Jamaica: A Nation of Beggars?
I found this letter in the Jamaica Gleaner to be interesting. The writer says that Jamaica is a nation of beggars. Children beg their peers, Adults beg relatives abroad and the Jamaican government begs from other governments.
I agree with some of the points made, but is it really fair to say Jamaicans are a nation of beggars in such a general way. Are we all beggars or benefit directly or indirectly by begging whether we like it are not?
Are you a beggar?, read the letter.
The Editor, Sir:
Begging is a habit that pervades the Jamaican society. School-children beg their peers for food. Adults beg relatives abroad to send money home and the Government is getting ready to beg from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Some may say that the money from the IMF is, in fact, a loan. However, the Government has failed to articulate how it plans to use this money to create wealth. With no wealth being generated, it will be nearly impossible to pay back the IMF. In short, the Government is almost destined to beg more money from another source to pay its debt.
It seems almost guaranteed that the IMF will grant our request, but I wonder whether this is in the best interest of Jamaica. Because of this constant need to have others meet our needs, we have strangled the ability to be innovative. The Jamaica Labour Party ran and proved victorious its promise of change. This recession is in fact the perfect opportunity for the Government to demonstrate its ability to do things differently. What it has, instead, proven is that it is as equally starved of ideas as the previous government.
If the IMF decides to lend us money, the Government will be vilified. However, if this request is rejected, then the Government probably would be forced to find creative solutions to the problems we face. In Jamaica we have no shortage of ideas. If the Govern-ment cannot find them from within, it may find them outside. It’s time for the Government to engage the population in trying to find effective solutions to our problems instead of begging.
I am, etc.,