I read the defences offered on behalf of what can only be rightly termed ‘super salaries.’ Those defences are pathetic; they insult. First, from my perspective (and subject to criticism), I see employment at GuySuCo, the GPL, OP and other similar such institutions as public service jobs, public service calling. It is about giving and building through the selfless dedication of skill, energy, and time. These jobs are not rich, they call for sacrifice.
Second, the many buzz words and phrases bandied about have a place. This would be in opulent locales, and performing private sector entities. Thus, I think “eminently qualified” and “market rates” and finding the right candidates are meaningful, to which lip service should not be paid. Third, and with the aforementioned, as context, I think of Vikram Pandit at Citibank and John Paulson moving from prestigious Goldman to the comparative step-down of the US Treasury. Both men, among other stalwarts, gave up a huge amount of money to serve, to make a contribution, to try mightily to turn things around. Mr Pandit failed after taking nothing upfront; he was ousted. I, also remember that ‘whiz kid’ Robert McNamara departing the goldfields of Ford for the poverty of the Pentagon. The point is that really serious men give up and give. It is sometimes to their personal loss, whether of face or in the pocket.
Fourth, there has been a cohort of Guyanese who have fallen over themselves ‒ at times clandestinely ‒ to save this nation with numerous empty promises. They have failed and failed miserably, while doing very well for themselves. Yes, they have been abundantly rewarded just for being here.
Fifth, if those earmarked are so “eminently qualified” and the right candidate, then it follows that they ought to have a sterling track record of performance and achievement. Therefore, they cannot, and should not, be hand-to-mouth. And while it is every man’s right to set his own standards be it for remuneration or otherwise, I must question this insistence on taking this nation to the cleaners, and then shaking it down for the last penny.
Last, and I believe that this is closer to the real story, this country is seen as a bloated cash cow by privileged givers and takers. All they want to do is help themselves and one another. After all the defences and chatter, it is this simple and ugly. Just show the money and lots of it.