By KES Lewis
Every country has the requisite resources, human and material, to create prosperity and peace for its inhabitants that leads to human flourishing. Sadly, many countries have corrupt leadership in place that caters to the baser elements of the human experience, so instead of peace there is division and anger, instead of community wealth there is wealth stratification where some have a little, a little have much and many have very little. St Vincent has all that it needs within its shores to ensure every single citizen manifest to their best potential. Because its foundation is seeded with greed, fear, and hatred, much has to be done to recapture the original vision of a blessed land and blessed people. The following are a few of the things we could do to start that process.
Reinstate the Death Penalty
It boggles me that numerous countries pass laws that allow for the termination of unborn people who become citizens while at the same time claiming that Governments should not kill their citizens because it is inhumane. Here is the other thing. The recent upsurge in recognition of mental health issues is a good thing, for the most part, as it seeks to help those who have suffered trauma live healthy mentally. When a person loses a loved one through criminal activity it takes a significant mental and emotional toll on them and others close to the victim. Keeping the perpetrator alive through their taxes, which ensures that they receive food, shelter, clothing, and mental care, is a slap in the face of the survivors. Of course, an “eye for an eye” does not bring back the lost one, but it helps with easing the burden of loss. Beyond that, the death penalty saves a country revenue and sends a message to those involved in criminal activity that there is a zero policy on certain crimes, thereby reducing the chances of such crimes being done. Additionally, when laws are designed to protect the good and punish evildoers it emphasizes that that country is governed by laws and not the whimsical, illogical arguments of tyrants. The longer St Vincent and the Grenadines do not enforce the death penalty the longer it would remain an ungovernable entity.
Open The Borders
Migration has benefitted a number of countries by boosting their economy, increasing the working-age population, and aiding in progress. Migrants in America contribute just under half of the persons added to their workforce while in Europe it is close to 70% according to the OECD. St Vincent can also use migrant labour to help boost its economy. When it does so in a targeted and nuanced way it will help growth. Migrants who are specially educated can help to fill niche market spaces where the skills are not present in the country, and they can also boost markets that are declining with the skills and expertise they possess. They will pay more taxes than locals so their contributions can help to fatten the coffers of the treasury, they will improve the diversity of the local population and through socialization with locals, they will expand minds and hopes.
Side with Israel
As a country, Israel has always punched above its size. It is a technologically advanced state, possesses a high level of education, blesses its citizens with high income and cutting-edge healthcare, and overall creates well-being for its people. As a country, St Vincent should pursue (or increase) diplomatic relations with Israel. While a number of other countries can boast of what Israel has, their existence, history, and future make it a wise choice for us as a nation to be on their side when things start going sideways. Growing up I always liked horse racing and followed it closely for a number of years. I got so close to the sport that I was fairly knowledgeable of the ins and outs that took place behind the scenes. I never betted on a horse race but if I did it would only have made sense if I could have put my bet on the horse who looked the strongest when they came round the bend. Think of it like this, we are coming around the bend, and siding with the winners makes a lot of sense, especially when you know who is going to be the winner.
Create a Ministry of Happiness
A ministry dedicated to happiness would help to bring all the research, practices, and wisdom on how happiness works in one place and allow for dissemination throughout the population. With such an entity in place, efforts to increase creativity could be spread throughout the schools. Exercise can become a national reality rather than a business venture aimed at those who can afford it. Positive Psychology can be used to drive initiatives that create human flourishing and activities such as journalism, architecture, and sports among other things.
This earth in its present iteration would never be a utopia, but it does not mean it can’t facilitate human well-being in a sustainable form. St Vincent does not have to be wealthy to reach that stage, we just have to be smart, learn how to spot and make the most of the opportunities that are out there be courageous enough to take a different path than the one the masses are taking.