November 8, 2008

Change in America- What it means for us

Posted in Economics, Guyana, Philosophy, Politics tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:59 am by randallbutisingh

Change in America- What it means for us

November 7, 2008 | By knews | Filed Under Features / Columnists, The “Roop” Economic Corner

Peter R. Ramsaroop, MBA

INTRODUCTION
This week, history was made with the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Many Guyanese, both here and in the Diaspora, were advocating for his election. Many issues face America–the financial meltdown, a war gone wrong and a country alienated from the rest of the world. The people finally decided that change was necessary.
The issues America now faces are really no different from what we are experiencing right now in Guyana; only that we have it on a smaller scale.
Most of our people are frustrated with our economics; we have had over 16 years of one-party rule with no new initiatives on the horizon. We keep attempting to fix the same old things we have had for thirty years. We are still fixing the rice, sugar and bauxite industries. We are still fixing the old Demerara Harbour Bridge.
We have not fixed Parliament. The opposition still has no influence on the passage of any Bills and is at the point of frustration. When will we stop fixing and start creating change, creating history, creating a better place for our citizens.
In his victory speech Barack Obama said, “this victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance to make that change.” Those words and many others ushered in a new era in the political and hopefully economic landscape of the free world.
OUR STATE
The continued state of poverty and the repercussions of this condition, such as crime and migration, are constant reminders of how the current administration is simply biding time until the next elections with the hope of hoodwinking the people into once again believing they will better the country.
It is hard to believe there is even a real understanding of the issue at hand. Many Guyanese, both locally and around the world, are asking when we will have our Obama, when we would have the change we need to ensure a better nation.
We have been a loan-driven economy funded by taxation of the population. We all hope that our country too can change, and that we too can have a brighter future.
Stretching that $1000 bill ($5 US) is becoming harder every day for many.
One major concern I have with the election of the Democrats in the US is more money is normally spent on domestic programmes, so as a nation we will need to be prepared for less funding.
This, too, is compounded by the current global financial crisis. What this means to us is that we have to find our own way and lead the fight for the development of our own programmes and initiatives to benefit our people.
In a way this gives us the chance to get the change we need.
NATION-BUILDING PROGRAMMES
Solving the energy crisis in our nation should become one of our top priorities. It is no longer acceptable that a country as rich in the relevant natural resources as we are is so way behind in alternative energy programmes.
It is high time we move to ethanol, wind power and hydropower production, developing programmes with a hope of surviving, unlike those in schemes gone by. We have a significant opportunity here to partner with Venezuela since they too are faced with a similar issue.
President-elect Obama will be very focused on re-building the economics of America; we can take note of the strategy that will be embraced. One of his goals is job creation, especially with rural America in mind.
A goal worthy of adoption here, as we need to look at industries that can do the same. One of my friends in Virginia, USA, who builds navy ships, asked me recently why we haven’t marketed our waters for shipbuilding. We need to find the right location; many of us believe Hogg Island, which is the size of Barbados, will be a great spot to explore.
We can build our own Barbados for many of us to go to right here in Guyana, imagine.
CONCLUSION
The change in America has proven to the world that dreams can happen if people come together. Our young generation is the largest voting bloc in 2011. Imagine if they decide that we too can change.
Imagine if they too embrace the concept of it not being an Indo-Guyanese of the PPP or Afro-Guyanese of the PNC as the candidate, but just a Guyanese that is elected based on their leadership, vision and character.
Many of us may vie for the job, but what is most important is that the masses step up to become involved and engaged in the discussions for a better nation, a “We Guyana” where we can see the economic changes we so desperately need.
When as a country we each start taking the initiative to move beyond apathy to affect progress and reform to the stagnant cycle of poverty, we will see a true “development agenda” that will actually work for our people. Until next time, “Roop”

Email: Peter.ramsaroop@gmail.com

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