Jobs illusion resembles a rabbit caught in headlights
Two of the signature terms of magicians.
Whether they are pulling rabbits out of hats or sawing damsels in half, magicians have been using smoke and mirrors combined with the art of distraction to trick their audience for centuries.
However, once their audience takes a moment to see their actions for what they truly are, they realise exactly what the guy with the wand has done.
In the lead-up to the 2012 General Election, the One Bermuda Alliance made a number of profound promises to the people of Bermuda to convince them that it was a party worthy of running the Government. And somehow it worked on a significant portion of the population, who truly believed that the OBA could actually pull rabbits out of hats.
One of the first rabbits the OBA promised to pull out of its hat was that of bringing down the cost of living for Bermudians. When challenged to prove how it would accomplish such a feat, it could produce no tangible evidence to back such claims.
Since then, Bermudians have seen almost every aspect of their day-to-day expenses rise year after year:
• Healthcare costs
• Government fees
The cost of living has risen so much that many Bermudians, unable to afford to live in their own island, have emigrated. One key indicator
of this mass exodus is the hundreds of schoolchildren who have left the public school system and are now in school in Britain, causing primary-school intake levels to have dropped considerably.
So it is clear that the OBA has not brought down the cost of living for Bermudians.
Another one of the rabbits that the OBA presented as an election promise was that it would create 2,000 jobs for Bermudians. Bob Richards, Shadow Minister of Finance at the time, wrote this as his 2012 campaign promise.
“The OBA Turnaround Plan will create 2,000 jobs over the next five years by implementing pro-growth economic policies. These 2,000 jobs will come in a range of sectors including construction, hospitality, retail, financial services and international business.”
For the Bermudians who were underemployed or unemployed at that time, this sounded like manna from heaven. Naturally, they flocked to the OBA to see this trick unfold.
Unfortunately, the trick was on them because the OBA has yet to produce this rabbit.
As per the Department of Statistics Employment Survey in 2012, the number of Bermudians employed stood at 25,132. For clarity, that number did not include guest workers. Year after year, there has been a steady erosion of the Bermudian workforce to the point that in 2016, the number of Bermudians employed stood at only 23,501.
If we do the maths — 25,132 minus 23,501 — that equates to at least 1,631 jobs lost under the OBA within four years.
Let’s think about it for a minute. The OBA promised 2,000 jobs for Bermudians; what Bermudians got instead in return for their vote was a loss of 1,631 jobs, which has subsequently led to many unemployed Bermudians emigrating from the land of their birth in desperate hope of being able to support themselves and their families.
As we all know, a key hallmark of a magician is to make things seemingly disappear right in front of people’s eyes. Well, Bermudians have now watched nearly 2,000 jobs disappear under the OBA, along with the thousands of Bermudians who disappeared from their island home.
Yes siree, Bob. Hocus-pocus, indeed.
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