Editorial for 15 November: Developments are a warning

One of our front page stories today reveals that McAlpine,
perhaps Cayman’s most well-known construction firm, has reduced its staff from
180 people a few years ago and is going down to somewhere between 20 and 30
people by next year.

The fact of the matter is there’s no work for them to do in
Cayman so they are seeking opportunities elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Another fact is most of these jobs being lost are held by
Caymanians.

Now, this may strike some as scare-mongering, but let’s
suppose just two of the proposed projects put forth by Cayman Islands Premier
McKeeva Bush’s government had proceeded to a stage where building might
actually start. Take your pick; the Dr. Shetty hospital, the Cayman Enterprise
City facility in Savannah, any one of a number of options from the ForCayman
Investment Alliance, the Port redevelopment, the airport redevelopment and so
on. 

If just two of those major projects had gotten started,
would a company like McAlpine be reducing its staff by the numbers we’ve seen
and are about to see?

We suppose we’ll never know the answer for sure. 

What we do know is that there has been significant
resistance and political hand-wringing over most of these projects – with the
possible exception of Cayman Enterprise City – mainly coming from local
interests that are either potential competitors with these entities or
political opponents of Mr. Bush’s administration.

At some point or another, folks in this country need to
decide what they are going to support; not just what they are against.

If you support regression to the days of eating mango steak
and sea-grass pie among swarms of mosquitoes, please, continue along the
current path because that’s certainly where we’ll be headed when the last
commercial institution closes its doors.

Otherwise, some type of economic development and progress
must be accepted.

Thank God there are still a number of options out there for
Cayman.

We should seize on a few before they aren’t there anymore.

 

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