Today’s Editorial for March 25: To grow or not to grow

The work permit numbers show Cayman’s
population is declining. Indications are that over the next few months, as
seasonal workers leave and the current school year ends, there will be another
rash of foreign workers leaving.

One line of thought is that
everyone who leaves can be easily replaced when needed.  Although it is always difficult to replace
expertise and local knowledge, at one time it was at least easy to replace the
bodies that left.

Cayman should not be so sure that is
the way it will be in the future. It now has a higher cost of living than ever
before; crime rates are higher than ever before; the animosities between
Caymanians and expatriates are higher than ever before; and the threat of
taxation looms, even if the government is fighting against it.  Cayman still is a special place, but it has
some serious problems right now. Recruiting good people will likely be a challenge
for some time to come.

There are also consequences of a
declining population. There will be fewer people to support the many
Caymanian-owned businesses; less support means that some businesses will close
– meaning more unemployment – and others will have to reduce their selection of
goods and services.  Some of the things
we have taken for granted will start to disappear.

Caymanian landlords will also find
it difficult to rent their accommodations and with decreasing demand will come
a corresponding decrease in rents. Mortgages will then become more difficult to
pay.

But even more critically, there’s
this to think about: a declining population means there are fewer people to
support the expenditures of government. 
Right now, expatriates help pay the tax bill through consumption taxes,
licensing fees and so forth.  Fewer
expatriate workers mean more of the tax bill is left to Caymanians.

All of these reasons are why
Premier McKeeva Bush is advocating growth, through new projects and more
liberal immigration policies.

It’s true that there are some
negative things about growth as well, but the alternative is not very attractive
at all.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Agree with you broadly, Mr Editor.
    But there must be transparency and no cronyism about any and all development proposals; and extreme care about potential investors, individual, corporate and state/country. We do not want Stanford and his ilk in Cayman.

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  2. It needs to be said again that rollover has been an unmitigated disaster for Cayman. Those relatively free spending expats are gone for good and people aren’t lining up to replace them because word has gotten out that Cayman isn’t the place it used to be.

    Direct taxation will have the very same effect too. People will leave, and in greater numbers than before.

    It’s all going to be a lot of fun to watch actually.

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  3. EXACTLY right old diver.

    The Roll over was supposed to protect Caymanians and give them jobs that the expats left behind.

    Well….Right now there are 6k unemployed Caymanians, and 10K plus expats removed from the island. In the last 2 years.

    Theoretically, there should be 0 Unemployed caymanians and 4K spare jobs. But statistics say the exact opposite.

    The roll over did not accomplish anything but placing the island in the predicament it’s in now. Rampant unemployment and ALOT of long standing and successful business’s closing down. And it’s still ongoing.

    So i guess the roll over is pointless. It doenst’ not safeguard jobs for Caymanians. At all.

    But…..being pro roll over gets ya votes. Even though it’s obviously bad for the country.

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  4. Many people have warned of this throughout the Anti Expat rallying over the past few years. Expats were blamed for everything from taking jobs from Caymanians to the increase in crime. This is all the result of the hatred shown to outsiders whom only want to make a better life for themselves.

    This is just the beginning there’s still more to come and Caymanians will have what they wanted and asked for, Cayman for Caymanians only…

    Fact: Every Country that embraced a zenophobic attitude and praticed racial cleansing has fallen to ruins.

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