2016 Summertime Blues


The decline in food stamps recipients lacked basic data justifying the downward spiral. It is cushioned with the failed PR assertion that it’s due to an “improving economy.” Why brave lies with piles of deficits and deficit spending ignoring real equity?

The assertion is empty and leaves any good reader pondering the truth how the numbers declined. Again, the story needed explanatory data, including whether private industries now has confidence investing to kick-start wealth and jobs creation.

The spin pales against a recent conversation I had with a cousin on Guam who said that a good number of food stamps recipients are our very own who live in our southern neighbor.

Many have ventured living like sardines in relatives’ house while waiting for housing assistance. We had to abort our conversation so my cousin could give rice to folks knocking at her door.

Evacuation: Interesting that those who left home didn’t relocate but “evacuated” to Guam, Hawaii and the US mainland sensing that home has become a hellish hole. Evacuation was the only way to search for greener pasture elsewhere. It involved more than 3,000 of our very own turned victims by the creation of a hellish-hole right here at home.

It was the search for meaningful opportunities for their families that prompted the evacuation. Is the “solutions driven” team anywhere near the airport to bid them their “Last Farewell?”

Borja’s shortsightedness

Sen. Francisco Borja destroyed wealth and jobs creation for Tinian when he voted for the rebirth of the Saipan Casino a year or so ago. He obviously ignored the comparative advantages Saipan has over Tinian. It includes:

1. Saipan has several direct flights daily from Japan, South Korea and charter flights from the Republic of China. Tinian doesn’t have direct flights from any of these countries, sir! The only direct flights Borja knows are flights he takes to do political junkets to Guam, Hawaii and the US mainland to curry votes to protect his failing career. He should have listened to advice given by former Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz that unless Tinian is given a “level playing field” to compete (direct flights) the vote must be aborted. But Sen. Borja voted whimsically against meaningful advice.

2. Saipan has more than sufficient basic infrastructure, e.g., water, power, sewer and roads to enhance the gaming industry. Did Borja ensure the same for the overall growth of the business and residential sectors on Tinian? What’s wrong protecting local Tinian investment, sir? Isn’t it in impending investments where rests revenue and jobs for the people you’ve decided to misrepresent?

3. Saipan would soon be able to benefit from business spin offs when its casino industry takes off or is completed in two years time. The next casino investment on Tinian hasn’t gotten off the ground. And when it does its ability to compete is reduced significantly. The Saipan casino industry would be in full swing luring more business spin offs that Borja failed to see.

4. In short, Borja’s ill-considered vote for the Saipan casino derails, if not, destroyed wealth and jobs creation for Tinian. It compromises or kills future jobs for returning young college educated Tinian students. It means skipping the island so they move to Saipan for employment. Is this your treasured shortsighted vision, sir?

5. Tinian’s incipient casino industry begins day one with more gloom than anything else. Prospects for economic boom dims beyond Borja’s wildest imaginings. Well, ask him for an explanation why did he give Saipan more than its share of comparative advantages at the expense of the wellbeing of the people he represents.

6. The impasse between the Tinian Dynasty and the US Justice Department translates into zero funding for the Tinian Municipal Government. In simple terms, it turns into Payless Fridays for all employees. Well, ask Borja to seek additional funding for this and other needs from the Saipan Casino. He should be able to secure return favors, di ba?

Furthermore, take a look at your income (family economics). Has it improved during Borja’s charge as senator? Borja loves the high lifestyle of the so-called “elite culture” at the expense of “we the people”.

He now spreads the juvenile excuse of helping retirees. Did he push and factually realize granting Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to retirees in recent past? With failed record is he still boasting seeking re-election?

Slammed: It was one humiliating campaign experience for local politicians crisscrossing the country in search of votes. They were told that it was “your failure to create opportunities back home that we are here!” Ignoramus?

Television: Is it any wonder that our people look for leadership to help ease familial hardship handed down by toxic republican charge among villagers? But when leadership turns into a fatal sinkhole, people move about on their own working the clock to make ends meet, quietly.

We haven’t found the visionary we saw in our hopeful dreams. We wonder how much longer would we travel in hopelessness before meeting the bright lights of a new break of dawn with a visionary signaling, “Come, this is the right way out of the jungle of hardship!”

Replica: Alleged Lt. Gov. Biktot Hokog also voted for the Saipan casino effectively shutting down the home industry on Rota. It has never gotten off the ground while Hokog walks around with arrogance gift wrapped in opulence—good life—eating out in restaurants most days. This while the people he renders jobless struggle to earn a living in abject poverty! Hokog loves the “elite culture” waltzing tirelessly with colleagues and rich business donors before turning to his cockfighting hobby.

Well, voters have listened intently and heard empty promises being regurgitated once more. It’s hard for them to stick with the king but would stick it to the king this time around. Fair?

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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