People are Leaving
We are in the second millennium now and it's quite evident that as time progresses that more and more people will be leaving Jamaica. This is based on my own personal experience with friends and family most of whom have left already or are about to leave, thus giving me the time to to become a blogger. Anyway let me get back on track, why are people leaving? This should be quite clear if you are living in Jamaica, the hardest challenge you face is the economy.
Taxes alone can drive an individual crazy. I found this out after my first year working and I have been working for the past 12 years and it has gotten worse. I will not be dealing with the fact that the country seems to be educating a class of people for which no jobs are available therefore the job market is filled with educated but inexperienced. However getting back to the taxation of salaries, as I have said already I have been working for over 12 year now and believe me when I say that my salary isn't one at all but yet it is taxed by my "considerate" government. This is unjust in my eyes as to date I have not recovered the opportunity cost of going to sixth form I am now only making enough money to facilitate me continuing to work. Therefore I am practically working so that I can go to work. I will not embarrass myself by using figures I will only ask that you take my word as a Jamaican. We are taxed with every transaction, we are taxed from our salaries, we are taxed when we purchase food and then we are taxed when we go to the pumps for gas. The triple taxation without representation.
The Labour Force
Another fact is this, although more and more companies are requiring more and more qualifications for entry level jobs these stations can be taken by anybody with a Diploma. If this is what it’s like for people like myself who have invested two more years studies after high school with the hope of attaining a job which compliments their educational foundation then there will be no argument here when it’s time to leave. I know I would be contributing to a problem I feel will soon determine Jamaica's future; I speak of “brain drain", but options are not being made available.
At this time in my life I have a belief that Jamaica is a place where you take vacations not a place you work. Follow me closely now while I explain. In Jamaica, and this you can ask anyone because it seems to be the case all around the globe, when you possess the right amount of money anything is possible, better stated things are made possible. The same is true in Jamaica, with money you are able to enjoy the scenery, the people, the culture, the music & a feeling of being content. However when you are "pauperized” (without money) there is an endless list of things that you have to succumb to as a result of your position. If you were to ask a returning resident why they came back knowing the economic situation they'll tell you Jamaica is a great place to live. This is why people have left to make their money abroad and after being established they have returned to live the real life that can only be experienced on an island such as Jamaica. I for one will not blame individuals who have left as I have seen the advantages Jamaica gets from those abroad. Looking at the average family household in Jamaica which usually consists of at least five members ( no I haven't done any studies to arrive at this figure so sue me) with one member abroad and doing well money will obviously be coming in for the other four still in Jamaica. I don't know your thoughts on the matter but this to me seems better than five people struggling just to keep working.
Well I've stated the obvious and now is the time for answers. How can we as Jamaicans change this situation? I wont lie I'd rather stay on this island of "wood and water" its where I grew up, where I started my family, its all I've ever known. However given the climate you most keep your options open. I don't like to tell people what to do so I'll invite you to pitch suggestions