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Ripple effects.

Dear Editor,

Everything affects everything. We are interconnected, we are interdependent. Hurricane Irma has had a negative effect on many of us but I will not use her as the sole focus of this article. Let’s talk about one of the most important subjects in the world. Money or our income. We know our health is the most important one but If we don’t have an income we can’t pay our bills. Mortgage, rent, utilities, food, clothes, education, school fees, uniforms, books you name it. I have heard it said that one should have at least 6 month’s savings equivalent to our monthly expenditures. Easier said than done. If we are employed and paid the minimum wage or less, it means that we are part of the working poor. I am sure that there are other definitions but I leave that up to you to do the research. As I mentioned earlier, it is said that we should have at least 6 month’s savings equivalent to our monthly expenditures. Question, how can one save when we are earning the minimum wage or less? What kind of rent can we afford to pay? Hence the shacks which all too often can lead to unsanitary situations, and in addition to that, dangerous situations where extension cords are passed from one building to the other. Another thing minimum wage or less means we can’t afford medical coverage or private insurance. This is why it is important to get the National Health Care Insurance Law or policy in place. At the same time some employers refuse to register us with SZV. It means that depending on the seriousness of your condition you might die. When you go to the Supermarkets what can you afford to buy? It is said eating is healthy I will add it is also expensive. I think more consistent control should be held on imported goods. Someone sent me a copy of the 21page price list from the economic affairs department informing the public of government prices for food, construction materials, produce and so on. I randomly picked out one particular item. The Bop Insecticide spray. The list mentioned the 250 mL and 450 mL quoting the price on each. Reality is that there is also the 600 mL can that is sold but it is not mentioned on the list. I think it’s time government determines what products can be brought into the country, especially the Brand names. Quality is what has to be first and foremost. I listened recently to a discussion held on eradicating poverty by now I think 2030. I think the gold post has been moved several times. It stated that world production has increased by 70% but wages by only 20%. In other word we are producing more but earning less income. Translation the rich get richer and the poor poorer. To me it does not matter how many meetings, discussions, forums are held on this subject, as long has the status quo continues where persons are working harder but making less or not compensated, we will spend the next 100 years talking and things will only get worse. Companies are profiting off the backs of the people. Why can’t we also benefit? Let me close with this. Wells Fargo Bank will be laying off some 26000 persons or so between now and 2020 because they are going digital. (Cutting cost, who care about the social ramifications). What kind of ripple effect will this have? Locally Banks on St Maarten are also on the same track to do likewise. Not positive for sure. Ripple effect.

George Pantophlet


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