Jamaica, What Next?

Even though I haven’t lived in Jamaica for the past 22 years I am no less interested in how our country is run now,than when I left in 1991. I thought about how I could be of service to country, despite not living there. Having decided to offer opinions and facts on events and happening as I see them, I am also aware of the limitations involved in getting people to focus on large texts of information. Those are not the only challenges faced by a blogger like myself. We Jamaicans have literally locked ourselves into two boxes, one orange, the other green. This places us at a distinct disadvantage, as far as processing information, even when we are thousands of miles removed from Jamaica’s parochial politics. We process everything Jamaica, within the context of politics, sometimes bordering on the insane. Even in the face of irrefutable facts ,we balk  we yell, using noise to overwhelm truths we find inconvenient. We demonize each other ,we label each other, we disparage each other simply because we disagree with their point-of-view.

The Jamaican Dollar is now over 100 to one American Dollar, virtually worthless. The country have secured a loan from the International Monetary Fund this was seen as a major victory for the country. I wrote in these blogs that you know the country is in trouble when securing a loan is seen as a major accomplishment. I also warned that that loan would be similar to cotton-candy, sweet to the taste yet bad for your health.

It did not take long for the sweetness of that cotton-candy to show how bad it can be for your teeth and sugar levels. Ronald Thwaites recently told prospective teachers graduating from college “government have no money to hire you”. This statement even as he is embroiled in an epic struggle with teachers already on the government’s pay-roll, over issues of study leave.

The rape and murder of children is now common practice. Elderly people are summarily executed, none is spared the wrath of Jamaica’s demonic killers, including law-enforcement officers. The housing trust tells public sector workers who have paid into that fund and are still employed ,that they do not qualify for mortgages, yet the Prime Minister rolled out her new plan called Urban Renewal which is aimed at providing housing to Jamaica’s urban poor. The problem with this bit of feel good, is that these people have no money to pay for the houses they are slated to receive.

The country’s interest payment obligations on foreign loans gobbles up almost one-half of its gross domestic product. So they borrow more to fill the shortfall, which exacerbates the problem further, because with each loan guarantee comes the added burden of a larger piece of the GDP pie going to debt servicing.

The country has recorded a 1.5 % growth, negligible for a country like Jamaica.

Jamaica remains one of the most highly indebted countries in the world. Interest payments as a percent of GDP were higher than anywhere else in the world in 2011, including crisis-ravaged Europe. This exceedingly large debt burden has effectively displaced most other public expenditure, debt servicing has taken up nearly 50 percent of total budgeted expenditures over the last four fiscal years while health and education combined have only been around 20 percent.This situation is very problematic for a country of Jamaica’s income level, which should be able to invest in infrastructure and human capital, as well as have the financial flexibility to respond to frequent natural disasters and other external shocks.http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/jamaica-2012-05.pdf

People are losing their property to squatters, who invade and erect zinc structures, just like during the 70’s why not that’s socialism right?

The country’s clueless Prime Minister when not embarrassing the country by opening her mouth, has decide to stay mute as the titanic sinks. She opened it recently to pronounce quote “I will not talk myself out of office” . If that moronic statement was not so reprehensible it would be worth a laugh. Never mind everything is all about her staying in office.  You get the leadership you deserve.

Holness the opposition leader, seem absolutely clueless about what path to take to rescue the country from this imminent collapse. Those of us who are looking for a return of civility, or a place where droves of Jamaicans are in a hurry to return to may have a very long wait.

 


3 thoughts on “Jamaica, What Next?

  1. Your analogies of the present situation is dire, there are no leader in Jamaica. They’re all elected criminals, whose job are to ponder to their criminal bases of both parties. I was talking to one of my schoolmate, who did 22 years in the US Army and would love to go back to Jamaica to enjoy his retirement of about $5,550.00 monthly, but he’s afraid therefore he is going to Georgia. This money would be coming in every month to the coffers of the Jamaican economy. The Prime Minister is inept,,illiterate, obnoxious, belligerent and ignorant.s

    • I welcome the debate Chris, I don’t hate the PM, neither the leader of the opposition, I would like to ask the PM though, Madam prime minister do you believe this is the best our country can do? Do you understand that crime is the single largest impediment to growth? And to Holness, Do you have ablue-print ready discussed with stakeholders that would launch a successful tenure were the people to turn to you for leadership?

  2. The solution from the perspective is in my estimation a pet project to rescue the country from complete and utter ruin. The Jamaican in the diaspora should come together to form a designated convertible international currency denominated competitive bond issue. This would generate in a tangible form the kind of influence that could be exercised on the country – as it is now broke. The extent of the amount collected while earning interest for anyone who made a contribution would allow for the designation with out negative political influence to be directed at projects to increase and improve the infrastructure without which the Jamaica economy cannot grow. Better road infrastructure , better sewage, indigenous power generation , “land of wood and water” as the name Jamaica suggests provides the base for this type of development, waste to power conversion, a better execution of a rural development program. It is not a matter of who does this but that it gets done. There are people who are beyond the corruption that it evident in Jamaica’s administration as it now exist. Bring this type of lever to bear on the future direction of the country’s affairs can result in a Jamaica that we can once again be proud of. If every Jamaica for what ever reason decided to return to Jamaica even for a visit at the same time the country’s level of development would not be able to accommodate the amount of people there. So this makes sense. there are so many area that cry out for attention- education so as to have the next generation more civil than what is now evident with school children attacking their transporter, Beheading of children, rape, plunder you name it, it is now common place there. this is the contribution to drive the discussion to a better tomorrow.

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