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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

No GovernmentĖNot even in the Great U.SĖ can do everything for its people
By Arm-Chair Critic
Nov 1, 2013, 17:00
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One of the greatest lessons I have learnt in life living in the U.S. is that no government on earth can do everything for its people.

 

America is the richest and the most resourceful country in the world. She is also the most powerful. The country has an elaborate welfare system that is still at work despite efforts by the Republicans to abolish it.People still collect food stamps, disability, unemployment, old peopleís, Section 8, Medicaid and other benefits. But one thing that is obvious in the face of all these benefits is that the U.S. Government does not and cannot do everything for its people, however much it wants to. It is not humanely possible.One of our biggest problems in Sierra Leone is our miseducation and misconception about government. Americans know, and have accepted that their government cannot do everything for them. We in Sierra Leone have not. We want the government to do everything for us. This is not possible, even if the government wants to do it because the whole world is facing the problems of dwindling resources, opportunities and limitations in cash flow. The government can only do as much. This is true everywhere, even here in the great United States.

 

Why such a bitter and break-neck fight for government jobs in Sierra Leone? Do you know how many people in America want our jobs and are doing lots of subtle and crafty things, thinking Government will take our jobs from us and hand them to them? Why? Why? Why the desperation for government jobs in Sierra Leone? Because America too is facing very serious problems today. Jobs are no longer there as in the past and because of cutbacks and cutdowns even the ones available no longer carry emoluments that satisfy. So as Sheku Boima, the Segbwema Blogger, says: The fight for Sierra Leone government jobs has become sublime!!!! This is because America too is in the throes of a serious socio-economic crisis and can no longer play Santa Claus to people within her borders.

 

If this had not been true, there would not have been homeless people lying in the cold on the streets of America. Go to New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Denver, every major city in America, you find homeless people all over the place. Go to some parts of Philadelphia and New York and see the filth and mounds of trash. The other day, my wife and I travelled by train to Atlanta, Georgia to see my brother, Max. We were surprised to pass through lots of communities in South Carolina living in pitch and utter darkness, without electricity, and using pan-lamps. Yes, inside the United States of America.

Children and adults go to bed hungry even in this country. Do you want to see corruption, scams and Ďkalabulayí¬†life? Come to America. This is the centre of corruption. Yet we talk like it is only in Sierra Leone that there are these problems.

 

Nobody is underplaying these socio-economic and political problems. They are serious and require the attention of the Government. However, we must stop talking as if these problems exist only in Sierra Leone.

 

The Ernest Koroma Government is doing a great job in Sierra Leone. Though we too have our problems, there is one consolation. There is a government visibly at work. There is a government doing something to transform the lives of the people. There is a government with its shoulders to the plough doing something to better the lives of the people. We have to acknowledge this fact first. I agree there are big problems but at least there is a President who loves his people and cares for them and he is putting structures in place that will bring prosperity to the country through the AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY. We should start first by appreciating the efforts of this President and his government. Let us stop talking like the Ernest Koroma Government is doing nothing for us.

The government is doing a great job but the reality is that it cannot do everything for us. If the American Government with trillions upon trillions of dollars cannot even get the homeless off the streets or provide jobs for most of its people, why should we expect our struggling governments in Africa to perform these miracles?

 

Let us learn to appreciate what others are doing for us. Sierra Leone is better off than many African countries. Do you know that with all our problems, it is relatively less expensive to live in Sierra Leone than Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Uganda, Ivory Coast and what-have you? We have people living in these countries and they tell us. Food, rent, clothing and medical care are far more expensive in these countries than Sierra Leone. Freetown is less expensive to live than Monrovia, Accra, Abidjan, Abuja, Dakar, Kampala, Addis etc. Things are very, very expensive in these cities and you can survive better in Freetown. You can coast better in Freetown than these cities. And the fact that everybody is fighting for a government job in Sierra Leone means that the golden fleece is no longer abroad. The days are gone when people believe that the solution to their problems is to migrate to America or England. Things have gone bad even in the West and opportunities and jobs are dwindling.

 

May be, it is time for us to start exploring more creative ways of making it in life. Sierra Leoneans who are more creative and more commercially adventurous and who have tried their lot in business and commerce have discovered that they can stay right home and open previously unknown doors and windows of opportunities for themselves. Nigerians, Senegalese and Ghanaians have seen the enormous benefits that exist in commerce and the private sector. But even if all I have said are not so, still it is wrong to blame the Government for everything and to expect Government to do everything for us.

 

The solution to our problems is to roll up our sleeves, gird our loins and get to work at something. It is not to sit down, cross our legs and blame government whole day for everything, even for the trash outside our doors. Armchair critics are worse than the errant politicians they condemn every day.


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