Friday, October 5, 2012

Poverty in The Bahamas on the march

Poverty on the March

The Bahama Journal

Even as some of this nation’s elite classes now bemoan the fact that things are not as good as they once were, there are very many other Bahamians who are – for the first time in their lives – being introduced to poverty’s harsh lash.

There are those among us who could be categorized as ‘the working poor’ who are being troubled and beset by rising prices for practically everything they must consume.

Poverty is on the march.

This phenomenon is nothing more and nothing less than a type of social death on the installment plan where day by dreadful day more and more of our people find themselves reduced, diminished and humiliated.

It is perhaps this factor – among others such – that might explain some of the rage that currently saturates social life in not only today’s Bahamas; but that of any number of other societies in our region.

While most Bahamians are fixated on the extent to which enraged Bahamians are turning their pent-up wrath on each other; there are other Bahamians – ourselves included – who are focused on other matters that seem more germane to the lives of the vast majority of their fellow-Bahamians.

While some of these matters are not usually discussed when reference is made to crime and violence; we do believe that there is space in that dialogue for a closer look at the violence done practically everyone by the rising cost of living.

Put otherwise, there is currently at work a macabre kind of backward-strutting dance where tens of thousands of hard-working Bahamians know that the harder they work, the less money they will have.

This is due to the fact that – even as they toil and labour – the cost of everything that matters goes ever upward.

Today very many Bahamians who now find themselves crushed underfoot now cry out to high heaven for relief.

Just a few short weeks ago, some of these people dared think that their cast votes could – at long last – make the difference they thought would matter for them.

Just a few short weeks ago, this nation’s streets were festooned with the eager faces of politicians on the make; and did they lavish praise on themselves?!

Of course, they did.

This is the way politicians always do what they believe they must in their perfervid effort to get as many to follow their lead.

This kind of hyperbole is the kind of stuff, these types always do.

Things always have a way of returning to reality on the morning after.

In a sense, then, we are now all living on the morning after.

It is therefore as clear as ever that the current administration has in their possession no magic bullet; that very many of this nation’s children are being abused; that unemployment is still far too high – and that far too many rapists are up and doing the things they always do; they are out there raping.

The killers are still doing their thing.

Far too many of this nation’s children are schooled and educated in comfort while others are left to fend for themselves in places where gun-fire is heard regularly.

These children deserve better.

Sadly, they may be in for worse piled upon even more of the same.

Information reaching us speaks a story of horror, neglect and indecisiveness as regards the current state of affairs in any number of public schools which are bulging to the point of bursting their banks with students.

Today we have schools where classrooms are chock-full of students – many of them at the primary level – where only so many can ever really benefit; and so the beat continues for hundreds upon untold hundreds of this nation’s youth.

This is no basis upon which we can ever even hope to build a thriving Bahamian Nation.

Scarier than this is this sad fact of life: – This nation’s children deserve far better than they are presently getting from their parents, their pastors and their parents’ representatives in parliament.

As for these hard-working people, lowering the cost of living could and should be one of this new administration’s highest priorities.

To this point in their ruler-ship, we are yet to be convinced that they are up to this challenge. But yet, we live in hope.

October 04, 2012

Jones Bahamas