Economy: Something’s amiss


Though brass knuckle politics is still months ahead, there are problematic self-inflicted issues that come with the prize of incumbency. Eventually, we would see who holds whose moronic feet to the fire.

There are well-known numbers all over the NMI among voters. They include the following:

80 percent salary increase for elected officials.

14,000-plus employees earning poverty income level and below.

$400,000 Biktot Hokog expropriated from taxpayers.

70-percent salary increase for the post of governor and lieutenant governor.

And 5 percent for civil service employees, still 75 percent behind Da Boysis!

How come the increase didn’t include productive workers in the private sector? These questions require solid answers from Raffy T., Biktot H., Arnold P., and Da Odda Raffy.

Raffy boasted of a healthy economy basically mirrored on revenues that currently support basic public services. Fine.

At issue: But did it increase the buying power of families throughout the archipelago? So what good is the so-called economic improvement if it skipped family purses? In short, it’s a message that isn’t!

You catered to filling the pockets of the elected elite, including yourself, a case of birds of a feather fly together, Republican oneupmanship! Not so okay! No wonder Mark Twain once said, “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”

When their cranial faculties turn soggy, it instantly turn foggy and can’t see beyond their pug nose. How could you ignore 14,000-plus employees drowning in poverty income level and below and some 3,000 retirees with fixed income?

How did the economy improve their income that has remained the same for over 20 years? With poverty income, is there a chance these folks could secure home loans to begin building the first family home?

Any plan with commitment to upgrade the income of folks in these categories? Why don’t you, Biktot, Arnie, and Raff D. converge while junketing to hash out an eleventh hour plan before November? Maybe and just maybe, you could do the moronic feet roasting of nemesis.

Quite frankly, meeting the needs of 14,000-plus employees with poverty income level and below is quite a tall order. Are there excess funds somewhere to meet this need requiring millions of dollars? Yes, it’s about failure to improve the buying power of families across the archipelago. And there are only five months left before the election!

I have walked the valleys of poverty a long time ago. The indelible memory of dealing with abject poverty was one horrific experience. It is for this reason that I’m raising this issue not for political punditry but of basic familial needs. Sir, I’ve gone to class on many a days with faucet water in my tummy. I don’t want this repeated in our kids today!

Greater vision: We are at a juncture in our developmental history when we should treat our future with a sense of responsibility by critically asking: Where do we go from here? Let’s leave the political aspect on the side and focus more on our economic future.

This definitely requires purposeful and meaningful discussion with our lifetime partners or investors who have played major contributive roles improving the fiscal posture of the NMI. These are friends from Japan, China, South Korea, and elsewhere.

The prewar relationship we’ve had with Japan is a good point to begin revisiting issues beyond current investments or single-economy in tourism. Complimentary…

Wealth: If there’s any wonder why locals are hardly into business, it is because we never had the culture of entrepreneurship. However, the culture of inclusion sets in motion the barter system among local families.

It’s a way of sharing farm harvest and fresh catch from the sea. Its basic purpose is to ensure the wellbeing of the whole community. Hardly did we sell one another beyond the system in place since ancestral days.

The aspiration to encourage indigenous entrepreneurship should shift to our young college minds or those in their last year in high school. They are apt to learn the essence of making money while being your own boss. Their education and orientation should enable them to venture out on personal wealth creation through small family businesses. After all, there won’t be that many government jobs up ahead.

The NMI has availed of commercial loans with the banks, Commonwealth Development Authority, Small Business Administration and a loan program under USDA. But it seems the opportunity fizzled and, again, we ask why the lengthy seeming fear availing of these funds?

It’s a matter of helping our people secure the requisite loan to begin building the vehicle for more wealth and being their own boss.

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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