We're not serious about achieving growth

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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Dear Editor,

Recently, the prime minister made the statement that he is confident that Jamaica will achieve the target growth in the next three years. Maybe that target will be met, maybe not.

However, it is comical to think that a nation with a vast network of crumbling roads, damaged electricity poles, regular water lock-offs, malfunctioning street lights, high numbers of homicides every year, and an obvious lack of concern for keeping the physical environment clean can make claim to economic growth. Given those circumstances, is it reasonable to portray Jamaica as “the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business”, Mr Prime Minister?

Can someone indicate what is being done to make Jamaica more competitive in the global marketplace, and also what manner of investments are being attracted into the country that will result in growth?

There is also the matter of changing the nation's attitude toward productivity. A nation cannot grow unless its people want it to grow. There needs to be innovation, collaboration, forward-thinking, discipline, strategic planning, reduced crime, government transparency, etc. One of the hindrances to development in this country is that a lot of people do not want to work. They prefer to eat cheese trix, watch TV and listen to pointless garbage music with dirty lyrics all day — sometimes on stolen electricity. They want to sit on the corner while rigorously churning up 'leaves' in their palms and being 'bad mind' towards those who make an honest living. Some of them are also busy making babies that they cannot properly support, who may well continue the trend. These are just the tip of the tip of the iceberg of factors that need to be addressed if anyone is serious about growth.

Apart from the able-bodied freeloaders of society who do not want to work and who believe that they are somehow entitled to daily pocket money from employed people who are already strained with the high cost of living, what exactly is being done to motivate productive and skilled Jamaicans to work towards development? What mechanism is there that encourages persons to come forward with their brilliant ideas? How approachable and receptive are CEOs and politicians towards productive suggestions that challenge their status quo? There are many at the top of the corporate ladder who are stubborn to accept new ideas and many politicians reject proposals because they feel that their way is golden. This kind of mindset is not conducive to making progress.

This foolishness needs to stop.

If the nation is to develop, politicians and influential affluent businessmen/women need to start thinking critically and creatively, and Jamaicans need to demand better of the people in authority whose policies are not aligned with their well-being and the progression of the nation.

The Writer

blackpencilpoint@gmail.com

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