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.,

Kingston 8



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~ by RB on July 16, 2009.

7 Responses to “Jamaica: A Nation of Beggars?”

  1. From my experiences, I would concur that Jamaica is a nation of beggars, even though I am heavily generalizing. I can’t recall a day walking on the road and not have someone beg me money. There are some many beggars on the streets, from the handicapped to able bodies men! Women with children on the streets begging, and various groups begging. Schools send out children to beg money with tins to support the school and our governments begs. It’s not hard to conclude that Jamaica is a nation of beggars.

  2. Stunner you probably look like someone who always have money LOL

    Seriously though- what you said is so true. when schools send children out to beg in “aide of the school building fund” that’s like training future beggars although some people might look at it other wise. Another way to look at it is that some times in a country like ours opportunity is limited and the creativity and resourcefulness of the individual Jamaican has pushed them down to the lowest level, begging.

    Don’t for get diplomatic begging. It might look more formal and dressed up in fancy suits with big words and meetings, but successive governments have begged Jamaica into a deep hole of debt with ridiculous terms to repay (I call it begging). They also beg for “Aide” and “grants” to fill gaps in the budget and ask for special treatment in international markets. Our ministers and technocrats will go to international agencies with hand held out with IOUs

  3. I agree we might be a nation of beggars but who can blame us?
    We are still living with a slavery mentality.

    So instead of embracing our independence we still think that the “big man” owes us. Only now the big man comes in different colors and shapes.

    As a nation we’ve inherited the begging custom and until we all come to terms with why we’re like this we can never break the cycle.

    Those were my 2 cents. Beg pass.

    Nadya Dee

  4. Well said NadyaDee

  5. Wow, serious thing here. I just discovered your blogsite and I really enjoy it. Thus, I would like to take this wider. I used to live in Los Angeles and for years it was not uncommon to find children 8, 10, 13 years old begging to pump your gas for you at the gas station. 10 years ago I moved to the Atlanta aree and was astounded to see school children sent out by the school or even their parents to beg for money for this event or that trip or for some athletic event they wanted to attend, because this didn’t happen in California. And as you may know ATL is over 65% Black population. So, could we postulate that Black people, as a whole, are a nation of beggars? Or is it only in areas where the Black population is the highest, ie Atlanta, Memphis, the Caribbean? In addition, the U.S. government secretly begs. Any time they request the Fed print more money that is money that comes at a cost almost from they time Obama (begs) request it.

  6. Ensagn, thanks for the comment. I am thinking of what you said. Are black people a race of beggars?. WOW-I know a lot of people who would be so upset that we could even think or say this about “our own people” but it makes me wonder. I guess we can not generalize or stereotype please this way but you can not ignore facts which show other wise. As for the US government printing money, well I guess if could say its begging too. virtually creating money out of thin air. When China buys all those American bonds now that’s begging on a super level.

  7. Yea DEFINITELY Jamaica is . Its no wierd to say that.
    I’d like to talk about my experience in Jamaica.

    They steal things without SHAME. They dnt know that other ppl except them know they stole it. Actually they have LOW IQ.. One of my friend wanted to help young children on the road who was begging .( u know what? there r so many ppl standing on the car road and when ppl in the car don’t give them they hit the car window). So,he took children to his house and said to them, if they clean his house he will give them money. And they stole everything . camera,phone,pc,notebook, even detergent.

    In the AIRPORT, IF YOUR BAGGAGE LOOKS GOOD THEY WILL STEAL YOUR STUFFS INSIDE YOUR BAGGAGE.
    WHEN I MAILED MY BAGGAGE AT AMERICA IT WAS FULL
    WHEN I GOT BAGGAGE LATE AT JAMAICA AIRPORT ,HALF OF THE THINGS INSIDE WAS LOST

    and be careful of their policeman’s stealing
    they make rules when they see good car lol
    and they will arrest you if you say how unfair they r lol
    BUT IF YOU GIVE THEM 500 and say *have a drink* they wil allow u lool
    policeman in jamaica r dogs

    THEY LOVE TO TLAK THAT EVERYTHING IS UNFAIR EXCEPT THEIR BEHAVIOR LOL POOR JAMAICANS…

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