GUYANA – The plight of the working poor – commentary

The plight of the working poor


In Guyana, life is a continuous struggle for survival, especially for the poor and the working class. The struggle is oftentimes punctuated by spells of frustrations and suffering as a result of neglect by the authorities.

Giving up on their dreams and aspirations should never be an option. Guyanese from all walks of life and from various ethnic backgrounds have big dreams and ambitions, but limited means to achieve them. The struggle is made even more difficult when those things they seek to achieve remain elusive, not because of their own failures, but because of the sloppiness of others, especially those who are in positions to lead.

Nowhere else is this perpetual struggle more visible than among the masses in Guyanese; so much so, that it has become a permanent part of their socio-economic malaise. 

Many in Guyana feel economically and socially isolated and deprived by the very systems that are supposed to serve them, and as a result have become permanent strugglers; working to satisfy the most basic of their needs. This is so, because of the country’s declining economic growth rate and the failure of the State to generate sufficient improvements to improve the lives of the masses.

It is no wonder why so many people have literally given up on Guyana to the extent that they do not even bother to listen to those in authority anymore. Many are at their wits end and do not know what to do. As the pressures from the various struggles reach boiling point, and goal attainment appears unachievable, it is common for criminal and other illegal activities to surface and take root.

This may appear incredibly strange to some, but the fact is that the State has a responsibility to organize its resources in a manner that can up lift the economy, create employment for the youths and improve the lives of the masses.

Lest those in authority forget, it is the social and political institutions that set the context for individual and group behavior and are supposed to provide the resources that the people need to survive. Therefore, how they act and live are shaped, in large part, by the social structures in which they find themselves.

As harsh and as brutal as this may be, it is reality and the political directorate must be careful not to make the people who voted for them and continue supported them feel like they are hopeless.

It is as unfortunate as it is true, that a majority of Guyanese continue to see life as a constant and unforgiving struggle against poverty and economic marginalization.

Many have resorted to blaming the coalition government which they have elected to office in the last election. The government talks about change only when it satisfies its political or selfish interests.

These issues are not alien to the public or the government; they have become institutionalized. Even the smallest tasks are rife with unnecessary complications as many have had their basic human needs go unmet and have suffered from inadequate access to resources and are excluded from the decision-making process.

These unjust structural arrangements have contributed to class discrimination, lack of education, inadequate employment opportunities and very low wages. For many, it is as though no matter how hard they have tried, the system continues to oppress and work against them and their efforts.

The struggle continues for the hundreds of thousands of Guyanese who subscribed to the system but get little in return in terms of social amenities because of the national debt, underdevelopment, scarce resources, high cost of crime and violence, and disregard for the rule of law.

But no matter how painful the struggle is, the people cannot shrink from their responsibility to their families, friends and the country.

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 09/04/2015 at 12:29 pm

    When a nation kills hope, its people have no future.

  • Deen  On 09/11/2015 at 10:06 am

    The poor political leadership in Guyana has let down the people and the country. Over the decades since independence the people have gradually suffered increasing hardship. Yes, the prevailing political and economic hardship have sapped the people’s faith and energy, especially as unemployment and poverty continue to be major problems in addition to crimes, drugs and corruption.
    It’s a daunting situation. Without dynamic leadership, political unity and progressive economic development, Guyana’s future will remain grim.
    Rosaliene said it impressively, “When a nation kills hope, it’s people have no future.”
    Most political leaders have done great disservice to the people of Guyana. Shame on them.

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