Yesterday we reported and commented on a 50% drop in the number of Jamaicans returning home to retire over the last 10 years.
I have warned over the years, in every medium which allowed me a voice, to include the Jamaican Daily papers and more recently my own blogs, that this drop would occur. As I recognized then, we did not have Alumina as a significant earner of foreign exchange, we had lost most of the markets we had for agricultural products like bananas. In essence Jamaicans had conversely bought into the false narrative that American foods were better than locally grown produce. Traditional and would be farmers gave up on agriculture as a means of making a living. There is no single reason Jamaica is in the pickle it’s in now, there is a cornucopia of reasons, take your pick. When we sum up in precise form why our country is broke, crime comes to the fore. Jamaica lost agriculture because farmers could not produce quality foods, with consistency and at the price that the Americans could, Consequently American foods flooded the Jamaican market.
Let me be clear, when I say “Jamaican farmers could not produce the quality foods” I mean agriculture foods, particularly harvested fruits and vegetables must be cleaned and refrigerated as soon as possible, if their pristine quality is to be maintained. We simply cannot harvest vegetables in 90 degree weather, put them in the back of an non-refrigerated truck to their destinations and simply hope we will be supplying top quality vegetables. For financial and other reasons, Jamaicans farmers are unable to meet the exacting standards of today’s food industry. Hotels simply have to source foods with consistency and which are of the best quality.
Having spent a decade in law enforcement I am no stranger to the sordid and complex underbelly of Jamaica’s crime monster. I am also acutely aware that the country’s criminals have grown exponentially more advanced since I exited that discipline. One of the most frightening thing about Jamaica’s crime epidemic is the extent to which it extends within the Jamaican culture. I was not in the least surprised that transparency International, an international ratings agency, rated Jamaica 84% corrupt. My only problem with that assessment is that I truly believe that the truth lies somewhere in the 90% range.
The fact is that criminality is a way of life in Jamaica, Politicians, Police, Doctors, Lawyers ,Clergy, Business-people, Judges, there is no group of people who are guiltless of the corrosive scourge of dishonesty, or criminal complicity. Many Jamaicans see honest as a vice, one could easily lose his life trying to do the right thing in the Jamaica of today. Even those perched atop the highest rungs of the societal ladder are stained with the pungent stench of corruption and graft.
It should come as no surprise then, that today the Jamaica Constabulary claimed that they were aware that there is a scam underway which is bilking Insurance companies of billions of dollars.(Jamaicagleaner.com). This is nothing new but the police’s only duty now a days seem to be that they too have heard of the crimes being committed, they seem little more than a Security Guard Organization and a very bad one at that. This scam allegedly involves Lawyers, Doctors, and members of the public, no doubt there are police officers involved as well.