I am losing hope in Jamaica

For some reason this morning, I just was overcome with this feeling of what I can only describe as a sense of hopelessness.

It seems no matter how hard you try, not matter how much planning you put into what you do, rarely does anything seems to work the way its suppose to, the way it should work, they way it work elsewhere.

I do what I have been asked to do in terms of helping to move Jamaica forward. I pay my fair share of taxes, I pay my water, electricity, cable etc by making personal sacrifices and forgoing certain niceties in life, simply to ensure I do not have to borrow to meet recurring expenses.

As I drove into Kingston however and looked up at some of the power lines and in plain view you could see the wires that were thrown up , to steal electricity. These folks were stealing electricity in plain sight and had every single light that could be on, on while music played. These folks must have the feeling that they have a right to electricity and they should not be asked to pay for it because ” we need lite too”.

The garbage that is piled up and running unto the streets, the garbage piled up along the road side, drainage with what appeared to be sewage water, the horrific driving by what I must term as insane men , the running of the red lights, the cursing and honking of horns if you do not move off milliseconds after the light has gone from red to green, was simply too much.

You try to ignore all that is going on around you, but that is a very difficult task, because as much as you try, you will confront one of these road hogs once you go on the rd.

You have a car you try to sell by taking it to what is supposed to be a reputable car dealer, the guys sells the car, gives you a cheque that bounces like a basketball. You go back and confront the guy and he gives you excuse after excuse, before months later handing over to you a good cheque.

For decades this country has borrowed an insane amount of money and has spent it all, yet today Jamaica has nothing to show for it. (I am sorry, we have some really luxurious houses and the latest cars, SUV and the latest electronic gadgets)

On Page A11 of today’s Gleaner I see the report of the President of the Senate, who is migrating to Canada with his family . He was reported to have applied to migrate to Canada 5 yrs ago and now that the process is complete,  he has resigned as President of the senate to move to Canada.

As I reflect on what may have been going on in Mr Redwood’s head, given that in his position, he could be considered to be amongst the most fortunate in Jamaica. No doubt he is an educated man, had a reasonable decent and high profile job and as a politician he would have been afforded the trappings of life that many of us could only dream off, yet he has decided that Jamaica is no longer the place to live, work and raise a family.

Mr Redwood  is amongst the many fortunate ones who have an alternative and has decided to execute that alternative plan.

Many of us have no such alternative and as such will have to simply “tuff” it out and hope that one of the marauding gunmen out there don’t take what you have and end your life in the process, while comforted by the fact that the chances of being caught, tried and found guilty is about 20%.

I reflected on that new IMF “deal” and like I have done prior to the deal asked all the questions that I have asked before, what does this new deal represents in real terms, or what is going to be the end game in real terms.

Is there is a frame work that has been clearly laid out with specific scorecards at very specific points in time, which points to success, I have yet to see that and as such I have no way to track our progress.

Last night on TV I heard the new Chairman of the UDC KD Knight saying when he got to the UDC it was in bad shape but now that entity was on the “verge” of recovery. At the end of that statement he was given a hearty applause from the audience present.

I said to myself, what did he just say and what does he mean by the UDC is on the verge of recovery.

No financial information was presented to buttress his claim that the entity was in bad shape and how bad that was and neither was any information present on the current financial situation to support his claim that the said entity was on the verge of recovery.

We however do not mind this lack of data to make any informed analyses or decision, we instead are comforted by the mere announcement that ” they left it bad and we have now fixed it” that is how we seem to measure progress and performance in Jamaica. I keep lamenting the fact that as a country we keep applauding announcements and not performance .

Personally I do not see the economic, crime, manufacturing, agriculture, discipline or any other factor that can be used to determine a progress society getting any better in Jamaica over the next 10 years or maybe even more.

The residents of Jamaica CANNOT even decide on a single policy to improve anything in this country , there is nothing that binds this country together, NOTHING !

I have long lost faith in those placed in a position to lead, I have also lost faith in the private sector as a watch senior managers grab all they can for themselves and putting very little back into the companies to make themselves more competitive.

I see senior managers making decisions that are detrimental to the long-term financial health of the company, but which allows those at the top very significant benefits as they move to ensure that the reap as much as they can before demitting office.

I see managers foregoing investments that can improve productivity while lower operational cost, because there performance bonus is tied to how much money they can save the company, while the workers are asked to make ” blood out of stone” to make it work or risk being terminated.

I see Jamaica becoming  a place which would have descended to the likes of Somalia, unless decisive action is taking by all, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year but NOW!

The biggest drawback is that no one wants to hold themselves accountable as long as  you can come up with a good excuse why you had to do what you did, or conversely failing to do what you agreed to so.

I am at a very low low point today, but I am trying to keep my chin up because in the midst of doom and gloom lies opportunities.

I am less worried about myself as I am about those who are not in a position to make decisions that I can to make life better for themselves and their families. I take very little comfort in the fact that while I do not live a lavish lifestyle , I can survive.

My continued survival is however hinged greatly on those who don’t think they are in a position  do anything but the wrong thing to survive and as such I and many other like myself could very well become the next victim in the “Jamaican Jungle”

In this jungle is not only the fittest that survive, its the most ruthless and aggressive, who are willing to stop at nothing to “eat a food” be it a “big” food as in millions or a “small food”.

Is this the Jamaica we want to continue to live in ?




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