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Buffalo, NY- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers apprehended two Guyanese nationals as they attempted to enter the United States illegally as stowaways aboard an inbound commercial truck
The two individuals were identified as Bramhadaut Prashad and Debra Appadu, both Guyanese nationals

 

PPP Economic Report Card – 16 Years: D Minus

Peter R. Ramsaroop, MBA

INTRODUCTION:
We all know that Oct 5th was the anniversary of the PPP ascending to Government. 

BEFORE 1992
Thanks to Herculean efforts from many in the Diaspora in USA, including many representative meetings with the following:

Senator Ted Kennedy, 

The Desk Officer for Guyana, at the US State Department, Washington, DC;

 plus superb Herculean Efforts from  the Working People’s Alliance, Guyana

 Human Rights Association, 

The Catholic Standard, 

GUARD ( Dr. Yesu Persaud), and 

US President Jimmy Carter (Carter Center), Guyana held free and fair elections, resulting in a PPP/C Government since 1992.

Over the last 16 years, we have been nauseated by the mention of Burnham’s 21 years of rule. We know the Hoyte seven years brought the economic recovery (bartered sex for visas) in the early nineties that Dr. Jagan and we benefited from. That recovery stopped in 1997 and inflation has risen every year since then.

Guyana was the recipient of significant debt write offs by funding agencies and is now receiving new funding for roads, healthcare and infrastructural changes.  Those are the basic things any government around the world must do for its country.

This week we have been bombarded with fake letter writers in one newspaper that commend the PPP/C for their economic progress. The only measurement for such progress the propagandists said was “new buildings, four-lane roads, new stadium, new hotel, and street lights” 

THE REPORT CARD
What do you consider economic success? Use the following as a guide that you can grade for yourself the report card of the PPP/C:

 

1.  What was your salary five years ago is it much different today?
2.  Do you have a job and is it a job that has advancement opportunities?
3.  Flash forward to 2011 – almost 20 years of PPP rule – Our country is still the poorest in South America as it was in Burnham’s 21 years of rule.
4. Unemployment rate, the highest in South America
5. Crime, less safety and security – Are you safer?
6. Corruption – Report Card from Transparency International already rated us the second most corrupt country in the region.
7. Narco trafficking – alleged drug lords arrested, let go, arrested; some had to be ‘kidnapped’ by the US.
8. Controlled Media – One state run radio station for such a large country
9. Politicking at University of Guyana
10. VAT implementation, highest tax in the region for its citizens
11. Huge Loss of International Respect on Governance. Officials denied Visas
12. Governmental Abuse of Power – Concessions to friends
13. Migration to the Caribbean, highest in decades
14. Migration to US and Canada, legal and backtrack, highest in decades
15. Schools with Latrines (pit).
16. Schools that have not been internally upgraded in 30 years – No computer labs
17. Minimum wage for a store worker is about $3000 a week, are you one?
18. To buy a car and pay 75,000 a month requires you to make 3 times that amount, do you?
19. Tax is controlled by Government -  what do you pay (16% VAT, 33% Income Tax, 5.6% NIS, License, Rates and Taxes, Property Taxes…….)
20. Living standards are stagnant – how many still can’t afford gas stoves in this country.
21. What is the debt for the Stadium, when do we have to pay it back?
22. Has the GRA done any homework on where money comes from to build housing schemes and Hotels?
23. How much money a month do you have to get from your families overseas in order to survive?
24. How many of you have to cheat on electricity just to have lights for your children to do their homework?
25. Where did the money come from for the Berbice Bridge, your NIS that you are supposed to get when you retire?
26. How many of you wake up every day wondering where you would get money to send your children to school, food, transportation, uniforms etc.
27. How many of you store owners keep two books, one for you and one for GRA, just to survive and keep your business afloat.?
28. 
What did we get for spending $500 million on Carifesta, did any tourists come? Was that money spent on your business?
29. Fast forward to Christmas, do you have any extra money saved to buy presents for your children. Rewind to five years ago, were you not in the same situation?
30. For you overseas Guyanese, when you come back, do you complain you cannot sleep without an air conditioner, wondering if you would have blackout that night, saying to yourself, I can’t live like this anymore,….why?
31. How much extra money (consumer spending) do you have a month to buy nice things for your children and yourself, take your partner for a nice dinner?

CONCLUSION:
Without the right tax reduction and incentives, without the right controls, accountability, transparency, and good governance, without the heavy interventionist hand of government on the private sector, the economic progress of our nation will be stagnant.

For those few that got money in contracts that can then put up large buildings, then you will rate the report card higher, for those that used our taxpayers’ money to build hotels, you will answer the report card differently.  For all others, I will be curious what your rating of the PPP report card will be. If it is only on buildings, roads and street lights, then they will get a sure ‘A’.  

If it is on your personal economics, whether you have been able to move from a bicycle to motor cycle, then to a car, you can now afford to buy a house, and have money to buy your children food and clothes and you have all of those necessities then you will rate them high. 

If you are still struggling, poor and wondering where the next $1000 will come from then remember, it is our job to tell our government they are doing a poor job on managing the economics of our nation. Civil Society must get involved. No more jumbie economics.

Send your answer to:  Peter.ramsaroop@gmail.com

Thursday, October 09, 2008