Letters & Opinion

We Need to Look in the Mirror, or Woe be Unto Us!

Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

EVERYBODY defends their right to do as they please, especially when they are selling a commodity or a service. Prices seem to have gone sky-high and everybody blames the system, but never consider that they are also responsible for price hikes and price-gouging.

We all should have a choice to purchase or not, or to bargain, if necessary, in our interest. But some people remain resolute in their thinking and refuse to see another’s view point.

No doubt, imports of all types have gone sky-high as it relates to cost, but that ought not to mean that local produce should follow suit just because other prices went up. Yet, that is the reality we are facing.

In the case of farming products, there ought to be varying categories of produce, some demanding plenty of inputs and in some cases lots of risk, but equally there are some traditional crops that need no additional inputs and only depend on seasonality.

When there is a glut, everybody assumes it will drive prices down, but some would rather see it waste, or thrown away, rather than selling for a dime less.

Yet, these same people welcome discounts when they buy, they welcome moments when the government offers concessions, or give selective products no VAT status, or make some items price-controlled… They welcome the fact that government forfeits certain payments, such as in education not having to pay facilities fees, or not having to pay for certain subjects, as well as additional cash for first-time students.

Most like the extended barrel imports deal that they get for such a long period of time, complements of the government. They like it too when certain businesses offer sales on discounted prices on certain commodities. They welcome free technological gadgets and all other support necessary to ease the squeeze, but when it comes to them having the same attitude towards service to others, or their own sales, most are not prepared to ease the squeeze for the general buying public.

We also have a new problem on the horizon. Everybody is waiting and anticipating that the state will introduce a minimal wage, but nobody realizes that with this new addition, all business persons will up their prices to recuperate the loss of profit, or to find new ways to continue to profit in the same way they did previously.

It’s a revolving door. There is no giving and taking, nor any understanding that we are all in this financial stress together, as every business person seeks self-satisfaction, but has no consideration for those unable to meet the cost of sale items and services.

I suggest that we consider that if we do not compromise, or become considerate, the end result will be more criminal behaviour.

Can we afford to drive-up the crime wave more than it is at present?

Will we benefit in the long run, or run the risk of living on the edge because every other person can be a thief or criminal in behaviour? Is that the way to go?

Should selfishness become the continual order of the day? Can’t we collectively beat the system? Are we prepared for the posable dog-eat-dog society that will result from our actions? Can we cope? Are we not burying ourselves alive? Are we aware of the consequences tomorrow of our actions today and now?

I hope that such discussion becomes a necessity before we reach rock bottom.

We need to sit at the round table and bring all stakeholders in that forum, to see and understand the possibilities, or the outcome.

Who knows? We may need regulations or more stringent laws, as well as investigating the corrupt persons who practice such behaviour. We need to protect the weak and the meek, the have-nots and the unable and disabled.

We need to look in the mirror – or, woe be unto us!

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