GORDON 'Butch' Stewart, the Sandals Resorts International and Jamaica Observer chairman, last week urged Jamaicans not to sit around and wait for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but to do everything to earn their way out of Jamaica's difficulties. Here are some of the comments on Stewart's call, from Observer online readers:
chuck emanuel: I concur! It is also my hope that we aggressively go after all tax evaders, resisters, dodgers, protesters, avoiders, and scammers to collect the revenues owed to our treasury. In this way, we can continue to fund this so-called free education and healthcare at least.
Mark Chue: Is there a market for the exportation of corruption? Maybe we could look at this seriously as we have perfected the art.
Jemjem3: I love your comment so much, I had to post it on my f/b. You couldn't have said a better thing.
Karl Henry: Oh boy! You said it my friend! I have the same idea but just a bit different. Jamaica needs an economic executive committee containing only members from the business community minus any politicians. I nominate Mr Gordon 'Butch' Stewart as its first President! If only we could have been that lucky to have a man like Butch running Jamaica. I am willing to start a recruiting campaign to draft Mr Stewart for leadership of this once great country.
Inmyown Words: It certainly does seem like everything in Jamaica is at a standstill as they wait for the IMF to let off money and austerity... It looks like the only plan is the IMF money, and the IMF money is the only plan. The Government needs to outline an Alternative Economic Plan/Path if IMF fails... As a matter of fact, forget the IMF and just do the Alternative Economic Plan/Path ourselves... Where is the fallback procedure, our Disaster Recovery and Alternate Processing plan? It really does feel like economic stagnation.
circa1838: "With good leadership and direction..." Sorry there, Mr Stewart, we have no leadership currently. The ship is adrift and the rudder needs repair; we are in shark infested waters. Is there a selfless captain anywhere?
mikhail: Well said Butch. I am a business student and all you said makes so much sense. I wonder if the people in government that are in charge of the financial part had experience in fiscal policies. The greatest measure of a country doing good is the gross domestic product which is export minus imports. If we aren't exporting this means our country's economy is weak and the people as a whole will have a lower standard of living
PoeticJustice: This man holds the cards on how to get Jamaica out of the dark ages. He, as a successful business man, should try more than just offer advice that will fall on deaf ears.
john: The PNP throughout history has never been a party that is interested in Education & Production. They "only" focus on what they can "eat a food" from.
natalie: Well said, Butch.
tpack: I agree with Mr Stewart. For too long the country has been borrowing and also importing more now than ever. At the rate we are going, there won't be a thing Jamaican to buy and to get the people out of this mindset that we want foreign goods when natural and healthy is made and grown a yard.
Brooklyn_man: About the only sensible thing I have read.
paul thomas: Well said, Mr Stewart. I would love to have you as a leader of the country cause I know you have the plan to move the country forward!!! Maybe you need to get louder, not just by making your comment in the daily paper but using the airwaves to utter it out loud and get the country behind you!!! Cause you seem like a man who knows what loving Ur country and want to see it succeed is all about!!!
Brooklyn_man: Paul Thomas, let the man run his business. Running a country is different than a business. A savvy and nimble move in business if made in govt can be viewed as corruption. It's just different.
paul thomas: Brooklyn_man, running a country, I don't see the difference because all it comes down to is decision-making and future planning!!! It all come down to what u reap, you sow!!! Simple as that!!! With that I am speaking from experience.
Pecho: Mr Stewart is ever so right. What then is wrong in incorporating his ideas and those of others in making concrete plans to lift JA again? There could be a 'strategic planning group' formed to implement programmes to get us moving. This group would be comprised of great minds from the PNP/JLP and other independent thinkers. Put Mr Stewart in charge so we can start singing Jamaica Land We Love.
Vernon Barrett: What Jamaica needs to do is take a fresh look at itself and we don't have to look too far. We have countries whose economies are BOOMING all around us — Panama, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico. Brazil is the SECOND largest emerging economy in the WORLD, AFTER China... We need to re-engineer the way we look externally at markets, learn some Spanish and venture out into these non-traditional markets. We still TOO CONVENTIONAL in our approaches and act like victims of LEGACY THINKING... Get some RADICAL RE-ENGINEERING underway. And yes, Exports is not just products. Still, leadership comes from Vision. Change comes from Action.
stress999: We will not progress as a country until we have the right personnel in the right position. We need people with intelligence, character, leadership, competence, and accountability. Any system: government, sports, education, etc. When you have qualified individuals in critical positions, you tend to have some form of success.
brinnob: It is a shame with all the education being taught and the educators who teach, we can't seem to put anything into practice. Learning without doing is useless. Everyone knows what Mr Stewart says is true, so why can't we just act?
chrissy: Well said, Mr Stewart... Really appreciate your advice to the government and I'm certain it won't go in vain. Portia is gonna give you a call soon,give her all the advice you can. If you are able give them a 3-month volunteer period, do that, save this nation please. Jamaica, this is someone who thinks. These are the persons we need as leaders, someone who isn't money hungry.
pc94707: These are fine words from Mr Stewart, but what has he ever exported? Butch made his fortune from IMPORTING, then Tourism. It's easy to give advice, but how do we IMPLEMENT all those wonderful ideas?
Karl Henry: pc94707, your ideas are the real reason why we are the way we are. How can you argue with Mr Stewart's success? All he has ever imported are revenues for the Jamaican treasury. This man is a true patriot who has nothing but love for his country and would love nothing better than to see a prosperous Jamaica. All you seem to do is import jealousy and ignorance.
researchrat: pc94707, don't tell me you didn't know that tourism is defined as export? Not to mention the fact that Jamaicans are sent from Sandals to work overseas and they send back foreign exchange.
tvstreamjm: Mr Stewart, you said the right thing sir. Produce! Produce! Produce! Borrowing won't get us anywhere.