The root cause of Cayman’s social problems

| 26/04/2016 | 79 Comments

Cayman News ServiceAnonymous writes: It is good that the premier understands that our crime problem is a social one. But I wonder if he realises that it is caused by our leaders inability to do maths. Unregulated capitalism has killed the dreams of our young people.

In 1974, high school graduates earned $300 per month and a lot of land cost $3,000. In 1984, they earned $800 per month and land cost $8,000. In 1994, they earned $1200 and land cost was $20,000. In 2004, they earned $1,500 and land cost was $40,000. In 2014, they earned $2,000 and land cost was $80,000.

Calculating realistically today, a single person cost per month for food is $500, electricity is $200, water is $50, health insurance is $100, car ownership is $200 and a small saving of $200. That is $1,200 per month if we assume that they don’t pay rent, get married, have a child and own the perfect car.

Assuming that the bank will lend them the money to service the debt with 40% of their earnings to buy land, with no down payment, at $80,000, they would need to earn $2,400 per month to service that debt for four years on a consumer loan (twice the minimum wage). When it is paid off in 4 years, they will have a saving account with $10,000. That will be the down payment on a mortgage to build a home. Since the bank will require 20% for the mortgage, you can borrow $50,000. At $120 a sq ft, you need $120,000 to build a 1,000 sq ft house, which means that you need to be earning $3,500 per month ($1,100 more in 4 years – 45%).

So we went from a young person being able to buy a lot of land with less than one year’s earning to it now costing 3-4 years’ earnings. So, with the minimum wage set at $14,000 per year, the dream of home ownership is dead for many Caymanians. Our capitalistic society has condemned them to economic slavery. These young people are neither lazy nor stupid and many see the reality of their situation for what it is and are not even going to try. Unlike our leaders, they understand that the system is rigged because we taught them maths.

For me, a successful capitalistic society is based on the concept of fair competition and we no longer have fair competition in Cayman. How many Caymanians are able to compete with Mr Dart? Not that Mr Dart is doing anything wrong or that I dislike, but no one living here can compete fairly with him. He has such an enormous advantage. Not just him, but now we are simply importing more and more people who can compete at his level and everything is now priced for these people, which excludes most Caymanians.

I don’t have the answer and certainly do not agree with Fidel Casto or Hugo Chavez when they faced this problem. But I do know that the solution to the problem is not for our society to enact more and more social programs but to regulate capitalism so as to enforce fair competition for all of the people who call Cayman home.

No, I also don’t know how such regulations would work, but all millennials and Pope Frances are exposing this reality and we need to listen to them rather than expecting the police or stricter laws to solve a problem with a system that is creating more and more desperate and impoverished people.

Our young people are paying the highest price for us creating a society with such a great disparity in competition. I don’t blame them, I blame myself, because I helped to support this unfair system and now my kids cannot live the dream that was promised to them.

Imagine your future depending on you competing with Usain Bolt in the 100-yard dash. What would you feel when you are at the starting line with him next to you? That’s what our young people feel when they leave school and this is the great flaw in our implementation of capitalism.

Unfair competition is the root cause of our social problems. Do the maths and please criticise my maths so that we can make some progress and restore hope to our young people rather than planning to lock them up and blaming the police for our social problems. Hopefully better minds can help us to recreate a system that will inspire them and reduce our need for more police.

This comment was posted in response to Premier: Cops not to blame for crime

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My point is that the free market competition has to be truly free and competitive or it is simply lambs to the slaughter, hence my Usain Bolt analogy. The idea that the wealthy is simply competing better than the poor for whatever reason is just ridiculous.

    Centuries ago, many Europeans fled Europe because they were at the bottom of this system that was implemented by the wealthy royalty and land owners of Europe. They fled what I call economic servitude and then implemented that same system of misery world wide. It is now causing great unhappiness throughout the world, not just in Europe.

    If you are smart, wealthy and live here, then you should care about the apathy of our youth. You should care that it is moral bankruptcy to insult the weakest members of our society. You should feel responsible for them when they feel hurt or insulted. If you don’t, then you have become the same royal monsters that this system created in Europe centuries ago. Is that what you want Caymanians to aspire to be?

    When the premier pointed out that it was a social problem, I was encouraged and wanted to see some calculations, so I provided mine. I believe that the solution is to create a happy environment that inspires our young people. The cost of failing to deal with this is not just the funding of police, judges and jails, it is also walls, gates, weapons and guards, because we all have nowhere else to go. What will that cost?

    The comments about education were the most helpful. There must have been a time in the past when our society realised that education was necessary for our children. We decided as the tax paying people that secondary education was the minimum requirement and so we pass a bunch of laws and provided funding to make secondary education mandatory for all of our children. If we are now saying that college education is the minimum, then we need to change the laws and make college the minimum education standard and provide funding for that. As tax payers, we decided decades ago that we will not profit from things that our children need, especially education.

    I not blaming anyone or making any excuses, I am blaming the implementation of a system called free market competition which is neither free nor competitive for most people of the world. It seems to be designed to create great misery as it did in the past and is doing again. It is not only causing great human suffering, it is destroying the whole planet and creating misery for most lifeforms. Since Cayman is so small, I choose to believe that if we can fix it anywhere, it has to be here.

    In spite of the insults in some of these comments, I remain inspired by Pope Francis and the young people I know who are exposing this great flaw our implementation of capitalism and understand that rich or poor, our goal of a happy life is the same and that in death, we are all identical.

    If you choose. A better mind than mine can explain it to you by going to this link starting on paragraph 53, “No to an economy of exclusion”.
    http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am 30 years old, born and raised here in Grand Cayman. I was kick out of school at the age of 15. I went to ucci and graduated and got a job at the age of 17 with government. I work for 2 years and went back to ucci and and got a scholarship to go study in US. Came back and government increase my pay by 42 cents on the hour. I stayed for for seven years and after working for a total of 9 nine years with an degree the most any bank on island told me I can borrow for an mortgage is 95,000.

    I then went to earn money on the side and it was illegal money, lost my job and went to prison. After I came out of prison I was determined to make it life. Right now I own my own business, and I own a house on the canal that is over 3,000sqft and it was built out of pocket.

    The long and short is that if you want to make it in life you have to work hard for it and stop making excuses on why you can’t do it.

    The problem with Cayman is that everyone thinks they should have what the next one got. But people don’t know how hard and the struggles people went thru.

    Remember this: there are only two kind of persons in the world, employees and employers!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It all come down to Cayman’s culture and education system against everyone else s culture and educations system. You can blame yourselves and then change it or not. Making a living in this world is a competition. Only winners win.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In a small island land is a valuable commodity and those at average earning cannot expect ownership.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try being from and trying to by land or a home in Hawaii or many, many other places in the world. We bought some land a built a house here because it was way cheaper for the land. It sounds like this is just another big excuse to lay the blame of failure on something other than laziness and incompetence. Its not working.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are no more than yet another alien here to share your glaring ignorance with the whole world. The writer of the article clearly and precisely correctly states that “Unregulated capitalism has killed the dreams of our young people”. You very obviously didn’t read the article from someone who knows before you started spewing. There is really not much question at all why people like you have to leave your own country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Utter bullsh*t.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There is still affordable real estate available in North Side, East End, Frank Sound etc. Fact is that many young Caymanians don’t want to be inconvenienced with a “long” commute and expect to be able to build a 4 bedroom house with close proximity to George Town and 7Mile Beach!!!

    Do you realize how long and far people in other countries have to commute in order to live in a house they can afford? Do you think people who work in Sydney, London, Berlin and Dublin are only 10 minutes away from their work? Why don’t you google some real estate prices in other locations and you may adjust your view.

    I used to think real estate prices in Cayman are crazy, until I had to look for accommodation in some other countries and I got a reality check very quickly!

  6. Anonymous says:

    1. As a parent of two teenagers, we have made the sacrifice to forgo many “luxury” items and instead pay for private school as we do believe it provides the better education.

    2. From an early age our children have been made to understand that due to financial limitations, they will need to EARN a scholarship in order to get a overseas tertiary education.

    3. Our kids have been taught that the world is competitive and in order to reach for their goals they have to start from the beginning to go after their dreams. In other words, don’t wait until you graduate from High School and then think someone is going to hand you a big cash price.

    4. We encourage our children to be actively involved in sports clubs and charities. That means many sacrifices on our part by driving them around, helping with fund raisers for sports club and charities etc etc.

    I know that we are by no stretch of imagination doing it all right or have found the magic fix for raising kids to be successful, however, those are the sacrifices we as parents are making to attempt to lay the proper foundation to turn our children into self sufficient individuals down the road. From what I have observed all the way around, there are many, many, many parents who refuse to make those sacrifices and are then surprised that their children are leaving High School with no plan A, B or C and they believe something is just supposed to be magically happening for them. That is NOT how it works!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your sensible, reality based comments. And thank Almighty God that that sadistic scapegoat called lazy, unqualified Caymanians that has worked so exceedingly well for both our business ‘entrepeneurs’ and our beloved ‘gowerment’ as well as our know it all expatriate population is finally starting to show it’s true colors. Caymanians have been given anything on earth but a fair chance in their own beloved country. They have been ruthlessly crushed and trampled in the name of one single word, greed. The love of money. The root of all evil. The word we define as ‘progress’. This is NOT God Almighty’s will for this country and our people, people. And, yes if our totally irresponsible government and our greedy entrepeneurs, and all the other powers that be continue to blatantly and perhaps not so ignorantly flaunt the scapegoat rather than acknowledge and address the real problem it is indeed going to be addressed the hard way. Enough is enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      But isn’t it the Caymanians who began the cycle of greed by selling anything and everything to those expat investors? Why didn’t they hold on to their property? Many other nations (including some Islands) do not allow sell of property to foreigners. They can lease it for maybe 30 or so years, but it can be sold, however, with this comes also a lack of development as investors chose very carefully what they want invest in. Some nations do well with this as they do not want their country to be developed and rather live a simple life.

      The problem is that many Caymanians wanted to get rich fast. They sold, had a good life, their children had a good life, and now that the cash is done and their grand children struggle, everyone is crying foul!

      • Anonymous says:

        7:55 am
        you hit the nail on the head. If I am not mistaken, Bermuda doesn’t allow foreigners to purchase land.

        • Anonymous says:

          It is indeed very much past time for Cayman to follow suit. Especially in regards to one particular foreigner. Unfortunately we always seem to elect leadership that is as weak or weaker than our people themselves.

          • Anonymous says:

            Mr Dart is Caymanian and by your comment you are a racist.

            • Anonymous says:

              Who on earth said anything about Mr Dart? Would that “Mr Dart” happen to have anything to do with the amount of money “Mr Dart” has, or are you just a hopeful opportunist?

        • Anonymous says:

          Please don’t hold Bermuda out as the solution to any of our problems, Bermuda is much, much, much, worse.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why try to change the subject??? We are talking here about work permit holders taking over the country to the benefit of entrepeneurs and to the detriment of the local workforce. Regrettably I have to admit that if our ‘Government’ gave a hoot both situations would be kept under reasonable control.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Recommended reading for adults in the western world. The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkenson and Kate Pickett
    Changed my outlook on the perspective this Viewpoint raises.

  9. Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

    Yes, and we are importing cheap foreign labour with expensive work permit fees bringing revenue to Govt, and these “imports” do not plan to buy land or house and so are content with the substandard wages as the C.I. dollar goes far where they come from. They are living the dream at the expense of young Caymanians who rightfully will not work for wages that can’t buy land, let alone a house! And by the way, why are the land prices so inflated? Ask the real estate agents who are paid on commission. It is unfettered capitalism gone crazy, and it benefits the businessmen only, and definately not the wider community. This is the sort of situation that led to the Venezuelan, and Cuban revolutions. Food for thought. It is happening in many countries, and highlights the need for responsible government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Evidently we have at least three folks either in gowerment or on work permits that don’t agree with you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Real Estate prices are dependent on many factors, including amongst other, demand and development. Also, if someone next to you builds a mansion and you have a proper road leading to your house rather than a dirt road, chances are your piece of property has just increased in value.

      Look, Caymanians have decided to sell their land. There will always be someone with bigger and deeper pockets who can afford something that someone can’t. In the rest of the world, it’s all the cashed-up Asians (especially Chinese) who are currently buying up some of the most desirable real estate, just because they can.

      There is no way for Government to control a free market, unless it is making the decision (which I am afraid is way too late) to not allow foreigners to purchase property, but only to lease it for 50 years or so. However, I am sure you will find many, many Caymanians who wouldn’t have and still won’t agree with that approach as that would have meant much less cash in their pockets and much less development.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not once in 9 years did a Caymanian even apply for my job. Enough with the excuses. The ones who applied for other jobs where I worked were grossly unqualified and not interested in my tips for becoming qualified. Not one took my advice on how to get work with us. None had the most basic skills one would expect of a high school grad. But ya, you keep telling yourselves it’s the expats fault. It’s the work permit systems fault. It’s the fault of anything but yourselves. How is that approach working out for you all so far?

      • Anonymous says:

        If you’ve been here on a work permit 9 years your employer obviously either has tons of money or very good friends on the Immigration Board, or both. Yet another problem locals have to deal with on a daily basis.

        • Anonymous says:

          I guess you missed my opening sentence. Not one Caymanian applied for my job in 9 years. Why would it take money or good friends on the Immigration board to get me work permits for 9 years?

          • Anonymous says:

            Go ask your boss, stupid. Hopefully he’ll answer that more truthfuly than the bull he’s telling you about Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at the wonderful job the Venezuelan and Cuban revolution has done for the people. Poor, Ignorant lazy people have and will always wanted what hard working educated people have produced. They support the gov. that will give it to them but they do not have the ability to create thus when the fruits of the educated and motivated are used up you have abject poverty and a destroyed infrastructure. You have your equality, everyone starves.

  10. anonymous says:

    WHO WROTE this Article?

    Can anyone tell me I would like him or her to email me at
    where I have a NonProfit — which is intending to empower and educate our people with a Presentation just as this at least once a month

    We have got to start the process of informing educating and empowering through Knowledge

    We plan to have a talk /presentation on Topics such as
    Finances—- Budgeting, Capitalism etc

    We can Pre-Video Record you if you dont like in a live Audience settng
    or yes you can appear in front of a Audience- Your Pic

    Please email me at

    familyempowermentgroup@gmail.com

    if you would like to be our Guest Speaker on a Variety of Topics that can
    help our Society turn things around:

  11. Anonymous says:

    Better minds indeed! We need a total revamp of our political system through the nomination and election of enough people who have the intelligence/education, ethics, moral character and will to make a difference – not just a few but at least three dozen so as to field a full slate of candidates island-wide. I know people who have these attributes but they are mostly jaded and disgusted with the political system of the past 40 years (which is exactly when we de-railed!!) and those types of people do not want to be associated with Cayman “politics-as-usual”. I’m one and sadly I’m not ready to present myself at this point because I’ve not yet met enough like-minded people who are ready to step up. Yes, that is disappointing but I remain hopeful.

    Good education is the foundation of any society and since the mid-1970’s our successive leaders have screwed-up that system. Any revamping has to begin with a sound, inclusive and progressive education system. Yet to date we can’t even get a vocational school which would cater to those students who have technical leanings. The second necessity is the moral fortitude to ignore the instincts of greed and corruption in oneself or one’s supporters – from the “little man” who wants a hand-out instead of a hand up, to the “big-boy” special interests groups. Most definitely, the Lodge has to be excluded from its control of Government, such as is the present case. Additionally, but not finally, is the need for Caymanians and foreigners to respect each other and co-exist harmoniously and symbiotically for the greater good of the country.

    Some of these are basic human attributes which cannot always be taught in schools, they must be inherent and that is where good parenting must step up!! Like any society, our social problems stem from households with weak or non-existent principles. The real challenge is how to address parenting aspects which would benefit the broader community? Personally, all I have is a layman view of that aspect as I’m not a social services professional. I know how I raised my own children and I’m proud that they are responsible, productive members of our society but if it were so easy to “convert” bad parents, every society would eventually be utopia. In addition, “converting” their corrupted offspring and their successive generations is a formidable and perhaps impossible task.

    This takes me back to a good education system which prepares every school-leaver for a more productive and satisfying outcome and greater hope for their future. This would instill some values, which have disappeared, to a larger portion of our society and re-claim a portion of our future generations.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s your system and its hardly capitalist. More like state socialism with a deep undercurrent of public/private corruption. Still blaming the “others.” Looks more like Jamaica, Trinidad and Venezuela ever day.

    • Anonymous says:

      gee you are looking at buying your land in the first year or two. Reality soon hit you many be working 15029 years for those things. Your land your home is one of your major expenses in life many dont get to even own one.

    • Anonymous says:

      of course he still like those higher salaries and fancy cars and being able to travel but dont want to pay the price. you talk about how things have changed well i will tell you one that you will never include the older people used to work many times harder than we do today. we keep waiting for santa to bring resents.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bernie sanders psycho babble. Capitalism turned this island from a poor rope making fishing village into one of the best living standards in the caribbean. What a bunch of emotional cliche filled diatribe.

  14. lo-cal says:

    Excellent Comment!

    Just to add to this, another root cause if the blatant lack of education being provided to our children. Back in the 80’s when Cayman was starting the economic boom that pushed us to where we are, Cayman was so focused on taking advantage of the opportunity we were given to compete in the financial sector that we basically forgot that we needed to prepare our children to also take advantage.

    We have tried every system of education from CXC, GCXC etc basically experimenting with our kids trying to copy a model that does not benefit us. We are a financial center and therefore from the time you enter school, your curriculum should be oriented to prepare you for this field.

    There should also be a trade program for those students who do not want to or cannot manage this curriculum. I know a lot of expats who have greatly enriched themselves in the construction and automotive fields who in most case did not graduate from high school.

    • Anonymous says:

      More like a blatant lack of contraception which imposes on us thousands of third world dependents of the state. The rest as they say …is history.

      • Anonymous says:

        A high official in the ministry told me they had to find almost 4000 places for children of MacKeeva’s status grants to Jamaicans….now we are paying that price and no turning back.

        • anonymous says:

          Given that the Govt school population in 2004 was around 1300 and hasn’t changed significantly over the years perhaps they could ask the high official where the children went? Or was this an official that was high?

          • C'Mon Now! says:

            Let’s not let the truth get in the way of a “good story” by 7:42am

          • Anonymous says:

            Not just govt schools any schools, just try to get your kid registered in any school now and you will understand.

          • anonymous says:

            My mistake, the numbers would be around 4,000 between primary and secondary schools. Point remains the same though.

            • Anonymous says:

              A teacher at George Town Primary at the time indicated that the majority of students at that school for a while were not Caymanian. It is disgusting the effect Mac’s whim has had on our society and its sustainability.

              • Anonymous says:

                So the children were Caymanian but not the right sort of Caymanian for racists like you.

              • anonymous says:

                The truly sad thing about such comments is that the data to prove the point is openly accessible to all via the internet. I worked in the Govt. Education system so have my direct experience to show that this “fact” is wholly untrue, however a couple of clicks will confirm reality. Cayman Compass 2nd Sept 2009 report on the school enrolment (based on govt figures) state that total school enrolment in 2008 was 7,512 with 4,579 in govt schools. In 1999 6,153 was the total school enrollment. Population according again to the internet was just under 40,000 in 1999 and had grown to around 53,000 in 2008. Don’t ask anyone, just check it yourself. The population now has grown to around 60K, hence school places are harder to locate. Simple maths resulting from a growth in the economy and increasing demand for a workforce.
                The ongoing and depressing references to the status grants as the source of all evil from global warming to the price of gasoline is avoiding the acknowledgement that social issues are multicausal and far more complicated than an event over twelve years ago (which is wholly unrelated). Ask any teacher through the period concerned and social issues were very evident from when I came here in ’94 through to when I left the Govt. teaching service in the mid 2000’s. These problems have been getting steadily worse, and did not arrive overnight. If there was a golden period of Cayman’s history when there was not serious issues with a proportion of its population this had certainly long passed before I came here. One feature that has remained constant is the kneejerk response to blame (mostly) people from overseas for the issues, and in so doing cause immense harm to the Cayman Islands and particularly its young people. Failure to appropriately identify causes means that solutions have been long ignored, and the problems have magnified as people ill prepared for adulthood go on to have families themselves without the skills or attitude to prevent many of their kids manifest the same issues.
                The Adolescent Health and Sexuality Study from 2013 is an excellent body of work researched and compiled by local and overseas experts showing that a high proportion of young people are overly vulnerable due to a myriad of issues, including but not limited to, poor parenting. Read the report; it does not mention status grants or anything related to them as a cause of any of the problems which are affecting young people, themselves a reflection of the failings in a significant section of Cayman society.
                A continued focus on grants of status or similar simply identified reasons which cannot be reversed fail to provide any future other than ongoing decline and breakdown in societal harmonisation and achievements. If you continue to state such ill informed opinion on topics which are easily researched with minimal effort then you are part of the problem. The vulnerable members of our society: the young, sufferers of mental health issues, the aged, the poor, are the main victims of criminals and other parasites on humanity. They deserve solutions and efforts based on actual factually identified problems rather than lazy prejudiced comments that distract from the real issues and provide no way forward.
                Just under 80% of the prison population is Caymanian according to the inspectarate report in 2015. Many of these people were engaged in criminal activity before finishing high school and many have not held a job to any real level before being sent to prison. This is not about working people who are discouraged in their ability to honestly earn a living, much more it is that these people were on a pathway to criminality over many years before they were finally locked up, and they do not have the skills or other attributes to easily change. The social ills needs to be addressed. It is very hard given the range of approaches needed and sometimes unpopular as well, but failure to do so will result in an ever growing number of prisoners whilst those with the means protect themselves leaving the rest of society to live with, and suffer the consequences of, a failure to address the root causes. This is likely to occur here unless leadership takes it seriously and moves to address it with the significant resources it demands.

  15. anonymous says:

    I”ll tell you my story. I came to the US at the age of 33 with 2 children, speaking no English, never driven a car before. No work permit. 8 years later I purchased my own brand new condo and became a certified and licensed professional. At times we lived on $20 a week, but never ever asked for any handout. I worked 3 jobs starting at 4am and finishing at 11 PM. I was delivering papers, watching kids and cleaning houses and offices.
    Unfair competition and economic slavery are just exuses for lazy and or stupid.
    Your comment is justifying crime and seeing young caymanians as victims. This kind of mentality is not healthy.
    It times of hardships many flourish. One sees crisis as an opportunity.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Spot on, you are so right, but no one will listen. The inflation of Land value based on what prices are, in other jurisdictions mainly USA and Europe will have the majority of us living in low income developments. Where most of us do not want to be. Wages have not kept up with inflation, preventing far too many of us from realizing our dream of owning our own home like our forefathers did. Owning your own home give one a feeling of success and pride, which contribute to a safe and successful society. We are loosing our middle class families rapidly, hence the deterioration in society. They call it MARKET FORCES. As property values rise, everything we purchase will increase, while our pay cheque remain the same. Not good for anyone. When, a youngster who earned 50 pounds a month, I purchase land and built a 1800 sq ft. concrete home and only had to borrow 6000 pounds from the bank. You cannot do that today for under $300,000.00 ( 150,000.00 pounds at the time we changed from Pounds to $,s ). Progress for whom?

    • Anonymous says:

      The alternative is to cut your cloth to fit, ie don’t assume your first home will be a three bed detached, do like everyone else, buy a 1 bed condo, work up to a house. The ‘profit’ your parents have seen from property comes from somewhere.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I agree with your numbers, but isn’t this a fact pretty much all over the world? Do you know how much property prices have increased in London, Hong Kong and other financial industry hot spots throughout the world in the last 20 years? I can ensure you that the salaries in those places didn’t increase in proportion to the value increase of real estate, except maybe for a few top earners.

    Fact is that in a lot of countries, people will never be able to purchase property and will rent their house or apartment year after year. The issue is that in Cayman a lot of people have unrealistic expectations and believe they are entitled to own property and a new car within a few years of entering the working part of their lives.

    Finally, what keeps people from going after their dream and the high salaried jobs? There are so many opportunities around for scholarships locally and overseas, something I wish would have been available to us 20 years ago. From what I have observed, the fact is that many kids lack the dedication and the work ethics that is involved with reaching for their dream. They expect that it will be made easy for them, handed to them, spoon fed to them, but the reality is that with getting a good tertiary education comes hard work and many sacrifices (including leaving parents, friends and boy/girl friend behind!).

    I went to university in a country where I didn’t even speak the language. My parents couldn’t pay for it, I had to earn it. So I didn’t have the “typical” college life or partying and spring break etc. I had a one-hour commute to and from university every day and worked until 10:00 p.m. every night before I could sit down and do my homework.

    I didn’t have a new car until I was in my early 30s and I didn’t move into my first house until I was in my mid 30s. Until then I always lived in a rental apt. So what I’ve got now, I had to work for very hard, made many sacrifices (including many late hours at work in my early years) and I do not apologize for it. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from being “rich” in material terms, but I did what I had to do to get where I am and others can too – they just need to stop making excuses a long the way and looking for the short cuts.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Best Viewpoint I’ve read in a long time.

    To add to this, can you believe that we have many parents making between $150 – $250 thousand dollars or more per annum (living in gated communities) and guess whose kids are getting the big scholarships to go to fancy universities overseas and guess whose kid’s are given $2,000 CI per annum to go to a local university or given absolutely nothing at all ?

    This is happening all in the name of political connections.

    We have created a monster and young Caymanians are suffering and are rising up with crime in their eyes and minds. The anti-social behavior is of our own making and in the next 5 years or less, we will have a Cayman Spring.

    Get prepared !!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you partially, mainly in relation to the net-work connections regarding some scholarships, BUT the raising of the children is the responsibility of the parents and from what I have observed, there is an increasing number of parents who just don’t want to be parents. Many broken family units, many children who don’t even know who their father is, many parents who don’t want to make the sacrifice to be actively engaged in their children’s life and rather throw a gadget at them or go to Happy Hour. Perhaps this is the reason why crime is in their eyes and on their mind rather than good grades and a tertiary education?

    • Anonymous says:

      Whilst I understand your concerns over scholarships going to ‘rich people’, the actuality is the student gets the scholarship, not the parent. So lets expand your thoughts, should someone whose parents have a good income and be the best student (as that’s the main criteria of getting the scholarship) be by-passed and given to the second best, or third or fourth best candidate based on the parents income? The kids have put in the work and got the grades, their parents can’t buy the results, so based on the student’s efforts why would you consider the parents income, how fair is that for the student?

      • Anonymous says:

        Minority kids with good high school grades applies for a scholarship but are only given $2,000 per year to study locally but rich kids with good grades are sent to top universities in the US, CANADA and UK and are given $60,000 CI per year.

        Mom and Dad given Cayman Staus in the “big give away” several
        years ago after spending only 5 years in the country.

        Parents combined earns over $250,000 CI per annum. Never contributes a cent to their children university education.

        In the end, the minority kid graduated with the same degree and same GPA but guess you get the job in the top accounting firm, lawyers firm etc ? The rich kid does, who went on tax payers money, while mom and dad toast champagne with the politicians and their cronies and appear in glossy local magazines every month.

        The is a fact !!

        • Anonymous says:

          This makes no sense. They have to apply and be accepted overseas. I don’t see how Government can be blamed for them getting local scholarships. They had to apply for those.

        • Anonymous says:

          prove it

        • Anonymous says:

          Couple of issues, scholarships are max $20k for everyone, no-one gets 60K from Government. The ‘big giveaway’ as you put it was 2003, so they’ve spent 18 years here in your example, but I will play along, all kids can go study overseas if they apply, get the grades, and can afford it, affording it can come from working and saving or getting a loan or private scholarship.

          If parents aren’t involved in getting the kids to university then it is harder, but there are still plenty of options. It might suprise you to know that the 20k from Government is very generous compared to the rest of the world, usually you get a student loan when you finish your course with $60-80k of debt with no help from anyone.

          With a UK passport, which everyone from Cayman is elligible, you can study a university course in Europe, in one of the top 100 universities, taught in English for about $3k per year, flights, accomodation etc all extra, but do-able for $20k all in, or Switzerland, at about $2k per year. The world is a big place, look for oportunities and what you can achieve rather than worry what someone else has, there are always people with more than you, and hundreds of millions with less.

          I would bet that if you have two people with the same degree applying for the same job the employer will pick the best candidate. The thing with a university degree isn’t just the exam result, it’s the ancilliary education achieved along the way, and that might not be gained by studying locally.

      • Edutainment says:

        Please allow me to enlighten you on your comments regarding “rich people” and their offspring receiving scholarships. The fact is that the SES(social economic status) how much money you have, is always the number one factor in how well a child does with their studying/exams. That’s the way that society has been designed. So basically, if you were fortunate enough to be born into one of those families, then your pathway is pretty much paved for you. For the rest of us , we have to create our own in a society that has already pushed us to the side.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, I’m not rich. I encouraged my children to read, made sure their homework was done, gave them extra books (Reading Comprehension, Mathematics & English) to work on besides their school work and told them that they were going to college. They worked hard for their scholarships plus got student loans. It’s simple really. It’s not parents having money, it’s parents who care to help their children get ahead. Books at the library is free so there are no excuses. I only have a high school education but I want better for my children.

        • Anonymous says:

          The system has been clouded by Mac’s handouts to gain wotes.

  19. Leila says:

    Well said. I like the factual start to your letter. It really puts things in perspective when you can go back and look at the facts and move forward.

    Quite astonishing looking at those numbers!

    Basically, Caymanians can’t afford to live or survive, much less invest in their own Country.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason caymanians cannot survive in this country, is the politicians were and are too busy tweeting and making laws to suit expats. When they squeal the politicians listen, when the locals squeal, they are stepped on much harder.

    • Anonymous says:

      What you call facts we call ignorance. There is good reason bad people don’t live good lives and good ones do. It all comes down to who deserves it and who does not. Millions of people all over the world have the same things to over come as you do and they put all thoughts of giving up out and do what they have to do to deserve a good life and get it. The only reason to fail at life in this day and age is that you gave up too easily and you don’t deserve it. So get up and get to work or get out of the way.

  20. JB says:

    Yes. Agreed 110%!

    I am a young and true Caymanian with NO intentions to bow to anyone who eats the corn we, my forefathers and current ‘leaders’ have planted before us!

    It is not only me in this race, take a look at the criminal statistics and you will see we do not fight this ‘war’ alone. If we are not given fair opportunities, then we will ‘compete with’ and seize ALL that is LEFT in the manner we know through their teaching. (Which is what they seemingly want; Locals to compete with the people who are paying them!)

    A WISE man was once a HUNGRY man, but a man with NO (caymanian) HISTORY to value becomes empty!

    Why cant they just be satisfied in their own emptiness, why must more people be dragged to those depths where they do not belong only to be criticized, undermined, branded and mangled for societies version of life….

    Where is the CAYMAN WAY – the RIGHT’A WAY that we offer to everyone else?

    JB

    • Anonymous says:

      JB you would be amazed at how many successful caymanians have forgotten that they are caymanians and how many of them think beyond their own financial gain.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please enlighten us JB. What is, to quote you, a “true Caymanian”. You were born here? Both parents were born here? One parent was born here? Grandparents were born here? Great grandparents were born here? You got a special piece of paper indicating you were a “true Caymanian”? Or just maybe you think that based on some subjective criteria you are more deserving. please do tell.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well in this case, True Caymanian in that I will not attempt to bend to gain your acceptance friend. You will see what I mean, just be sure to keep in check with the headlines friend. The true way has yet to come to a door near you…Talk is cheap, even criminals with suit and ties know this friend.

    • Expat Andy says:

      Methinks you forget that there has been a lot of help from expats over the years to build what is still a very good place to live and raise a family. You should put the true Caymanian rubbish aside and judge people by their actions not your perception of their origin. I can guarantee you that there are plenty of opportunities in these islands for Caymanians and Expats alike. Your approach will only end in tears.

  21. Anonymous says:

    “It is good that the premier understands that our crime problem is a social one. But I wonder if he realises that it is caused by our leaders…”

    And our “learders” are elected by us. Thus our crime problem is caused by us.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Have with agree with a lot of this however, the lack of basic education plays a huge part as well.

  23. Anonymous says:

    #this #cosigned by a so-called millennial.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I love this comment, it’s great to see that there are people out there that can see and articulate the problems so well. I hope the politicians see this!

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