TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Who pays for poor decision-making? - EntornoInteligente / Trinidad Express / Contrary to what the political pundits and opposition parties who are rubbing their hands in glee at the events of the past week think, the election is not yet lost. Johnson and Johnson is viewed as an exemplary company because of its handling of the Tylenol poisoning episode a couple decades ago, but we forget that several years earlier was the Zomax episode with 14 deaths, causing the manufacturer to settle virtually 800 cases out of court. The difference was shrewd, tenacious management focused on tactical issues, making us believe the company was a paragon of virtue which we could trust to do the right thing. Locally, we have the huge media spend of $100 million in 2014 and an expected match in 2015 to shape minds. My advice: hold the champagne. After all the laughter and the memes, we are confronted by great uncertainty. In such times reasonable people protect their interests even if we do not see the effect immediately. People in their 20s have never experienced hardship. We are all accustomed to freebies. We expect more to come as elections draw near. But what should we expect when the gas prices remain and foreign exchange dries up? What will be our future? To maintain the gravy train, there will be a reduction in funds and interest that deal with core long-term issues. How to process the idea that a senior policeman could be so relaxed in the heart of a hot spot area as to be offended by other policemen rushing to a murder scene? Or the presence of Task Force police officers cavorting or protecting whatever on a boat reputedly owned by a drug lord? Are we not witnessing a precipitous descent regardless of what the present statistics say? What to think about the announcement that the Manzanilla Road restoration actually cost $30 million, a full 40 per cent off the original budgeted figure? The casual changing of budgeted and actual numbers reported by senior ministers must raise questions about how contracts are negotiated. What is the implication for the allocation and use of public funds? Yet we have no money for basic hospital requirements or the vision to deal with bullying in schools. The actions of the Speaker and the alleged actions of the past AG in an ethnically divided nation mean that the Judiciary and the rule of law will be under tremendous pressure. This is the thin edge of the wedge. Just like with bribery, once it starts it spirals since if the priest could play who is me? Is it right to approve the firing of one but ignore the other issues that challenge our accepted way of living with each other? When you put this with all the other factors, you must shudder at the coming Armageddon. The poor man is the unsuspecting victim, the rich among us will retreat to Orlando and will jack up local prices so that heads they win tails we lose. May God help us all! Noble Philip via e-mail

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