CVM TV Laughs at 95% of Jamaicans Living in Poverty

CVM Television was rude and disrespectful when its staff laughed at Joseph Patterson when he quoted statistics that 95% of Jamaicans are actually living in poverty, and that the cause of that, is government. Let's look into where Mr. Patterson got that number.

According to the Borgen Project, 15% of Jamaicans, translating to 400,000 men, women and children, are living in poverty or extreme poverty. It further goes on to state that "Hunger in Jamaica is largely a reflection of racial inequality. With a heritage rooted in slavery, descendants of black slaves hold a much larger probability of residing amongst the poorest classes of Jamaica. Meanwhile, descendants of the white race and mixed-race plantation owners tend to be much better off."

The Poverty Line isn't a true representation of Jamaica

What it does not say, however, is that the poverty line used is based on a World Bank definition that the worldwide poverty line is USD$1.90 a day. Their definition means that if you earn more than USD$1.90 a day, you are not poor or in poverty. USD$1.90/day at 5 days a week translates to a yearly income of USD$456/year. Even if you were to work 365 days a year, your yearly income would be USD$693.50. 

Let's convert that to JMD. Is it not ridiculous to say that you are only living in poverty if you earn less than JMD$100,000/year? The Government of Jamaica uses this USD$1.90/day poverty line to determine the percentage of Jamaicans that are poor. This means the Government does not believe people who earn $15,000 or $30,000 per month, are living in poverty. So you have to ask yourself, how are they going to lift you out of poverty, yet don't believe you are in poverty? 

Bruce Golding Said 95% of Jamaicans live in Poverty

The truth is, if you were to use the United States' poverty line of now, USD$60+, 95% of Jamaicans are deemed to be living in poverty. Here is what Bruce Golding had to say in 2013.

CVM TV Attacked Joseph Patterson of the UIC for saying the same thing

CVM TV invited the leader of the United Independents Congress for an interview to speak about governance, but the interview quickly turned sour when CVM TV hosts accused Mr. Patterson of lying when he told them 95% of Jamaicans were living in poverty and that government controls every aspect of the economy and acts as a gatekeeper. They laughed and snickered at the prospect and later proceeded to abruptly end the interview without allowing Mr. Patterson  to explain what Bruce Golding has himself explained in 2013 as well as how government control has resulted in the degradation of Jamaica's economy. See the video below.  

Why was CVM TV Oblivious about the facts?

It is very hard to tell why these CVM hosts had no idea that 95% of Jamaicans are living in poverty based on US numbers. It is even more difficult to understand why the CVM TV hosts found it funny. Would they have dealt with the Honourable Bruce Golding, Andrew Holness or Portia Simpson Miller in the same way? I don't think so.

But what is easy to ascertain, is that the UIC does not find poverty and government over-reach funny. It considers it a very serious issue. It is focused on reducing the poverty rate in Jamaica and ensuring that equity is provided in our system of governance. Let's talk about some solutions.

So What Are The Solutions?

  1. We know that political corruption is the leading cause of poverty and crime in Jamaica. It undermines the economy and reduces the effectiveness of our police and justice system while diverting tax dollars away from where they are most needed. We will eliminate this culture of corruption at its source.
  2. We will make Jamaica a non-partisan constitutional republic by way of a referendum. Our new constitution will ensure effective separation of powers, lower the cost of government to taxpayers, and eliminate the red tapes that incentivize corruption and gets in the way of our productivity and prosperity.
  3. Uniters want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others in the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by the government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.
  4. As respect for property rights is fundamental to maintaining a free and prosperous society, it follows that the freedom to contract to obtain, retain, profit from, manage, or dispose of one’s property must also be upheld. Uniters would free property owners from government property taxes and restrictions on their rights to control and enjoy their property, as long as their choices do not harm or infringe on the rights of others. Eminent domain, civil asset forfeiture, governmental limits on profits, governmental production mandates, and governmental controls on prices of goods and services (including wages, rents, and interest) are abridgements of such fundamental rights. For voluntary dealings among private entities, parties should be free to choose with whom they trade and set whatever trade terms are mutually agreeable.
  5. While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, the government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.
  6. All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labour and spend their earnings as they see fit. To this end, Uniters wish to limit the Government to revenues of no more than 10% of all individuals earnings to fund spending on public goods and services that will ensure a safe, clean and orderly environment wherein everyone may live, work and retire with dignity in a truly free and fair market economy.
  7. To fund humanitarian crises, including the proper nutrition, education, healthcare and housing of the poor, Uniters propose that Government collect a sales tax of 10% which shall be designated for these purposes only. No child should be denied the benefit of basic education, good nutrition, decent housing or healthcare. The parents (father and mother) must be held accountable, but the child should not suffer in the process. 
  8. The government should not incur debt at interest, but should instead operate on a balanced budget formula of 10% of the income generated by residents and print only as much money as can be absorbed by true productivity growth while protecting the purchasing power of senior citizens by avoiding artificial inflation, devaluation and deflation at all cost.
  9. We favour free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. Markets are not free unless fraud is vigorously combated. Those who enjoy the possibility of profits must not impose risks of losses upon others, such as through government guarantees or bailouts. We support ending student loan guarantees and special treatment of student loan debt in bankruptcy proceedings. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies and unconstitutional legal tender laws.
  10. Uniters support free markets. We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of entities based on voluntary association. We oppose all forms of government subsidies and bailouts to business, labour, or any other special interest. The government should not compete with private enterprise.
  11. Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability, and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from the government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.
  12. We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals are not unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.
  13. Uniters embrace the concept that all people are born with certain inherent rights. We reject the idea that a natural right can ever impose an obligation upon others to fulfill that “right.” We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. The government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human rights, based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexual orientation. Members of private organizations retain their rights to set whatever standards of association they deem appropriate, and individuals are free to respond with ostracism, boycotts, and other free-market solutions.

What Does a UIC Government Look Like?

As Uniters, we seek to create ONE JAMAICA!

A Republic of Jamaica:

  1. That is not divided by class, party, colour or community.
  2. That protects the life, liberty and property of all citizens equally.
  3. That ensures everyone may live, earn and retire with dignity.
  4. That is among the safest, cleanest and most orderly of all nations. 

A Jamaica that is United, Strong and Free.

Protecting the life, liberty and property of every citizen equally is the essential precondition for a free, fair and prosperous society. 

Without this protection, there can be no peace, only poverty, crime and violence. 

We must banish the use of force and fraud from our human relationships, as it is only through voluntary, mutually beneficial, exchanges that may we enjoy true peace and prosperity in our families, communities and country.

Consequently, we will defend the right of everyone to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity, creativity and prosperity that true individual freedom brings. 

The society we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power, provided they do not infringe on the life, liberty and property of others.

Our goal is nothing more or less than a society where all are truly free to realize their full potential in a safe, clean and orderly society, and it is to this end that we take these stands.


Help us protect the rights of Jamaicans to their Life, Liberty and Property. To keep our movement going, the United Independent's Congress relies on contributions from its viewers, readers and members. 

Donate today and help us to achieve our goal of a Non-Partisan Constitutional Republic of Jamaica that will ensure every Jamaican is able to live and retire in peace and with dignity.

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