We Are In A Brave New New World, Requiring A Different, Mature, Nationalist Approach
Over the past year the PSOJ has been heard to speak on a plethora of issues across a wide subject area of National life.
This activity has engendered some criticism as to its appropriateness and authority to do so and it is, I submit, necessary for me to make an evidence-based response to that criticism.
Firstly, let me point out that in democracies and non-Statist Countries such as ours, the Private Sector is the equal of the State and should be the engine of growth, innovation, creativity and change…..the State assumes the role of facilitator and regulator .
Secondly, the path that Jamaica has taken over the past several decades is one which requires that the State move away from the control of commanding heights of the Economy and allow for participation by the Private Sector to a much greater degree in ensuring growth and development through enterprise and investment of Private Capital.
This implies a much greater degree of independence, involvement, participation, dialogue and yes, criticism not only by the Private Sector, but indeed, Civil Society in general…..it can’t be any other way unless we want to return to the days of Backra Massa and Clientelism.
Each and every one of use must take up our God given burden and shoulder it in the furtherance of a Common objective…the betterment of our Nation and its people without fear or favour, prejudice or bias, like or dislike…
We can’t have it both ways…
Either we give back control to one set of rulers or the other or we encourage, cajole, coerce, demand and persuade leadership from our chosen set of managers through the democratic process of elections from time to time!
Thirdly, the decision that we have made in the last decade is to cast off the yoke of a low wage economy …a mendicant Nation that has gone to the IMF fifteen times in the past forty odd years, and choose a path of growth and development that requires Independent thought, hard choices, rigorous equity in our treatment of one another, creativity, good governance and finally accountability and transparency…
This is as buju says…not an easy road!
We must realize that it cannot be business as usual and it is incumbent on our thought leaders and influencers to create the understanding among all our people that all hands must be on deck in furtherance of the achievement of our national and individual goals !
The standard crab in a barrel, partisan, selfish, tribalist, regional, parochial and garrison behavior is a detriment to progress in creating and independent truly sovereign, resilient state…
The road we have chosen, by necessity first involves the development and acceptance of a growth inducement strategy, because in order to achieve our goals it will “take cash to care”.. We will have to complete the correction of our fiscal and monetary imbalance… And we have done well with that to some degree..
We will have to make our people technologically ready, we have to correct the underutilization of our productive capacity, the economic waste of our capital and the concentration of our capital in highly capital-intensive sectors and economic enclaves…
A mighty set of tasks…
Our government cannot do it alone!
So when the PSOJ is heard, cussing, whining, complaining, criticizing. .and occasionally praising…. we believe we are doing our job!
We speak on many subjects because we represent ……..categories of members…universities, banking, business processing, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, distribution, entertainment, construction, energy, micro, small and medium size businesses, individuals and recently. embalmers….you could say we represent the quick and the dead!
So we have to speak on many fronts…and we do this with a staff of twelve! including the groundsman and the office lady..
In the process ..we will mash some corns, ruffle some feathers, make some enemies… Hopefully… Change some habits and make some people think and act positively …we ask for your understanding…your critical and constructive guidance and your understanding that we are in a new paradigm…
The topic this morning demonstrates a new aspect of that paradigm and we hope that the message goes out loud and clear that we are in a brave new new world, requiring a different, mature, nationalist approach to this one chance that we have to putting our country first and changing the lives of our people for once and for all….
Thank you for your presence and support.
The Private Sector Organisation Of Jamaica (PSOJ)
Presentation Given At A Breakfast Meeting Hosted By The Rotary Club Of New Kingston