The exodus of major industries from the NMI drained the local economy of billions of dollars. It now faces a critically serious financial meltdown or paralysis. The mess will continue to deepen and affect village folks with apocalyptic hardship.
Prevailing conditions were triggered by federal laws and policies that denied the CNMI its comparative advantages and the obvious leadership obsolescence that failed to lift a finger.
As dire fiscal disarray deepens, we can’t sit idly by hoping for miracles, only to deal with persistent bouts of more uncertainty because we’ve opted to second-guess our future. Must begin with inside information on where laws and regulations have stifled investments and dispose of them forthwith.
Major newspapers are replete with materials of how too much taxes and stifling regulations have killed investments in places like California. It’s now in the hole by as much as $16 billion. The larger industries have dismantled and have started their relocation to states like Texas where taxes are low and hardly strapped with regressive regulations.
Maryland recently raised taxes to pay for its profligacy. It is hoped that tax increases would pay off costly entitlement programs left vacuous after federal funds infusion stopped. It also hopes to see growth of private industries.
Nice try! But such ill-advised paradigm would only see the unintended consequence of growth in the number of businesses relocating elsewhere. Maryland and California can no longer willfully push its spend-and-spend attitude and not when factual figures show otherwise. The NMI isn’t absolved of this mess either.
Thus, the dire need to return to basics, chiefly the organization of a socio-economic plan with room for refinement as we move along. Bluffing it with the adolescent attitude of convenient acquiescence isn’t the way to recapture and rebuild the future of these isles. It’s now or never!
Reconciliatory valedictory statements have been echoing in the blistering summer breeze by top graduates of the Class of 2012. I am sublimely curious who among our public officials had the gall to pander to graduates in grand ignorance. But let’s see how an honest public servant would have discussed the future of graduates against the background of a disastrous economic mess.
"Unfolding conditions in disastrous bankruptcy doesn’t need any scholarly discussion. How unfortunate the pomp and circumstance, the springboard of hopes and dreams, relegated and compromised by obsolescence in leadership. Educational opportunities are in a malaise given the contraction of funds for scholarships. Thus, your journey into the real word begins in crisis, starting tonight. This is the net result of an economic wreck of epic proportions that blur everybody’s vision of the future including yours.
"It makes it obligatory that you discard somebody else’s construction of the way things ought to be. You’re more than capable of discerning the truth and what’s right. 'Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.' This you must emulate as an individual. Your individual success is the welcome vehicle to our collective success. Move on with heads high for I am confident you can make a difference in securing brighter tomorrows for our children. It’s no longer the purview of obsolescent leadership.
"The NMI is caught in its own vicious cycle of ’hysteresis’ when wealth and jobs creations were in abundant in these isles. These building blocks have receded with the tide. The term hysteresis is a Greek word that means, "to be late." Indeed, we’ve had a healthy investment in recent past. It has been derailed by internal and external influences. Did we lift a finger to slam the brakes of investment exodus? Or isn’t it true that leadership is disoriented, dazed and clueless?
“As the concept further explains, 'Once a system tumbles off a ledge and goes catastrophically bad, it’s very hard to return it to its earlier state; usually it’s impossible.' We need not go further than the now imperiled Fund, an underfunded healthcare system and a prohibitive utility cost that has forced more business closures than at any other time in our developmental history.
"In passing, it’s clearly troubling the apocalyptic daze in the fiscal disarray of the local government. It now has unquestioned dominance over every governmental functions. It is basically a slow march to a 'festival of tyranny' as it acquires and compromises the consent of the governed.
“Opportunities have contracted and declined heavily forcing over 2,000 local families to relocate elsewhere. Exogenous investments have taken an exodus, turning the NMI into a bad business or investment venue. As a consequence, we’ve seen revenue degeneration of over $60 million in less than a decade. That, in a nutshell, depicts dire conditions in the CNMI.
“My profound regret for the pessimistic portrayal of a very bleak future. Regret too that as I digress into my statement I must have robbed you of a very joyous and happy occasion. But you need not be disheartened for I still see hope that radiates in your triumphant smiles tonight. You are the foundation of hope to rebuild these isles! It’s time to change the course of history for the better and it can only come from you! Together we can do it! Congratulations!”
A lucid statement depicting the legacy of failure and obsolescence in paradise (hellish hole) explained with courage and integrity!
As the blistering heat of summer makes landfall in paradise, we know deep down in our guts that nothing has worked and even hope stands a fat chance of succeeding.
Unconsciously, we hum some soulful melody as we sift through thick and thin, pleading for some form of divine intervention. At the same time, we try to understand events as they unfold, to no avail.
How do we assist some 2,000-plus retirees destined to lose their pension in the near term? They would be placed in total destitution plastered against the subsequent inability to pay for healthcare, health insurance, real estate insurance, real estate loan, utilities, gasoline and water.
This summertime blues would usher in a new chapter in our developmental history: Largest Foreclosures! Many families would be homeless and it is especially hard for those who have spent lifetime savings keeping up with real estate loans for the first family home.
The combined displacement of retirees and some government workers would certainly turn our summertime blues into heavy decibels of hopelessness that would find a sore chapter in our lifetime. What does the future hold?