Saturday, June 30, 2012

Imports, Financial Crisis, Bailout and Hennessy

Import and Destroy
Kingston-Wharves, Imports Only Wharves- Exports not Allowed!!
Some time ago in 2009, the then Minister of Agriculture declared that fertilizer from Jamaican companies was too expensive and as such Jamaica will import/buy fertilizer from American sources, this to me is a very anti-Jamaica and an anti-Jamaican business position for our Government to take because it is not like fertilizer was in short supply and we must increase short term supply to the local market and I do understand the need to keep the agricultural cost of production down and inflation in check. What was missing from the minister was any sort of analysis as to why the local price of fertilizer was so high, we heard nothing about the Ministry trying to engage fertilizer producers, trying to find out why prices are high and how the Government can help to reduce cost and pass lower prices on to the consumers, no long term plan of action. The Government’s position then was to undercut local manufactures, flood the market with lower price fertilizer and drive local businesses out of the market, in other words they were not working with the companies but working around them.This type of “Kick Weh Yu Foot” (Kick away your legs from under you) style of Governing must end since it does not benefits local manufactures.

At a time when all Governments around the world was trying to encourage their citizens to buy goods and services from local companies, thus allowing these companies to expand production and increase local employment, our Government was doing the opposite by overlooking local companies and buy from overseas companies. The American Government implemented bailout plans with a buy America clause attached and the Jamaican Government also implemented a bailout plan with a "buy American clause" with no intention of bailing out local Jamaican companies, it seems the aim of the Jamaican Government was to promote American companies and increase American Employment at the expense of our own.

The proper course of action is not to turn our backs on local companies but to figure out a way to help these local companies survive, to take root and satisfy local demand. Farmers need fertilizer and we have local companies who employ local people to make fertilizer, the government needs to figure out a way to get local fertilizer from local companies to our farmers at an affordable cost. In this case we need a win, win solution not a win, lose one. It is the job of the Jamaican Government to encourage the growth of Jamaican companies, encourage the consumption of Local goods and services in order to increase local employment and increase tax revenues for schools, roads and health care etc.

Our Government is so quick to give overseas companies tax break for operating in Jamaica while totally overlooking our homegrown companies. We sit around day in day out trying to encourage overseas companies to come to Jamaica and invest, while overseas Governments are trying to figure out a way of preventing their companies from going overseas. The American Government will give over a trillion dollars to American companies trying to prevent them from going out of business, if companies go out of business, people become unemployed and the US unemployment rate is about 8.0% and growing every day.

The United States currently pays around $20 billion per year to farmers in direct subsidies. Many of America’s economic sectors are in fact subsidized by the tax payer, the richest industries get the biggest subsidies, starting with finance and Big Energy, Notably, 56 percent of the total tax subsidies went to just four industries: financial, utilities, tele-communications, and oil, gas & pipelines. These people are certainly not playing by the same rules they created for us and force us to follow, they go on and on about the free market but what they say and what they do are two completely different things. I am not saying that the Jamaican Government should start shelling out cash willy nilly to every Tom, Dick and Harry with his or her name on a business card, far from it but before we cut the legs from under these companies we should at least try to figure out what problems they are having and why.

This Global Financial Crisis could have been and still can be a blessing in disguise. It is the perfect opportunity for the Government to embark on the mother of all campaign to promote local consumption and production of goods and services, a holy crusade of all things Jamaican, eat and buy Jamaican as a way to reduce the country’s need for loans. The answer to Jamaica’s problem before, during and after this financial crisis is to buy into all things Jamaica, we need to reduce our demand for foreign currency, increase local production and consume local output. A farmer might express the need for cheaper fertilizer but what is happening to the fertilizer company is also happening to the local farmers, importers are also kicking away their legs from under them by importing cheap food.

Imports Gone Wild
Jamaica imports in excess of  US$800 million worth of Agricultural Produce each year, most of which is already grown/produce right here in Jamaica, our total food import bill is US $1,000,000,000 (Billion) per year.Just take a look at a small sample of the madness that is taking place in our country:
  • JAMAICA'S FOOD import bill continues to spiral out of control, jumping by US$100 million in 2011 to a staggering US$930 million and in 2012 was US $1,000,000,000 (Billion). 
  • Jamaica, land of wood and water, Imports $3 billion worth of lumber annually. The farm owner Dalkeith Hanna said,when he first started planting the trees, the cost was 90 cents per square foot for lumber, but in less than two decades the cost is now more than $90. He noted, however, that he still has been able to sell his locally grown lumber at a cheaper cost than the imported wood.
  • 93% of Onions consumed in Jamaica were imported in 2009.
  • Jamaica imported US$8.4-million worth of banana chips, up from US $3.7 million in 2010, so it seems Chippies and St. Mary Banana Chips is not enough anymore.
  • Jamaica imported 70 per cent of ginger in 2010.
  • Jamaica Imported Pepper mash from the Dominican Republic although we produce the best scotch bonnet pepper, the finest-tasting in the world.
  • Jamaica importing in excess of J$8 billion worth of tomato paste each year.
  • Jamaica’s import bill for Irish potatoes decreased from US$4 million in 2008 to US$2.6 million in 2010.
  • However Jamaica imported US$15.1 million potatoes chips, wedges, and fries in 2010.
  • Jamaica supply only 15 per cent of Goat meat on the local market.
  • Jamaica imported 1.3 million kilogrammes of goat meat, valued at US$5.2 million, in 2010, the country needs approximately three million goats to attain self-sufficiency.
  • Jamaica Imports Concentrates costing J$1 billion l
  • Jamaica imports orange concentrate from the United Kingdom of Great Britain, a country that does not grow oranges.
This is the low down regarding Imports, members of the political class, their family and friends are the "Art Vandelay" of the importing business they are the ones getting most of the import licenses to undercut and destroy local production in Jamaica.

Import and Tax Waiver Abuse
Our Political class knows no shame, to continue this insult to injury here is a very small sample of some of Import Waivers granted to friend and company of the political class. Both the Import and Tax waiver system have been subjected to constant abuse, a lot of the Imported items being waived are products that can be grown very easily, right here in Jamaica and is in fact grown right here in Jamaica. This abuse represents the political class giving the farmers and the tax payers of Jamaica the proverbial middle finger. The total value of this very small sample of Import Tax Waiver comes to $29,032,642.42, this represents revenue that should otherwise have been use to fix schools or buy text books, buy medicines for the public hospital, fix the roads or pay down our national debt.

November 2011
1 Tout Pret Distributors Additional Stamp Duty (ASD) waived $561,486.28 (importation of red kidney beans)
2 CJ's Discount Store ASD waived $950,721.91 (importation of red kidney beans)
3 Fresh and Direct Limited ASD waived $416,970.89 (importation of red kidney beans)
4 Chas E Ramson ASD waived $789,014.08 (importation of red kidney beans)
5 River Raft Limited Total tax waived $83,097.67 (importation of rafting gear)
6 Jamaica Football Federation Total tax waived $101,220.09 (importation of refereeing and coaching course material)
7 Jamaica Olympic Association Total tax waived $4,573,010.53 (importation of wrestling mat, gears)

December 2011
1 Jamaica Boat Cruises Total tax waived $106,142.16 (importation of snorkels, fins, tie straps etc.)
2 Howard L. Hamilton Total tax waived $3,216,558.24 (importation of 14 horses for breeding)
3 Robert S. Dabdoub Total tax waived $838,919.25 (importation of one horse)
4 John Ramnon Total tax waived $713,688.43 (importation of one Rand Roller)
5 West Portland Development Fund/Daryl Vaz Total tax waived $215,453.81 (local purchase of one 20ft container)
6 Canjam Trading Total tax waived $1,223,418. 57 (importation of one container of red kidney beans)
7) David Wright Total tax waived $38,692.92 (importation of one chainsaw)

January 2012
1 Major Dionne Sinclair Total tax waived $252,601.00 (importation of personal effects)
2 Douglas Vaz Total tax waived $1,120,080.34 (importation of 2012 Honda CR-V)
3 Tastee Limited Total tax waived $4,824,411.12 (importation of beef trimmings)
4 Caribbean Producers Limited $9,007,155.13 (importation of beef cuts)

Jamaica signed an Agreement to reduce customs duties on EU imports
In 2008 Jamaica and 14 other Caribbean states signed an agreement with the EU to start the reduction of customs duties by January 2011, but only six countries have so far complied. Read More: EU border tax threats 'serious issue' - The Sunday Gleaner

We Jamaicans know good and well what will happen when a stronger force engages a weaker force. Normally the weaker party gets pushed over the cliff in a life of poverty as the stronger countries enforce their will on us. European agriculture and manufacturing is highly mechanized and subsidized by their Governments. This is not free market there is nothing free or fair about the global market place. These concepts and rules were put in place because they give first world countries the advantage, they occupy the position of sellers and poorer countries stagnate in the position of borrowers and buyers. Take for example Britain’s Agriculture sector; it is highly mechanized producing about 60% of their food needs, with less than 1.6% of the labour force (535,000 workers). The EU spent €53bn (£46bn) a year on agricultural development and direct subsidies to farmers, 45% of the EU budget went to farmers as direct payments, so no wonder they want us to sign an agreement to lower tariff on EU imports, it is a win, win situation for Europe. Protectionism is alive and well in the First World, they protect their industries from competition, they subsidize the hell out of it however when Third World countries employ any sort of protectionism First World countries call it corruption.

As a Jamaican lots of questions comes to mind regarding this agreement:
  • How are these trade agreements made?
  • What was the deciding factor?
  • Were they feasible in terms of protecting local markets?
  • How does the EU negotiate similar agreements that require them to lower their tariffs on imports?
  • What was going on /said during these negotiations, what was our Government thinking?
  • Were we threatened in any way? Did they threaten to withhold loans, IMF money or the shipments of ML-250 Benz, French wine and cheese?
  • Was a gun held to the Minister’s head or was his child kidnap by EU agents thus forcing him to sign this agreement?
  • What were they going to withhold if we did not sign it because this seems like an agreement that can only come from force or our Governments are made up of mentality retarded people?
  • Did the Government members get a bribed? Did the EU made offer of huge sums of money and promises of ch√Ęteaux’s in the French countryside and a supply of ML-250 Benz for the family and friends of our Government members? 
I am totally confuse about this, our government jump on a plane travel to Europe and sign an agreement whose only benefit if to flood our already flooded markets with more cheap foreign goods that we will purchase using the money we borrow from the EU and I am sure at the expense of our local companies. 

Jamaica 50 Hennessy
I would like to know just how much Hennessy Jamaica imports and consume for Maurice Hennessy to personally fly to Jamaica and deliver 24,000 Hennessy VS, in commemoration of Jamaica's 50th anniversary. I remember a sales person in duty free at the Norman Manly airport trying to convince me not to buy the Appleton 21 but to purchase a bottle of Hennessy instead, at which point I asked her if I looked like a semi literate dancehall DJ. I have been told that huge quantities of Hennessy is consumed in the dancehall and clubs nightly by the so called suffering masses who cannot afford the extra 20 Jamaican dollars on a beef patty.

Reparations, Corruption, Financial Crisis and Bail Out!
I have never given reparations from Britain much thought, I am neither here nor there on the subject, either way I do not care since I do not see how little Jamaica can get Britain to hand over what Member of Parliament and a fighter for reparations Mike Henry calls “Cold Hard Cash”. One argument against reparation put forward by some Jamaicans, states that, if Jamaica got reparation money we will squander it, as opposed to what? … Borrowed money? We squander that anyway but at least with reparation money we would not have to repay the money, pay interest on it and maybe we could pay back our past debts, wiping the slates clean. More than likely we would use the money to buy imports from America and Europe, more wine, cheese, SUVs, you name it the sky is the limit, so it may be advantageous for Britain to pay reparations, ask the other countries to chip in, your economies will grow as a result because there is no limit to the amount of rubbish Jamaicans will import if they had “Cold Hard Cash”.

To a person like Mike Henry and my Aunt J reparation is not a loan or handout, they are not begging anything, it is money owed that should have been paid that was not, it is money owed for hundreds of years of injustice where some people’s development was achieved at the expense of others, on the backs of others. The pro-reparation people look at slavery like the Big Bang, an instant explosion of wealth creation in space and time that ripples out from the point of origin, compounded wealth that transcends time and generation. The benefits of which is still being felt by Europe today. However the negative effects of this Big Bang is also being felt by descendants of slavery, its like being forced to create the sun but not allowed to enjoy the full glory of its warmth and light and then told to pay for a glimpse at it. The Bishop of Exeter kept 655 slaves until the time of the Abolition of Slavery Act 1833, when he received £12,700 in compensation. Again I am not an advocate of reparation nor am I against it but if it was given I would be the first in line.

On the subject of Bailouts however I realize that there is no limit to the amount of bailout the EU and other first world countries get, when they get bailout the world seems happy, the stock markets goes up. Billions of Dollars/Pounds/Euros is thrown at them on a daily basis, most recently Spain asked for and got $126 billion bailout not to mention they can say the word bailout whenever they want. However if Jamaica even whispers the word “bailout”… Then we are immediately classed as worthless, looking for handout, with cries of embarrassment and this from our own people, as was seen when the Prime Minister used the word bailout in an interview once! It seems we are the only ones playing this game as the world is in a completely different tournament, being held to different standards.

When it comes to pure Greed and Corruption nothings beats Europeans and the United States of America. I have never seen anything like it while they hold the people below them to a different standard. Western Europe is the worst by far, what they do is disgusting and what they say is Hypocritical and it disgust me but they are suppose to be civilize and we are nothing but savages.

The reactions of most Jamaicans when they read that the Prime Minister had said the word Bailout was one of shock, horror and total embarrassment or pretend shock, horror and total embarrassment based on which party you support. There is no difference between asking for an IMF loan and a bailout, it just makes us feel better to say we negotiated a loan from the IMF, well if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it must be a bloody duck.

The Reason for the world’s financial crisis was greed and corruption, first world corruption at its very best and the reason for Jamaica’s financial crisis is home grown corruption and pure greed. The financial crisis in America, United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal and many others is as a result of greed and corruption. But yet we seem to judge their financial crisis, their corruption as different from ours. In the minds of most Jamaicans and the world there is a difference between white/first world corruption and black third world corruption, one is a simple white collar mistake and the other is downright banana republic, nasty black corruption and throwing any money at it is like throwing pearls before swine.

I understand that the world is not level I understand that different countries get treated differently, I just do not understand why Jamaicans hold the rest of the world to a different standard than they hold Jamaica and themselves. 

The IMF and World Bank as Fly Guy and Jamaica as the Bit<h!

Please Read!!
In five years between 2006 and 2010, Trinidad and Tobago exported more than $23 billion worth of goods to Jamaica and in the same period Trinidad imported a mere $1 billion from Jamaica.
T&T 2006-2010 exports to Jamaica: $23 billion

In 2011, Jamaica imported US$6.6b in goods and exported US$1.6b. The trade deficit was approximately US$4.9b.

There are people in Jamaica who thinks certain developed countries have Jamaica's interest at heart but they are just fooling themselves …  These countries are a bunch of Hypocrites and Parasites, back in the 90's the United States of America took Britain and the EU to WTO court to remove preferential treatment for CARICOM banana because it wanted American own companies in south America and Puerto Rico easy access to EU market but the USA is giving Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico preferential treatment on RUM…. This is made even worst when UK-based Diageo threatens the Caribbean about taking the USA to WTO court… In August, the UK-based Diageo reportedly warned that should CARICOM mount a complaint to the World Trade Organisation over the alleged subsidies it would "re-evaluate" its Caribbean interests….. Everyone is looking out for their interest alone and what they are saying to CARICOM is Fuck You  and suck salt!!!... 

The EU is still upset that Jamaica and the other Caribbean countries have not implemented its Economic Partnership Agreement which would see a reduction of duties between the EU and the Caribbean, claiming it will also benefit the Caribbean to sign this agreement. They the EU are even offering carrot on a stick to sweeten the deal and get us to sign the agreement.  You can trust me when I say that the EU is only pushing for this agreement simply because it knows it has the Economic advantage over CARICOM and will benefit more from this agreement, this a cheery agreement for them because once you sign this you are on your own as they push their products and tell us our products are not good enough, there standards are like a moving goal post. This agreement will further push Jamaica and the Caribbean into a balance of trade deficit with the EU. The fact of the matter is sooner or later we must sign this agreement, we do not have a choice as the EU will call the Americans for help and both will gang up to gangbang the hell out of us and force us to sign, no loans or deal and a couple downgrades later and we will bend to their will.

This is how we like to spend borrowed Money: 
"SUV drivers not deterred by import costs":
A Cadillac Escalade ESV may retail for about US$56,000 (5300 CC).
Chevrolet Avalanche - about US$36,000 (5300 CC).
Mercedes Benz M Class about US$37,000-67,000 (5400 CC).
Mercedes Benz G Class - US$74,000 -$89,000 (5400 CC).
Land Rover Range Rover - about US$72,000 (5300 CC).
However, these costs are apparently no deterrent to drivers with discerning tastes, as the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Avalanche and other relatively high-end vehicles have become quite popular on local roads.

Monday, June 18, 2012

State of Flux

:A state of uncertainty about what should be done.

  • I came upon a debate taking place on the messaging board of a popular Jamaican online news site in which one set of Jamaicans was correcting the spelling of another set of Jamaicans. The first set declared that the correct spelling of the word in question was the American English way and the second set was defending the Jamaican/Queens English way of spelling the word. I understand that different people have different versions of software on their computers and that the region and language settings may be different, so normally I am not too concerned with spelling but I have a problem with Jamaicans who turn their backs on the Jamaican way of life and then try to push their adopted way of life on their homeland.
  • On that same news site a Jamaican wrote to the site reporters declaring that he was correcting a particular news item, he stated that Labour Day was not on May 23rd but in September, even though Jamaica’s Labour Day have always been celebrated on May 23rd.

    If I am on an American site and they reported about Labour Day, I would assume they were talking about Labour Day in America, the one in September. I know enough about the world to understand that things are done differently in different parts of the world and I respect that. I would expect the same outlook when someone is on a Jamaican site, even more so from a Jamaican, you enter the Jamaican mode. I just cannot imagine writing to the editors of the Huffington Post telling them to use the date for Jamaica’s Labour Day instead.
  • This all goes hand in hand with the lady who wrote the Jamaica Gleaner complaining that the 911 emergency services were not working and a waste of time (in mid 90s when no such service existed)when in fact the number for Jamaica’s Emergency Service is 119, so no wonder it was not working.

As we get ready to celebrate Jamaica 50, it has become clear that the Jamaican society is truly in a state of uncertainty as we are being pulled every which way by various members of our society. There is no clear cut definition of what it means to be a Jamaican, no preservation of shared history and value system and as such we have become a chameleon like society as we disregard our "Jamaicanness" to adopt all things foreign.

The fabric of our society is being unravelled before our very eyes, the “Ja-Mericans” wants us to be more like America, to adopt American values complete with East Coast/West Coast gang signs and the Anglophile wants us to embrace “Britishness” while both sees no value in preserving our shared rich culture and history. One of the main problem is no one really knows what “Jamaicanness” is anymore, how it is defined, like a Croaking Lizard we change colour depending on colour of the surface or the country we adopt.

Anything that was truly Jamaican has been devalued and diluted as we have become a net importer of culture. Historically we are missing that big bang, that moment in time that seals in the flavour of “Jamaicanness”, that brings everyone together and on the same path and make us Jamaicans now and forever.

The United States of America have had their big bangs, moments in time that made them uniquely Americans. The United Kingdom of Great Britain has had centuries of big bangs from Brutus landing at Totnes (History of the Kings of Britain), to the events of 1066, to Winston Churchill rallying the British people during the Second World War. All these historical events is what gives the British people that Keep Calm and Carry on mentality, what don't kill you make you stronger and define you.

We have also had Big bangs in our history but the difference between our big bangs and that of other countries is that they preserve their history, they are proud of their history; they respect their history and value their achievements. It is used as a driving force to create a nation state they can be proud of. Their history is used to define who they are as a people while we are ashamed of ours.

Most Jamaicans devalue their history and belittle our big bangs, the things we are supposed to be proud of, we brush them aside as meaningless rubbish, when you hear a Jamaican proclaim that “anything too black, no too good”, then you are listening to a people who have devalued themselves, I have never heard whites declaring that "anything too white, no too good”. It is a saying that must have had its origin from slavery, I can imagine it being said for the first time on the plantation by the slave master just before the whip cuts across the slave’s back and picked up by both field and house slaves alike, they now started using it against each other.

Our failure to define our “Jamaicanness” is made even worst by the migration of Jamaicans overseas and the resultant importation of other countries culture and value system. This migration have lead to the destruction of the family unit and the creation of generations of abandoned orphaned barrel children left to find their own way in life.

It is so easy for other countries culture to infiltrate our society because most of us are looking for an alternate realm of existence, anywhere else but here. Before 1970 it was Britain, everyone wanted to be British and everyone wanted to go to the mother country, after 1970 everyone wanted to be Americans. With such poor perception of ourselves it is no wonder that we live in a deteriorating society.

In almost all other societies and cultures the people try to preserve certain historical buildings and structures. They stand the test of time and survived against all odds, these buildings reflect a certain historical architectural beauty of the past. Both the Government and the people see no value in anything old, these great structures are left to rot. The government has never set out to educate the people on the value of these historical artifacts. I am convinced the Government does not want an educated society with values preferring instead the “Just-Eat-A-Food” mentality. Since they are much easier to control and are the first to say “Afta dat can nyam!” (it is of no value because it cannot be eaten).

Jamaica 50 should not be about parades, costumes, fireworks, street dances and various merriment. We have been doing that every year for as long as I can remember and that is about the only thing we are good at, that and spending money we have not earned for a good merriment.

Sick to my Stomach of these two circus clowns
I am amazed when ever I hear members of our political class go on and on about celebrating Jamaica 50. Our political class has not invested in the development of Jamaica as a Nation State. They are asking us to celebrate something they have not promoted and have destroyed for their own selfish, greedy lust for political power and wealth. There are people right now who are members of our political class who have armed Jamaicans and send them out to kill other Jamaicans. There are people right now who are members of our political class who have and continue to dip their greedy hands into the public purse stealing from the very people they are supposed to be serving. They are not guided by strength of character and moral devotion to duty nor are they there to build a Nation State for the good of the people and future generations.

What are we celebrating, years since independence or achievements since independence?

Jamaica 50 is suppose to be something more, something special, a result of 50 years of hard work, achievements and Nation Building that highlights to the world our maturity and strength as a people to over come adversity. Our ability to make the right decisions and build a nation state every Jamaican and the world can be proud of, but sadly I am not feeling it.

From slavery to emancipation, to workers rights, to universal adult suffrage and independence, our entire history should have been leading us to this point in space and time when we can look back on our achievements and bask in our own glory BUT we have failed as a people and as a society. Both myself and all my fellow Jamaicans regardless of geographic location have failed.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The British Cornish Pasty vs. The Jamaican Beef Patty

I love my Jamaican Beef Patty and I do love the English Cornish Pasty. I am not sure which one came first or if they are even related but the concepts are the same. Take a delicious baked crust and fill it with tasty meaty goodness. In the case of a Cornish Pasty that tasty goodness is chunks of Genuine beef cooked with potatoes and swedes (turnips) and for an Authentic Jamaican Beef Patty,  the finest Genuine Jamaican beef.

What does a Cornish Pasty and a Jamaican Beef Patty Have in common?
The British Government decided to impose a 20% VAT (Value Added Tax) on hot Cornish pasties. This resulted in a nation wide protest lead by the people of Cornwall against the proposed tax. Even people living in Calumet, Michigan, USA gathered a petition of 500 signatures to show their support. In the end the government was forced to reverse its plans to impose VAT on Cornish pasties.

In Jamaica the Government imposed a new tax on the Jamaican Beef Patty. This resulted in a massive outcry from the people as a beef patty is defined as poor people food. Since the price for this local delicacy is normally under 100 Jamaican dollar. The beef patty will now be subjected to a General Consumption Tax (GCT) of 16.5%.

What is the difference between a British Cornish Pasty and a Jamaican Beef Patty?
The Cornish pasty is made with Genuine British Beef, knowing the proud people of Cornwall and Devon I am sure the pasty is made using Genuine British Cornish/Devon Beef because the people in Devon and Cornwall are extremely proud of locally sourced food, stamped with the British Certification seal of approval as proof of Authenticity.

Protesting the use of Pink Slime:
SOME The Jamaican Beef patty is made using Pink Slime not Genuine Jamaican Ground Beef as companies like Tastee only care about their profit margin, which they guarantee by sourcing cheap meat like alternatives. When a company like Tastee start complaining about the Patty Tax and expressing concern for the "welfare" of the Jamaican people, I just have to laugh since Tastee is feeding the said people cheap meat like substitute that is not fit for human consumption, we must call them what they are … Hypocrites and Parasites!

"One of the country's largest beef patty producer, Tastee Limited, did not respond to The Sunday Gleaner up to press time. According to the Ministry of Finance's official website last year, $4 million to import beef trimmings, but despite several calls and questions sent via email the company has not responded. ...Read More: Jamaica rejects 'pink slime'

"It has been over 4 months since my last Jamaican Beef Patty. I cannot bring myself to buy one, I do not trust the people making and selling it, since I cannot verify what they are putting in my Beef patty. All the Government needs to do is to inspect the importation records of these beef importers, identify the type of beef being imported, the country of origin and the name of the exporter and make this public."

UPDATED 2017/05/27
The Pink slime patty crisis is long over and I have been enjoying my Jamaican Beef Patty.

People who care about Food Mileage 

People who are Proud of where their Food comes from
A Cornish Pasty is not Imported, cheaper alternative is not a requirement

We Demand the same for the Jamaican Beef Patty!

Related Topics
Jamaica is The Riverton City Dump of the Exporting World

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Austerity, Inflationary, No Growth, Bitter Medicine, Debt Reducing IMF Budget

As far as I am concern this “Austerity, Inflationary, No Growth, Bitter Medicine” Budget is a rubbish budget but whichever party was in power I feel would have to deliver this “Austerity, Inflationary, No Growth, Bitter Medicine” Budget which was written in Washington by the IMF and represents a clear sign of their frustration with our inability to live within our means. The world financial organizations are now doubtful that we will be able to repay our loans, plus interest. It is clear also that our political class lacks the ability, innovation and imagination to stimulate real economic and social development. They went to Washington thinking they were going to get a better deal from the IMF than the last set of equally clueless, political class members but came away with the same deal as our previous administration. I can just imagine them around the negotiation table thinking their smooth talk and good looks was enough to soothe the savage beast but instead realising that the world no longer finds us amusing or good looking for that matter, you owe me pay me, which reminds me of that scene from the movie Goodfellas:

Our current economic situation is not sustainable and I am afraid that we may have reached the end of our rope coupled with the fact that the rest of the world is dealing with their own financial turmoil and simply have no time, patience or the means to throw money at us.The UK economy is in a double dip recession and the US economy is going south as they say with anaemic job growth and a stalled economy recovery they are too busy trying to stay above water and really have no time for people who wants to live free at other people’s expense. Our National debt of J$1.7 trillion, is about "One Hundred and Thirty Percent" (130%) of GDP and our budget which is J$612.4 billion, as per Dr. Phillips every new Jamaican born would owe J$600,000. Half the countries on the planet are lining up for financial bailouts and we do not have priority, we are at the back of the queue, there are countries that the world considers more important and they must be serviced first. If the Jamaican stock market crashes it would not cause so much as a ripple in the world's financial markets. Faced with this reality of our position on the totem pole it is then left up the Jamaican people to solve Jamaica’s problems by making the right commonsense decisions, do what is best for our country and people but I doubt that will ever happen, we do not do right or commonsense.

Go to the Back of the Line Jamaica!
The budget provides no incentives to private companies to grow much less survive through the hard times ahead. The government is literally saying, the loan sharks are not going to lend us any more money unless we pay some more on the over J$1.7 trillion we owe them. I agree that some level of increased taxation is required, we must pay the piper since our humongous debt needs servicing. The people carelessly ran up the debt and the people must shut the hell up and pay for it. I have no sympathy in that department, buying an imported luxury SUV that is bigger and value 4 times the house you live in with every expensive luxury electronic devices attached to your belt while kicking and screaming about the price of chicken back is laughable. I am only upset that a special entertainment tax, “The Merriment Tax” was not implemented because nothing will stand in the way of Jamaicans need for entertainment and merriment. Cost is not a factor in this department and as a matter of fact the more expensive the event the more people will turn out to show that they belong in a certain “Big and Large” sector of society, not to mention the chance of being in one of the Observer’s Page 2 pictures.

However I would have liked to see more incentives given to various sectors including farming, manufacturing and export type companies from the budget. The resultant price increases on locally manufactured products and agricultural produces will cause companies in the retail and wholesale industry to seek cheaper alternatives from foreign sources. This budget could result in a massive increase in imports and further devaluation of the dollar. I agree with the tourism tax although they will belly ache and carry on because it affects their profit margin but they have been having it too easy for too long now, tourism is not an infant industry, it is a mature industry being treated like it was newborn.

We Jamaicans are a people who demand so much while contributing so little to our own development. Everything must be given for free but accountability is a must, we must pay the piper sometime, it is not if but when the shit will hit the fan and the world will turn a blind eye. The world is tired of throwing good money into our money sucking Black Hole. We the Jamaican people dig this grave, we cannot lay the blame on anybody else but ourselves, we cannot just a ga-long-so, living for the next merriment and imports on borrowed money. We must start making commonsense decisions or else we will fail.

"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$1.1 Billion dollars."

I see nothing proposed by this Government that will change our situation, which have been getting progressively worse regardless of which party is in power. Our economic indicators have been marginal and mediocre in some areas and deteriorating in most others. Our social indicators have also deteriorated, we have become a selfish and greedy society and it shows. The level of violence within our society is as a result of this. Anything else other than the improvement of these indicators is idle chatter and a waste of time. Our national debt does not grow marginal and mediocre but by Quantum Leaps. Dr. Phillips hinted that with these changes, there could be a balanced budget by 2016, when the Jamaican national debt would decline from the current 130 percent of GDP to 100 percent. I say at what cost, then again I am not sure we have a choice, who in their right mind is going to lend knowing that we are skint, broke, penniless, sucking fumes. We are the Wimpys of the world, J. Wellington Wimpy, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today". This is the only positive thing about this budget, it was engineered to pay down our massive debt and because we ignored it for so long we are out of options, even if we changed government tomorrow the world position will be the same .... F*K you, pay me!!..

It seems the sole purpose and role of the Opposition is to become the Government:

"A scorched earth policy is a military strategy or operational method which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. It is a military strategy where all of the assets that are used or can be used by the enemy are targeted, such as food sources, transportation, communications, industrial resources, and even the people in the area"

The opposition is performing typical opposition duties, that of oppose and run interference, it is classic opposition. This is what every opposition party around the world and across time is doing and have done and ours is no exception. The life of an opposition is a life of luxury, you turn up in parliament and heckle the Government, you stand before the media and heckle the government, you make them rethink every strategy and second guess themselves every step of the way. It seems the main job of the opposition is to keep the people in a continuous state of discontent until they are able to regain power. The opposition does not have to make a decision based on policy or principle, they monitor public sentiments and feelings and whatever the public is against then they are also against, classic litmus test opposition, taking the popular position, as they say in America “armchair quarterbacks” and both the JLP and PNP are professionals at it.

The current Government rejected the Private Sector Working Group GCT proposal and as a result the opposition is for the proposal. If the government had accepted and implemented the proposal then the opposition would have been against it. The opposition ran an election pushing the deliverance of bitter medicines as the only way to forward, that and increase unemployment and when they lost the election they cursed poor people that they voted with their bellies not their heads. But now the opposition is totally against Bitter Medicine and cry for the poor people of Jamaica every chance they get. Now because Mr. Holness have never provided the details of the Bitter Medicine the JLP had promised when they were in Government and fighting an election battle, means he is now free to redefine its meaning base on public sentiment, popular feelings and outrage. Just for the record I am for the Private Sector Working Group GCT proposal it makes sense to me and I hope it will be implemented one day soon, lower the rate to 12.5% and tax everything and everyone, no exception/exemptions.

“Daryl Vaz, who served as Minister of Public Sector Efficiency in Holness administration sounded off on a campaign platform that if the JLP was returned to office, it would "dig out" public sector workers who were blocking the work of the government. “ This is Classic Vaz who may have "single handedly" cost his party the election.

Even when our oppositions have done the same thing in the past, made the same decisions, carry out the same act while in Government they can turn around and criticise the government for doing the exact same thing and make it look like the worst thing in the world. This current opposition have delivered late budgets and have delivered several supplement budgets over the years but now use it as a dirty word against the current government, amazing!

Opposition also like to make promises while in opposition, they can pull them out of their hats on demand. The PNP like the JLP while in opposition made promises after promises and decades would go by and still they make the same promise and still nothing, they copy and paste these promises from one manifesto to the next, heck I think it’s the same manifesto with a date and title change…

While in opposition the PNP also played the same classical hypocritical opposition game, case in point: In 2009 the then JLP Government proposed a new IMF Tax package which was set to take effect on January 1, 2010. The PNP waited for public response and seeing that the public was against it also jumped on the band wagon. Portia Simpson Miller immediately became the defender of the poor and promised the JLP Government a wave of island wide protests if the tax was implemented and called on the Government to roll back the taxes which they did. So the PNP while in opposition forced the JLP Government to roll back taxes but then implemented those same taxes when they became the Government of Jamaica, you cannot make this stuff up!

Whenever a Government becomes the opposition they automatically become experts, magicians and healers. The PNP was in Power for donkey years and nothing but as soon as they became the opposition they can fix the world.

When the JLP was in opposition they had a gift from the Gods, they were experts, magicians and healers and as soon as they became the Government nothing but more debt and more imports. Now in opposition they are again Experts, Magicians and Healers sent by the Gods to fix the world, kinda like Thor.