Listening to talk radio and reading online forum comments,
it seems many are against every one of the proposed projects that could breathe
life into Cayman’s shrinking economy.
If it’s not the potential adverse environmental impacts
people are against, it’s the fact that the projects might bring in too many
expatriates, make Cayman more of a concrete jungle than it already is, or
disadvantage current Caymanian business owners.
Some people have a problem with giving foreign developers
any fee-waiver incentives, or even for foreign investors to make profits when
funding infrastructure projects.
We firmly believe everyone is entitled to an opinion and
that they should have a right to express that opinion publicly. However,
constantly just objecting to every project suggested isn’t productive. If
people are against the proposed projects, we’d like to hear their alternative
ideas for getting Cayman back on the road to success.
It’s true that through increases in fees and the reduction
of spending, the government’s financial standing has significantly improved
over the past year. But these measures have put pressures on businesses,
increased unemployment, halted some necessary government infrastructure
projects and chased jobs to other jurisdictions. This is simply not sustainable
over the long term and Cayman’s shrinking population is proof of that.
One option is to reduce the size of the civil service,
putting many Caymanians out of jobs, or reducing pay of civil servants. Few
support that. Another option is to implement income tax to fund the government
budget. Few people support that and if that were to come to pass, you can bet
that many more businesses and expatriate workers would take their talents
elsewhere; being disenfranchised in a place that also taxes income is not
something most expatriates would accept.
So what is Cayman to do? Everyone wants the good times to
roll again in Cayman, but for that to happen, something has to happen. Before
people jump on a ‘we’re against this’ bandwagon, they really should be prepared
to say just which of the bitter pills available they would be willing to accept