Latest update March 28th, 2023 12:59 AM
Jan 28, 2023 Editorial
Kaieteur News – It is a fact of life and harsh reality that those who do not, have usually find some way to get something. The norm is that citizens having to do without, resort to crime to feed themselves and their families. It has been noted as a survival mechanism, this kind of human criminal predation, and that anywhere there are those eking out a painful living that always leaves them short, they are the ones that take matter into their hands. Their fellow citizens feel the brunt of their callous, often vicious, activities.
We at this paper do not excuse, do not condone, crime in any shape or form, and reserve a particular anger for lawbreakers who injure, or harm in any manner, those sharing space, those coming into contact, with them. There is that truth that must be said, and this reality that also must be shared. When citizens of a country are severely lacking, then there are some in those tormented ranks who take the plunge, and commit crimes, be they crimes of opportunity, of premediated calculation, or out of sheer necessity. It is of the latter category that we wish to focus.
To find oneself emptyhanded in an impoverished country with little prospects is a terrible state to consider, one in which to live. On the other hand, to still be without, short and lacking in the basics of daily life in a fabulously rich country, one with a future that the world dreams about and envies, is a crime speaking for itself. This just should not be, not in a place like Guyana, about which experts the world over can only speak in awe, so rich is our present, so much richer is the promise of our future. It is a brilliant, almost guaranteed, promise and future, but only when those in charge do their best to get the most. This has not happened, and even though that reality exists, there is still enough that has come into Guyana’s coffers that no Guyanese should be in the soup kitchen line, or the breadline, with hand outstretched.
We have more money than we have ever had before, thanks to oil returns and deposits. Yet, there is the punishing reality of this great disparity in what is done with the oil money coming into Guyana, through the decisions made. There is this overwhelming emphasis by the PPPC Government on infrastructure building or enhancing, which is a good thing by itself. But, our position is clear and unmoving: it cannot be at the expense of so many of our citizens at different rungs on the economic ladder, who are left to fend for themselves, and manage anyhow that they can. Too many tens of billions are identified for infrastructure, while too few billions is the story regarding the degree of relief that is extended to poorer, more vulnerable Guyanese, the ones that need a hand most desperately.
When a kind and caring hand, a timely one, from government is not coming, and struggling citizens observe the few that are being enriched from many generous programs and budgetary provisionsmade possible by the same government, then all manner of ill-will is harbored. Those ignored, those shortchanged and by a huge margin, have little left but empty hands that they put to use in the worst possible way. They attack their fellow citizens, they rob them, may even brutalise them. The have nots target the haves, which means that still more billions must be found to boost the security, judicial, and prison sectors, all congested and struggling to cope. In the addition to the present, the seeds of seething discontent are sown, and the lessons of history are that such flareups are all but inevitable.
Considering the above, it is why we urge and plead that there be better balance between physical infrastructure and the architecture of human need and suffering. There must be a smaller gap between the massive sums earmarked for infrastructure versus that identified to improve the life of Guyanese forced to crawl in a time of grand developments, great prosperities. We can do better for our left behind, or we risk an environment of insecurity, the unhealthy, and the unhappy.
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