Playing games…

…with growth
Finance Minister Jordan and the rest of the Government continues to play games with the concept of “economic growth”, 50 years AFTER the United Nations and every development economist on planet Earth have warned against disjuncturing it from “development”. “Growth” is just a number that’s associated with “production” – which oftentimes has nothing to do with improving the lives of the masses of people in the country.
Take our situation in Guyana – where the Government’s boasting about “growth” when there hasn’t even been growth in production! Sugar’s doing so badly there’s no way we can make even HALF of the production the British Bookers used to routinely rake in during the “bad old days”. Then, 28,000 workers used to be employed and collected profit sharing – when now half of the present 17,000 will be thrown into the streets by year-end. What does “growth” mean to them?
Then there’s the boast about the “growth” of rice production compared to 2016. This is scandalous!! Back in 2014, farmers had already EXCEEDED 600,000 tonnes of production. By 2016, because the Government refused to intervene to save the lucrative Venezuelan market, farmers’ production plummeted. So now they’re BOASTING that we MIGHT APPROACH 600,000 this year!!?? What a bunch of jokers!
The Government couldn’t even spend the money it allocated in its last Budget – which could have helped generate some real growth and development by at least employing some folks and paying them salaries rather than just taxing them! As we’ve pointed out time and again…whatever “growth” Guyana will achieve in its GDP is coming from gold production – while almost EVERY other sector of the economy is shrinking.
Now gold production’s presently dominated by a couple of FOREIGN companies that are very heavily mechanised to begin with. So after they pay their five per cent royalty, they siphon off the billions and billions they earned on the sale of the gold, to THEIR own country. To DEVELOP their country. Point of the matter is, if this Government was serious, it would get with the rest of the developing world and start looking at other measures to signal how their PEOPLE are doing.
We don’t even have to use the “happiness index” several European countries have copied from Nepal. Unemployment rates are as good a indicia as any for us. If folks are employed at least we can assume they have some dignity in calling their own shots. They don’t have to grovel for handouts as is happening at Wales – just eight months after their sugar factory was arbitrarily closed by Government.
And the irony of all this is even according to the GROWTH rate metric…it had to be revised downwards!!

…with prisoners
So after the several escapes and convicted prisoners still running loose, up comes another report that in the wave of an uprising at the Timehri jail, one prisoner was shot and killed while trying to escape. What all of this signals to this apprehensive Imagine Eyewitness is fellas in our penal system have absolutely no respect for those in charge.
Sure, prisoners are always planning to escape…that’s the nature of the institutional action and reaction. But the nature of the reactions in our prisons and jails shows that the prisoners feel they can take on the wardens and guards at any time. Imagine burning down the largest jail in Guyana – and then waltzing out of the front gate!!
And it’s not too difficult to discern why the prisoners are so emboldened. With the amount of contraband – even tattoo tools!! – found in jails and prisons after EVERY sweep, it’s clear a hell of a lot of wardens have been corrupted.
Who’d said Rohee didn’t know his ass from his elbow?

…with taxes
Imagine the Government conceded even GROWTH is heading south, it announced it’s tax collections have increased by 13 per cent!!!
Talk about getting blood from stone!!