Lucky I Live Da Kine Island!


Reportedly, nearly 15,000 employees here are earning poverty income level in wages and salaries, annually. The federal poverty guideline is $15,000-$42,000 per year. It’s a 40-year-old issue we wish to solve via the newspapers.

Nevertheless, this year politicians can’t escape scrutiny on this issue with the “business as usual” attitude. The notice is loud and clear: income is way too low where more than half of the employees are literally struggling to make it to another day.

Is this clear enough or do we need to defer to the KISS concept to explain it at the rudimentary level? It’s sheer family hardship from A-Z! Sorry for my deficit in subtlety and grace. But I tell it “like it is” even brutally, sayu?

Reality check tells us that it would need more than $630 million help the 15,000 employees earning poverty income at this point. How would the elected elite meet this need?

Overspent: Evidently, news account yesterday pointed out that the NMI overspent by $22.7 million that resulted in a $25.9 million deficit. Is economic contraction on the way, if not, already?

Income has stagnated for four decades while costs of basic needs have taken to the skies. It needs major infusion and we trust that our esteemed men of wisdom on Da Hills of Saipan would have the answer soon.

The cost of living is even higher on Rota and Tinian. Mind numbing how these folks have survived if it weren’t for our culture of compassion and generosity.

Evidently, what’s the median income here? The national average is about $53,000 per year and the amount differs per state.

Obviously, the local culture of compassion and generosity has shielded how folks with poverty income actually pull through the day. Sharing!

Regional: I’m on a limb on global issues. But I’d research and peruse it for ideas of events taking place near and far. It matters in that as remote as some issues may be unfolding events could have serious consequences even in as unlikely a place like the NMI.

Wesley Pruden, editor in chief emeritus of the Washington Times, wrote an interesting observation about the future close to being dead.

“An outbreak of locusts of ‘biblical proportions’ is spreading through Africa, from the Sudan and Eritrea on to the Red Sea and to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, eating everything in sight and plinking their ugly little carcasses on roofs, tents and windows, as if in unholy concert.

“Huge swarms of the little beasties have been compared to the 10 plagues of Egypt, as set out in the Book of Exodus to describe how God punished Egypt after the pharaoh refused the demand of Moses to let his people go.”

“Something similar is on the way now to North Africa, says Keith Crossman, the locust expert at the United Nations.

“The next three months will be critical to bring the locust situation under control before the summer breeding starts.” And there’s more: Frogs and fish are falling from the sky over Malta.

“There are scientific explanations for such phenomena, but there are many other things for which there is no explanation but the mischief of man (and of course the lady of his house). There may be a very secular lesson in the air for many mighty nations, including ours.” Very unsettling!

Ooops: There seems to be a pandemic of redundancy as to establish a new political status commission to review U.S.-NMI relations.

Wasn’t the 902 consultation the vehicle established for this purpose? Did you ever review its report? Why the duplicitous pile-on? Isn’t Kilili our voice in DC? Have you communicated with him on issues you find relevant?

What did you find in the current “permanent” arrangement so egregious that it merits reconsideration of USPL 110-229? You’ve heard of the concept of “ascendancy of laws,” right? Could the legislature amend USPL 110-229?

Contraction: It may be clandestinely muted but the facts would bear it out sooner than later—the huge economic contraction that has negatively affected local revenues. I’m sure we could feel this setback intuitively.

The humongous loss from the storms and exit of Nippon investments has started to show unsettling tidings in budgetary shortfall. It may mean the eventual imposition of austerity and furlough. Hope this doesn’t happen for the hardship would be devastating for families all over.

Unless there’s marked expansion of private industries anytime soon, we’re stuck with what we could collect in pennies, nickels and dimes. I thought the lights are on; is anybody home?

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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