Reference is made to a Guyana Chronicle August 24th article, “Impress Youth Expo angers dinosaurs who want to re-write history.”
The failure of the government to disprove statements made by the Guyana Trades Union Congress in its August 15th press release regarding President Jagdeo’s distortion and selective recall of history, coupled with his administration’s failure to have a Youth Development Policy, have seen them cowering behind more distortions.
The nation’s future, the youth, continue to be treated with contempt by this government and are urged to take note and put an end to it.
While the article reminds “history is important, as it is the only way we can gauge our progress,” it failed to prove “progress.” Today’s youth are primarily raised in the environment of a PPP government.
The president; ministers Frank Anthony, Jennifer Webster, Robert Persaud, Jennifer Westford, Shaik Baksh, Manzoor Nadir, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, naming a few of the over 20 ministers, were the youth of pre-October 1992 era.
A comparison of their opportunities to unleash their potential and participate in nation-building as against today’s youth and their future, given the current reality, the picture remains dismal and hopeless. For instance, the young generation of President Jagdeo, et al, had opportunities to free education from nursery to university, which the current do not have.
President Jagdeo, a young PPP card-bearing member, was employed as a Planner in the State Planning Secretariat under a PNC-led administration, participating in nation-building that would have benefitted him – an opportunity many are today denied if they are not affiliated to, or in bed with, the PPP.
Take note, today there is no State Planning Secretariat because the PPP dismantled it, opting to apply ad hoc approaches to national planning and implementation which stifle potential; deny structured and equitable development; and offer cover to mismanage the nation’s resources.
Under their stewardship the narco-economy co-mingles with the formal economy, accounting for as much as 60% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on a study by Professor Clive Thomas, et al. In any moment of honesty, the PPP and ministers will admit this level of criminality is new and a creature of theirs.
In looking at the fundamental right to work, many are unemployed, and the few who are employed, many of their classmates, families, villagers or townsmen are unemployed.
Many are at the street corner having nothing to do or are engaged in illicit activities because of the government’s failure to create the enabling environment for legitimate work and the glorification of crime and protection of criminals.
According to the National Development Strategy, between 1992-1997, the employment decline was 46 percent in the public service; Linmine 43 percent; Bermine 30 percent; and in GuySuCo, 31 percent.
This administration has put more people on the breadline, and given the absence of any major investment to absorb the laid-off, and with more young people joining the workforce, the figures would be higher.
They failed to admit over 80 percent of university graduates are forced to flee and unleash their potential in developing other countries, in as much as such skills are needed here.
Additionally, nurses, teachers, artisans, cane cutters, etc, are leaving in droves because of poor remuneration/job satisfaction, inability to provide basic amenities for self and family, denial of rights, escalating crimes, and poor social services.
The PPP has demonstrated it has no regard for politics that put people and their development at the centre. Neither does it care that a foremost responsibility of every government is to ensure the citizens lead productive lives. And these are proven in their actions. One, the failure to see the young are not complaining about working; they are instead crying out for employment opportunities.
Two, the failure to implement the National Development Strategy, which would have ensured development for all.
Three, the millions from the Treasury that could have gone toward productive endeavours had high-ranking officials avoided their fun and frolic at taxpayers’ expense.
Four, the millions in waste, fraud and abuse that could have gone toward creating new jobs and spreading the wealth around.
Five, ensuring shared economic burden/responsibility by taxing the incomes of those in the hierarchy and their cohorts who inexplicably are not required to pay taxes. Six, reducing the draconian 16 percent VAT and 33.3 percent PAYE would have given workers more disposable income to improve their standard of living.
Seven, respecting the rights of citizens and upholding the rule of law would have fostered a society of order, peaceful co-existence and prosperity.
Even as the government talks of food shortage and lines of yesteryear, they fail to admit today many cannot afford the skyrocketing food prices, mortgages, rent, transportation, healthcare, school supplies, electricity and water rates. They conveniently ignore these daily challenges of existence under their stewardship, which they must be
held accountable for. If it weren’t for barrels and remittances, which have become the staple of survival and a significant contributor to the GDP, the deprivation would have been worse.
Further, the claimed increase in the “school uniform assistance project,” and “school feeding programme” are not indicators of development. In fact these are indicators of the growing inability of many families to provide basic items for their children. Only an irresponsible and uncaring government would take pride in policies that increase dependency, deny fundamental rights and strip persons of their dignity.
Yet, in spite of these glaring failures, the Jagdeo-Ramotar team expects the young to believe their tale that “nowhere in this world is nation-building as easy as Lewis would have us believe, where jobs are readily available for all, where people do not have to work hard to enjoy the fruits of their labour.”
Clearly, this administration has failed the people and proven it is incapable of delivering good governance. Being given the privilege to govern, in the interest of all, they have opted to abuse same, and created a plantation society where there exists different rules for them and the people, as they parade their questionable wealth, and engineer the widening of the gap between the haves and have-nots.
Their actions continue to deny legitimate and holistic development and since the future belongs to the young, they have a right and responsibility to play a role in moulding it. Consequently, they have to be the change they want to see. Be discerning and rejecting of the liars and those deliberately coaxing ignorance, diversion and division in the hope of covering their failures to them, stifling their potential, facilitating poverty and dependency, and eroding their dignity by denying them what’s rightly theirs.
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