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.