Can National Notoriety Promote Trade? An interesting development has surfaced in the crucial tourist venues on Jamaica’s main north coast vacationing areas. Information published in Jamaica’s media points to evidence, that our recent success at athletics on the world stage has not created an impetus for our success as a tourist destination. Jamaican athletes have performed in exemplary manner this season; no thanks to those detractors who bellyache consistently.
Despite the many benefits accruing from Jamaica’s efforts to promote social reform; our society has not managed to convince the advantaged that an uneducated mass, like a massive anchor, is disadvantageous to all. They can only see impropriety, and must decry the substantial investment we made to correct the social inequality we inherited from 6 centuries of inhuman exploitation.
Entrepreneurs in the tourist sector have now complained. An article in the Daily Gleaner of September 15th, as headlined, follows:
“Tourism Minister Edmond Bartlett says a Comprehensive facelift programme is slated to begin in Ocho Rios, St Ann, starting next Wednesday”
Minister Bartlett was reacting to concerns in Tuesday’s (9/13) Gleaner. Pronouncements, made by stakeholders, during the Gleaner Editors’ Forum in Ocho Rios; claimed that certain responsibility, normally the duty of the islands Parish Councils, had been spurned by the St Ann body.
Many points made, in the articles as well as in the commentary they attracted, decry the sordid, often insanitary, condition existing at two north coast resort areas. Another condition decried was the social harassment meted out to our vacationing guests by some local residents. Much of the hue and cry was aimed with negative invective at the political cadre of both parties. It seems prudent to this writer that he could introduce an element of objectivity to the subject.
The Degrading Side of Extended Un-employment
What happens when a community is wracked by unemployment over an extended period of time? Several probabilities emerge. The overall purchasing power in the system is more likely to decline than not; economic activity is likely to decline in proportion. Entrepreneur’s experiencing a reduced sale volume and wishing to maintain previous standards of living; are likely to increase prices.
Increased prices will further reduce purchase volume and spread community wise. The less competitive elements will fail, more layoff’s occur, unemployment becomes extended. Substantial numbers of the unemployed become un-employable. Many may turn to begging; many turn to crime, become prison fodder, and be a burden to the state. Some may go insane.
If the community is unable to immediately undertake substantial remedial action, (retrain personnel, relocate the workforce, initiate relief work programs, etc. etc.); then, itinerant communal ghettoes are likely to form in what would normally be uninhabitable areas as well as adjacent to communal property and/or where there is high pedestrian traffic. Such accommodations are likely to constitute a health hazard.
Sensible state intervention will concentrate efforts at the base of the income structure. It is only at this juncture that available resources will provide purchasing capacity to the highest numbers of persons. Viewing the displaced as lackadaisical, beggarly, degraded, incapable of reformation; then using that argument to deny them the opportunity to strive is an inhuman consideration. Applying draconian police action to enforce that style of thought is even more distasteful and can only acerbate the situation.