No PNP led government can bring about economic prosperity in Jamaica

If one just considers the cumulative time the PNP has spent at the helm of governance in Jamaica, one would be lead to believe that this party has the key to Jamaica’s economic development and by now would have moved the country to becoming an economic powerhouse in the Caribbean, but alas that is not the case.

One would therefore be lead to ask, what can only to be a fair question. ” What does the Jamaican people see in the PNP, why they elected so often  to office”?

Each period that  Jamaicans have been led by the PNP,  there has been nothing but destruction of the Jamaican economy, lower productivity levels, rampant corruption and increased levels of crime.

Michael Manley started the process in the 1970’s ,where his misguided policies wreaked havoc on the Jamaican economy.

Edward Seaga and the JLP came on the 1980’s and restored some of what was lost in the 1970’s.

The Jamaican electorate turned once again to the PNP in the 1990’s  and we know, how destructive that period was , they presided over the biggest loss of wealth in this country which culminated in the virtual destruction of the financial sector, manufacturing and agriculture.  Jamaicans, not satisfied with that, continued to vote for the PNP lead by PJ Patterson, who left office with a massive scandal bag full of cash, after he increased pension for himself just before leaving office.

Clovis Toon

For most of the 1990’s into 2000’s most of the economies around the world was growing, but the only thing that was growing under the PNP lead by PJ Patterson, was debt and crimes.

PJ left and Portia Simpson Miller became Prime Minister and the destruction of the Jamaica economy was accelerated and thankfully she was booted from office in 2007, which ushered in the JLP at a time when most of the world major economies were collapsing.   The situation in Jamaica at that time was like a runaway train and one knows how hard it is to stop a train that has no brakes, however the JLP was able to slow things down albeit by  borrowing a ton of money in the process.

With the economy on the verge of recovery, many mindless Jamaicans who claimed to be “hungry” coupled with those who wanted nothing to do with the electoral process amazingly turned back over leadership to the incompetent PNP,  a party which has never despite its long period in office has never been able to move the country forward.

After only 18 months in Office the incompetence of the PNP leadership is once again on show, we have a Prime Minister who spend more time travelling all over the world that leading.  A Prime Minister who could never be even a minister in any other country silent on the major issues of governance and largely clueless as to what economic strategy is to be used to move Jamaica forward.

We have a bunch of lazy PNP cabinet minister collecting  salary for doing nothing, while the country continues to sink faster than the titanic when it hit that iceberg.

I am more than convinced that given its track record and the general mindset of comrades, the PNP will continue in its destructive ways and Jamaica will become the worst place to live in the Caribbean within the next ten years or less if PNP continues to lead this country.

Given that that poverty has increased ie we have created more poor people and the general apathy of the middle class, it’s highly probable that the PNP could win again in 2016.

I really don’t plan to hang around to find out, I have seen enough to tell me its time I start looking for somewhere else to live in the region until Jamaicans have become an educated nation and the PNP is banished from Jamaica.

I have never seen such an incompetent bunch and neither can I ever come across a set of such a mindless rabid supporters as I have seen in Jamaica. I have lived in 3 countries in the Caribbean for over 3 yrs each and I have never  come across people who care more about their political party vs the interest of the country.

Guess what, each of those countries are way ahead of Jamaica on almost every economic indicator. The only the we have over them is more expensive cellphones, cars and big houses.

They earn to maintain their life style , while we borrow to maintain an unsustainable lifestyle.

PNP  and the  Destruction of the Jamaican economy


Michael Manley

PJ Patterson

Portia Simpson Miller


Mindless, uneducated and eat a food people.


17 Responses

  1. PJ was a totally clueless leader whose priorities and policies just seemed so wrong. He seemed to take a very hands off “whatever happens just happens” approach to governance. That’s the same approach he had to dealing with corruption within his administration. All he could do is talk and charm. There was no real urgency to move the country forward and its so ridiculous that him and clueless Omar Davies found such pride and satisfaction in the meeting of their self-set finance and economic targets which were piss low. “Oh we set a target of 0.5% growth and we got 0.6%! WOO!”.

    I continue by my stance that the economic collapse of the 1970’s cannot be blamed greatly on the necessary and well timed government of Michael Manley. Even many labourites are agreeing. Even Delano Seivright accepted my argument on this issue although I don’t think I did too much in actually changing his own opinion. I think there’s enough evidence to show that the situation in the economy throughout the 70’s can be attributed to much more than just the policies of the government of the time. The government’s policies, however, would have surely lowered GDP growth from the rapid growth of the 60’s. I’d say that this is less due to misguided policies of the government and more due to the misguided policies and organization of the world.

    I fail to see how many labour leaners can claim that the economy was on such a verge of recovery. A short period of growth which coincided with an equally short bounce in the depressed global economy and a just as short and small reduction in unemployment does not point towards any change in economic direction that Jamaica has witnessed since the 1990’s. Now tell me what the JLP would od if it had been re-elected to govern in 2011. “however the JLP was able to slow things down albeit by borrowing a ton of money in the process” is absolutely no improvement in the situation of the country. So after nearly doubling or debt and sending our debt to GDP ratio to near 140%, what would they JLP be FORCED to do? Contractionary austerity, that’s what. Basically the same financial policy that the PNP is currently following. Increased taxes, decreased spending. An increase in our primary surplus at all cost because the debt that the JLP is about 50% to be blamed for was completely unsustainable. I’m no expert on economics but I know the basics and I can’t see anyway how anything other than recession or VERY VERY small growth could have taken place over the last few years.

    • Sorry, buy IMF = Is Manley’s Fault. He was more interested in piddling welfare programs (free school uniforms, WTF?) instead of actual infrastructure development, gave bauxite levy money to a business class that he then chased away, and had absolutely no plan for industrialization. Dumb stuff like deficit spending during the ’73 Oil Shock didn’t make any damn sense, which is why we’re still paying for it all these years later.

      • I’ve never said that his administration was anywhere near perfect. But the social effects could have been much bigger and the economic effects much less severe had other pressures not been so prominent.

    • Msupdate, I strongly believe that the jlp would have done a better job, since the jlp created the growth strategies which are being touted by the present administration. For example, the Logistics Hub was the brainchild of Mike Henry and I know for a fact that he would have been more proactive than Anthony Hylton. Even pnp members are of the view that Hylton is not good for the job and there is also the view that they want Portia to fail. Contrary to what people believe the pnp is not necessarily united

      • Tell me about it. Hylton is one of those members of the cabinet who have no clue what’s going on. There’s a good idea but really have no idea how to successfully reach the end result.

        • msupdate, some people on this blog think that I can only quote, but I strongly believe that opinions should be based on empirical facts and we should learn to quote them in an attempt to validate our perspectives. However, when I write about technical issues which are above infantile Jamaican politics these people do not respond, because Jamaicans are not interested in policy only personalities. For example, when I write about political issue in the gleaner I get a lot of comments if I write about the economy I get none. This letter got only 8 comments, letters which examine the feud between both parties got innumerable comments

          Letter of the day

          Based on the comments of individuals in light of the impasse between the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) and the Ministry of Education, it can be concluded that Jamaicans are missing the point.

          The crux of the matter is that Jamaica has a debt burden which is unsustainable, hence the need for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. Because of this agreement, entitlement reform must take place.

          Although study leave is not an entitlement because it must be approved by the minister of education, it is an expensive venture, costing the Government $1.8 billion.

          Jamaica’s education system is in shambles because of poor implementation policy, courtesy of the Ministry of Education, and the lack of an effective professional body for teachers.

          In Finland, teachers are drawn from the top 10 per cent of the graduating cohort, while in Hong Kong, they are drawn from the top 30 per cent. If we want to improve educational outcomes, the Ministry of Education must ensure that only the best and brightest graduates become teachers and are well paid.

          In addition, the Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE) is responsible for making recommendations on teacher training and the certification of teachers, but only 16 per cent of math teachers are qualified. This is an indictment on the JBTE!

          Conversely, the Caribbean Policy Research Institute recently indicated that “most principals in the school system lack the capacity to formulate strategic plans”.

          Jamaica needs a well-functioning institute of education, similar to organisations in Australia and Singapore. This institute would be responsible for improving the managing and accounting capabilities of school leaders.

          No reform can take place in education without the transformation of the JTA. The teachers’ union must become less cantankerous and more strategic. Every year, the JTA organises a conference, but this is not enough, and the findings from these events are rarely implemented. In Australia, the Australian Teacher Education Association is one of the more prestigious professional bodies. Its objectives include:

          To improve the nature, quality and availability of professional development for teacher educators.

          To promote and disseminate research, ideas and practices, innovation and evaluation in teacher education.

          Jamaicans should not pay attention to the impasse between the JTA and the Ministry of Education, because it is a distraction from the problems plaguing the education system. Furthermore, both parties are equally incompetent, the JTA lacks vision and the minister is clueless.

          The feud between both parties is like a blessing in disguise. Because of it, no one will pay attention to the failings of the parties involved

          I wrote it

  2. I would venture to think that the JLP would’ve continued the policies they were pursuing. That is, lower taxes to spur increase economic activity.

    Remember for the whole of 2011 the country was off the IMF programme and we did not collapse, instead we were doing better than what we are doing now.

    Right now if I get the chance to migrate I’m gone. With this clueless bunch we have now we are doom.

    • Uhh… JLP policy? Lower taxes to increase economic activity? Did I fall off of the face of the earth at some point? I genuinely don’t recall that ever happening. The nearly $40 billion total in tax packages between 2009 to 2010 alone could surely not be offset by a relatively mild tax package in 2011. Maybe if the JLP had managed to pass through comprehensive tax reform during their time in government, but they unfortunately didn’t.

      And regardless of whether they increased or decreased taxes, can you really tell me that it’s good policy to increase spending at the rate they were with a contracting economy whether or not taxes are increased or decreased? Unsustainable debt is the only possible result.

  3. In 2009 and 2010 the JLP foolishly followed the IMF prescription with those tax packages and later realized the folly of that and began to implement an incremental tax reform policy.

    I see the PNP increasing taxes right now and we are getting the result of that misguided policy.

    We cannot tax our way out of debt. The country will ground to a halt and there will be social unrest.

    The finance minister, BOJ governor and some analysts are saying that people must not panic over the depreciation of the JAD because it will augur well for exports. I say that theory is crap. Our dollar has being depreciated for 40 years now and it has done squat for our exports.

    We are an import depended country and even the baby on the breast knows that any movements in the exchange rate will cause the price of goods and services to go up.

    • But the contractionary austerity continued into 2011, just that the tax measures weren’t quite as shocking as the previous years. There was no “lower taxes to increase economic activity”. The JLP had an excellent proposition for tax reform but do policies really matter if they’re not implemented?

  4. The normal assumption at election time, is that the incoming government was elected to make things better and to change the direction and or policies made by the former government.
    The general expectations is the incoming government will do a better job than the one voted out.

    It therefore is surprising to listen to those who seek to the defend the mismanagement of this administration by asking ” what would have the other party done differently”, while noting that they would have done the same things this current bunch of incompetent leaders are doing.

    If we assume that this defense is correct, then on what basis was the former administration voted out of office?

    I guess the answer must be Jamaicans prefer to suffer under a PNP government vs a JLP lead government and like Luther Vandross said

    ” I’d rather have bad time with you(PNP), than good times with someone else”.

    Jamaica will continue to suffer until the day Jamaicans wake up and decide to voted based on actual performance and the fundamental issues facing the nation vs rabid support for any political party.

    Its the time the middle class wake up and become a participant in the process, otherwise the “eat a food people” will continue to make bad choices resulting in all of us suffering the consequences of that poor choice.

    • The fundamental policy direction can be the same if it is what is necessary. But the exact details of implementation can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the policy and the end result. For example, the JLP’s proposed version of tax reform seemed to have been much more effective than the one of the PNP claims to be implementing.

      What the JLP was doing from 2007 to 2011 is much different from what they would have been forced to do had they won the 2011 election. During their time in government they borrowed to pay for their mildly stimulus program and they borrowed to defend the currency. Had they continued to borrow and the same rate to try to stimulate the economy after it slipped back into recession in the final quarter of 2011 our debt to GDP ratio would surely be over 150% now, possibly quite a bit higher.

      When I supported the PNP around the time of the 2011 election I knew that whichever party won would have to follow a very similar path. But my choice of support at the time was based on my thought that our debt is the biggest burden that we now face as a country and that the JLP’s policies managed to make that party around 50% responsible for that burden in just their 4 years in power. At least it took the PNP 18 whole years to kill us (*facepalm*).

      • It’s so sad that I made my decision of which party to support based on which party I felt took a longer time to inflict an equal amount of destruction on our country. That’s a very sad indication of where we are today.

      • Msupdate, do not believe the garbage that the jlp did a lot of wrong in four years. The pnp had more scandals during its first term than the jlp, and most of the debt came from the previous pnp administration during 1991-2007 the pnp increased the debt by over 7883%. I can’t believe that you actually expected a Portia Simpson Milller led administration to achieve anything. It didn’t take the pnp 18 years to kills us, the world economy was just better, 40,000 businesses were destroyed in the 90s. Most Jamaicans will share your view because they don’t take the time to read anything

  5. Wow . You hit the nail right on its head .
    I have always wondered the same thing , and has concluded that the “eat a food mentality ” was deeply entrenched from the Manley era . He also creates a cultist movement and as such the people just follow the leader . To think for themselves require too much so they put in the party that enabled them from time to time

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