APRIL 4, 2013 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
There are three grave tragedies of the Guyanese condition created or magnified by our divisive politics since 1950. One is the scourge of racism and ethnic polarization. Another is moral and psychological degradation of the nation. The third is economic impoverishment.
The first and the last elements have always existed in this land since the events pre- and post-Emancipation reshaped this landscape. The moral and psychological degradation of the Guyanese people before the arrival of the bitter struggles of the PPP and the PNC was limited to the immoral domination by the bourgeoisie of the working class.
The working class majority itself was peaceful, hardworking and decent-minded people grounded in justice and fairness in a sharing and crime-free working class stratum despite their sufferings. That changed with the arrival of the PPP and the PNC. They introduced full-scale ethnic division and racial apartheid politics to Guyana.
They caused their constituencies who were 85% of the population to adopt morally fraudulent and catastrophic positions out of this racial division. It was no longer what was right, just or fair, but what was racially opportunistic.
Negative ethnic generalizations and stereotyping became full-blown diseases under their reigns. All Africans were the PNC and all Indians were the PPP.
Moral hypocrisy strutted supreme. A dictatorial PNC government was to be overthrown by a Stalinist PPP party that crushed democracy. PNC socialism injected with healthy communist action (see nationalization) was condemned by the PPP and its supporters who advocated in the same breath the replacement with a communist state. PNC supporters sinfully accepted the atrocities of the PNC government just like PPP supporters support the abominations of the PPP government today.
In the grand circle of irony, these two groups of supporters have become one and the same. This moral undermining of the nation that took place in the racial-political struggles of the fifties and sixties have left an indelible stain on this nation’s psyche and morality. Even today, there are calls for the repetition of these stereotypes as evidenced during the 2011 election campaign when Bharrat Jagdeo reminded those who endured the PNC struggles to recall those experiences for the youths of today.
The moral damage was not limited to the psychological operations of the PPP and PNC and their race-driven political orgy. It has to do with the economic woe the PPP and PNC left this nation. Both of these parties have been dismal economic managers. Despite its working class rhetoric, the PPP’s economic management from 1957 to 1964 was a failure that saw economic decline and hardship for the working class along with increasing corruption.
The PNC was handed an economy in gradual decline in 1964 and took it over the precipice with a reckless socialist policy accompanied by corruption and mismanagement. In 1992, the PPP got a destroyed economy that was beginning to grow again and has delivered modest growth in an era of the greatest worldwide economic growth. The modest gains the PPP achieved have been largely shifted by deliberative government policy into the hands of a new upper class who benefit from the largesse and corruption of the PPP.
All of this economic mismanagement has pushed the majority of this country to moral corruption in order to survive. Not only do they have to work for immoral government, they are constantly morally debasing themselves in order to obtain a basic modicum of decent living. Even worse, this is now instinctive and normal for many.
By allowing illegal activity like drug trafficking to flourish, the PPP has firmly destroyed the already wavering moral core of this country. Economic destitution leads to moral equivalency and Guyana since the fifties has been a prime example of this truism. We have people who condone or execute all manner of atrocity for fear of losing that laughable paycheque in a country of rampant unemployment.
In dictatorial governments, people become afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation and harm. The mind becomes Pavlovian, directed by the dictates of the regime. This is what has happened in Guyana since the fifties. Slavery was abolished some 175 years ago while Indentureship ended 96 years ago, yet this nation remains very much a plantation moved by race and economic survival. This gives us the constant moral massacre or the annihilation of the moral code of this nation.
Right and wrong is relative in this nation because there is no moral line left that cannot be crossed. Wrong is very right in Guyana and right is often wrong and illusory. We are a nation in a moral quagmire from which extraction requires sacrifice, which we lack.
In every country that has built itself from ruins, except Guyana, there is an unmissable connection between sacrifice and struggle and moral reclamation. In these countries, people struggle, scrimp, sacrifice and battle to improve their lot, but they also possess a powerful moral philosophy about it; that they will endorse those who will help them achieve their redemption and reject those who are morally abject.
In Guyana, we have a generally hardworking nation that somehow abandons that moral requirement that is vital to their ultimate advancement. If people refuse to attach moral expectations and demands to their struggles, they will inherit societies constantly derailed by the immoral leadership and political parties they refuse to change.
Convenient moral blindness produces no economic profit or advancement out of poverty. You cannot expect less choke-and-rob of your earnings when you allow more choke-and-rob of your taxes by the rulers of the state. Choke-and-robbers at the top lead to choke-and-robbers at the bottom.
Moral hypocrisy allows crooks to bully a populace. Moral convenience leads to an immoral society where vagabonds thrive and in such a society only a handful of the depraved are enough to demonize and crush the rest.
The PPP and PNC have destroyed the morale of this nation and wrecked its psyche. Too many are worried about how those of another race or class are voting or how their own race or class are voting and not focused on what is important to them. That self-focus, which is evident in wealthy nations, and which allowed a White-dominated society like the USA to elect a Black President, is grounded in that element of morality that is missing in Guyana.
– Int’l Migration Report 2011
A ‘small piece’, a ‘lil raise’ … whatever it may be called, regular remittances to Guyanese from relations living in other countries are not just small pieces – they are an important sector of the Guyanese economy. Remittances, it is noted, are among the most tangible links between migration and development.
The Bank of Guyana Annual report for 2010 noted that the enactment of the Money Transfer Agencies (Licensing) Act 2009 provided BOG with supervisory oversight of money transfer activities.
According to the report there were seven agencies licensed to carry out money transfer activities and 157 registered agents in the country at the end of 2010. The value of all inbound transactions came to US$169.4M while the overall value of outbound transactions came to US$26.0M.
The report pointed out that the US currency accounted for 55.0 percent of all money transfers, Caribbean currencies 19.0 percent, Canadian Dollars 13.0 percent and Sterling 7.0 percent. In contrast, the Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the IDB Group puts the figure for Guyanese remittances at US$374M in its 2010 Remittances report that focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to the International Migration in the Americas report, Latin American and Caribbean countries received about 20 percent of overall officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries in 2009, a ratio which corresponds to a figure of $57B.
In that report it is given that in Honduras, Guyana, El Salvador and Haiti remittances represent the highest percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); accounting for between 15 and 20 percent of GDP, a fact confirmed by the Migration Policy Institute Data Hub and a World Bank Brief from the Migration and Remittances Unit of the Institution.
The report on International Migration in the Americas is the first report of the Continuous Reporting System on International Migration in the Americas (SICREMI) which is the acronym in Spanish.
The production of the report released yesterday morning is a joint effort between the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
It was pointed out that remittances play an important role in the region as a source of foreign currency but also to fight poverty as well as to foster household investments in education and health. The report went on to say that an in-depth World Bank study considering 11 Latin American countries has shown that for each percentage point increase in the share of remittances in GDP, the fraction of the population living in poverty is reduced by about 0.4 percent on average.
In addition, data from household surveys suggest that migration and remittances reduce the number of persons living in poverty in six out of the eleven countries for which data are available.
World Bank estimates indicate that the officially-recorded remittance flows in 2010 totaled over US$440 billion worldwide. As in the past, developing countries received the lion’s share of global remittances (US$325 billion). It was also noted that in 24 countries, remittances were equal to more than 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009; in nine countries they were equal to more than 20 percent of GDP; Guyana being one of the former.
Last May in a brief released by the World Bank and examining the outlook for remittance flows for 2011-2013 the authors offer up that remittance flows have recovered to the pre-crisis levels but that they have not kept pace with inflation and national currency appreciation.
According to the brief, remittance flows are expected to grow at lower but more sustainable rates of 7-8 percent annually during 2011-13 to reach $404B by 2013. Recorded remittance flows to developing countries are expected to grow annually by about 7.4 percent in 2012 and 7.9 percent in 2013 to reach $375B in 2012 and $404B by 2013. Worldwide recorded remittance flows, including to high-income countries, are expected to reach nearly $500B in 2012 and $536B in 2013.
Of note is the fact that the data compiled by official sources such as these only captures remittances sent through formal channels such as banks and money transfer operators. According to the MPI there are currently no uniform and authoritative historical data on informal flows.
Given the widespread use of informal remittance channels such as bringing cash across borders in person, the remittance data presented in these reports may be seen as an underestimate of the actual flows.