Monday, 11 February 2008

Dr Gonzi's IT Paradise

While watching TV yesterday evening, I listened to an excerpt from Dr Lawrence Gonzi's speech during the mass meeting in Floriana. Whenever I listen to him, I always remind myself that Dr Gonzi is a lawyer and, as such, he knows very well how to use words to achieve his goals.

During yesterday's meeting, Dr Gonzi reiterated the point that today's youths constitute the IT generation, suggesting that a huge amount of wealth is awaiting all those youths as soon as they get their hands on an IT-related job. Smart City is repeated over and over again, making it seem like a promised land. There are two issues here that deserve closer attention. First, not all Maltese youths are studying or planning to work within the IT sector. What is Dr Gonzi offering to the thousands of young people who are not involved in the IT area? Second, from an economics perspective, as more people acquire expertise in IT, the supply of IT professionals will be increasing. With a much greater supply of IT experts, salaries are likely to plummet. This had happened in Spain several years ago when the country underwent its own IT boom. At first, the relatively few IT professionals were gaining astonishing salaries and benefited from excellent working conditions, but the whole package started to deteriorate as the country witnessed a massive increase in the amount of people specialising in IT. It is one thing to talk about creating new jobs, but Dr Gonzi should remember that for a job to be worth something, it must be able to offer a decent package to the employee. During his speech, Dr Gonzi did not say anything about this matter. He preferred to make people think that just because new jobs will be created, these will allow many people to live a much better life.

Dr Gonzi's words do not fool me! :)


La delirante said...

I am tired of listening to politicians promise thousands of jobs but as you well mentioned they never talk about the actual working conditions and the salaries. They should start talking about increasing the minimum wage if they really want to improve the quality of life in Malta.

The cost of living is definitely not in accordance to the salaries.

Lupideloop said...

Hi there...

First of all.... was it yer birthday recently? Happy Birthday ol' bean!

Back to your post.... while I am not politically aligned to any party as such as I see all politicians in one way or another as glory seeking opportunists... however I do feel the Smart City is a good project which will bring in more investment and job opportunities for Malta! Ok... maybe the majority would be IT related, but the whole project would create spin-off jobs in other sectors too!

Still.... until we discover a truly selfless politician there will always be much posing and rhetoric!

It is up to us as citizens to decide and choose which pose and prose is more likely to end up in something tangible!

Reuben Chircop said...

"Never Trust a politician"

Whatever he or she has done there is only one path for them to reach success. And even if success means sacrifice of people or in a more democratic way their intelligence it does not matter. In other words control the people's knowledge and then you may control them. It is an exact method used by the church. Fanaticism is always dangerous, when it's the fatah, the Afgan or Islam or catholic even when it is political it may run out of balance.

Red said...

Hi all! Thanks for your comments!

I do not like to make blanket statements about politicians because I do believe that there are some who are truly committed to their beliefs. Fine, it might be a handful of individuals, but it would still not be correct to make generalisations about politicians.

My main point in writing this post was that it is not merely the creation of jobs that helps a country to move forward. I have heard many politicians around the world talking about the creation of "thousands of jobs" in order to attract votes. Yet, as I always say, one must go beyond the rhetoric. Very often, especially when talking about foreign investment in one's country, this usually occurs because the company is going to benefit in terms of its profits. In concrete terms, one has to analyse what sort of jobs are being created rather than simply quoting the numbers of jobs that were available at some point in time!

All those people out there who have been constrained to give up most of their waking hours in return for shockingly low salaries and poor working conditions know exactly what I am talking about!!! :)

Reuben Chircop said...

Re-reading my comment I realized that it was quite an attack on politicians , so I must agree that I generalized somewhat quite negatively.

Maybe my conclusion was all a result from the continuous invasive maneuvers they all take by spamming my letter box without asking or sending mail-shots or now also inviting users through HI5 and facebook of general meetings. I then see the news papers full of promises and projects to turn Malta into as you have mentioned in your last Blog a paradise.

I am sorry but I see this as real pathetic from all promising deputies to throw such visions and alienate us or pretend to alienate us from the truth of things.

However I do appreciate that there have been improvements in this country when compared to the past but then again isn't that a developing countries' path.

Red said...

I believe that it is important for politicians to keep the population informed about what is going on. I am, however, highly critical of the fact that such an information campaign is only carried out prior to an election. The citizens have a right to be constantly informed about what is happening in the country!