Monday, April 30, 2012

Jamaica is The Riverton City Dump of the Exporting World

Jamaica have become the Export Dumping Ground
My impression of Jamaicans when I was growing up was that we were very picky eaters, concerned with the quality of our food, where it came from, who was preparing it and what was in it. We did not eat out much, simply because there was nothing out there that could beat a home cooked meal.

Back in the days you could not get most Jamaicans I know to eat out and even if they did eat out it would be for a light snacks, after they went home and enjoyed their nice Fresh Hot Home cook meal. I cannot imagine leaving grandma’s home cook stew peas and rice with the squidly dumplings to subject my tender tummy to the unknown. I do not know where this food was coming from, how fresh it was and what was in it.

Dried Dead Rats Found in Rice Imported from USA
Just a couple weeks ago Jamaica imported 1,500 Metric Tonnes of “Contaminated Rice” filled with 'dried out' rodents and frogs from the United States of America. And just last week we imported approximately 22.73 metric Tonnes of “Contaminated Red Kidney Beans” (red peas), valued at more than $2.6 million from Belize containing “Rodent Filth”. I remember when Out Dated Chicken pieces were imported from the United States of America this was old pass-sell-by-date chicken that was declared not fit for Human Consumption. When the exporter was contacted he stated that it was a mistake as that shipment should have been shipped to Haiti not Jamaica. I was shocked at his response as if to say the people in Haiti was not human. We will never know the Importer of these contaminated products, apparently it is top secret as all the major News Outlet used the coded phrase "By a Local Distributor", I am wondering if this "Local Distributor" is also getting Government Tax Waiver as there are several of them on the Government tax waiver list importing rice and peas.

The traditional Jamaican Sunday Dinner is at risk

BRASÍLIA, Brazil (AFP)  – Salmonella steaks? Carcinogenic chemicals? Lying labels?
Brazil, the world's biggest beef and poultry exporter, has been hit by stomach-churning allegations of corrupt practices in its meat industry. Police have halted exports by 21 meat processers suspected of bribing inspectors to issue them bogus health certificates for rotten meat.
Brazil's rotten meat scandal: what we know

My Granny use to seh… “When something too cheap, sometimes dem nuh too good”… It will not be long before Jamaicans have another food disaster on our hands. Kike the counter flour poisoning of 1976 in which 79 persons died from imported cheap flour from Europe laced with insecticides.

We are going to learn the hard way that food security is a requirement and that we must invest in the things we can produce for ourselves instead of buying cheaper rubbish!… For a very long time the world was fighting the Japanese to import rice and even though they could import cheaper rice they refused to. The WTO forced them to and even though they complied they put in place strict rules governing rice importation, which almost nobody could follow. The rice that made it in did not reach the market, it was stored in warehouses and dumped thus protecting local rice production.

In Jamaica we cannot subvert the efforts of our farming society telling them to grow more while we continue to import the world’s poisoned rubbish.

Red peas germinates as soon as it touches water and grows very well in Jamaica, we have the ability to meet the demands of our society and do not need to import red peas but we now have some unscrupulous importers and manufactures and supermarket owners who cares only about the profit margin and the SUV they can buy with it and care nothing about the health of the people.

Tastee's Patties Made with PINK SLIME (Beef Trimmings) 
Tastee a company that was caught up in the dog patty scandal of the 70s, now imports cheap PINK SLIME (gum and cartilage and skin) to make pink slime beef patties to sell to the Jamaican consumer, the company claimed they do not know what pink slime is and that they only import beef trimmings but a simple investigation would show that Beef Trimming is Pink Slime and Pink Slime is Beef Trimmings. So I am still trying to figure out how Tastee can plead ignorance of this fact. Until I can certify where my food comes from I refuse to buy products Willy Nilly, my assumption was that a Jamaican Beef patty was made from Genuine Jamaican Ground Beef, not imported cheap PINK SLIME beef trimmings. In January 2012 Tastee Limited even got a Government Total tax waiver of $4,824,411.12  for the importation of beef trimmings, aka Pink Slime, even our Government is trying to kill us. 

"At present we use beef trimmings from the United States in the production of our beef products. I do not understand the term (pink slime)."
Beresford Bailey
Tastee Limited

This is what Goes into your Patties  because it is cheap!

Human Feces (Shit!) Fertilizer

Back in 2009 the Jamaican Government decided to import cheap Fertilizer made from Human Shit to fertilize our food crops and contaminate our ground water. The Jamaican Government claimed that the Shit Fertilizer was tested by the United States of America and they the US said it was safe. I am sorry but when it comes to my Food, America is the last country I would trust. That country will sell anything for a buck, even outdated chicken pieces and rice filled with dead rat and poop.  We are taking the concept of shitting where we eat literally.

“In 2011 it was reported in Sydney Australia that that human feces used as fertiliser on farms is leading to the spread of ‘Third World’ parasites causing a serious stomach illness across Sydney. Blastocystis hominis, usually found in dirty water in ‘Third World’ countries and spread via faeces, and a second parasite which often accompanies it, Dientamoeba fragilis. Both parasites lead to stomach cramps, extreme pain, distended stomach and diarrhea.”
Hot Dog
There is no fire in the belly of our Political class for Identity and Self Worth, no longer into Poor but Proud, only party, profile… Gimmie the Benz keys, even if it means we eat GMO foods fertilized with shit fertilizer and beef trimming/pink slime burger at Cuddyz and Patty from Tastees, rice and peas with rats and poop.  Principle as a concept in Jamaica is dead, we will buy anything, eat anything so long as it’s cheap and imported from America, our only Principle is the "Man afi eat a Food Principle...even if is shit the food mek out of it". We are killing what is Natural, Wholesome and Organic about Jamaica, turning it into a Laboratory for experiment and our people into lab rats.

Recently it was reported that we were importing Banana chips from the US and a couple years ago we were importing Beef patties from Florida. This when we have a patty shop on almost every corner across the country. We are not importing these products because they are in short supply, we are importing them maybe because they are cheaper but knowing the duties on importing products I do not know how that could be and because they are coming from America (AKA Merka!) and we have been socialized to have a zombie like attraction for all things from Merka.

I am convinced that if America defecates in a jar and put on a label that said "American Chocolate Spread", Jamaicans would import it by the boat load and would profile on others who cannot afford the special imported chocolate spread.... yes they are that shallow. 

Pink slime, also known as lean finely textured beef and boneless lean beef trimmings, is a beef-based food additive that may be added to ground beef and beef-based processed meats as inexpensive filler. It consists of finely ground beef scraps, sinew, fat, and connective tissue which have been mechanically removed in a heated centrifuge at 100°F (38°C) from the fat into liquid fat and a protein paste. The recovered material is then processed, heated, and treated with ammonia gas or citric acid to kill E. coli, salmonella, and other bacteria. It is finely ground, compressed into blocks and flash frozen for use as an additive to beef products. The term pink slime was coined in 2002 by Gerald Zirnstein, who at that time was a microbiologist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, but some state officials have objected to the nickname, saying that "lean, finely textured beef is the proper name."

Imported Frozen (maybe) Beef Patty 

Learn More: GMO alert: top 10 genetically modified foods to avoid eating
I have been told that we need to eat GM products or else we are going to starve, Genetically Modified foods (GM foods) were first put on the market in 1996 but I do not remember mass starvations before 1996 and the countries that use to starve before 1996 are still starving today, same countries, same pictures of starving people. The people who are telling us that we need GM products are almost always the people who are profiting by it, we need it and we are going to starve if we do not have it.

Deep down I know fighting GM products is a losing battle, they are too powerful, Governments are being bought, paid to push these products, we are too few and most of population do not care so long as they are eating, we are not educating people to think about what is in their foods, not publishing laboratory test results for all to see. Food does not come with a disclaimer like most drugs, imagine buying a pack of beans that says “May cause Cancer”, well cigarettes even though its not food, have been saying that for some time and people continue to smoke it.

Worthless Local Media Outlets

A proper Investigation into our food source is required by Journalist who is not afraid to ask the hard questions and do the Research. Why are we asking companies about the food they are importing, when that information is documented for us in various Customs, Excise and tax departments, after which a follow up investigation into the exporter and where the food came from? A full investigation following the food trail is required in order to satisfy the minds of Jamaicans who are concern with where their food is coming from.

The Gleaner is missing the opportunity to perform some real in-depth investigative journalism, instead preferring to take the words of the fox regard the state of the hen house. Jamaica is a country where one can pay to have their flawed opinion and one sidedness of the story pushed forward, they will do and say anything to save face. It is no wander the local media have been second and third best to foreign media outlets. Take for example the situation regarding the Tivoli incursion; most of our breaking news has come from real investigative journalist from foreign media houses, with our local media doing second hand reporting. This from an event that happened in Jamaica, so no wonder we are being let down time and time again as the Gleaner and other local media houses practice lazy journalism.

Read More: Pink slime not safe

Monday, December 12, 2016: 
'Plastic rice' reports prompt cessation of rice clearance — Customs

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Following reports of the distribution of ‘plastic rice’ in Jamaica, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is advising that it has temporarily ceased the clearance of rice at all ports of entry.

The JCA says it has convened a meeting with the relevant regulatory agencies, including the Bureau of Standards (BSJ), the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Health, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), in order to verify the breach and the mechanisms for moving forward.

The meeting is currently taking place at the JCA’s head office, Myers’ Wharf, New Port East.

In the time being, JCA is urging the public to call them or the BSJ and report if they have bought this product or are aware of the place of distribution, so that steps can be taken for the removal of the product from the market. Imported Plastic Rice 

Update: Thursday | June 16, 2012

JAMAICA'S FOOD import bill continues to spiral out of control, jumping by US$100 million last year to a staggering US$930 million. Some J$750 million was spent on imported French fries.

Following his disclosure at a recent graduation ceremony for the first batch of 28 graduates from the Farm Field School project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke told Agro Gleaner that the increase was a shocker.

He said: "I was anticipating a lowering of the import bill (so) I was alarmed at it." This comes against the background of the national 'Grow What We Eat, Eat What We Grow Campaign' and Backyard Gardening project, both of which were deemed to be successful in promoting consumption of local agricultural produce.

Meanwhile, Ancile Brewster, the IDB's country representative to Jamaica, warned that any attempt at reducing the food import bill would need to go well beyond "more than just blocking" imports. Speaking ahead of Clarke, he had put Jamaica's annual bill at more than US$800 million, which, when combined with Trinidad and Tobago's US$600 million, sees the two countries paying in excess of US$1.5 billion to import food each year. Read More: Rising food import bill concerns Clarke

LOCAL BANANA growers in Portland are appealing to the Ministry of Agriculture to provide a sustainable local market for them to sell their fruits, as thousands of acres of green gold are going to waste. The last-ditch appeal comes against the background of large amounts of banana chips and other by-products of the fruit that are imported into the country each year, while rural banana farmers remain poor.
Read More: Banana growers plead for help

Jamaica too dependent on imported food - Jamaica Observer
Who is to blame for this sorry situation? First, merchants who import food with total disregard for foreign exchange use, or local food production and nutritional content. For example, we import orange concentrate syrup from England where no oranges are grown and when similar products are made in Jamaica. Second, consumers who largely imbibe food consumption patterns from elsewhere, for example, the consumer who abandons our coconut vendor to pick up a bottle of imported coconut water.
Read More: Jamaica too dependent on imported food

The Pulitzer Center, Jamaica

A Sweet Flavor: Goat Farming in Jamaica :  by Julia Rendleman
"Our economy would be better and Jamaica could be more independent if more youths would get into (goat) farming," he said.

Food Security: On the Cusp of a Crisis in Jamaica  by Julia Rendleman
It's a frustrating irony for Jamaica: a fertile land with the ability to produce an abundance of fruits and vegetables is increasingly reliant on cheap agricultural imports that drive the country's farmers out of business. As Jamaica lifts its trade restrictions, foreign products flood the market. Jamaicans say locally produced food tastes better, but most still opt for the lower-priced foreign alternatives. The country's growing dependence on exports exposes it to the whims of international markets and jeopardizes its food security.

The Jamaica Observer Page 2 Pictures.

If you want to legitimize anything in Jamaica such as a social event or a business, keep a party and invite some white or light skin people then have the Jamaica Observer take pictures for Page 2. The Observer will mostly publish Page 2 pictures of people with the lightest skin colour thus legitimizing your business or event in the minds of a people who are completely obsessed with the colour of a person’s skin, since it seems there are those among us who equate success and jet settings with only upper St. Andrew Reddas and Brownings.

To the Jamaica Observer if you have light skin people at your event then it must be an event worth supporting, the place to be and to be seen. Not only are the people in the pictures mostly light skin but page 2 is formatted to show bright over expose images giving even the blackest face a lighter complexion.

I have been told that even if black people are at these event they are less likely to make page two, unless they are ultra-famous like Usain Bolt and their spouse or girl or boy friend is of light completion or white again like Usain Bolt or just standing beside someone with a light complexion. Someone stated that maybe the events that Black people normally go to is not taking place at the moment, that is to say Black people like “Blackie Mango” is not in season and will not yet show up on J.O’s page 2.
I know for a fact that the Jamaican middle and upper middle class is a lot more diverse than the Observer would have us believe, that jet setters come in different shades from all sections of Jamaica. I will continue to observe the Observer to see if its page two pictures reflect the true demographic makeup of the Jamaican society or just the upper St. Andrew and imported “Reddas dem”.

Jamaica Ethnic groups: black 91.2%, mixed 6.2%, other or unknown 2.6% (2001 census). More of a healthy balance would be nice, not only more blacks but Chinese and Indians should be included, after all we are "Out Of Many... One People!"... 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tek Bad Things Mek Joke

(Finding fun in a bad situation)

Bomb Threat and Evacuation

Donkey years ago I was working for a Government agency whose office was located on the 12th Floor. One morning around 10 am the fire alarm went off and an announcement was made that a bomb threat was made and everyone should evacuate the building immediately.

So we quickly grabbed our stuff and made a mad dash for the stairwell, hurrying to get the hell out of dodge, the stairwell was pack but moving at a steady pace as we mentally count down the floors. At around the 8th floor everyone was stopped dead in their tracks, taking one step every couple minutes, we became very worried and started to investigate what might be causing this delay.

We looked down to the next floor only to see a big fat woman, big enough to completely block the stairwell so no one could pass. She was moving as slow as hell and it was clear she was having great difficulty going down step by step, it was a bit dark and being so fat she could not see the next step, only the next couple steps from her massive frame, not to mention she was out of breath and breathing heavily.

A man above us shouted down to her to hurry up as “Government naw pay him enough fi dead inna di building”, he went on and on at her, asking her to small up herself so that the people directly behind her can squeeze through. Finally she decided that she have had enough, she shouted back to the man in the most yardish of accent, broad and flat, “well we hall a fi go ded in yah today, cause mi caan go no fasta and mi naw jump fi save yu, so if yu wah go-dong ..jump!”. The entire stairwell was filled with laughter as people from the upper and lower floors could not contain themselves, the stress of being blown to bits melted away, as some people told her to take her time and others shout for her to walk up, while one woman started singing "what a fren we have in Jesus". In any case by the time we got out of the building it was almost lunch time “by Jamaica’s standards” and we took the couple hours having lunch and a couple beers before returning to the office.

The Curse of the Crazy Elevator

On another day, one of the elevator in the building was acting a bit funny, it had trapped the big boss for over an hour taking him up and down and up again without opening the doors to let him out. When he finally got out he looked worse for ware, tie off, jacket off, shirt open and he was muttering to himself using a few choice words, he barked to the girl at the front desk to have that blasted thing looked at.

A couple minutes later two security guards came up to the floor to look at the elevator, I do not know why, as this was not part of their job description. One walked into the elevator and the other one said “yow … boss man, come outa dat, cause you nuh know weh yu a do” , he ignored all warnings and proceeded to start pressing buttons. The elevator door closed, took him one floor down and he came back up again…. Thinking it must be working again he decided to press his luck and take the lift for another spin. The door closed, it took him one floor down and back again but this time the door did not open, then his voice trailed off upwards, then we heard a big whoosh, rumbly noise downwards and a scream… “lawd, gad have mercy …. Help!!!” , the other guard shouted out “yu alright!!” … nothing… then a whoosh, rumbly noise upwards and more screams of ““lawd, gad almighty mi dead now”and finally another whoosh down, stopping half way, slowing a bit before plunging down to the basement.

Everyone raced to the stairwell and down to the lobby, in the end he was extracted from the broken elevator in the basement with a broken leg and after making sure he was ok, his other guard friends started laughing at him, “yu is one lucky rass, an a alf eeeediot …you can fix elevator?.. Bout you a press button, a weh yu in deh a do!”... More jokes started flying left, right and center at the poor man’s expense, it was the talk of the day, no one took any of the elevators for the next two days, even when we were told it was safe to do so, no one trusted the Otis technicians.

The Elevator Curse Continues:
One morning I was going down in the elevator from the 12th floor, the elevator then stopped on the 9th floor to picked up a few more passengers, just as the door began to close a lady shouted “hold it”, so I quickly stuck my hand out but the door continued to close and I quickly tried to pull it back in again however I was too slow, one of my fingers got caught between doors and I could not pull it out, a couple of my fellow passengers in the elevator tried to pull the door apart but they could not get a grip, one woman tried pulling my hand but the pain was too intense. So there I am, fingers stuck and going down. Finally the elevator stopped, the doors opened and released my finger which almost immediately doubled in size. That was the last time I ever put my hand between elevator doors, cries of hold it goes unanswered, if I am not next to the door open button …. You are on your own.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jamaica: Economic and Social Statistics

Political Party Performance At a Glance

Election History

Year Winner Notes
1944 JLP The JLP won the election with 23 seats, PNP won 4: ***Universal Adult Suffrage***
1949 JLP The JLP won the election with 17 Seats, PNP won 13 seats
1955 PNP The PNP won the election with 18 Seats, JLP 14 seats
1959 PNP The PNP won the election with 29, JLP won 16 seats in a 45 seat house
1962 JLP The JLP won the election with 26 seats and 50.04% of the votes: ***Independence***
1967 JLP The JLP won 33 constituencies with 62.3% of the votes while the PNP took 18 with 37.7% of the votes
1972 PNP The PNP with 69.8% of the vote to the JLP's 16 seats with 30.2% of the votes
1976 PNP
1980 JLP The JLP took 51 seats with 85% of the votes while the PNP won 9 seats with 15% of the votes
1983 JLP PNP boycott the election
1989 PNP PNP:45 75%, JLP:15 25%
1993 PNP PNP:52 40.07%, JLP:08 26.28%
1997 PNP PNP:50 JLP:10
2002 PNP PNP:34 JLP:26
2007 JLP JLP:32 PNP:28
2011 PNP PNP:42 JLP:21
2016 JLP JLP:33 PNP:30

Economic Indicators

The National Budget (JA$ Billion)

Year Expenditure Revenue Notes
2009-2010 $593 The country's public-debt obligations (principal and interest) amount to nearly 56 per cent of the total Budget while interest obligations amount to nearly 45 per cent of the 2009-10 recurrent Expenditure Budget
2010-2011 $503.9 Debt servicing is now 47 per cent of the total budget. This Budget started low but was hit by a number of Supplemental Budgets.
2011-2012 $536
2012-2013 $612 More than 54% of $612 billion Budget to service loans and interest
2013-2014 $520.88
2014-2015 $539.3

Trade Deficit

  • Jamaica's trade deficit swelled to more than 3 Point 2 Billion U.S dollars (US$3.2 Billion) over the January to August of 2011 period while the import bill which reached over whopping US$4.3 billion dollars, exports earnings was only US$1.1billion dollars
  • Jamaica’s trade deficit with the US and other nations declined to US$1.349 Billion in 2009 from US$2.745 Billion in 2008

Trade Surplus With CARICOM: 2010

  • Antigua and Barbuda (US$4.9 million)
  • Grenada (US$1.8 million)
  • Montserrat (US$500,000)
  • St Kitts (US$3.2 million)
  • St Vincent (US$2.4 million)

Trade Deficit With CARICOM

  • In 2011 between January and August Imports from CARICOM reached over US$766 Million
  • In 2011 between January and August Exports to CARICOM was valued at US$45 million.
  • In 2010 between January and August the trade deficit grew by 320-Million U.S. dollars.
  • Between 2009-2010 Jamaican exports to Caricom markets grew by more than 70 per cent, to US$209.1 million ONLY!!
  • In 2008 Jamaica’s trade deficit with the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) ballooned to US$1.6 Billion Dollars
  • Balance of Trade with Trinidad and Tobago:

    • In 2008 Jamaica Imported US$1.4 Billion worth of goods from Trinidad and Tobago
    • In 2008 Jamaica Exported US$19 million to Trinidad and Tobago
    • In 2009 Jamaica's trade deficit with Trinidad and Tobago stood at US$616 million
    • In 2010 Jamaica's trade deficit with Trinidad and Tobago stood at US$702 million

Jamaica Import Source

  • In 2008, 40 per cent of Jamaica’s import was from the United States,
  • 17.6 per cent came from Trinidad
  • 11.7 per cent from Venezuela

Balance of Trade (US $Dollar)

Year Balance Import Export Notes
2006 $-3,666,525 5,650,427 1,983,902
2007 $-4,587,771 6,892,971 2,305,200 3 Months After Election
2008 $-5,666,718 8,162,874 2,496,156
2009 $-3,738,260 5,057,631 1,319,371
2010 $-3,889,391 5,226,763 1,337,372
2011 $-4,990,459 6,614,757 1,624,298 Election: December 29th
2012 $-3,606,082 4,844,233 1,238,151 Jan-Sep 2012*

Net International Reserves (NIR: U.S. $)

Year Amount Notes
2006 $2.35b Record High
2007 $2.067B Month Before Election
2007 $1.877B 3 Months After Election
2008 $1.49B
2011 $1.96B Election: December 29th
2012 $1.77B 3 Months After Election
2013 $890.43M As of Sept... 
2014 $2.2B
2016 $2.44B Above target US$1.64 billion As of: February 25 2016

Population below the Poverty Line

Year Percent Notes
1990 28.4
1992 34.2
2002 19.7
2003 14.8
2007 9.8 Election: September 3rd
2009 16.5
2010 20.3
2011 ??? Election: December 29th
2012 ???
2013 ???

Unemployment Rate By Year:

Year Percent Notes
2000 15.5
2001 15
2002 14.2
2003 11.8
2004 12.2
2005 11.2
2006 10.3
2007 9.8 Election: September 3rd
2008 10.5
2009 11.4
2010 12.4
2011 12.9 Election: December 29th
2012 12.8  Down from 14.1%
2013 16.30 As of: April 2013
2014 13.8 As of: July 2014
2016 13.5 As of: February 25 2016

Inflation Rate:

Jamaica's Financial Year is from March to March

Year Rate Notes
1987 11.2
1988 8.6
1989 16.12 Election: February 9th
2000 8.142
2000 8.142
2001 6.881
2002 6.991
2003 14.6
2004 11.6
2005 11.3
2006 5.6
2007 9.306 Election: September 3rd
2008 22.016
2009 9.569
2010 11.7
2011 6.0 Election: December 29th
2012 8.0
2013 7.64 As Of: Sept, 2013
2014 6.7
2016 3.7 lowest in 50 years, As of: February 25 2016


GDP Real Growth Rate: Constant Prices

Year Percent Notes
1987 7.7
1988 -3.993
1989 4.7 Election: February 9th
1990 4.875
1991 1.032
1992 1.743
1993 1.7
1994 0.9
1995 2.521
1996 -0.243
1997 -1.595
1998 -1.011
1999 1.048
2000 0.97
2001 1.345
2002 0.97
2003 3.502
2004 0.97
2005 1.444
2006 2.991
2007 1.432 Election: September 3rd
2008 -0.915
2009 -3.046
2010 -1.217
2011 1.5 Election: December 29th
2012 -0.5
2013 1.3
2014 1.8 For 2nd Quarter of 2014 and 1.4 per cent for 1st Quarter
2015 ??? 1st Qtr. 0.4%, 2nd Qtr. 0.6%, 3rd Qtr. 1.5%, 4th Qtr.?

• Debt to GDP Ratio: 127% of GDP down from 145% of GDP in 2011 • Debt 2007: $923 billion, 2011: $1.6 trillion, 2016: $2.1 Trillion • Debt to GDP stood at 115.2 per cent in 2007-2008 when the JLP took state power and moved to 126.7 per cent in 2008-2009. The debt further increased to 142.5 per cent in 2010-2011

The Jamaica Gleaner DigJamaica Statistic Portal, Jamaica’s Real GDP % “Growth”

Exchange Rate:

Year Rate Notes
2006 65.76
2007 69.03
2008 72.23
2009 87.89
2010 87.41
2011 86.34
2012 92.65
2013 105.58 As of Nov 11th
2014 112.90 As of Nov 9th
2016 121.68 As of: February 25 2016

The National Debt

World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index for 2011 indicated that Jamaica had dropped 12 places in the ranking of 142 regional economies. Jamaica had a ranking of 107 among the142 nations included in the 2011 Index.
As Of: Total Debt Notes
2007 $850 Billion
2011 $1.6 Trillion 140% of GDP
2012 $1.7 Trillion
2013 $1.8 Trillion As of: Oct, 2013
2016 $2.1 Trillion As of: February 25 2016

Jamaica External Debt (Billion US$):

Year Rate Notes
2000 3.8
2001 4.7
2002 5.2
2003 5.3
2004 4.96
2005 5.96
2006 7.16
2007 7.38 Election: September 3rd
2008 9.66
2009 10.2
2010 10.56
2011 12.66 Election: December 29th
2012 14.7
2013 13.82

Tourist Arrivals

Total Visitor (Stopover + Cruise Passengers) arrivals by air and sea hit a record 3.07 million in 2011, an 8.4 per cent hike year-on-year, which beat the previous record set six years ago.

While to the numbers look good, I would like to know how it translate to Gross and Net hard earnings, having large number means nothing if the money generated is air lifted/repatriated back to the home country of the hotel owner, not to mention these big hotel mostly exist in a tax free world. An Idea of what we earn vs. what we could earn would be nice, anyway something better than nothing.

Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett said that many destinations are retaining as low as seven cents of every dollar tourists spend, noting that much of the tourist dollar "goes back to where it came from". He pointed out that research has shown that only about three per cent of the produce from the agricultural sector currently goes into tourism "We quarrel about export issues and trade issues and competition in the global market for our commodities and agricultural produce, and we're sitting right here with an export industry that has the capability to absorb every kilo of our supplies, every unit, and we ignore it," Tourism earnings leaking from region — Bartlett

An independent study by Wealthy Foreign special interest Lobbyist of the Jamaican Tourist Industry proclaimed that tourism contributes 19.5 per cent of GDP, generates one in four of all jobs and is the leading export industry as oppose to the STATIN figure of 7.3% GDP contribution. These people do not want to pay their fair share of taxes and would like nothing more than to continue enjoying the good life at our expense. So they commission a bogus study to Big Up themselves, trying to tell us that STATIN in wrong and they are right. These Foreign owners have been exporting their super profit for decades and would like nothing more than to continue doing so while making marginal contribution to the Jamaican economy. They feel that if they throw the words “Oxford and Economist“ around enough then we will be so impressed and believe every word. It is only when the Government started to look at their low contribution that they now see fit to commission this study in order to protect their interest.

Profit Repatriation-Up-by-more-than-75%

Stop Over Visitors (Only) By year

Year Total Notes
2003 1,350,285
2004 1,414,663
2005 1,478,663
2006 1,905,678
2007 1,700,785 Election: September 3rd
2008 1,767,271
2009 1,831,097
2010 1,921,678
2011 1.95 Million Election: December 29th
2012 1.97 Million
2013 2 Million

Jamaica Total Agricultural Output (Tonnes)

The Government cannot and should continue to give importers, wholesalers and retailers import waivers to import products that our farmers already produce or can produce, that is undermining the farming sector and kicking away the legs from under the farmers… On one had you are telling the farmers to be more competitive while you are giving the people they are competing with the advantage. We understand that Jamaica signed various free trade agreements but why make it easier for them… Agriculture Sector accounts for 16.4% of the labour force as at January 2014. Output Year/metric tonnes
Year Total Notes
2003 491,473
2008 400,110
2009 489,672
2009 489,672
2010 500,305
2011 ?? Election: December 29th
2012 610,138
2013 615,000

IMF Austerity • Jamaica Stock Market made world record in 2015 • Jamaica moved up 5 places in the 2015 Forbes Best Countries to do Business Report • Jamaica Decline on the Human Development Index from 96 to 99 out of 188 as Austerity took its toll. • Primary Surplus of $55.8 billion, above target of $50.5 billion • International Rating Agency continues to upgraded Jamaica’s Credit ratings over the years, Moody’s, S&P and Fitch all upgraded Jamaica. For the most part IMF Austerity did what any Austerity was design to do put our financial books in a much better shape which will give the next Government the much needed wiggle room. Austerity did not produced the much need growth which to me was marginal and mediocre at best with none of the positive effects really passing down to the ordinary man on the street but Austerity was never design for growth but a period of sacrifices design to reverse the many decades of irresponsible fiscal and economic policies we the Jamaican people allowed. That said we cannot and should not undermine its positive effect because I believe our current financial status set the stage for a next Government with some imagination and innovation to do some good. I just do not see Imagination and Innovation coming from both the PNP and the JLP. However this is about passing the baton and moving from strength to strength so which ever party wins the election can win that leg of the race.

Crime Statistics

Yearly Death By Police

Year MurdersNotes
2002 133
2003 113
2008 224
2009 253
2010 382 73 People was Killed in 2 days during the Dudus Affair.
Between years 2000 and 2010 there was 2,220 fatal shootings by police but only 2 police officers have ever been charged.
2011 213 Election: December 29th
2012 219 nearly 30 of them was killed in March alone

Murder By Month By Year

Month 2012 2011 2010 2009
Jan - Mar272 242 428 359
April 070 093 137 123
May 119 102 184 155
June 088 089 098 123
July 087 104 086 163
August 102 103 082 143
September093 094 078 134
October 077 100 108 178
November 086 101 128 149

Jamaica Total Murders By Year:

Year Murders
1998 953
1999 849
2000 887
2001 1100
2002 1045
2003 975
2004 1471
2005 1674
2006 1340
2007 1583
2008 1618
2009 1683
2010 1428
2011 1124
2012 1087
2013 1200
2014 1005
2015 1192
2016 1350
2017 1616

Jamaica Political Party Scandals By Year:

Year Scandal Notes
1989 The Zinc Scandal ($500 million) In the zinc scandal of 1989, some $500 million of hurricane relief zinc from overseas destined for poor people were diverted to political favourites and never reached the intended beneficiaries.
1991 The Furniture Scandal ($10.6 million) The furniture scandal which involved more than $10 million being spent to furnish, among other places, a town house for the then Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ben Clare.
1991 The Shell Waiver Scandal ($29.5 million) PJ Patterson was the responsible minister who had authorized a $29.5 million waiver on duties to the Shell Company in 1991. This led to the resignation of then Finance Minister P.J. Patterson from the Cabinet
2001 The NetServ Scandal ($220 million) The NetServ scandal, where the Government paid out more than $200 million to the failed IT company despite due diligence reports which warned against doing business with the firm.The scandal led to the loss of $220 million after investigations revealed that its operations were no longer viable. The company started operations in June 2001 with high expectations of creating some 3,000 jobs in the same year and 10,000 jobs by 2004.The company failed to get anywhere near those goals and went into receivership in December 2001 with only 209 employees. The issue resulted in calls for the removal of Minister of Commerce Phillip Paulwell, but the Prime Minister downplayed criticism of the minister calling his actions "youthful exuberance".
2002 NHDC and Operation Pride ($5.5 billion) NHDC and the Operation Pride housing projects that it administers. There are allegations of corruption and mismanagement at the NHDC, where there was a $35 million overpayment on a Operation Pride housing project. Racking up a massive $5.5 billion in misappropriated funds, investigations showed the funds were due to cost overruns that surmounted the original cost in 10 of 100 Operation Pride Projects between 1997 and 2002. The person who figured prominently in the scandal was Dr. Karl Blythe who later resigned as minister.
2006 The Trafigura Scandal
Rocked the PNP in 2006 after it emerged that the then governing party accepted a $31-million gift from the Dutch firm Trafigura Beheer which, at the time, had an oil-lifting agreement with Jamaica. The party has since said the money was returned.
2006 Solid Waste Scandal ($2 billion)
After investigations into the awarding of contracts to some consultants and maintenance service providers showed that certain procedures pertaining to the awarding of contracts had not been followed. In a damning report to Parliament, Contractor-General Derrick McKoy noted that $1.4 billion was for the collection of sweeping contracts; $401 million for maintenance services; $35 million for motor vehicles and $25 million for consultancy services. The eruption of the scandal led to the resignation of that board and the installation of a team led by former Town Clerk Errol Green.
2006 The Whitehouse scandal ($2 billion)
The Whitehouse scandal followed afterwards as investigations revealed that cost overruns during the construction of the 400-room hotel amounted to US$45 million. The scandal erupted in calls for a forensic audit into the construction of the hotel. Government named president of the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association, Don Mullings, Head of a team in October, but Mullings resigned a month later following accusations by the JLP that he was tied to the PNP. The JLP argued that Mr. Mullings received $2 billion in Government contracts through his company, M&M Jamaica Limited, and as such was not qualified to lead the team. Another team, to be led by Desmond Hayle, president of the Jamaica Institute of Architects, was subsequently named by the Prime Minister. Mr. Hayle was a member of the team that was to be led by Mr. Mullings.
2007 Cuban Light Bulb Scandal
The project involved the distribution of four million free Cuban light bulbs island wide and allegation was made that $114 million was improperly spent on the distribution of four million energy-saving light bulbs donated by the Cuban Government to the people of Jamaica by Kern Spencer. In January 2008, the auditor-general reported that about 176,380 of the four million bulbs, costing approximately $92 million, could not be accounted for.
2009 The Dudus Scandal
In August 2009, the JLP-formed government received what would turn out to be a tenure-defining extradition request. The delay in signing the extradition warrant sparked much controversy, one can clearly say that all hell broke loose when the Bruce Golding led Government decided to take on the United States of America and put Jamaican’s US visas at risk. This resulted in the mother of all standoff between the JLP Government and the mother of all Garrisons, the JLP's strong hold and constituency Tivoli Gardens. The army incursion into Tivoli Gardens resulted in 73 civilians killed in 2 days, 2 policemen and 1 soldier dead, and numerous others injured. Armed gangs performed military style coordinated attacks on police stations and which left 2 of them on fire. Certain sections of the corporate area became a war zone all because the Prime Minister and the Government tried to prevent the extraction of one of their Activist/Gunman/warlord/gang leader/enforcer and financial backer
2009 The Manatt, Phelps & Philips Scandal
The Manatt, Phelps & Philips scandal was spawned by the Christopher 'Dudus' Coke extradition request. The Manatt mess, as it is called in some quarters, is undoubtedly the biggest scandal to hit the ruling JLP since the party came to power in 2007. It was reported that the JLP Government paid an American law firm to lobby the US Government to drop the extradition request, this was denied by the Government over and over and over again and the then Prime Minister over
and over until finally the Prime Minister admitted that he had in fact paid the law firm but when he paid the law firm he did so as leader of the JLP and not the Prime Minister… (I could not make this stuff up even if I tried ... That was the mother of all excuses)
2009 Mabey and Johnson Bribery Scandal
The infamous Mabey and Johnson bridge-building bribery case that implicated former State Minister in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Joseph Hibbert. In July 2009, the British engineering company, Mabey and Johnson, confessed that it had tried to influence officials in Jamaica and Ghana to get public contracts. However, the JLP reiterated its belief in Hibbert's innocence.
2009 Hon. Mike Henry: House Purchase/Upgrade Scandal
In August 2009, Mike Henry, minister of transport and works, was hauled over the coals after a Sunday Gleaner investigations, revealed that a total of $50 million had been spent for the purchase and upgrade of the minister's state-owned house. In an attempt to put the prickly issue to bed, Henry told the media that he would address it in Gordon House. The Sunday Gleaner's revelation of the Port Authority of Jamaica's purchase and refurbishment of the house, which was part of the assets of the defunct Jamaica Omnibus Service, triggered a firestorm of criticisms. Henry reportedly justified the expenses as he suggested that the house was in poor condition and he was not accustomed to living in squalor.
2009 Tourism Minister Office Scandal
In October 2009, another Sunday Gleaner investigation revealed that the New Kingston-based headquarters of the Ministry of Tourism spent $8.4 million to retrofit the minister's offices between May 2008 and March 2009, in the midst of the severe economic downturn and significant shortfall in funding for the agency. In January 2008, months before the completion of this project, Prime Minister Bruce Golding issued instructions for Cabinet to curtail expenditure. But this did not seem to apply to the tourism ministry.. he too it seemed was not accustomed to working in squalor.
2011 Hon. Mike Henry: JDIP Scandal
In a nut shell, money that was to be used for infrastructure development was used to purchase furniture because Mike is not accustomed to living or working in squalor. In one of her findings, Monroe Ellis said contrary to the provisions of the Government’s procurement guidelines, the NWA used the sole source method to award a contract to China Harbour Engineering Company for approximately $102 million to refurbish its corporate offices, without the required approval of the National Contracts Commission. That issue was raised yesterday at the PAC which also heard that five 40-foot containers of furniture valued at $62 million were discovered by Contractor General Greg Christie yesterday on the premises of the NWA and that they had been procured using funds allocated for the Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Works Project. Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry submitted his resignation to new Prime Minister Andrew Holness, NWA CEO Patrick Wong was also forced to resign.
2011 The Denial Of US help and Spy Plane Scandal
When news broke in America that the Jamaican Government requested the United States help during the Dudus extradition saga and the incursion of Tivoli and that a spy plane was used, the Jamaican Government went into the mother of all denial. When quizzed about the issue, the then Minister of Information Daryl Vaz, had denied Jamaica had received any external help. National Security Minister Dwight Nelson said he checked the records at the ministry and the Jamaica Defense Force and found no request for assistance from the United States. These bold face denials went on for days.

An investigative piece in the American magazine, The New Yorker, revealed that despite the Jamaican Government saying otherwise, a U.S. spy plane did in fact take surveillance imagery of Tivoli Gardens on May 24, 2010 during the security operation. The Department of Homeland Security incident report and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Authority have confirmed that the plane assisted the Jamaican Government during the Tivoli operation. It also said that the P-3 Orion passed information to U.S law-enforcement officers stationed at the U.S. embassy, who then provided that information to Jamaican authorities.

Like a Jedi Master performing the Jedi mind trick National Security Minister Dwight Nelson said “There was no spy plane”, "... but di trick neva work". The P-3 Orion was witnessed by people on the ground and pictures of it above Tivoli was taken and distributed.

The then Prime Minister Andrew Holness was forced to admit that the country entered into an agreement with the United States government to carry out surveillance during the security operations in Tivoli Gardens, West Kingston.

The thing is all of this smoke and mirror lies was not necessary as most Jamaicans not only welcome but wanted help From the United States to deal with the situation and did not see the big deal or any reason to lie about it, asking for US help in this case was a good thing. The lie was not called for and so an unnecessary scandal was created for no reason at all. Wired: Jamaica Massacre
2012 Desecration of the Jamaica Flag Scandal
The scandal involves the swearing in ceremony of the Montego Bay mayor, during the ceremony it was noticed that the Backdrop which was to depict the Jamaican flag was missing the colour green which is also the colour of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party. It seemed that some low class dirty, moron decided to instruct the contractor to leave out the green from the backdrop, it was the most low class, disgusting and arrogant thing to do. Now instead of analyzing and investigating the situation before responding the PNP Government came out with a number of conflicting responses/bold face lies.

  • (1)The Contractor ran out of Green (yeah right)
  • (2) We do not know who told the contractor,
  • (3) That person named by the contractor does not work for the office of the Prime Minister, we do not know who that person is,
  • (4) The Swearing in ceremony was planned by the outgoing JLP administration and
  • (5) The person who do not work for us and who we do not know have now resigned
  • (6) We will launch a full investigation.

Initially, Mayor Harris had apologised for the debacle and said that he had nothing to do with the decoration, which featured a huge black cloth with a gold soltire in the form of the Jamaican flag. Yesterday, Minister Arscott apologised for what he termed “the inadvertent misuse of the colours of the Jamaican flag” at the swearing-in ceremony. Local Government Minister Noel Arscott said that special assistant Courtney Hume, who is alleged to have instructed the decorator to leave the green out of a stage backdrop designed to depict the Jamaican flag at the March 29 swearing-in ceremony of new St James councillors, has resigned. The PNP issued an official apology and the Opposition demand that the Mayor resign.
20?? ???? It is not if but when ...It Is Inevitable, the political class is genetically predisposed to Scandal

Mass Social Activism/Movements,Protest and Rallies:

All progressive societies have dynamic and well organized groups designed to push progressive Nation Building Agendas. These progressive societies understand that the people are an integral part of Government, a vital part, a valid branch of Government. It is not vote and forget but vote and engage, they understand that the concept of Government is not limited to the elected officials alone but extends to the entire population who must communicate their desires, their intentions and displeasure by organized mass protest and rallies designed to send strong messages to the Elected Officials, kind of like guiding sheep in the right direction.

When I say protest and mass rally I am not talking about the infrequent block road by 20 people because police killed one of their loved community murdering dons/warlord. I am talking about organized protest and Mass rallies that transcend the political divide, transcends race, transcends education level and transcends class. Rallies and Protest so big that it shuts down an entire country or a Capital City and says to a Government we are mad as hell and not taking it anymore, do your job OR no, no you are heading in the wrong direction this is the direction we want to go OR address these issues now!

Politically motivated protests are almost always organized with the intention of destabilizing the country and the existing Government so as to propel the opposing party into power. It is almost never organized for the greater good of the country but for the selfish needs of that party for power. Progressive Pro-Active organized groups do not care about which party is in power, there purpose is the same regardless of party because their sole intention is to force the Government of the day to do the right thing by the people.

Year Mass Rallies Notes
1979 Gas Riot Not a socially conscious Mass Rally but a smash and grab organized by opposing the Political Party, VIOLENT PROTESTS, looting and shootings triggered by a hike in fuel prices brought Jamaica to a standstill rioters started fires, looted shops and set a large sugar cane plantation ablaze. Block roads and charge motorist a fee to pass.
1985 Gas Riot Not a socially conscious Mass Rally but a smash and grab organized by opposing the Political Party, VIOLENT PROTESTS, looting and shootings triggered by a hike in fuel prices brought Jamaica to a standstill rioters started fires, looted shops and set a large sugar cane plantation ablaze. Block roads and charge motorist a fee to pass.
1999 Gas Riot Not a socially conscious Mass Rally but a smash and grab organized by opposing the Political Party, VIOLENT PROTESTS, looting and shootings triggered by a hike in fuel prices brought Jamaica to a standstill rioters started fires, looted shops and set a large sugar cane plantation ablaze. Block roads and charge motorist a fee to pass.
2011 Occupy Half-Way-Tree Only a handful of Persons turned out(20) for the Occupy Half-Way-Tree protest organized by Child rights group “Hear the Children's Cry” and the “New Nation Coalition” who chained themselves to a median near the historic clock in Half-Way-Tree Square in protest against what they say were "Inequities and Injustices in the Jamaican society".
2012 Police Corruption and Killings Jamaicans for Justice Called for a mass protest but ONLY 60 People turned up.
Government Corruption, Lies and Empty Promises No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.
Increasing Murder/Crime Rate No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.
Economic Mismanagement and Hardship No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.
Crumbling and/or missing infrastructure No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.
Child abuse on rise in Jamaica No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.