Collapse of common lingo

When simple villagers speak, they do so in straightforward fashion, expressions one could use to gauge the pulse of the community on issues it faces daily. I’ve made it a point to listen to eye-level expressions. The depth of their views is in their faces and voices.

It isn’t surprising the collapse in lingo between villagers and their elected representatives. It highlights failed promises to help families muddle through thick and thin. Appalling the redundancy turned into an art treated by politicos as non-issues. No constructive policies at all!

The folks just unloaded talking about joblessness, the benefits of federal assistance amidst the deepening economic depression, hopelessness and a dim view of the future. And they instantly point to imperial Capital Hill asking: What are they doing?

Stagnant salaries: These folks had to weather family obligations like home mortgage, family car, health and life insurance drowning in over 20 years of stagnant wages and salaries. Piled atop this hardship is the skyrocketing cost of basic goods throughout the same period.

For employees earning federal poverty income level salaries the battle is much harder to overcome on a daily basis. Paying for the first family home is one huge hurdle. Families engage insanity—counting the same amount in the family pocketbooks—hoping for different results. None!

For reasons they only understand, most would skip measly salary increases just to hold unto their monthly food stamps assistance. Going beyond the threshold spells disaster for families who have no other means cushioning the loss in federal entitlement benefits. I mapped their expenses just to seek clarity what they would have lost if they pass the threshold level.

Ugly history: The hardship didn’t spin out of thin air. It has had a long history of misguided and failed policies and lack of real leadership to do the right things by doing them right. After 40 years of self-government you wonder why would we claim it then ruin most of it along the way.

Contradiction: How interesting an informed citizen explaining the net effect of the NMI adopting the policy suppressing salaries on trade jobs yet it preaches training in trade and vocational schools. “If I know I’d get pay below minimum wage why should I engage in skills acquisition?” Makes sense, huh?

A powerful observation we’ve taken for granted including ignoring the end of CW workers that has landed the NMI in the filthy swamp of serious labor shortage. Aren’t there 29 legislators and two clowns across the street? Did anybody catch this institutional policy defect?

Evacuation: Is it any wonder that our U.S. Department of Labor certified people in the trades have evacuated to Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland where salaries are way higher? Why did we create a hellish hole for these folks then encourage them to come home and help the NMI with dirt-cheap salaries? Have any of them actually returned or are they showing their middle finger for a screwed up policy that chased them away from home in the first place?

Exploitation: This policy also adversely affected CW workers in their subtle exploitation by employers. You took advantage paying them below minimum wage salaries because they needed the jobs and won’t register complaints of servility and inequality. It’s the perfect example of killing two birds with a single stone: CW and local workers! And we quietly applaud ourselves for tiptoeing a policy all these years, sadly, to our own demise. Never saw this coming, huh?

CUC going broke! I’ve also kept my ears to the ground listening to the steady march of CUC into bankruptcy cliff. It boils down to a breakdown of communication among board members where 99 percent are drowning in the filth of serious reading deficiency. Without an understanding of technical material no wonder it resorts to firing anything that is white! Is there a reason singling out white employees? Or is it a coincidence CUC now practices reverse discrimination? How would the feds react when we next seek CIP funds from Washington?

‘Conomy lai: The impending economic disaster from immigration is sufficient a warning that the NMI tightens its belt. It would take a fully rounded chief navigator to sail our canoe to safe port somewhere. We’re headed into a fatal economic superstorm!

Guarding taxpayers: It’s unpleasant calling out fiduciary failure as a result of the obvious lack of leadership. But this is the role of journalists/writers who live to see and dispose of events as they unfold. I’m not out to prove anything but definitely seeking to understand issues by getting to the truth.

Poking your grand sense of mañana comes with the territory. Eh, did you forget that taxpayers pay over $6 million per year for a bicameral legislature and over $90 million annually for executive branch excesses? As an incumbent, what’s your performance like?

Royal misfits: Indeed, I fully understand the carelessly lazy attitude among public sector employees of nearly 3,000 who think their jobs grant them the spoiler’s rights. Sure, it may be a given on a few instances.

But when you’re collecting biweekly loots from taxes we pay while we literally struggle to make ends meet, we have every right to question your performance. Make no mistake we would raise our voices to protest ill dispositions and it comes from “we the people.”

As NMI disintegrates

The seesaw swing of the local economy would eventually disintegrate beyond the NMI’s wildest imaginings. The occasional cheering that it is “looking good” is suspiciously optimistic at best, unachievable at worse.

As the NMI collects its few and suspect new marbles, the background in the piles of debts can’t be ignored. I could only hang unto the shredded skirt of hope to reset my sights on the future. Pessimistic!

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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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