Eyewitness: It’s all about…the economy, budday!

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Your Eyewitness hears a lot of complaints from the Opposition benches about the economy “going to the dogs”. One specific complaint is the “lack of jobs”. Now, while he understands that we’re still in the throes of a persistently high unemployment rate, there are still jobs that are going a-begging. Where are those jobs, you ask, Dear Reader? Well, how about what was once our biggest industry but is now floundering? The one that’s the reason all of us are on this sliver of land along the Atlantic. Yes, your Eyewitness is talking about the sugar industry!!

Hasn’t GuySuCo’s new CEO been pleading with sugar workers to come out to harvest the cane? At best, he says, he can’t get more than 70 per cent or so to show up on the “order lines”. Now, if there’s the need for about 8000 workers in the downsized sugar industry, that means he has jobs for some 2400 able-bodied men. And since the Opposition’s always been complaining about sugar workers being “pampered” and earning massive salaries that have to be “subsidised”, your Eyewitness always wondered why they don’t send their supporters to fill the gap!! Shouldn’t we be sharing the wealth in the country??

After all, it’ll lead to a virtuous circle: more cane being cut will lead to more sugar produced which leads to more of it being EXPORTED and that will lead to more foreign funds earned and let us buy foreign goodies – like ice-apple if we so choose!! And this reminds your Eyewitness about this thing we call the “economy”?? What exactly is this? So, he digs into his memory banks from his days as a freshman – which ain’t so fresh anymore!! – and remembers the formula: C+G+I+NX!! Meaning, “Consumption (that’s us spending our big bucks!)” plus “Government spending” plus “Investment” plus “Net Exports”.

So, we can all do our bit by SPENDING!! And we know that the Government’s certainly spending!!And as such, your Eyewitness can’t understand why the Opposition’s so much up in arms against the Government for saying it’ll withdraw the US$650 Million that’s sitting in the NY Fed earning no interest. If there will be Parliamentary Debate over the specifics of the spending – for infrastructure – what’s the issue? At least there will be the need to hire scads of workers – who’ll be drawing salaries to spend in the economy, no? “C” in the equation!!

As for the “I” – well, we’ve been always dependent on FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT –- but this time with the Government’s Local Content Bill passed, imagine the volume of LOCAL investment that will be made?
But your Eyewitness can understand the Opposition’s discomfiture.
What’ll they complain about??

…strategic spending

Your Eyewitness noticed that the Opposition economist fella – who was the Chairman of GuySuCo when Granger shuttered four sugar estates –- just completed THIRTEEN ARTICLES on what he called the “Buxton Proposal”. No…this doesn’t have anything to do with the Buxton Freedom Fighters – at least your Eyewitness hopes so!! It’s his proposal that from the NRF fund, the Government should immediately give US$5000 annually to each Guyanese family!!

Now your Eyewitness remembers there are some 225,000 families in the land. So, this means this economist is asking for US$5000 X 225,000 = US$1,125,000,000 (US$1.125 Billion) be handed out every year. So, why is the Opposition so het up about the Govt spending the half of that now in the NRF for Infrastructure? They feel that “Consumption” by us citizens is better than “Government Spending” on things like roads and bridges??
But doesn’t that mean we’ll be left with nothing to pass on to our grandchildren, Guyana, when the oil runs out?
What kind of economics is that??

…the kind of economist

And it’s for the above reason that your Eyewitness agrees with whoever decided to do away with the PNC-proposed “Committee of Macroeconomists” to suggest how we spend the NRF.
Craziness!