Do something Mr.Prime Minister! You seem to lack care with regard to the nearly weekly fall of the Jamaican dollar.
The Jamaican dollar is on a spiral downswing. Never in our history has Jamaica seen its currency depreciate so rapidly. Are we heading for the situation that was Spain in 1991/1992 or are we descending into the chaos that is currently haunting Turkey?
In the last two or three months Jamaicans have watched with alarm as the value of the Jamaican dollar dropped in value by over $6 against its US counterpart. We now require more than JMD $136,to purchase a single US dollar.. At this rate the Jamaican dollar trading against the US dollar will certainly be sold for $140 before Christmas.
While these figures of depreciation and some would ignorantly say “devaluation “ face us daily, the impact continues to wreak havoc on families below the rich and Upper Middle Class strata. Yet the Prime Minister and his finance minister continue to give responses that provide zero insight on how the poor and masses will survive as the dollar continues to weaken.
The Prime Minister recently told his supporters that speculation is the reason for the dive. Speculation by whom Mr. Prime Minister? The masses do not have the capacity or resources to buy dollars, hoard dollars, invest in US dollars and then push up the prices by speculating.
In my opinion, and I’m sure most economists will concur, the dollar’s depreciation is manipulated by big business interest. Corruption is not just by politicians – as in small island states, large capital owners and established business interests, some bending deeply on wealth from the colonial legacy manipulate their economies for super-normal profits and increased wealth potential.
Nothing is new under the sun. We only have to look at how some in this country behaved when threatened by Socialism. To draw on modern history, the day after the national election, Kingston Harbour, Black River, Ocho Rios , Buff Bay, Port Antonio, Negril , wherever there were water outlets or ports – large volumes of artificially short goods appeared floating in the seas and rivers. It is the same unpatriotic but now greedy and selfish desires that have created a depreciation of the local currency.
A depreciated dollar is affecting nearly everyone except the rich and Upper Middle Class. All other classes, poor, working, lower middle class, middle middle class, peasantry and rural middle class are under pressure. Food, medicine, school fees, machinery, computers, dental fees, agricultural input and others have become more expensive and demand more from our savings, income and financial resources.
In a society where 90 percent of raw materials are imported, a fall in the dollar can only serve to make life more miserable.
Yet in spite of the known impacts, the Prime Minister has for weeks been silent until a day ago when he saw it politically expedient to speak to his die hearts. Yet he came up with an implausible answer. No, No Mr. Holness do better than that. Jamaicans await a better answer.
We are not fools. Do not take us for granted. Our beloved country deserves better. If the country fails to get an answer and if the local dollar continues its dive against the US dollar and should there be resultant increased inflation – we will have on our hands the perfect recipe for an economic and social disaster.
Aboukir, St. Ann
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