR, Sir:
In recent months, I have noted a definitive negative change in the mood of Jamaicans, and I am not sure what has provoked it. It is not so much a rising sense of insecurity, but more a feeling of frustration and anger.
Possibly, it is a consequence of poor economic management of the country. People earn less, borrow more, lose the value of their assets in foreign exchange rate changes, real estate holdings and pension values; on average, we are getting poorer.
Most investments in the country have realised poor yields for businesses, farmers, and professionals. The costs related to education have soared. Universities, technical schools and other educational institutions find students I gather, but have little qualified teaching and management staff, and the quality of education is not up to international standards.
On the other hand, Government taxation has reached astronomical proportions; persons are being taxed in every sphere and aspect of work life. In Britain taxation is just as high but there are incentives for producers and, there, exchange rates are more conducive to living. In Jamaica, many persons are starving - children and adults.
In addition, the Government's use of public funds in several areas, including providing health care, and in infrastructural development, is minimal. Our crime management is not as effective as it could be; our social services are depleted. We are in the hands of the receiver (IMF), virtually bankrupt.
Where do we go from here? Is there any balm left in Gilead? Are there no physicians? Who will take care of the poor and suffering? Where are the solutions to come from? Where are the answers?
Lack of organisation
In the past two years, many suggestions have been made to remedy the situation; some sensible and some frivolous. Perhaps some have been tried and some are in progress. But I see no organisation in the approach to the suggestion. Committees have been formed, and have been dismissed, without any obvious conclusion.
There was a recent suggestion that the two parties align the most intelligent and acute minds of their supporters, including members of the public, then put them to the job of improving our circumstances.
This should not be a paid committee: except for lunch and coffee, where necessary, and must be assisted by professional troubleshooters in law enforcement, military training, and legal backgrounds. Perhaps that way we would get a quick response.