Let me begin by saying thanks to Kavon for finally getting our blog on the way. This has long been in the making but as the saying goes better late than never. Like most Jamaicans we are very concerned about the managed decline of our country and we hope this blog, RightFromYaad, will not just add to the debate but will initiate changes in the principles which underpin policy decisions in Jamaica.
Kavon and myself have been discussing happenings in our country for about a decade and are very frustrated at the woeful under-performance of our country over the past 40 to 50 years. Why has this been so and can our beloved country be turned around?
We hope to use this medium not only accurately diagnose our myriad problems, but to prescribe real solutions – not those that have been and now being offered by the wordsmiths and thought leaders that permeate the Jamaican intellectual landscape. RightFromYaad will dissect life and politics through the lens of capitalism.
I am a libertarian – fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I think that the primary reason for Jamaica being in the predicament she is now in is because political decision-making has been dominated by our left-wingers (liberals or progressives as they now call themselves). Their emphasis on big government, ‘statism’ and collectivism has inevitably led to loss of liberty and poverty for the masses. Their siren message leads to dependence on government handouts and not true self-reliance.
The blog will be advancing capitalism as the only real solution for Jamaica’s ills. And we are looking at capitalism in the broad sense of a social system based on the principles of individual rights. So we will consistently be in opposition to statism (from the right or the left) and collectivism. We believe that the functions of the Jamaican state must first and foremost be about the welfare of Jamaicans; and not so interested in having Jamaica’s name emblazoned in gold on the world stage. We do not think there is much virtue in that. As Jamaicans should we be proud of the fact that Bob Marley is word renown; or that Usain Bolt has a large following on Facebook? Not so, when many hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans are poorly educated, the infrastructure in the country is so woeful and being scavenged by scrap metal thieves, our hospitals are creaking at the seams and the police find it increasingly difficult to respond to calls as their vehicles are out of petrol… Think about this – the state cannot remove garbage in reasonable time!
We want the Jamaican state to focus primarily on creating conditions so that individual Jamaicans can increasingly be in better positions to feed, clothe and shelter themselves and that life in our country be can dominated by peace, progress and prosperity.
The blog will thus be promoting the ideas of individuals such as Ayn Rand, Adam Smith, Milton Friedman. We hope that more Jamaicans will be familiar with African Americans such as Professors Thomas Sowell, of the Hoover Institute and Walter Williams, from George Mason University; rather than the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton; and that more Jamaicans will be logging on to websites such as Reason magazine, Capitalism magazine and The Economist.
We will be promoting competitive free markets, limited government (Please note: limited government does not equate to no government), individualism, science, reason, as features of the way forward. We believe that liberty and justice should be our signposts.
We will outline what we think government in Jamaica should be involved in and what it should rid itself of. For example, I believe that we should immediately eliminate the Ministries of Sports and Tourism; we should also have much less parliamentarians, and that members of the executive cannot be members of the legislature. Our government should not even be considering offering taxpayers’ money to swimmer Janelle Atkinson (Her sponsorship should be from the contributions of private individuals. My cheque is ready).
The blog will not only be about Jamaican politics. We will discuss happenings in the wider Caribbean and other parts of the world as well as our individual interests.
I have great interest in reggae music – look for a post on the Roots Radics band soon – and sports especially cricket, horse racing and American football. Let me quickly add here that I am a big fan of Winston ʻFannaʼ Griffiths so there will be frequent ‘big ups’ to who I consider to be our greatest reinsman and I will argue vehemently that American football is the greatest game that the mind of man has conjured so far.
The blog will strive for objectivity and not balance. Let me explain. For example, being right-wingers one might be inclined to think we would more naturally support say the Jamaica Labour Party rather than the Peoples National Party. But guess what? Not at all! Being wedded to the principle of individual rights, we will be at the front of the line congratulating Prime Minister Simpson Miller if she gets rid of the “Buggery law” and I can tell readers that both Kavon and myself were appalled by former Prime Minister Goldingʼs infamous ʻnot in my cabinetʼ comment.
We support policy decisions that are in keeping with the principles of capitalism and will decry those that violate these principles. We are about promoting principles, not persons or political parties per se.
So readers, we hope this intellectual journey will eventually result in among other things, more Jamaicans knowing what the numbers on the periodic table mean, than to be able to recite what Cash Pot number represents pretty woman (I am assuming that there is a number for pretty woman).
We invite comments from readers – both those who agree with RightFromYaad and those diametrically opposed to our views.
I close with a quote from former Republican Arizona Senator and onetime presidential candidate Barry Goldwater that I particularly like ʻExtremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.ʼ