Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tirade on the Market and Downtown Kingston and Street Wisdom

Written by Carol Lawton from www.FinditJamaica.com

In the street you learn the streets, its alleys, its lanes, its corners and each person who travel through it. The market is a dynamic factor that when politician and administrators make a decision they do not see the ripple effects. An orderly downtown market is needed before any invest will flow into the area by outside. The city needs to look at creative finance and collection which I think is being looked at and not the central government.

The money that moves in that small area is crazy as good are exchanged and redistribute across the island. Even a simple decision as remove the ugly stall carries a ripple effect. Lets me show you how 2 garbage wood pallets are worth $36K per year. A wooden stall is rented for $100 per day hence $3K per month hence $36K per year. Now imagine when one man owns 100 of these stalls, 20 push carts (rent as well to cart men) to move them and goods around .The underground economy is huge just for him as when you see him you will have pity thinking he is not making money. The chaos ensures him making money. I could pull numerous works in downtown that are high paying but would be silly as we all know them. (Assumption on my part)

Hence to remove him would affect the haggler from country, the follow of goods across the market, and efficiency of the market. But a man like this making over $3M does not even have a high school diploma. When these people are making that amount of money how can we tell the young around them that education will make them money vs. hustling. The hustling is business so no pity for these people who make as much as the PM. I had though the present JLP would move rapidly to pull these people into the fold by changing the tool called the TRN from a money collection tool to a system development tool to close the informal economy which does not give it full share to the government and erodes the formal economy.

Frankly the city can afford to fix it now that it has made its collections more efficient at 70 percent up from 30 percent. Lets be frank as usual, the KSAC councilors have no excuse for the bull that they are pulling off about their party is not in power, the MP is not giving anything, the central government is not helping. Its all bull. If revenue is at $15billion that means the city now has almost US$200 million to invest into the city which can be expand further by grabbing the other 30%. This is recurring money since these fees and city taxes are due every year.

The collection of taxes from the citizens by the KSAC could even by government paper and be a part of the city portfolio. The sale of government paper would be sold to the KSAC as Samari bonds at rates that are variable and equal to the inflation rate of a hard currency on which the bonds could be pegged hence no 14% and higher rates but 2-3%. If it’s the welfare, you politicians are about these are the ideas that are out there. But a poor man’s wisdom is lost up high and the fool is praised for his/her inaction. Jamaica not land of wood and water but land of talk and talk. Stop the hustling of the people. Stop the informal economy as its not all drugs but its untaxable business activity that we all know.

Lets stop the garbage and put the taxpayer money to work on rebuilding the city vs. hiding behind falsity of inaction. The generation that is looking at you is very much analyzing the system making rational decision as to if the system is for them. The formal economy pays taxes but get no service, the informal pays nothing and gets no service. Yet the revenue is there to create an efficient system which is equitable to all. But hi this is just what this poor man learns from walking the street and listening to the corner talk.

PS: They are not all idlers and criminals on those corners