Home Commentary Open forum COMPARISONS DON'T HOLD UP



Dear Source,
Excuse me, but I disagree with some the observations made by my fellow Virgin Islanders. Thank you Source for giving me this opportunity to express my thoughts.

1. The local government is solely to blame.
2. We should use cities like New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and
Washington D.C. as parameters for success.
3. It is my fault the our islands are way they are now.
I intend to only express my ideas and my beliefs on the current matter at hand, clearly and intelligently.

The local government is solely to blame for our current state. Yes, the local government bears a lot of responsibility for the current conditions of the islands, but they are not the only ones. The (all and wonderful) federal government and local big businesses play leading roles in our demise. The current method of governing has existed on these islands from the beginning of their existence.
Author Edward A. Neil chronicles these findings in his book "Rape of the American Virgins," which dates back to 1972. He documented numerous findings
where the ingredients for failure existed. Yet, federal and local government
officials, scholars, and business leaders chose not to address these matters.(And our elected officials still haven't) Tax breaks were extended to Hess with stipulations that were never meet.
Some, like the technical school, were not enacted until 1990's. Now they have run before they have paid their fair share.
Ventures conducive to the advancement of the whole populace were never extended to all, rather it was based on this sacred grail of who is local and who is not.
Therefore, I feel as though this wonderful book of knowledge was never analyzed for the valid proofs it offered. We have an IDC commission that gives enormous tax breaks to big business who don't do their fair part. What else has K mart brought us, outside of displaced local mom and pop stores.
Furthermore, this government has allowed for the alienation of down islanders. Even our holy federal government has despised us, shaping our landscape with
atrocious structures unknown to these islands even though, the ramifications of these structures where disastrously obvious.
(This has been the most costly). These are the parties involved in the demise of our virgins.
We should use Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore and Washington
D.C. as parameters for success. I noticed these cities utilized as
comparisons in many opinions and many documents, let me enlighten these
individuals. First, scientific methods of research requires validity. The comparisons of these cities to the Virgin Islands are not even valid for a pre-schooler to make.
There is not one single variable we share in common with these cities. We don't have similar population size, density, topography, base of economy, ethnic background, land condition, area size, per capita income, revenues, expenditures, cultural similarities, etc. not one single similar variable.
So for the life of me how do you make a logical comparison of these obviously
different populous. It is not possible, furthermore it is not credible, threats to external validity abounds. There is no way you can rationally compare the outcome of a policy enacted there to ensure effectiveness here, let alone speculate these policies should serve as the guidelines to success here. It is utterly impossible.
Simply stated, scientists will laugh in the face of any individual who even
suggest these comparisons.
3. It is my fault we are the way we are now. Well, it seems it is my fault, our first appointed governor allowed the building of condense structures
in remote parts of the islands during the 1960's, even though housing projects in St.Louis were being destroyed because they were the breeding ground for failure.(not to even mention it had no likeness to the islands existing
architecture) . It was my fault we gave tax breaks that where given to induce big business, without any foresight(whatsoever) to the future long term planning of these islands. It is my fault the ghetto slums in the Virgin Islands has created citizens similar to those in Puerto Rico, and their American counterparts, in the inner cities. It is my fault the government had no inclination to use planning as a strategy for the future.
Yes it seems that it is my fault that the effects of polarization is so great in these islands. It is my fault the social aspects of these islands have created two distinct classes those who work for less and those who live here seasonally and have all the money. It is my fault we are like we are today disillusioned. Yes it is my fault that we have not learned from the mistakes of the 1960's, 1970's and 1900's . Yes, it is my fault, but I am only 26 so is it truly my fault.
What has happened to my islands is the same fate facing America in the next ten years, how We fix it should serve as a answer for America for the next millennium. No, it is not my fault, but I will fix it.

Thank You,
Julian A. Gumbs
Student in Computer Lab, Georgia State University


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