Todays Editorial October 19: The big mushroom cap

There’s a thought-provoking letter to the editor written by Paul Simon elsewhere on this page.

The letter, among other things, makes an argument for something we’ve heard many times from business owners concerning the key employee regime: that government boards should not be telling business owners who is or who is not key to their operations.

Mr. Simon makes this argument while pointing out that the only way the ‘mushroom cap’ — this is Cayman’s public service — can stay above ground is for the ‘mushroom stem’ — that is the private sector — to grow in relationship to the size of its cap.

The latter is a concept Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush has espoused on numerous occasions, but he is having trouble getting people to buy into that notion.

Indeed, it does seem silly for a board of people who might not know a thing about business, let alone a specific type of business, to tell an employer that employees he or she thinks are key to their operation are in fact not.

We know this has been happening, resulting in good people being forced to leave, hurting businesses and sometimes causing the moving off island of other jobs held by Caymanians as well.

Mr. Simon also suggests a suspension in the operations of the Work Permit Board and the Business Staffing Plan Board for a period of five years to ‘liberate’ the private sector and facilitate growth. Although we don’t think the Cayman Islands are ready for the suspension of its two immigration boards, we do believe serious concessions need to be made to business owners with regard to getting permits in the future.

We also agree with Mr. Simon and Mr. Bush that growth is the best way forward and that allowing employers the ability to keep the employees they want makes mountains of sense.