We have been mesmerized by the US elections, but let us remember that Jamaica just over a year ago took the reins of government. The Golding administration took the rein of our Island nation after been out of power for many moons. It has been tough sledding for this new administration. They came to power after the on slaught of Hurricane Dean. This year the Island had to absorb the pounding blows of two additional Hurricanes. This is prior to trying to address the social, economic challenges. In a visit to Washington in late September, Prime Minister Golding shared his approach to the vexing problem of crime and the rippling impacts. As any new administration, he was forthcoming in sharing the fits and starts, the adjustments, the limited resources at his disposal. We have to keep rooting for him.
The health of the US economy is closely coupled to the health of Jamaica’s.
Tourism, remittances, and bauxite/alumina are the major drivers of the economy, accounting for about 60% of the economy. These will be under significant downward pressure given the enveloping US recession. The long term debt-to-GDP ratio is 135%, driven primarily to bailout initiatives of the financial system in the 90’s. How can we best put a finger in the dike while a long term fundamentally sound infrastructure is put in place?
We are lots of pockets of organizations doing there best to support their favorite institution back home. Is this the best way of leveraging our limited resources? How do we best invest our time, talent and treasure to maximize the impact of the Diaspora?