Sat | Jun 12, 2021

Those who can, do; those who can't, teach

Published:Tuesday | July 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Thrice I read Wilberne Persaud's article (Financial Gleaner, Friday, July 11, 2014) on the JLP Economic Advisory Council to understand why he was upset an economist was not appointed thereto.

In the article, he conceded that clearly, consideration was given to a prominent economist who, for whatever reason, did not take up the offer. It was also announced that other persons, including economists, would be appointed later, after their contractual obligations were resolved.

Regardless of these two points, Mr Persaud continued on his baseless attack of a good and practical idea. It suggests to me that he feels spurned that his expert advice was not sought in what is the first positive move in recent times to seriously chart a new course for the Jamaican economy.

I am not sure what qualifies one to be titled an economist. The truth is that economists in Jamaica range from the well-read and self-professed Ralston Hyman, who speaks knowledgeably on the macro areas of the subject, to Damien King, PhD, who lives in the rarefied air of theory.

Never mind that at least two members of the council have formal training in economics from one of the most prestigious universities in the world - Harvard! They don't claim to be economists.

The critics grinding their axes have ignored one important fact. Mr Holness has appointed doers and achievers. People who have actually run businesses, made money, created jobs, led industries, innovated, faced the challenges of an economy, and actually did the things that economist study.

What does Wilberne Persaud, or Damien King, for that matter, really know about an economy outside of a textbook? By the way, these men have been advising and teaching others who eventually advise the Government for years. Yet here we are!