Caymanians, take over ownership

Please allow me to respond to the editorial in Cayman Net News on Thursday, 9 August, titled ‘Coming out of the closet’.

First I find the choice of the title most amusing and almost laudable as I don’t recall that in my 30-plus years in the political arena in the Cayman Islands that D. Ezzard Miller was ever in a closet or cell either voluntarily or by order of some judicial process.

I find it quite flattering that the newspaper was so concerned about my letter that they dedicated an editorial to respond.

Firstly let me make it emphatically clear what my position is on persons who have been privileged to visit this country, work and enjoy economic growth for themselves, when it comes to their getting involved in politics – there is no tolerance of such interference. This must now be prohibited through the appropriate constitutional amendment and replaced as a condition of their work permit license

Like the editor says, they have brains and have contributed to the economic growth, but not for Caymanians any and all such improvements they have made have been for their own pockets and their bank accounts.

We have all heard the stories of the lawyers who came here with nothing, worked hard, improved the economy, lobbied the Government to make laws so they could make even more money and retired 25 years later with a pay cheque of $100 million; while the Caymanian secretaries who ably assisted their march to wealth are given a simple gold watch and now at age 60, have no health insurance and no pension.

These same persons with all the brains the editor talks about, used their knowledge and political connections to stop the Government from putting in place proper social structures like health insurance and pensions for the working class Caymanians, because it would increase their cost of doing business; in other words reduce their profits.

Cayman is the only country in the world where the forced savings, that is, pension contributions, is prohibited by law from being invested in the Cayman Islands, and yes Mr. editor, this is direct result of these brainiest you talk about.

Yet these foreign economic opportunists pocket the managerial fees, brokerage fees, auditing fees, from these pension funds whether they make or lose money, for the working Caymanians.

Fellow Caymanians wake up. Can you imagine Cayman having a Cabinet made up of a Canadian, a Jamaican, an Englishman, a Filipino and a Caymanian, each responsible for the affairs of their fellow countrymen?

I have paid a high price economically, socially and politically for my nationalistic stand and constant defence of my proud Caymanian heritage. They push aside my expressed concerns for Cayman and Caymanians in that little box and accuse me of ‘hating foreigners’ instead of doing something positive to help the Caymanians, they protect the incompetent foreigners by transfer within the company and terminate the Caymanians.

I have never compromised or hide my beliefs or positions on any matter; nor have I ever been afraid to speak my mind and while I have not always been right or politically correct everyone knows where I stand on any issue affecting this country and Caymanians.

I would like to thank all those Caymanians and the few foreigners (some of whom have status) for their telephone calls and personal pats on the back for my letter in response to Lachlan, which the Net News editor find so troubling.

These new status holders who aspire to be politicians would do well to read Dave Martins’ article in the Friday, 10 August, issue of the Caymanian Compass.

The editor of Net News asserts that ‘Caymanians did not build either of our two economic pillars to the high point they have attained today. The people who actually built up our finance and tourism industries, which would include the condominium construction boom, were some of the brightest minds in their respective business from overseas’, my simple response to him is pity they could not help the economies of their native lands in a similar way.

The growth in these two economies was only possible and will only continue through Caymanian tolerance and culture, but both of these attributes are wearing thin due to the foreigner constant pushing the envelope.

Truth is, they only came here because they could make more money here than in their homeland.

Do Caymanians really believe these people come here to help Caymanians?.

Let’s see how they have helped my son:

• demanded that he become more educated and qualified than they are to hold their job

• sent the cost of land beyond his reach as young Caymanian with their grandiose developments, which they sell to their rich foreign friends.

• driven the cost of living so high that the average Caymanian is worse off today than he was 20 years ago

• prevented him from having access to long term (30 years or more) cheap financing (four or five per cent) by depositing his own pension funds in a local bank.

• sent the price of house and land so high that he is forced to buy a ‘Frank Hall low cost house’ (thank God for Frank Hall).

• set his starting salary when he has returned from university overseas so low that he can hardly afford to make the payments on his student loan, provide transportation so he will not be late for work, buy lunch, pay his utilities, etc. and is living pay cheque to pay cheque by borrowing money from his parents.

We have to find a way to return ownership of the economy to Caymanians and giving them status and allowing them to be Caymanians is not the answer. They don’t want to be Caymanians.

They only want to be in charge and receive the lion’s share of the profits.

D. Ezzard Miller

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