The Economist pokes fun at Jamaican business class

First Magazine Online, has a link to an Economist piece noting the murder of the JUTC Chairman Doug Chambers and the fight against corruption. My favorite part of the Economist article is quoted below noting the main business lobby doesn’t seem down with the effort to clean up corruption in Jamaica.

“Not everyone has been applauding the new government’s efforts [though]. The main business lobby complained that Mr Shaw’s drive for tax compliance was “anti-private sector”. After Mr Chambers’ murder, it offered a reward of less than $7,000 for information about the crime. That will do little to ensure that his killers—and their associates—are swiftly caught and punished.”

Source: The Economist, July 5, 2008 Edition

One of the things I observed recently but didn’t comment on was the assault perpetrated by merchant-mandarins against Finance Minister Audley Shaw for his rather innocent pronouncement that many Jamaican businesspeople – too many in fact – are tax cheats.

The gnashing of teeth began immediately after this pronouncement as Butch Stewart organs, (no pun intended,) sought to beat up on Audley Shaw. It was full court press with a Jamaica Observer editorial lamenting that Audley Shaw needed a good PR person, a Clovis cartoon, and Chris Zacca statements galore.

It was left to the Jamaica Gleaner in its own editorial to defend man-a-yard from those erstwhile supporters who expect the new administration to merely act as little ‘lackey politician bwoys’ in gratitude for support and money during the last elections.

I am not holding my breath to see critical coverage of the tax compliance of any Butch Stewart business by the Jamaica Observer, or even the Jamaica Gleaner for that matter. But country people have a wisdom in the proverb “when yu throw stone inna hogpen, is di one it lick bawl out.” For those who need a European reference, Shakespeare said it as “Methinks thou doth protest too much.” All the noise coming out of the Observer on this made me wonder about their Chairman’s tax compliance.

It was a ridiculous assertion to say that calling upon businesses to pay their taxes is “anti-private-sector.” I’m glad to see the reaction of the PSOJ (Private Sector Organization of Jamaica) mocked in the the Economist. I only wish the Economist would have called them by name.

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4 thoughts on “The Economist pokes fun at Jamaican business class

  1. Amazing, huh? It takes the Economist to say what we are not able to because of how the media gatekeepers filter our discontent. How dare the Observer publish and legitimize this childish behaviour of the PSOJ? Why hasn’t the Gleaner given serious investigative attention to the tax evasion practices of the private sector? Yes, I know, I must be talking about some *other* Observer and Gleaner, not the ones that mistake gossip for news.

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