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As promised. Enclosed is a letter that both the Stabroek News and the Guyana
Chronicle failed to print. Reason is it is too outrageous or dumb.

Subject: An Opinion

To the editor.

All Guyanese have an opinion about the causes of Guyana's problems. They have also put forward ideas about solving these problems, but the problems of Guyana are tripartite in nature, and have three branches that are Politics, Economics and Social.
These three disciplines have interlocking attributes that should not be separated. They are of the same ilk and have a common thread that permeates each one. These disciplines, even though they have some separate and distinct characteristics are very much dependent on each other for inputs. As a consequence, any government that neglects to address these three disciplines and their inherent issues simultaneously will fail.

Governments trying to solve problems of one discipline without being cognizant of the resulting pressures and infusion on the other two will find the fruits of their efforts being minimized, resulting in minute changes for the efforts expended.

The failure of past governments to ensure that an all inclusive political agenda was put in place to accommodate all the peoples with their diverse political views have resulted in a cascading degradation of political, economic and social conditions that hampers current governmental efforts and thus results.

Since independence, past governments have concentrated on solidifying their political positions and neglecting the resulting deteriorating economic conditions; then over time, the resulting social discontent have served to inhibit progress in all the disciplines.

This circular dependency is similar to an oscillator that feeds back to the initial start, which in this case, is the political process. The political process either spurs economic growth or contributes to economic downturn and eventually leads to social discontent.

The Political Process

It is an understatement to infer that the political process needs fixing. Recent events have brought focus on the need for new leaders that will prioritize the issues of the nation.

Leaders who will lend less importance to personal agenda, amplify and try to ameliorate and improve the negative
image and the needs of the nation. This lack of leadership, results in the search for answers that have led to the call for Power Sharing, ethic policing and other quick fixes that embodies the level of frustration of many Guyanese.

We the people of Guyana have allowed the politics to become an entrenched and disruptive mechanism through which the development of the nation is now the proverbial" stick in the mud". It has become a "tit for tat" mode of governing. Some of those in power are repeating the very actions of the past governments they once criticized. The buddy system, nepotism, bribes and kick backs have grown to alarming levels. Case in point, the contracts given to print Guyana's laws etc. Many of the investors involved in the GA 2000 caper are the said persons that were involved in the other airline failure.
How is it that names involved in most of these government assisted ventures are the same and linked to government operatives? How is it that they all seem to be of the same ethic group? Recently, the Singhs have been granted a
license to operate an airline. Were there other ethnic groups that were allowed to bid or is it only a certain group that have the knowledge and other insider information to complete the bidding process? The governing of a multi-ethnic society needs multicultural solutions, not solutions that portrays the will of one ethnic group. In a country as Guyana, with its
ethnic sensitivity, policies and decisions must be ethnically neutral. Any ethnic policy that tends to benefit one group, will lead to continued mistrust, chaos and bloodshed.

The failure of the political process to calm fears, increase satisfaction and the quality of life, have lead to profound despair and hopelessness. A significant part of the population seemed convince that Guyana will never be
out of the current altricial condition within their lifetime. As a consequence, the foreign embassies around the capital city reflect that thinking and mood that all is lost and leaving Guyana is the only viable option.

There is enough blame to be dispensed. No sector of government is without fault, from the current power structure to the opposition and past governments. The main problem is, there are those who would profit from the failure of the government, therefore, they with hold crucial support and advice with the intent of " looking good" when failure occurs. The national interest is secondary to their political ambitions while Guyana continues to be underdeveloped with lowered exchange rates, high migration, frequent police shootings, high crime and continued finger pointing.

This incongruous behavior, on the part of those who should show leadership, have now transcended to the questioning of what a West Indian should be. It is not enough to be born in the West Indies, but it seems as though you should act and behave in an undefined way and/or manner with your physical structure conforming to the expectation of those who question your ethnic being.
These and other insidious questions, only contribute to lowering the quality of life for all citizens.

The Economic Process

Political ineptitude has directly resulted in the economic morass the economy is in. This ineptitude has resulted in high interest rate, dollar devaluation, corruption, and an alarming outward migration. With this migration goes the necessary talent and skills needed to contribute to economic growth. In most instances the wealthy, educated and the young are
the ones that leave.

Hidden in this migration is the financial loss of dollars squirreled away in travelers checks. The government may be able to
quell this migratory flow by improving the economy, by creating more high paying jobs and creating the atmosphere that all Guyanese are a part of the solution.

The news that President Jagdeo plan to make liberal use of the tax system "Reported on Plain Talk" is very refreshing. Liberal tax policies are needed to attract investors. There are pitfalls however, not every one that show up with a Business Plan is an investor. An investor is a risk taker who foresees and seek a profit for investing, and at the said time, provides a
product or service and other benefits to society at large. An investor is not an individual with funds that is interested in buying machines to mine your minerals and reap your timber.

Guyana should be interested in investors who would add value to the society by engaging in the production of goods and services that are not only extractive, but fulfill a need to the citizenry. An investor is not one who engages in duplicitous acts only to extract wealth and makes no contribution to the country.
Guyana must seek or allow investors, whom upon their departure would have made a profit, and left a by product of educated workers who are capable of engaging or running the venture that was started. Guyana must seek benefits
such as the transfer of artificial intelligence and technological skills.
This has been done by other investors in numerous other countries, why not Guyana. Why are the investors to Guyana only interested in our natural resources; and upon leaving we are left with no transferable skills and accumulated taxes? Guyana must not allow the value of our resources to be minimized only for the benefits of the investors and their exportation of profits. Foreign investment must be a two way street with equal benefits accruing to the investor and the host country. Government must instill that there are contractual clauses that specifies a certain percentage of
reinvested profits.

The Social Process

The reinvigoration of Guyana's social structure is an obligation of all Guyanese. We must contribute positively to its development. We must be our brothers keeper regardless of his hue and religious denomination. To do
otherwise is to have others diminish our national significance and our person.

The complaint of mistreatment by the Barbadian authorities is a direct result of how they perceive us to treat our fellow Guyanese. To repair that image we must start at home by supporting the results of the electoral process. We must unite as Guyanese for the "better good" and that is the development of Guyana. Any other frivolous pursuits such as favoritism given to one group or the other will be counterproductive.
The social condition of Guyana is the effect of political decisions that were not conducive to national development. Most decisions were made without being sensitive to the social effect and outcome.
The social discontentment results in less effort given to Guyana's development. Many are so despondent that they have given up looking for work or being creative. I agree that it is not the role of government to give "hand outs" but it is the role of government, especially in developing nations, to show the initiative, to do otherwise results in the condition
Guyana now faces.
The cycle of discontentment also results when the government adheres to the dictates of the international lending institutions whose economic policies have so far lifted no developing economy from poverty to economic take-off.
The government of Guyana must be free to administer its policies without the interference of these foreign entities.
In the final analysis, to bring about the change needed to foster positive economic growth the government must realize that there is a reverberation from the disciplines of politics, economics, and social, with all three reverberating at the same time.

Patrick Barker


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