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Politics vs productivity


TERRANCE A. JENNINGS

Politics vs productivity

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POLITICS – The art of stopping an opponent from achieving any success while in Government, which can be used to win the next election – seems to be a natural enemy to productivity; a comparison of output, measured by revenue, in relation to inputs, inclusive of capital and work.

The aim is to improve overall productivity within main sectors and vital industries, fuelling economic growth; to service and repay debt, to create new jobs and investment opportunities, while meeting budgetary obligations and hence, to improve standards of living across the board.

The security sector, consisting of military, policing, justice and prison inputs, demands a large percentage of the state’s annual budgeted expenditure, and measures productive outputs in terms of responding to natural disasters, defusing plans of insurrection, monitoring and controlling the borders, preventing and detecting murders, larcenies and other crime statistics, the speed of resolutions and the state of rehabilitation.

In other words, productivity measured under this sector must provide safety for the population and property, under an atmosphere of peace.

The maintenance and repair service sector must keep capital (existing infrastructure) and labour (service personnel) all functioning; water and electricity plants and distribution, transportation, communication and entertainment networks. It is this sector’s interdependency that forms the productivity baseline.

The agri-business sector requires the cultivation of farms, arable lands, clean water, seeds, fertilisers, harvest equipment, animal feeds, medications, fishing equipment, fresh market facilities and, of course, downstream processing plants, essential for food security.

It must maintain its competitiveness by training and employing the best skilled personnel and state-of-the-art technology and techniques. This sector’s objective is to produce healthy and nutritious foods for both domestic and export markets.

The construction sector, requiring all the necessary inputs to build housing and social facilities such as police stations, courts, prisons, education, religious, hospitals, air and sea ports and industrial parks, with expanding utilities networks, is extremely vital to match and keep pace with population and development growth.

The trade sector, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Retail Price Index (RPI) – the tracking of changes in a predetermined basket of products identifying inflationary or deflationary trends – has a direct impact on productivity. Hence, reducing an international trade deficit is often related to increases in production outputs.

The same can result from penetrating new markets with more advantageous trade agreements, diversification into more export-led industries, and decreasing imports as an effect of buy-local campaigns.

Whether caused by lack of political will to implement necessary but difficult executive changes that are guaranteed to cost future votes, or by legislative gridlock blocking amendments to strengthen existing laws, failures of the political party presently in power will therefore mean no diversification of the economy, no new revenue sources and a resulting slow rate, if any, of sustainable development.

It will have all the people suffering.

– TERRANCE A. JENNINGS

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