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‘Money and common sense worlds apart’

Friday, August 11, 2017
Steve Alvarez

Whether we are debating security, education, infrastruc­ture, health care or agriculture, money is a major factor in de­liberations. T&T’s development and sustainability depends on our ability to raise income. It is with this in mind that I am confused by the approach to many money matters.

Imagine for a moment a multi-billion dollar company changing its successful key personnel every five years for no other reason but to give someone else a job. Whether that new person is as compe­tent as his or her predecessor does not matter. That kind of development may seem in­sane to many.

In T&T after almost every general election many of our senior managers, directors and executives in our major insti­tutions like the Central Bank, Petrotrin and the National Gas Company and other State En­terprises are replaced. Would it not make sense to ensure that these institutions are operated by non-political pro­fessional whose only interest is the long-term development and sustainability of these en­terprises?

Many may agree that To­bago is largely dependent on tourism for its sustainability. If that is so, isn’t it strange that some people in Tobago are saying no to a hotel chain that can transform the tour­ism sector for the better?

Sandals has an internation­al reputation for high quality, one that attracts many for­eigners to its resorts. Wouldn’t Tobago benefit from increased tourists to its shores? What is the logic behind saying no to Sandals?

Our labour unions tradi­tionally get their funds from members who get their funds from their wages and salaries. One can safely assume that unions will be very happy to see increased employment opportunities as it indirectly leads to increased member­ship and funding.

If there is any truth to a suggestion that one per cent of our population controls our wealth and consequent em­ployment opportunities, what is the wisdom in calling for a boycott of that one per cent? Is there a change in the objec­tives of unions from seeking the best employment packag­es and gainful employment for its members to having them retrenched? Shouldn’t unions be encouraging investors and supporting business growth as it ultimately means increased income for them as well?

Perhaps our T&T econo­my, like most things, is not subject to the fundamentals of economics and common sense. After all, for five mil­lion dollars one can build a five-bedroom luxury house with a swimming pool and all the modern appliances, but if one were to attempt to build a concrete bridge eight feet wide across our roadway for pedestrian crossing, suddenly five million dollars cannot pay for the foundation.

If we were to dream of building a few concrete struc­tures on Maracas beach then one automatically enters the realm of tens or hundreds of millions. Why invest in buying our own boat for Tobago when we can rent one for millions and enrich others?

In this land, money and common sense seems to be worlds apart.

God Bless Our Nation.

Steve Alvarez


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