You are sitting on a powder keg
It has been more than 50 years since my family of born Bermudians and I left your island to start a new life, beginning here in the United States. After years of hard work and dedication, we are now retired in Ellensburg, Washington State. After receiving training in the US Navy in the early 1960s on heavy equipment, and becoming a flight instructor in helicopters on the GI Bill, we are now old, safe with home, vast land, union pensions, medical care and security.
As an enlisted man in 1960, with limited education or skills, I could never have achieved the benefits and security that my family and I now enjoy without the schools, training, and money that my country provided.
After seeing year after year and decade after decade in Bermuda the vast difference between those that have money and education, yearly employment, medical care and home security, and those who barely complete formal schooling, with no money, job training, college and are facing constant unemployment without hope, it is not hard to see the reasons why there are yearly protests, anger, violence and severe hatred towards government.
This is the breeding ground for revolution and communism. Just ask Cuba.
It is not hard to see the difference here in the United States between the educated black men and women who have given us doctors, lawyers, engineers and tradesman, reflecting all that is good in this country and in the employed (African-American). The vast majority of black street protesters in several American cities are poor, homeless, uneducated and without hope. And they are angry as hell. I don’t blame them. Very soon, new American factories, methods and training will be implemented hopefully to change the opportunities in this country for the better. As a white American, I truly hope so.
My message to you is this: in Bermuda, there is no income or corporation tax, no capital gains tax, no VAT or sales tax, and no withholding tax. You have in Bermuda, I believe, more than 70,000 offshore companies keeping their vast cash holdings registered and protected from any other country taxing their accounts or profits.
These funds are benefiting just a few. At the very least, the Bermuda Government should approve on all gross holdings a 1 per cent yearly tax on every offshore enterprise, directly sending all funds to the Department of Education.
After only one year of taxation, programmes should be implemented, starting with the first-grade level, with smaller classes, more teachers, free breakfast and lunch, and bus transportation.
As the funds collected grows larger, trade schools and on-the-job training programmes should be offered free to all Bermudians. Then and only then will your citizens reflect once again the laughter and love I remember so long ago. And mostly lost.
Your unemployed citizens of Bermuda have no hope. You are sitting on a powder keg. Do it now.
RONALD ARTHUR SLATER
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