Saturday, June 14, 2014

An Underlying Cause of Child Neglect and Abuse in T&T

While Trinidad and Tobago remains shocked and dismayed by the recent spate of child abandonment and abuse incidents many religiously look toward the government as the messiah. Yet they fail to recognize that the family and societal dysfunctionality is as a direct result of a parasitic state apparatus sapping productivity and purchasing power thereby placing major strain on the family unit.

Consider that inspite of the growth in the budget, the scope and presence of the various regimes of the last 51 years the society and the culture in Trinidad & Tobago is in decline. Why is this? It is because the growth of government comes at the expense of the individual and the family. 

The fact remains the expansion of the state bureaucracy and the political alimony paid to the politically connected class (which also expands), comes directly out of the pockets of the general population overtly or covertly.

Overtly the state taxes ~50% of your income via the income tax, value added tax and duties, while covertly taxing you via printing increasing amounts of $TTs (legalized counterfeiting) to fund their programmes and favoured contractors. The later approach steals purchasing power away from the population by reducing real monetary value (inflation) due to more money getting circulated in the economy -the T&T money supply has been increased by a yearly average of 15% since 1990 (older data was unavailable).
Consequently, a modest single income can no longer sustain the well being of a family as it did in decades past, therefore both parents must work outside home. Parents (mothers in particular) now have limited time at home to spend parenting, mentoring, supervising and counseling their children thus causing a major strain on the family structure and society. 

Families are now forced to rely on less optimal family and child care arrangements including day care services, communal arrangements, friends or grandparents. Resultantly, children become more vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Furthermore, parental involvement with children the single best predictor of a child's well being is severely undermined.

Frankly, the bureaucracy has done enough damage. Unless its size, scope and reach is rolled back... expect further societal decline.

Related reading: Government Policy Fostering Systemic Poverty in Trinidad & Tobago

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