2013 will undoubtedly be one the most challenging years in our history.
On the bright side we are proud that tourism continues on an upward trajectory and murders continues on its downward path. The successes of Edmund Bartlett, the former Minister of Tourism and the hard nosed crime fighting techniques of the previous administration live with us to this day and we must encourage the current administration and more so Ministers Dr. Wykeham McNeill and Peter Bunting to ensure continued success in these areas. We are also proud of our athletes, musicians and the many others who continue to make their mark on the local and global stage.
On a not so bright note each and every Jamaican will be caught up in what will be an economic super storm that will throw thousands more into poverty and drag down the standard of living for many thousands more. Someone very close to the current government pointed out to me yesterday that many Jamaicans appear oblivious to what’s coming this year. His assessment was frightening but not surprising. After all the Minister of Finance Dr. Peter Phillips clearly jolted by the horrific economic circumstances, lack of support from the Cabinet, no major progress with an IMF agreement and the atrocious leadership of his Prime Minister, experienced an emotional breakdown before constituents and media a few days ago.
See CVM News report with Dr. Peter Phillips’emotional breakdown and the IMF debacle – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVcH3q33Y1g
A ROUGH YEAR
With no IMF agreement in near sight, according to one very well informed source and of no surprise to any reasoned person, the dollar will continue to slide only but at a more accelerated rate reaching the dreaded J$100: US$1 very soon; thousands of public sector workers will lose their jobs; more businesses will go belly up with sales already falling in many instances by 50 percent; Jobs will become as scarce as ever; bad loan portfolios will skyrocket; food, gas and other items will see price increases ranging from 20 to 30 percent compared to January 2012; Electricity bills will become more expensive; crime will become more difficult to manage and their will be a spike in robberies and worst yet the Simpson-Miller led government may very well begin to fall apart. Add to that the increasing inability of the government to carry out basic functions including garbage collection, street cleaning, road repairs, health services, policing and so on.
The grumblings within the government are getting louder and louder. The problem is poor leadership.
We all want the best for Jamaica and had the government acted with intelligent alacrity last year we would be in a far better position. The bitter medicine will now become poison, collapsing any credible hope for success.
To make matters worse the government in one single act has destroyed its credibility and pretty decent mandate by purchasing sixteen luxury SUVs for its Ministers with scarce Tax dollars in this a time of economic peril and suffering. The Police for instance desperately need hundreds of new vehicles and other equipment.
So what to do? Albert Einstein said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.” Let’s keep doing that and pray that good sense prevails sooner rather than later.