Paradigm Shift Jamaica

posted in: Opinion, Politics | 0

Jamaica’s Issues

Many folk may not agree with some of the items we list as issues affecting the Jamaican nation and its economy. Let’s give it a shot anyway

  • Jamaica suffers from high crime rate, praedial larceny, and squatting which sucks the lifeblood out of the economy.
  • The energy resources of the island is constrained although we do have abundant energy in our environment.
  • A large proportion of university educated citizens migrate resulting in a brain drain. According to STATIN, 35% of all Jamaicans born since 1960 do not live in country. (approx 1.3 Mil)
  • Government services are inefficient and sometimes punitive.
  • We import foodstuffs which could be grown locally and in many cases our land resources are underutilized.
  • We have allocated a large proportion of our prime land to foreign entities for mining and large scale agriculture (Sugar) to the detriment of the average citizen.
  • According to STATIN if we include citizens not seeking employment the rate of unemployment is up to 40%.

Solutions

There are many immediate solutions that can turn the country around and turn the economy around. These can lead to vast economic growth and happiness. Among these are:

  • A National Service Program
  • A Land Distribution Program
  • A Land Titling Program
  • A Government Service Efficiency Process
  • A 21st Century Constitution

National Service Program

The national service program is intended to alleviate unemployment and to teach.

  • Composed of volunteers who are committed for up to 2 years. Ideally these would be high school graduates and dropouts. Volunteers are supplied with food, clothing, and shelter
  • Housed in autonomous self sustaining camps distributed across the country in each parish with little financial support from government beyond the initial seed capital and crown lands.
  • The main objective of the national service agency is to build out the national road network and infrastructure in perhaps the way the Egyptians built the pyramids.
  • Volunteers are trained in the necessary skills such as earth works, masonry, carpentry, tractor operator, clothes making, agriculture, et al.
  • Volunteers use indigenous materials to build the infrastructure such as concrete reinforced with bamboo.
  • Volunteers graduate with one or more certificates associated with the skills they have developed.
  • Volunteers receive lottery tickets which gives them an opportunity to win a land title.

The Land Distribution Program

The main thesis here is the land ownership is not widely distributed. We can provide a stake in the national development by providing citizens a way to build equity.

  • Crown lands are divided into small parcels which are sized for use as farms, homes, or commercial ventures.
  • Jamaican Born citizens are allowed to obtain title to these parcels in an auction and though a series of lotteries.
  • The government does not fund the cost of infrastructure. This is left to the nation service program, to the individual owners, and/or to groups of owners.

The Land Titling Program

For one reason or another as of 2012 up to 35 percent of all privately held land in Jamaica is untitled or the recognized owned does not hold title. This denies the owner an ability to use the equity in their property development.

This program should be used to accelerate the distribution of titles to recognized owners. When property posessors hold title they are more likely to develop it. They can more easily transfer it to release stored equity.

Properties whose owners have not paid property taxes should be auctioned to the highest bidder.

Government Service Efficiency

  • Government services should be modernized to provide efficient low cost services to the average citizen.
  • The time to delivery of licenses, permits, and titles has to be reduced to hours or days.
  • All processes have to re-evaluated with a view to streamlining. These processes should be published online in a simple form to help citizens understand their requirements.
  • More effective inter-agency communication is needed to reduce the need for citizens to go from one agency to another to complete a process.

The 21st Century Constitution

  • The Jamaican constitution should be rewritten. A constitution for a 21st Century Jamaica is needed.
  • The constitution should establish a separation between the administrative branch and the legislative branch. This can be done by replacing the governor general with a president.
  • Libel law reform is necessary because it is too punitive, hinders freedom of speech especially for the media, and restrains dissemination of information that the public needs to make good decisions.
  • Local bodies such as the parish councils or town mayors should have greater autonomy to make policy and development decisions with minimal oversight from the central government.
  • Many policy decisions made by smaller entities are more effective and has a greater chance of citizen cooperation than a few decisions made by a central governmental entity.

Expected Outcome

  • Small Business formation will accelerate
  • Average citizens will organically contribute to national economic growth because the opportunities for free enterprise is enhanced
  • Less graduates will migrate
  • Praedial Larceny and squatting will be drastically reduced
  • Businesses and farmers will be able transport goods from remote areas easily
  • Crime will naturally settle to a much lower level over time and the cost of security will likewise subside