Categorized | Editorials

Making Good on Promises

We have some good news concerning the new PLP administration: As they promised, so too are they making good on promises recently made in their campaign dash to victory at the polls.

This is the conclusion that we have reached after listening in to the Speech from the Throne – as delivered by Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes.

We are also buoyed by the proposal that would seek to deal in a sensible way with those matters germane to both wagering made on line and to certain issues concerning the possible introduction and establishment of a ‘national’ lottery.

The Government might well be advised to so effect change that these matters are all left to the private sector.

In addition, provision should be made to see to it that no law that concerns itself with lotteries, gaming and casinos should be allowed to discriminate as between visitors and Bahamian nationals and residents.

In each instance, the over-arching principle should be to recognize the Bahamian person’s inherent rights to privacy, property and person. Bahamians and residents should –as they make their decisions how to spend their hard-earned money – do as they please.

None of this deters any Bahamian person or resident from following advice given them by their pastors or other religious. This is as it should be in a land where people have their rights to differ on certain matters; even where they may be in the minority.

In addition, while we do understand the current administration’s continuing fascination with home-building for a certain class of Bahamians who want to ‘invest’ in their own home, we counsel caution. Indeed, we are all for matters such as these to be left to the private sector.

There is nothing wrong – in principle- with renting or leasing both land and housing for periods and amounts agreed upon by parties to the deal. The market for such properties might very well find its own sweet niche for a certain kind of customer in times that are as tight as they are currently.

Indeed, we go further and call on all who would ‘invest’ in owning their own dwelling accommodation to note that there is – in reality- no such thing as a low-cost house.

Any quantum of funds can only purchase what it can at rates decided by the market. And even where there are concessions granted this or that person, someone else ultimately pays. The current administration should –as it promises- move swiftly to so rationalize this nation’s tax system that it is brought up to speed with standards that are approved by the World Trade Organization.

In addition, there is implicit in The Speech from The Throne the notion that the current administration would also be well-advised to continue its rationalization of how it taxes and how it goes about collecting any and all revenues that are due Caesar.

No matter how you cut it, the bulk of these revenues will come our way from the United States of America; thus are the fundamentals of the Bahamian economy that most of these dollars are destined to return to the United States.

Indeed, such has been the impact of the United States of America that most Bahamians alive are trying to live out their own version of the so-called American dream.

Interestingly, as that dream sours for hundreds of millions of Americans living and working in the United States of America, so too is the same dream souring for tens of thousands of Bahamians. The reality today is that time and events are finally catching up with people who thought that there was some easy route to the good life.

Many of these folks came to believe that you could –as the jingle goes- buy now and pay later. In extreme cases, some buyers were made to believe that the vendor himself could – and through some accountant’s sleight of hand – ‘qualify’ them for loans that required no money down.

These days of high fantasy are coming to an abrupt and sometimes cataclysmic end. As they do, people are beginning to understand the truth that is inherent in the proposition that there is no free lunch. Gone are those days when the living was easy and when lots of money could be earned by any who had enough hustle.

In this regard, we hasten to add that as things return to some type of normalcy, more and more of our people will be obliged to learn and understand that productivity does matter. We also suspect that the time is nigh when more and more of our people will be obliged to understand that the world owes them precisely nothing.

When this is understood, these same people will understand that reward goes to those men and women who know that when they work, they should give full value for money.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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