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Published:Tuesday | January 12, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Comparing deaths stats

I would like to comment on the January 11 letter 'The war in Jamaica', in which A. G. Gumbs wrote a thought-provoking piece, comparing the combined loss of lives in both Iraq and Afghanistan to the murder rate in Jamaica.

Gumbs' research shows that there were more people murdered in Jamaica in 2009 than the combined death rate of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan during that same time period.

Gumbs' comparisons were disputed by a few online readers, who commented that it was inaccurate to compare the murder rate of civilians in Jamaica to the death rate of soldiers. They claim the comparisons should actually be the murder rate of civilians in Jamaica to the death rate of civilians in Iraq.

But Gumbs was able,, successfully, to drive home the point that it is easier to be killed as a citizen, going about your daily business in Jamaica, than it is for a soldier who is engaged in a high-risk combat job in Iraq or Afghanistan. This reality is quite disturbing.

Norm Edmonson

Encourage partnerships

Recently, Portmore signed a twinning agreement with the city of Lakeland in Florida. This allowed Portmore to be exposed to technical expertise in sewerage management and recycling, among other areas. Suggestions were made to Portmore which would involve creating new revenue streams from old and new activities which would lead to self-sustainability.

Partnerships should be encouraged with private entities domiciled in Jamaica and overseas. Lakeland has travelled that road, and is a superbly managed city, hence their bragging rights. The leadership of Portmore must step up to the plate, as there is no more time to waste.

Warren Robinson

Banks and profits

It is easy to understand how well-run banks in Jamaica can keep making 'super profits' if you accept the fact that a bank only has to pay as little interest as possible to the customer and charge as much as possible to the borrowers.

To increase income, they keep expenses low. Have you noticed the teller lines at the big banks? This is to keep the wage bill down. Who cares how long you have to wait for service?

The 'pounds of flesh' (whatever tax the Government can extract), should be passed to the credit unions and building societies, who seem to be doing a good job lending to small businesses.

Den Den