Jamaican men not seeking work : Prototypes or parasites ?

This week’s hot social issue is the new data contained in the thrilling and much anticipated government publication The Labour Force Survey 2005 (get your own copy hot off the press from The Statistical Institute of Jamaica).

Using this data, social scientists Robert Buddan and Dr. Trevor Munroe have identified a new group (henceforth to be known as “the parasites”) which are dragging the country (further) into the mud of underdevelopment……

Here’s a snippet from Robert Buddan’s Sunday Gleaner article:-

Parasitism – a special problem

A special problem among the marginalised, however, is what to do about those who will not help themselves.

According to Professor Trevor Munroe, 889,800 persons in our labour force of 1,193,000 had no training as of October 2005, and five out of eight were males. But the really shocking figure was that 338,200 persons 14 years and older did not want to work and more than two-thirds of them were males. Professor Munroe says this last figure reflects a growing problem of social parasitism. We need to ask of them, who is marginalising and excluding whom?

Actually, maybe we just need to get over it already. 28% of the Jamaican labour force “do not want to work” ? This is the shocking news ? !!!! Oh, please.

Clearly none of our social scientists ever listen to the talk shows; and clearly they have never stopped by “ the corner” in their community to offer one of the clean, fresh from the barber, domino-or-card-or drop-pan-playing young men a job (like cutting grass, cleaning up a yard, or assisting with some light construction work…..).

If they had, they would know that none of these apparently unemployed young gentlemen could possibly work for the money you are offering. (And some of them just find themselves unable to do that kind of manual labour at all – at any price).

The “healthy young man who does not want to work” has been extensively discussed every day on local radio stations for years, and years, and years…..

However any casual observation reveals that these men already have many things that motivate other men to work, and to look for work. They have girlfriends; they have baby mothers (and children); they have food to eat and somewhere to sleep at night; they have access to money to attend their local dances and sporting events. They have a barrel full of new clothes and shoes coming down “from foreign” at Christmas.

What they don’t have is the belief that working will bring them a much better quality of life than they already have. And given that they lack education and skills, and discipline and energy, they are usually right. Any job they could get (and keep) would be much less fun and rewarding than spending their days on the corner.

But are they parasites or just the beneficiaries of social change ? It seems as if intelligent, educated people of both sexes all over the world want women to be able to do whatever they please (work, have pickney, stay home and paint their nails), but want men to be allowed only one choice – work till you drop or can “afford” to retire.

And why do they want this ridiculous and impossible scenario (i.e. massive social change with all other things remaining the same) ? Why are men to have only one choice in life ?

Because they fear that if there is any other choice, millions of men will drop hands and sit on the corner (or in the house, in cold countries) and the only thing that will get them back into a job is much more money….Imagine that…….

Or even worse, they imagine that nothing will ever convince large numbers of working class men to take up work ever again…..Thereby leading to the collapse of patriarchy, capitalism, socialism, communism, feminism (add your own overarching theory here) ….in short, it will lead to the collapse of the world as we know it…..You see how a few Jamaican men can spoil things…..

They also imagine that working class women and families will not be willing to support husbands, fathers, sons and brothers who are not working, or looking for work. Well, guess what ? In Jamaica, at least, they are willing, and they have been supporting their men for years.

Years ago, in his book “The Marginalization of the Black Male” (1994) Professor Errol Miller predicted that as Jamaica goes, so goes the western world. He suggested that Jamaica (and the Caribbean) are about 30 years ahead of the rest of the world in terms of the social consequences of the liberation of women.

And he was wrong about this, since it is already some years that U.S. and U.K. newspapers have been carrying stories about women overtaking men in schools and colleges – something that happened in Jamaica circa 1975… (Of course, whereas we say our men are “wutless”, they say their men are suffering from discrimination…..Jamaican men have always been able to take their licks without whining tho’….)

So here’s my take on “the parasites” issue:-

The New York Times has already been carrying
articles about some white American men who are opting out of the rat race.

So it’s only a matter of time before Dr. Munroe’s “parasites” become the prototypes for some working class men everywhere …….especially once women in the U.S. and U.K. start behaving like Jamaican women, and fulfilling the feminist promise that the liberation of women will also prove to be the liberation of men……..

“The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Work” (Joshua Piven, David Borgenicht)

“The Worst Jobs in History: Two Thousand Years of Miserable Employment” (Tony Robinson, David Willcock)

“The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans” (Beth Shulman)

“The End of Work” (Jeremy Rifkin)

[posted with ecto]

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6 thoughts on “Jamaican men not seeking work : Prototypes or parasites ?

  1. Jamaica Needs A Conscription Policy

    Nothing else can save it. We need to take a page out of Israel’s book and enact laws that obligate all Jamaican countrymen and women at the age where graduation from secondary school is reached for service to the country.
    Jamaica — like so much of the world — is a casualty of all roads leading to Rome. Being so close in the shadow of the United States dooms Jamaica to lose its best and brightest to higher pay and qualitatively better standards of living in the U.S. What country can withstand economic currents that induce so many to leave and seek fortune? None. Emigration — whether legal or not — is going to happen. So, to mitigate the ill effects of those who take the roads to Rome — and these effects take the form of underdevelopment, unemployment, and ill-educated youth as the immediate result of even Jamaican teachers seeking their own fortunes abroad — enact legislation that obligates all Jamaican citizenry upon graduation of high school to give two years of their life to the Jamaican military. And make it so that no amount of money makes one immune from this obligation. If a person leaves the country then they have to pay a prohibitively high amount of money. If they don’t pay it then they are accused of stealing from the country. They give the time or they don’t leave. If someone fails to finish high school then this forces them into a military service, and their time in the army is lengthened by the amount of time they should have remained in school. Also, there should be two requirements that enable one to graduate from this conscription: the obligated amount of time spent within it and acquiring a high school diploma — or some general equivalent of such a document.
    In this capacity these youth will be drilled militarily, academically and help to buttress the ailing Jamaican infrastructure. This means that these kids with so much idle time on their hands will clean the streets, paint the walls, make the paints, and the brooms and even the soap for these tasks. The objective of this program will be to ensure that the youth able to accomplish all types and all rigors of employment, and this criteria will have to be met by all of the youth, from the most economically privileged to the least.
    Jamaica needs to foster a culture of self-discipline and rigor. There is no other way to do it. Their simply isn’t.

  2. Jamaica Needs A Conscription Policy

    Nothing else can save it. We need to take a page out of Israel’s book and enact laws that obligate all Jamaican countrymen and women at the age where graduation from secondary school is reached for service to the country.
    Jamaica — like so much of the world — is a casualty of all roads leading to Rome. Being so close in the shadow of the United States dooms Jamaica to lose its best and brightest to higher pay and qualitatively better standards of living in the U.S. What country can withstand economic currents that induce so many to leave and seek fortune? None. Emigration — whether legal or not — is going to happen. So, to mitigate the ill effects of those who take the roads to Rome — and these effects take the form of underdevelopment, unemployment, and ill-educated youth as the immediate result of even Jamaican teachers seeking their own fortunes abroad — enact legislation that obligates all Jamaican citizenry upon graduation of high school to give two years of their life to the Jamaican military. And make it so that no amount of money makes one immune from this obligation. If a person leaves the country then they have to pay a prohibitively high amount of money. If they don’t pay it then they are accused of stealing from the country. They give the time or they don’t leave. If someone fails to finish high school then this forces them into a military service, and their time in the army is lengthened by the amount of time they should have remained in school. Also, there should be two requirements that enable one to graduate from this conscription: the obligated amount of time spent within it and acquiring a high school diploma — or some general equivalent of such a document.
    In this capacity these youth will be drilled militarily, academically and help to buttress the ailing Jamaican infrastructure. This means that these kids with so much idle time on their hands will clean the streets, paint the walls, make the paints, and the brooms and even the soap for these tasks. The objective of this program will be to ensure that the youth able to accomplish all types and all rigors of employment, and this criteria will have to be met by all of the youth, from the most economically privileged to the least.
    Jamaica needs to foster a culture of self-discipline and rigor. There is no other way to do it. Their simply isn’t.

  3. I actually found this site because I was doing a research on Jamaican men.I was told to work with the fact that Jamaican men are not worthless…and boy that is definetly hard.I really and honestly believe that Jamaican men have really become worthless,not all but most.If think they are worthless,send your reason why or why not.Honestly is really easy to say the bad stuff but to find the positive it’s hard…very!!

  4. Pingback: jamaican men
  5. I disagree with the above statements. I refuse to generalize and state that ALL Ja men are worthless because that simply isnt true. If one does that then we will say all white men molest their children and commit murder suicides and all us black men abandon their families and all us women are on welfare. My Ja man is very intelligent, is in college and wrks very hard to make a better life for himself. He is also considerate, thoughtful, sensitive and 2ring.

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