Cooperation sought


The governor has sought the cooperation of the Legislature to move economic growth forward in unison. Good effort to resuscitate the deepening economic contraction jointly.

Reportedly, though, he’s out doing aerial photo of the oceanic and celestial blue of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

He knows the obvious challenge is in the apparent increase in obligations while revenue generation seemed to have critically stagnated or gone south, simultaneously.

It’s known as “economic contraction”—when economic growth slows down or heads south—shuttering wealth and job opportunities. So we’ve morphed from “short,” “cut,” and “down” to “loan” and “line of credit” in budgetary discussions to figure out a scheme to pay for mounting obligations.

It was triggered by two superstorms and major exit of Nippon investments. Recovery takes billions of dollars and time to return to normalcy. We would get there somehow or am I being overly optimistic?

Meanwhile, we’ve yet to figure out how to recoup billions of dollars in revenue losses from the exit of Nippon investments. The exit has the most devastating economic impact here translating into far less revenues.

Puzzling, though, how we’ve looked at a set of facts, reset buttons reawakening civic virtues, determined to reconcile adolescency. Then leave it dead on its back, commanding, “Wait for me at Smiling Cove!” We treat it with arrogance and indifference or lack of resolve.

Moreover, has anything been done to figure out the extent of this economic contraction? Or was it ignored altogether? Do we bluff it with ignorance and arrogance?

Or is there a fully thought-out plan already in the back burner to cushion the billions of dollars in losses in recent past? Appalling the grand inaction wrapped in indifference and negligence while our house is on fire.

Is “depth of perception” the missing equation on this issue? In other words, do you know your ABC’s on basic economics to understand the implications of investment exit in the billions of dollars?

I ask because it is obvious policymakers walk around sporting intelligent looks, treating major economic contraction as though it’s business as usual! Unsettling!

Indigenous: There’s a lot emphasis placed on the term “indigenous” as if we’ve been subjected to a long history of ethnic discrimination.

The perceptual issue was insulated with the establishment of Indigenous Affairs, Carolinian Affairs, Community and Cultural Affairs, and Women’s Affairs, among others. All are supposed to guard our future, including Article XII limiting landownership to the indigenous people.

What have these agencies done in concrete fashion to improve the quality of life of the indigenous people? Sure, there’s the biweekly collection of their taxpayer-paid loot and boastful self-importance, patrolling villages in expensive, and again, taxpayer-paid vehicles and cell phones.

A lot of respect is rendered the expressed aspiration of our people on land. Yet I wonder how this would fare against a citizen’s rights (non-indigenous) to own property here?

I know that land alienation was mentioned as highly suspect when subjected to judicial review. It’s rights versus land alienation, the latter compromising the former. How do you deny a citizen’s rights to property?

Not ready to hide behind the veil of ethnicity suppressing the rights of other fellow citizens. People are people and their needs are basically the same all over. If they find the NMI the perfect venue for their families, we should welcome them never mind the protectionist landownership imposition. Whatever happened to our unmatched sense of hospitality?

For over 40 years U.S. taxpayers have generously provided for our needs via annual appropriations. Never once did they protest that its use is limited to stateside taxpayers only. As such, the reciprocal goal should focus on the establishment of good communities by protecting the rights of every citizen. People are people!

Tech: At the personal level, digital technology only requires a laptop where you conduct daily business in the comfort of your home or office that includes high-speed internet tech.

We’re fortunate we have high-speed internet while many rural areas across the country are still without it.

The point about DT is that it offers grand opportunity to cut back heavily on unwarranted and wasteful junket trips when the benefits of DT is available.

I suppose it’s the aura of self-importance that makes junkets vital for them ignoring it is paid for by taxpayers.

For junior and senior managers who see DT as a foreign lingo, it pays to take a workshop to learn the skill forthwith. Yep! Saves taxpayers millions of dollars in wasted travel money. Take it ASAP. After all, work is on the ground, never in the air!

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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