Thursday, April 19, 2012

Linden protest a case of the dependency syndrome grounded in assumptions of entitlement

A protesting Lindener

Lindeners are protesting. One of the weaknesses of the welfare state is that in its drive for equity it can foster a dependency syndrome grounded in assumptions of entitlement. Take Linden. Years ago, before Burnham nationalised the bauxite industry – and the citizens named the town after him – the workers enjoyed the highest wages in the land. And had free electricity and water to boot. This was when other rural folks drew water from canals and had “bottle lamps” for light.
But the PNC ran the industry down – under Burnham’s boy wonder Haslyn Parris and the hard times rolled in. Burnham wasn’t too sympathetic – he is on record berating the workers for thinking they didn’t have to work because the company was nationalised.
Hoyte agreed for the company to be nationalised – but the new owners refused to provide free electricity. So in stepped the PPP government and subsidised electricity where Lindeners paid  three to five US cents per Kilowatt hour while the rest of the country forked out fifteen times that rate to GPL.
OK. Linden had faced hard times. But billions had been poured in under LEAP and LEAF, etc to foster entrepreneurship. Nothing doing. Part of the reason is the dependency syndrome has set in. A bit of tough love is needed at this time.

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