Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Editor: Best is wrong, stats suggest Kamla CAN deliver promised 50,000 jobs to T&T

Dear Editor: Best is wrong, stats suggest Kamla CAN deliver promised 50,000 jobs to T&T

“This is not a personal attack on my erstwhile journalist/teacher friend, Earl [Best]. It is meant as a critique of his un-researched commentary.

“From what one can discern, Earl has an obvious personal issue with Kamla’s declared intent on creating 50,000 jobs, if she becomes PM. On the surface, one can be forgiven for sharing his skepticism.

“But if one scratches beneath the surface and examines the Central Bank’s publication of its Labour Force Quarterly…”

Former journalist Siewdath Persad attempts to rebut Wired868 columnist Earl Best’s scepticism that Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar can deliver 50,000 jobs and that PNM is the ‘lesser of two evils’ when judged against the UNC:

Photo: Former Prime Minister and current Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
(Courtesy Caricom.com)

When one states that they hold no brief for someone, more often than not they actually do, but try to mask it with their superficial prefaced disclaimer.

Let’s examine Earl Best’s commentary in support of the current  Dr Keith Rowley-led PNM as his ‘lesser of two evils’, compared with the Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led UNC. His opinion is as anecdotal, fallacious and emotionally charged as any of the many loud-mouthed shallow balisiered arguments spat out by sycophantic PNM womb-to-tombers.

It is intellectually, academically and common-sensically—to coin a word—bankrupt. Totally bereft of any meaningful research, as one would expect from a supposed intellect, academic or even average individual with a modicum of common sense.

This is not a personal attack on my erstwhile journalist/teacher friend, Earl. It is meant as a critique of his un-researched commentary.

From what one can discern, Earl has an obvious personal issue with Kamla’s declared intent on creating 50,000 jobs, if she becomes PM. On the surface, one can be forgiven for sharing his skepticism.

But if one scratches beneath the surface and examines the Central Bank’s publication of its Labour Force Quarterly, one would readily discern that under the Kamla-led PP Govt, ‘Persons with Jobs’ moved from 573,500 at quarter ending March 2010 to 628,600 at quarter ending June 2015. That’s an increase of 55,100 jobs spread across different sectors inclusive of construction, manufacturing, petroleum and gas, financial services and ICT.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (centre) with fellow People’s Partnership leaders (from left) David Abdullah, Ashworth Jack, Prakash Ramadhar and Makandal Daaga during the start of their term in office.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

As at quarter ending December 2017, the number of persons with jobs decreased to 596,400. This represents a reduction of 32,200 jobs from June 2015. The Central Bank has published no data for all of 2018 to present, during which period mass retrenchments have taken place.

The published data from the authoritative Central Bank provides proof and evidence that:

  • Under Kamla’s stewardship as PM, 55,100 jobs were created;
  • Under Rowley’s stewardship thus far, 32,200-plus jobs were lost.

So can Kamla again create 50,000 new jobs if she is returned as PM?

Let’s give the erstwhile Earl a second chance to make an educated guess.

Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read Earl Best’s column on why citizens have a responsibility to choose the ‘lesser of two evils’ on election day.

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  1. Well I thought I was going to read a rebuttal or maybe an attempted rebuttal. But while Earl Best article mentioned the 50,000 jobs in a one liner, his piece was more focused on comparing the 2 parties and weighing the public perception of which one was more likely to win based on people “holding their noses” to vote. The substance of the original article wasn’t tackled at all! What this seems to be is a simplistic retort. That if kamla was able to move the stats on jobs created in a positive direction during her tenure, and by the converse token Rowley moved it in a negative direction during his tenure, then it stands to reason that if Kamla say she can create 50K jobs then of course she can do it! That to me is even more “commonsenseically bankrupt” than anything Best wrote . Could have been 25,000 OJTs plus 25,000 Reshmis for all we know. Nothing concrete about the overall state of the economy during the 2 periods under comparison either. Not to mention where in the present economic climate Kamla’s 50,000 jobs could come from. Next time something is called a rebuttal, at least tackle the substance of the original.

  2. I wonder if the 50,000 jobs that Kamla will claim credit for and the 55,000 previously claimed by the author are real jobs or civil servants?
    Do we need 50,000 more civil servants?
    Or perhaps maybe its security guards?
    If we get another 50k civil servants what do they do? Do they create even more Lifesport type programs? Do we see even more Traffic Wardens walking around together allowing people to flout the traffic laws? Or maybe we see even more police vehicles seemingly on a mission to nowhere, but fast because the sirens are ever present?

  3. Earl Best

    Thank you very much for your invitation to respond, Mr Persad, but no thanks; I opt to deal with those who pull the strings, never those who are on the end of them.

  4. How many thousands of people were employed under the PP government and NOT duly qualified for the position just warming a seat and earning a salary? Who were the beneficiaries of those PP jobs? How many meetings went on with substantive personnel having absolutely nothing to say? How many “Reshmi Ramnarines” were there through the rank and file of every government office?

    I am most certain Aunty Kams can produce 50K jobs but the question remains for whom will they be created? And, will they be qualified this time around and with some sort of experience in the field?

    Aunty Kams had her day in the Sun and she proved without a doubt the type of leader she is and for what and whom she stands.

    So please, doh try to mamaguy the population with your 50K jobs. Under No Circumstances, Not Another Rounds!

    • Indeed she did prove to be a good leader, many would argue, far better than Keith with far better results to show.

    • He didn’t mean she was a good leader.

      She broke the economy.

      She spent all of our savings, while in an oil boom.

      She terminated economic projects with no replacement…making us even more dependent on oil and gas.

      She increased the welfare state without establishing a framework for it to be financed.

      She even took her grandson in his Spider-Man pj’s to a meet and greet with world leaders. You see the look on Putin face?

      She was a disaster.

    • All the macro-economic indicators published by the Central Bank indicated a healthy economy under KPB, notwithstanding the mess in which PNM left the Treasury in 2010.

    • Kwesi Prescod…..is that an emotional based response or a fact based one? Because the facts would run contrary to your statements…..

    • My response is based on facts.

      You dispute that KPB tenure Govt spending ballooned from less than $40B in 2009 to over $63B in 2014?

      You dispute the fact that our TT$ savings were gutted?

      You dispute transfers and subsidies exploded?

      You dispute that she cancelled the Smelter (Aluminium) and OPV (marine services) projects?

      Please. Enlighten me.

    • Lol. Not another rounds… #nottoday😅

  5. Why is there no data for 2017/18?

  6. Firstly congratulations to Mr. Liburd on his appointment to MATT. The media as the 4th estate, more now than ever is going to play an important role in pur democracy. So here’s hoping that a free and fair media will continue to be MATT’s focus. With regard to the subject at hand, why is it that Ms. Persad’s piece must be seen as a tit for tat and not just another commentary that represents another point of view? The fact is that in the main there is very little real journalism in T&T where BOTH sides are presented by one writer. Instead we have to settle for opinion pieces as commentary that often times represent one side only. In that context it is absolutely essential that both sets of opinion pieces or commentary are heard.

    • My piece is backed up by sourced Central Bank data to challenge a fallacious opiniated piece by Earl Best, who teaches journalism at COSTAAT.

    • Malcolm Kurt Marquez, maybe it is framed that way because the author asked to rebut the initial piece. You have a problem with that? Why?
      And thanks for the congratulations and I will try my best in my role on the MATT executive.

    • Lasana Liburd I think you may have misinterpreted my post. I saw a comment that suggested Ms. Persad’s piece was a “tit for tat” response and I saw it as anything but that. Mr. Best’s pieces tend to be strongly opinionated and Ms. Persad’s piece was a good and necessary expression of another perspective.

    • Malcolm it is Mr Persad. But yet, it was a tit for tat in one sense.

  7. Lasana Liburd Other than giving job statistics, this article doesn’t address the economic conditions required to create that 50,000. Sure anyone can create 50,000 jobs, is it 50,000 sustainable job that helps expand GDP? Is the country operating below capacity and potential? Article just reads like a jab at Earl but doesn’t really add anything of substance. Is this a personal tit for tat going on? Is this what wired868 is for?

    • I think I provided sourced Central Bank data compared to Earl’s anecdotal and emotional personal musings.
      However, to answer your question about the 55,000-plus jobs created under Kamla’s tenure as PM and their contribution to GDP, you can research Central Bank’s published data:
      GDP 2009: $121.281B
      GDP 2010: $141.268B
      GDP 2011: $163.008B
      GDP 2012: $165.203B
      GDP 2013: $170.318B
      GDP 2014: $167.764B
      GDP 2015: $150.247B
      GDP 2016: $145.911B
      There is no data for 2017 to current year.
      Under the current Rowley adminstration with a two-by-four engineer in the saddle as Finance Minister, GDP is believed to be declining; the economy is shrinking; foreign reserves are being depleted; tens of thousands of persons are have been laid off or retrenched or are without a job; no foreign direct investment; no new revenue generating streams; fake oil; shut down of Petrotrin; No VAT refunds; No water in several areas across the country; ferry scandals; multi-million dollar ontracts for spouses of Ministers; multi-million dollar rental of property belonging to the AG; deteriorating health care; higher cost of living; ferry scandal after scandal; higher corruption index; deteriorating ease of doing business; crime, crime and more crime; high handed police raids without warrants; and the list goes on and on…

    • allyuh hadda stop using GDP as if it means something. Measuring the production of those with wealth of the cannot ever give a true picture of what the country needs. We need to establish a real metric of social welfare / human contentment / human safety.

    • Even in using GDP, it’s disingenuous to not discuss the context.

      2009 was the global economic downturn

      2011 to 2013 was the last oil boom.

      Neither of these situations currently persist. So the concept of looking at GDP figures alone in actually really stupid.

      And that’s without getting into Spencer’s deeper point of a better measure of broader economic and social development.

  8. …”former journalist”….

  9. One point Siewdath Persad, I don’t think you addressed the fact that much of Earl Best’s scepticism of the UNC was based on corruption. He spent a lot of time on that topic but you didn’t touch on that at all.

    • Lasana Liburd Capleton said it best: “stay far from trouble if yuh cyan”

    • I’d say allegations and perception of corruption painted by PNM. Some may readily argue, with justifiable validity, that the allegations and perception of corruption, nepotism and gross failures associated with the current Maduro-leaning rag tag Rowley government is monumentally greater than any previous administration.

    • The ATTORNEY GENERAL under the PP was just ARRESTED!!!! 😂😂

    • Keith is soon to follow. Fake oil $$ in US bank. ACIB needs to follow the fake oil $$.

    • Siewdath Persad The journalist did some research and found out that the PM has NO US account, soooooo🤔 If there was “fake oil” seems he eh benefit but yes let the investigation go on

    • Whoever is arrested and charged will have to deal with their story in court. Kamla removed AR and JW from her Cabinet when certain allegations were made against them. She did the correct thing.

    • Siewdath Persad sorry but she took too long to remove them until she was literally cornered . Don’t try that

    • Did Camille ever account for the $93,000-plus cash she deposited at FCB in 2016?
      Where did she get all that cash?
      Who gave her all that cash?
      For what purpose was she handling all that unaccounted cash?
      Why has Rowley not removed her since 2016?
      Is there a racket involving high govt officials in giving questional planning approval to certain individuals and groupings?
      Has the ACIB touched that matter at all?
      All pertinent questions.
      Maybe Shireen can answer on behalf of Camille, Rowley and the ACIB

    • Siewdath Persad would you be so kind as to let us know what was the price of oil during the the job creation compared with the price of oil during the job reduction. Secondly were the jobs created make work jobs for supporters of her party, did they add value were these the same jobs in the main that were lost when the oil price went down? Please note that the same questions can be asked of the present government however we are dealing with your presentation at present.

    • That’s a fair question, Richard.
      According to published Central Bank data, GDP for the Petroleum Sector steadily declined from 2011 to 2016. However, GDP for the NON-Petroleum Sector enjoyed steady positive growth from 2010 to 2015 (under UNC).
      The Non-Petroleum Sector then suffered a negative growth in 2016 (under PNM).
      No data is available from 2017 (under PNM). Check for yourself.


    • Ease of doing business in TT has plummetted under current rag tag Rowley Admin. Check for yourself