Failing or failed state?

An aerial view of Trinidad and Tobago's capital city, Port of Spain. File photo/ Jeff K Mayers
An aerial view of Trinidad and Tobago's capital city, Port of Spain. File photo/ Jeff K Mayers

THE EDITOR: I have had numerous discussions with people who believe Trinidad and Tobago is a failed nation state. Some of the layman indicators that define our failure is that in administration after administration there seems to be a lack of strategic vision for TT, therefore limited opportunities for youth, but there is high crime, school violence with an increasing school dropout rate, rampant corruption, rising cost of food, traffic congestion, unreliable water supply, deteriorating healthcare system, lack of ease of doing business, and vagrancy, just to name a few.

What are the goals for this country? How is our economy going to seriously diversify away from oil and gas to become resilient? Are we going to be an international hub for clean energy (hydrogen), sustainable agriculture, finance/fintech or IT? What is the vision for our republic? Are we a failing nation, or have we failed?

Why do we have an opposition in Parliament that agrees on absolutely nothing the Government puts forward, resulting in petulant and childish behaviour? Are we a failing nation, or have we failed?

Why are “community leaders” seemingly more powerful than our police force and therefore can control the communities in which they live, to the extent that politicians go looking to them for favours while the police look to them for assistance? Are we a failing nation, or have we failed?

Why is it, year after year, small contractors deliver goods and services and must beg the Government for monies owed to them to survive, yet contractors who are politically connected as well as “community leaders” are being paid in full? Were these small contractors to take the Government to court, they are blacklisted and considered troublemakers by the petty minds that exist in our ministries. Why is the Government failing our small and medium businesses? Are we a failing nation, or have we failed?

Why is it that crime, being a national problem, is only seriously highlighted when the business community is affected? Why don’t we hear those strong voices when any person is killed in any community? Or is it that their life isn’t worth as much? Are we a failing nation, or have we failed?

Why is it that those civil servants doing little work but still getting paid could turn around and request a raise of pay for still doing minimum work? Are we a failing nation, or have we failed?

HDC houses lie empty and unfinished for years while we have inadequate housing for children/youth who are wards of the State and need proper care and who are being placed in homes that are sub-standard. Why can’t some of these HDC homes be made into adequate children’s homes? Why do our decision makers seem so impotent? Are we a failing nation, or have we failed?

Increasingly we are seeing UWI graduates not being able to find jobs in their disciplines, resulting in a massive brain drain. These brilliant young people would prefer to stay and develop our country but where is the progressive vision, modern ecosystem to enable them to innovate, create and hold on to? Are we a failing nation, or have we failed?

Why do we have two major political parties causing most of the population to feel as if we are caught between a rock and a hard place, and only spinning top in mud?

Are we a failing nation, or have we failed?

KELLI COOMBS

via e-mail

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"Failing or failed state?"

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