No…your Eyewitness hasn’t suddenly had a Damascene-like conversion to Marxism! But, really, we gotta accept Marx’s point that we can’t ever separate a society from its economics. Not in the deterministic fashion the carbuncle-ridden revolutionary proposed, but that they do influence each other.
As to whether they do so “dialectically”, I leave that to the PPP’s old guard! You didn’t know about Marx’s painful sores all over his body – but particularly on his butt – which made his life a living hell? Well, he did promise friend Engles: “The bourgeoisie will remember my carbuncles until their dying day.”!!! Gave an edge to his radicalism!!
Anyhow, back to our own dear Mudland that’s so much muddier with the Noah-like floods that landed a double whammy – along with COVID-19 – in the national solar plexus. We need a dose of Roosevelt’s “3-Rs” that got the US out of their Great Depression – RELIEF, RECOVERY AND REFORM. While we’re not in a depression, the oil revenues, which mostly end up in the oil majors’ pockets, mask the fact that the non-oil economy has performed pretty poorly…and in fact shrunk under the fortunately- departed PNC.
COVID-19 has already hit our service industry for a loop, and most SMEs are under pressure. The rains and floods are certainly going to devastate the forestry sector and agriculture, especially sugar. Albion – our biggest sugar producer – just announced it might lose all of its canes for the coming crop. And the Meteorological Department just announced that the rains might continue way into August, which would put even rice under threat. While rice needs water, it demands periods of sunshine and dry spells during its growth and ripening spells.
So, now for the 3-Rs. The Government and the Private Sector have done a commendable job with relief up to now, but the need will extend for months, and we can’t let up. This relief is a critical element of our economic resilience and recovery, but COVID-19 has brought home the fact that we have to reform our approach, both in living together and our way of working. Our lives will now be divided into pre-COVID and post-COVID eras, and our reforms must reflect this seismic moment.
For instance, we’ve been emphasising physical infrastructure as the main thrust of our development plans, but because of the COVID dynamics, we should give equal attention to our digital infrastructure. Working out of the office would become the default option of many firms, but its success would depend on our connectivity.
The Government, wisely, has already deregulated the sector, but, unfortunately, not much has changed.
The Govt will have to become the catalyst!
…for Govt feather-bedding?
From all that’s been revealed since the PNC’s rigging attempt failed, another aspect of Burnham’s legacy that Granger sought to fulfill was the former’s bloating of the Public Service with his supporters. Before Volda, there was Burnham: “All my friends are PNC, and we only hire our friends!” One respected academic revealed that while Granger fired 7000 sugar workers, he increased the Public Service by 76% – more than 12,000 workers!! And we all knew who these workers were!
The new administration at GWI announced that GWI had bloated their staff by 700, and more than doubled the wage bill – even while they couldn’t pay their bills, and had accumulated billions in debt! Now comes the revelation that, while all of this was going on, former CEO Van West-Charles spent $30M for Anniversary and Christmas parties as an “investment in workers”!
The PNC’s now claiming victimisation – and of course “racism” – now that GWI will retrench 300 of the bloated staff!
All 700 should’ve been let go!
…with vaccine tourism?
There’s a new fad of the rich – vaccine tourism. the rich from across the world are flying to the US, where they can get shots of the COVID-19 vaccines that are unavailable in their countries!
And yes…from Guyana also!