Is this what we want for our children?
Stabroek News
September 20, 2001

Dear Editor,

As Guyana continues to crawl along at snail's pace, somehow not seemingly bothered that everyone else around is on the fast track to progress and development, we as a people need to ask ourselves if we are satisfied with our present standard of living? Are we happy that our teachers are leaving us to go all the way to Africa, simply to earn a decent living? Are we going to sit back quietly as massive acts of corruption are blatantly done day after day? Will we sit by and allow the extremely incompetent city council to continue to waste taxpayers' dollars and yet the city grows dirtier daily? Will we allow GPL to blow up more of our electrical equipment and offer us no explanation or vision of better to come? At some point Guyanese will have to demand that things must change and that companies and the government owe us at least a decent quality of service for the things that we pay our hard earned dollars for.

We as Guyanese, have for the last forty years accepted and blessed whatever policy the government of the day puts out, and it is about time that we started letting the political leaders know that we are demanding a better standard of life for our people. As a minister is awarded a new Prado or Pathfinder as he starts his or her new job, we the Guyanese people want a share of the national pie. Come on, Mr Minister of Finance, lower those extra high duties on small cars so that more of our teachers, policemen, nurses and public servants can enjoy the luxury of driving to work also. Do not think that for a minute I will blame all of our ills on the government, especially the downturn of our financial system, and while I agree that the government can do a whole lot more for our local companies in the way of tax breaks, etc, many of them have no one but themselves to blame for their predicament, since the have done little to improve their marketing strategy and services. Take, for example, the cinemas. Why should I go into those old, smelly, hot buildings with their broken-down chairs and dirty toilets? When will one of them bring in the 3D system and try at least to come up to standard with cinemas in other Caribbean countries? Don't blame consumers for lack of support, blame yourselves for not moving with the times. The rice farmers continue to cry out but few of them are attempting to learn new methods of rice cultivation. I'm sure that the farmers in Indonesia and Thailand are using new farming methods since their paddy yield per acre is far higher than that of our local fields. Competition from other companies is the driving force behind the American economy, and we saw a little piece of that when GT&T suddenly lowered their cellular phone hook-up fees in anticipation of the new telephone company opening business in their own back yard. Yes, we all need to take stock of ourselves and ask the ultimate question, is this what we want for our children and their children to come?

Yours faithfully

Bryan Mackintosh