Letters & Opinion

“All for Ourselves and Nothing for Other People.”

By James Stanislaus

IN his 2016 book, Who Rules The World? Noam Chomsky, aligns himself with those committed to the higher values and causes such as freedom, justice, mercy, and peace. He eloquently chastised politicians and leaders in society who exhibited a dearth of moral philosophy: “We should not forget Adam Smith’s perspicuous observation that the “masters of mankind”—in his day, the merchants and manufacturers of England—never cease to pursue their “vile maxim”: “All for ourselves, and nothing for other people.” 

As St. Lucia continues its precipitous slide down a very slippery road, the reality of the ensuing chaos is unfolding at an alarming rate. The Global Ports Holdings (GPH) agreement which the government promised to make public remains wrapped in secrecy. The most shocking revelation is that GPH, which will contribute a meager forty-seven million US dollars for a forty-year agreement, will reap a financial bonanza, estimated at US $40 million annually in cruise ship head taxes or an EC$ 1.1 billion in forty years. Are St Lucians asleep when such a blatant and dubious one-sided transaction is permitted to take place? And even more discomforting is the loud silence from the Chamber of Commerce who is the nation’s conscience on matters of integrity and prudence in commerce and finance. Based on the loss suffered from this unscrupulous transaction, the taxpayers of this country will now be called upon to shoulder the shortfall by way of more oppressive taxes such as the recent 2.5% levy.

The insanity taking place at the Hewanorra International Airport by way of a senseless addition to a terminal that has expired its usefulness and more importantly a terminal not in keeping with the demands of the traveling world or the competition from our sister Caribbean nations. Regrettably, this administration has stopped another world-class project which would have been nearing completion at the end of 2023. True to form, the government lost its way by abandoning a state-of-the-art medical structure for a structurally compromised field hospital constructed some eighty years ago.

A well-maintained road system is essential to the development of a nation. Sadly, this has been left wanting by way of neglect from a visionless and clueless government. A government that has not and cannot apprehend that growth can only occur through sensible and sustainable development and not by taxation. Examples of failed states that pursued this purposeless and haphazard format are Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Uganda. Today, almost fifty years later, those countries remain at the mercy of the international community to address their ongoing woes.

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