Wed | Jun 16, 2021

Private sector always puts self before country

Published:Thursday | August 6, 2015 | 4:42 PM


If the report carried on your front page of August 5, 2015 regarding the reaction of William Mahfood and his private-sector colleague Metry Seaga and others is indeed correct, I would not be the least bit surprised.

Admittedly, without even knowing the details of the proposal and Richard Byles' thoughts and ideas and the possible contribution to economic growth, Mahfood shoots it down and states in no uncertain terms that they would not even consider that option.

The reaction is so typical of what comes out of the manufacturing industry, and, indeed, the private sector and Big Business in general. Any proposal that might mean giving up some of their profit or narrowing their margins is fiercely rejected. The evidence suggests that it is ALWAYS self before country.

JDX-2 was accepted reluctantly by more than 97 per cent of investors, which included the financial institutions, manufacturers, private sector, etc, which, on the surface, would have meant accepting a smaller profit on the investment. (In their terms, accepting a loss based on projections).

However, the banks increased fees and created new ones. Prices of goods and services increased, having never fallen when oil prices decreased.

The person with the deposit/savings account, the final consumer, the poor and working class in Jamaica were the ones that really paid.

There are several other examples along the way that have highlighted this general principle.

It is really the working class and the poor that make the biggest contribution to the sacrifices and eventual economic recovery. I firmly give Big Business, with a few exceptions, a failing grade in terms of contribution to the process. They "wouldn't even consider it".