Where’s the plan…

Where’s the plan…

…for the economy

over in the States a couple of decades ago, a new burger chain – Wendy’s – wanted to come out of the shadow of Mc Donald’s, which billed itself “Home of the Big Bun”. Wendy’s had a group of mild, old ladies under the Golden Arches examining a burger with an exaggerated bun and a puny beef patty. With growing disappointment, one of the old dears finally exclaimed in outrage, “WHERE’S THE BEEF????!!”

Not that your Eyewitness is saying the Private Sector Commission (PSC) is a group of old biddies, but he was reminded of the burger ad when, after bemoaning the stuttering economy, they finally burst out at the APNU/AFC Minister of Business sitting in their midst: “WHERE’S THE PLAN??!”

And that’s the question most ordinary citizens are asking as they keep on hearing about the big, fluffy “bun” of promises to “retool” the economy; spending on “education and health”; have the foreign service hock our products; “buy local”; blah, blah, blah. Every official function simply becomes the opportunity for the particular Minister to say whatever comes to mind about the economic slump. Like the drop in drug shipments caused the said slump!

WHERE’S THE PLAN TO JUMP START THE ECONOMY? Your Eyewitness has dedicated countless column inches to this question over the last year. Not because he’s any economics wonk… but he’s scared sh*tless he might be “retrenched” any moment. And he, his wife and kids have developed this terrible habit of expecting to eat every day. He was reading the financials of one of the largest conglomerates in Guyana (with its own bank, to boot!) which admitted in the fine print that its subsidiaries had lost $3 billion in value in the last year!

Now if some of the best managed companies FROM ONE GROUP could shrink like this, what about the much less capitalised and professionally managed ones? So this Eyewitness lifts up his outstretched hands to the hands and shouts, “WHERE’S THE PLAN??” But lest he be accused of just being a wailing Jeremiah, let him regurgitate the threshold suggestion he’s proffered before.

Get off the Neanderthal notion that we can generate economic growth with businessmen NOT getting rich. Profits are what make the economy grow best, baby! And those profits come quickest when they end up in somebody’s pockets rather than the state. Maybe the poor will inherit the earth… but they sure won’t bequeath a vibrant economy. Apart from our “cooperative” experiment failing to generate growth without rich businessmen, Cuba tried and failed with more orthodox socialist methods.

But look where China ended up when they were allowed to create more billionaires than the US of A!

…on accurate reporting

Now don’t get your Eyewitness wrong. Not being one of the super rich who jets off to Aspen for skiing (or even to Baracara for boating!) he’s just as concerned as any member of John Public about his share of the pie along with all those businessmen whose pockets will be stuffed to get our economy to “lift off”. He’s under no illusion they’ll share their gains out of the goodness of their hearts. Not after looking at what’s going on over at Ogle International Airport (OIA) among even their own crowd.

Here it is some businessmen were offered the opportunity to develop OIA – owned by the government. They used grants and soft loans that only came through government (meaning all of us ordinary slobs paying their taxes) involvement. One of them, however – the Correias – elbows out everyone else and pays no taxes.

The solution? Regulation, baby!! Regulation to make sure some of the profits get into the treasury for the rest of us.

…on media reporting

The PSC complained they never said there was a “decade-long decline in economy’ as reported by the Stabber. What they said was there was a “DECLINE in the GROWTH RATE” since 2007.

Slower growth is still growth, nuh?