Editorial for 1 June: The hands that feed

A familiar refrain among the disenchanted these days centres
around the suggestion that Caymanians aren’t being employed by the developments
built here.

Two of their favourite whipping posts have been The
Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and the Dart Group, but some have already expressed
similar sentiments about Cayman Enterprise City and the Shetty Hospital, the
latter having not even started.

People complain developers say before they build that they
will hire Caymanians but in the end, few are hired. The problem with these
statements are that they simply aren’t true.

For instance, as of mid-April The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
employed nearly 200 Caymanians, while the Dart Group of companies employed 290
Caymanians, making these entities two of the largest private sector employers
of Caymanians in the territory.

What’s more, the operations of both of The Ritz-Carlton and
the Dart Group require goods and services of scores of other local companies,
leading to the employment of many more Caymanians. Indeed, if The Ritz-Carlton
and all of the Dart Group of companies were to cease operations here, not only
would nearly 500 Caymanians lose their jobs working for those companies, but
many local companies that rely on the business they get from those companies
would suffer, as would their employees.

Some may point to the fact that the nearly 200 Caymanians
working for The Ritz-Carlton represent about a quarter of the hotel’s total
number of employees. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that it is
extremely difficult to attract sufficient numbers of Caymanians to the
hospitality/tourism industry. It’s also important to remember that those 600 or
so non-Caymanian employees are all paying work permit fees, an absolutely vital
source of government revenue that helps pay – and keep employed – Caymanian
public servants.

In times of economic downturn, it’s easy to blame the big,
bad developers. But Caymanians and everyone here should be very thankful Cayman
has The Ritz-Carlton and the Dart Group of companies, because without them,
this territory would be in much worse shape than it is now.

 

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I do not know Dart or Ryan personally. But as a Caymanian it is embarrassing sometimes to hear how ungrateful we are. These two developers alone have injected billions into our economy, providing lasting facilities, ongoing government revenues to pay for salaries and schools etc, jobs for Caymanian’s and others who spend locally, tremendous tourism exposure, and numerous community and charitable support. Calculate the total investment and the spin off and multiplier effect and you will be amazed at the amount of ongoing benefits to these islands. They are both business people and obviously want to make a return on their investment, but it is a risk nonetheless and there is no guarantee they will. I am fairly certain that they both invested all their time and money here to build something that they both could be proud. In part their legacies are also tied to these projects. If they are successful then by extension Cayman is successful.

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  2. I am sure Caymanians were feeding themselves a long time before anyone heard of the Dart Group.

    I doubt that anyone would discount the fact that this group invested funds which helped to employ many Caymanians; but to say we are against big developers is a stretch.

    I believe it would be fair to say that Caymanians are against big developers who try to use their clout to push through their objectives which may not be in our interest.

    I expect the Editor has discounted world opinion and has formed their own based on the fact that there is a perceived, beneficial residual effect here in Cayman and we all should be grateful and not bite the hand that feed us.

    Whether it be a soft target in the financial markets, or land speculation on an island with liberal gullible politicians, a top predator don’t care if you are asleep at the wheel; matter of fact a target is a target and an easy target is just easy.

    The editor’s balanced perspective should point to the fact that no country or (territory) should be so dependent on one entity that it’s departure would cause a major negative effect to the economy.

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  3. @ Purple Haze: You are so correct, well meaning or not, your observations should really hit home. I am wondering if this profound statement rings any bells with our national leaders.

    I believe the UK have vision enough to point these go with what sounds good politicians toward a sustainable economy, but is falling on deaf ears. I have no doubt Mr. Solomon recognized this, and is evident in his attempts to identify and secure key government posts.

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  4. How can anyone think that Mr Dart or the Dart group does not have the best at heart for Cayman.
    Mr Dart moved here for one reason and one reason only to save a lot of money on tax.
    The fact that he then decided to do a lot of business on the island is only a bonus to all in Cayman.
    With all the businesses and property he owns in Cayman it is of great importance for him to see the island prosper. If things turn south there will be no other Billionaire on a White Seadoo that will ride in an buy up all the Dart properties.
    He is going nowhere soon and a project like Camana Bay will take years to yield a profit for Mr. Dart, I believe he is doing it more for his legacy then anything else.

    Goodluck to the man, his family and all the talented people that work for him.

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  5. Everyone knows during the political season these employers will be targets of wannabe politicians who want to wrap themselves in the Cayman flag and push as many hot topic buttons as possible. They will do the with no regard for the accuracy only to get votes. Those politicians already at the trough will do likewise.

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  6. Not sure you can include CEC and Shetty together, one could bring a benefit to Cayman (Shetty) and one could bring benefit to the developer (CEC), one downplays Cayman (CEC) and one promotes Cayman (Shetty). Don’t dismiss me as some doe eyed fool, both are looking out for themselves, but one is at the expense of Cayman. Take CEC, look at the website and tell me where any benefit will be derived from their business model outside of rental and on island spend, which will be limited, the ‘promised’ development and capital flows will only occur IF there is enough demand – think entrepreneur with no risk and you will be close, its a bit like those slimey no win no fee lawyers.

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  7. I think the real valid complaint is the way small businesses are being treated over the large establishments like Ritz and Dart. Too often we are hearing of special grants and concessions, and nothing do we hear for small businesses.

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  8. If the people whose strings are being pulled by their politician puppeteers al Pinochio-style, would just, for one second stop, think…and research for themselves…they would recognise that most of the garbage they’re spouting about Ken Dart is just that…pure, uneducated, unresearched garbage !

    If they Wikipediad the Dart family and their origins from the founder of the company, William F. Dart, this is what they will find on how Ken Dart came to move to the Cayman Island:

    The company is owned by brothers Kenneth B. and Robert C. Dart, who gave up their U.S. citizenship and moved to the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. income and estate taxes.

    In 2001, the Internal Revenue Service said the Dart brothers improperly billed 11.6 million of personal security costs to Dart Container. In U.S. Tax Court, Dart Container argued the money was a valid business expense due to specific threats and other facts and circumstances. Half the money went for corporate aircraft. The IRS asked for 4 million more for 1996 and 1997 taxes.

    In 2003, the Internal Revenue Service took the brothers into court, saying they owe an additional 19 million in 1998 and 1999 taxes. They deducted 45 million in interest payments to feuding sibling Thomas J. Dart, relating to division of the family business in 1986. The brothers claimed they were owed a 10 million refund instead. In 2002, the Dart brothers and their companies paid 26 million in taxes – for 1994.

    Dart moved to Cayman to avoid being shaken down by the IRS for more than he’s already paid them; the balance is in dispute over what constitues legitimate businesses expenses.

    The Dart Corporation, the original company was started by their scientist father, William, who invented the patent for styrofoam cups and Dart made their original fortune in their manufacture and in trucking containers across the USA.

    This company is completely self-contained, meaning what they use, they manufacture themselves, creating thousands of jobs for their employees around the globe.

    They have always been known for the highest standards of work.

    Kenneth Dart is a Caymanian by status, Cayman is now his home; he has nowhere else to go not because he doesn’t have the money but because, for him now, the world has become a very, very small place.

    Be grateful to the Dart Corporation, and don’t let envy and jealousy blind you what benefits Kenneth Dart offers Cayman; what Dart does in Cayman is both for Dart…and Cayman.

    He is going nowhere.

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  9. hey purple haze I encourage you to lead all the expats to do a strike while you all the expats are on strike you all can go back to your respective countires to find employement while you watch Cayman go bankrupt oh yeah I forgot a vast majority of expats are here in Cayman because there are NO jobs where they come from the is almost worthless… but hey go ahead strike leave Cayman. We CAYMANIANS will still survive we will never let our country go bankrupt so I once again HIGHLY encourage you to go on strike leave Cayman. And to all my fellow Caymanians it is people like purple haze who encourage me to Proclaim Loudly So You Say You Want A Revolution…!!! Soon Come BO BO !!!

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  10. I suppose Caymanians could go back to turtling as a way of life. I suppose they could also learn to write coherently and avoid expressions like Bo Bo and they might to be taken half seriously.

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  11. indigenous

    Have you read the article below and it’s stipulations for being under approved surveillance?

    ‘Rights commission OKs phone, e-mail snoops’
    Those include: the interests of National Security, preventing or detecting Serious Crime, averting an imminent threat to Human Life, for circumstances that fall within the scope of international mutual assistance agreements, or to Safeguard the Economic Well-Being of the Cayman Islands.

    This is not the first time you’ve advocated for a Revolution on our islands!
    Guess what, you’ve been ‘tagged’ and are potentially being monitored.

    Enjoy your celebrity status with our Govt.

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