As brutal austerity slides in

Posted on Oct 14 2011
By John S. DelRosario Jr.
Contributing Author

The current fiscal year’s budget has reverted to the 1990s level. We yawn and stare at the wall as the magma of brutal austerity heads our way (not an option) triggered by troubling revenue degeneration.

I’ve kept my ears to the ground listening to the simple but grinding experiences of folks with unemployment. I’ve listened to the unbearable decibels of their sighs in the wake of home foreclosures, a parade of losses, i.e., family car, utility disconnection, and other family obligations. These are issues they could no longer fathom. It’s a painful, grinding experience no matter how you splice or dice it.

Just last week, more than 16 families saw their first family home foreclosed. Many more are headed into the filthy swamp of home foreclosures as a direct result of abject poverty as jobs are axed or salaries are cut prompted by brutal austerity measure. It’s really chaotic for most of these folks who’ve seen their prized possession-first family home-shut and bolted.

Families where both parents are jobless have to endure court appearance for failure to pay utilities and other obligations. A spouse, when asked how he plans to pay for future use of utility, said, “I can’t pay for future use because I don’t have power since two years ago.”

It isn’t only joblessness that knocked this family out of normal familial settings; it has also sent them into the hopelessness arena. Strengthening the tradition of homeownership shifted into total loss. It’s gone and so there’s an increase of rooming-up with mom and dad once more, siblings and relatives.

What’s the message of such dire familial straits?

Leadership has failed these families royally for being woefully short on “wealth and jobs” creation. It eventually translates into joblessness that resulted in the loss of everything for families who were once gainfully employed, productive, and contributing members of our community. I thank divine providence for the food stamps program that provides sustenance to these families. It’s a temporary cushion as they work each day to improve their lot. Most may be faltering in hopelessness, but each day they work up the resolve to get out of rut of economic slavery.

In a short while, we shall see brutal austerity imposed without choice. This is where fairness comes into play, i.e., who stays and who goes out the door or fired. Would nepotism and cronyism kick in equally too? It’s a difficult feat politicians must decide upon. The floodgates of revenue generation had been slammed open, what’s left in revenues rushing out into deeper southern water beyond comprehension of critically nimble minds. Or maybe, we could even see this year’s fiscal budget level revert to the eighties. No fun dios mihu!


Working the farmland daily

Working his family farmland for over 40 years, Tun Jose consistently sits by his small table at a corner of the farmhouse, meticulously reviewing the success or failure of plants he’s grown over the last year. He critically looks at specific veggies, issues with it from infestation to fertilizers, amount of water, etc. and remedies he could take when he next plants them.

The next day he goes out plowing over already harvested plants, waits for several days before he brings in the disc to level the entire field. He comes by several more times turning over dirt and plowed foliage. After a month or so, he fertilizes it before turning it over for the last time. At the small hut topped with green plastic and wired with hose, he prepares seed flats with soil and selects his prized seeds for planting.

He memorizes the season, rainy or drought conditions, times transplanting newly grown veggies from the seed flat to the open field. He has put in place an irrigation system that he uses to water his plants per schedule so doesn’t drown them. He observes the transplanted seedlings to see if they need water or fertilizer. In between his garden and errands, he keeps a healthy livestock of a limited number of cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, and goats at another section of the farm. He raises them to aid the family dietary needs.

So what’s so special about Tun Jose and his farm? He plans his days and works industriously and consistently to accomplish fully thought-out plans. We’d all do well too if we plan our days like Tun Jose who keeps at it come hell or high water.


Adios to foreign investors

Someone once said of prized possessions, “We never know what we have until we lose it.” Like foreign capital that was flushed out of our floodgate, it’s gone and it will take years before we could regain the confidence of investors, if at all.

Two major investments have fizzled out, one in Marpi, the other on Tinian. It mirrors the difficulty of securing investment funds at home. But then who would dare invest in an environment where the only certainty of investment is uncertainty? Who would want to venture into the NMI when in the focus is on China and rallies by economies of scale to make a killing? Furthermore, we don’t even know what we’ve lost and treat this negligence as though it is inconsequential. Nah! This mañana attitude must change once and for all.

It’s time to study it with critical eyes. And if you’re not sure of it, please step aside and let those who know their material work the clock to uplift current apocalyptic abject poverty!

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.