Expanding Government Will Not Solve Jamaica’s Corruption Problem…

As the say­ing goes “Houston we got a prob­lem”, who remem­ber when they said the police were sell­ing Passports (they were)?
I believe we all remem­ber that.
At the time it reached crit­i­cal mass, the gov­ern­ment of the day removed that func­tion from the hands of the cor­rupt police[sic].
They cre­at­ed a whole new bureau­cra­cy to han­dle that func­tion a resiz­ing of Government if you will.

Ok, now who remem­ber when they said police were sell­ing gun license(they were)?
We all do.
The gov­ern­ment removed that func­tion from the hands of the cor­rupt police[sic].
Another Government bureau­cra­cy was born.
The police force is still large­ly cor­rupt so INDECOM was born. Another Government bureau­cra­cy, big­ger Government yet the prob­lem per­sist.
Yes, folks, it was alleged dis­hon­esty of report­ing which neces­si­tat­ed the birth of INDECOM.
Oh, oh did I men­tion that a Public Defenders office has been estab­lished too?

Anyway, the Motor vehi­cle Department has been sell­ing dri­vers licens­es from as long as, well for­ev­er.
The Customs Department has been rip­ping off Jamaicans bring­ing goods into the coun­try for as long as that depart­ment has been in exis­tence.
Additionally, the loss of rev­enue to the state’s cof­fers is unimag­in­able, nev­er mind the neg­a­tive effects it has had on com­merce.
So too has the Registrar Generals Department. If you want to get a birth cer­tifi­cate, or as we Jamaicans say, birth (cer-fi tik­it) you bet­ter have some mon­ey or be pre­pared to wait and wait and wait.

The Political class, they sim­ply steal every­thing that isn’t nailed down.
They bor­rowed, squan­dered and pil­fered so much mon­ey, that gen­er­a­tions of Jamaicans yet unborn are indebt­ed up to their eye­balls.
In an effort to place some sem­blance of con­trol on that the Contractor General’s Department was born.
Another expan­sion of Government.

By now you may have guessed where I am going with this drib­ble, you see it was nev­er about the tiefin police bway dem, as I have said repeat­ed­ly, at the risk of sound­ing biased, it is hard to make a case against the police alone, when we have a rather dirty pool to pull our pub­lic and pri­vate offi­cials from.

The inescapable fact is that we have a soci­ety which is inher­ent­ly cor­rupt.
Don’t get me wrong many of our peo­ple are decent God-fear­ing peo­ple. What is lack­ing in my esti­ma­tion is a lack is moral lead­er­ship.
When our polit­i­cal busi­ness and reli­gious lead­ers are viewed as cor­rupt it cre­ates a domi­no effect of” I’m gonna get mine too”.
The unde­ni­able fact is that most Jamaicans believe their pub­lic and pri­vate offi­cials are cor­rupt. As a con­se­quence, they feel jus­ti­fied in get­ting their’s by what­ev­er means nec­es­sary.
It is not out of the ordi­nary for peo­ple to turn down a job because quote” nu hus­tling nu de pan di wuk”.

In recent years the Berlin based Transparency International  the lead­ing glob­al non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tion devot­ed to com­bat­ing cor­rup­tion
has ruled that the Jamaican soci­ety is inher­ent­ly cor­rupt. Out of a total of 176 coun­tries, Jamaica is rat­ed 83 not good.

Professor Trevor Munroe, author of a report pub­lished by Transparency International has argued that Legislative reform is need­ed to ensure “greater trans­paren­cy and account­abil­i­ty in polit­i­cal par­ties and in the pub­lic sec­tor.
Professor Munroe said that it is an urgent require­ment for strength­en­ing nation­al integri­ty sys­tems, not just in Jamaica but the broad­er Caribbean.

We have an integri­ty prob­lem which will not be solved by cre­at­ing more agen­cies focused on cor­rup­tion.
Larger Government does pre­cious lit­tle as we have seen from the mas­sive expan­sion of Government as a result of this mal­a­dy.
We sim­ply can­not expand Government any fur­ther as we look to find­ing a solu­tion for this prob­lem. We need to look with­in.
We have become a peo­ple who mea­sure our suc­cess by our excess.

As a busi­ness own­er in the New York area, I have seen that excess in the pre­sump­tu­ous demands Jamaicans at home makes on their loved ones in America.
Every lap­top com­put­er, every cel­lu­lar device, even data cards must have opti­mum stor­age.
On the rare occa­sion, I ven­ture to inquire why peo­ple in Jamaica are demand­ing the most expen­sive elec­tron­ic devices which they are receiv­ing as gifts and the buy­er can hard­ly afford, peo­ple, open up detail­ing their dis­gust at this new lev­el of gall.

Greed is a huge dri­ver of the mur­der rate present­ly sweep­ing our coun­try, on the oth­er hand, greed of the white col­or vari­ety is eat­ing away at the social eco­nom­ic and moral struc­ture of our soci­ety.
How we arrest that can­cer is any­body’s guess.