Must do internal evaluation


The lack of clear understanding of salient issues is an appalling tale of ignorance that derails strengthening our democratic institutions in self-government. But we’re still in the state of self-denial dazed at the colossal task of reviving a heavily depressed economy.

Issues are treated with defiance of basic documents, inconsequence, mediocrity, ignorance, negligence and arrogance as though the elected elite is exempt from fiduciary duties.

It’s a humiliating display of sophomoric understanding of policymaking that raises questions of competency. This can’t go on lest our democratic institutions would become the breeding ground for consistent corruption. While the governor is in Fiji perhaps he could consider how to present NMI issues on his Washington debut and should consider the following:

Tools for SG: Under the Covenant Agreement the NMI was given sufficient tools to build economic prosperity that included an initial seven-year guaranteed funding for basic infrastructure.

We were given Headnote 3-A privilege equivalent to a carte blanche free trade zone. Control of immigration was part of the deal including our exclusion from federal taxes or the IRS. The feds took care of defense and foreign affairs.

All these tools were equipped the NMI because the feds believe we could navigate our way to economic prosperity and self-government. We succeeded in the former in the mid-’80s. These are tools that aren’t extended to Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

In recent past some of these tools were withdrawn or denied the NMI by the feds. Immigration was taken over because we abused it. It should have stayed in tandem with economic plans and development. We ignored our fiduciary responsibilities. Immigration control is history!

Wall Vs. Other Investments: We thought we had the so-called “magic” dust to shift wealth creation by pushing out Japanese investments. We literally killed the goose that lays the golden egg. When Nippon investment took an exodus they brought with it about $5-7 billion in money that once was recycled in the local economy. The closure of the $2.1-billion apparel industry followed.

As the fiscal imbalance or crisis pile-up did leadership do anything to rebuild loss of revenue? Weren’t walls built to keep off Japanese and Korean investments? Wasn’t this a conspiracy to ensure the NMI hits rock bottom abject poverty to rein-in the casino industry? Have you no respect for the voice of “we the people?” What’s the true nature of Best Sunshine’s so-called social responsibility?

Conspiracy: The NMI ignored ensuring that the retirement program retains solvency or the ability to stand on its own feet financially. Wasn’t this part of the conspiracy to sink the livelihood of retirees so they too obediently follow the whims of the affluenza cabal with donor firm regarding casino? The silent agenda boggles the mind and it seems timed until the donor has its machine fully greased some five years from now. But then what happens to the future of retirees to which there’s two-and-half years left before funds are completely depleted?

Loyalty Shift? Then there’s the adolescent conspiracy to shift loyalty from the U.S. to China by seeking political status negotiations to revisit the relationship. Firstly, it’s a mutual consent provision and if this issue is far removed from the level of your comprehension try reviewing the analysis of the agreement written in plain language. What have you found as egregious federal violations in our relationship or are you simply peddling political fiction? What are those concerns and did you convey them to our non-voting delegate in Washington?

Humiliation: Your sophomoric understanding of the agreement and constitution of the NMI and other statutes is humiliating! You open yourself as fodder for humor among high school students taking civics courses in high schools here. Your fiduciary anomalies are stunningly humiliating! No wonder the frosty relationship with the feds. When do we exit fantasyland?

Just to stir your nimble mind, I often wonder if bankruptcy is part and whole of your perception of self-government? I thought the constitution provided for a “balanced” budget so in turn the NMI avoids piling millions of dollars in deficit. That the NMI now boasts $510 million in deficit is a tale you’ve failed fiduciary duty! That you can’t reverse revenue generation heading south is another egregious failure on your part to ensure a financially poised self-government.

Training: Now with the CW program ending in 2019 it is mandatory that the NMI accelerates training and upgrading the skills level of the local work force. I don’t guarantee meeting complete replacement of CW workers (with H1-2 visas) but it should enable the NMI to meet labor needs at the halfway mark. Training is imperative between now and then. Have you lifted a finger on this score? Vacuous speeches are just that—vacuous!

Fiscal Imbalance: The mounting fiscal crisis at home didn’t start with the superstorm or late processing of CW applications. FEMA was here immediately after the storm and spent more than $100 million to allow the NMI to rebuild ASAP. We are on our way to full physical recovery. But we are not on our way to full fiscal economic recovery! The missing equation is simple and has been parading under our nose, daily.

Lack of Plan: The NMI has gone about its desultory ways without a fully thought-out plan. It’s all ad hoc basis (plan by eventualities) over “planning for” the future. As such Da Boys blindly embraced casino as the holy grail of revenue generation even against the decision of “we the people”. But the NMI is bankrupt! Bankruptcy isn’t self-government. It’s fiduciary failure! Requirement for a “balanced” budget is constitutional!

Washington Knows: Our bouts with corruption, failure to tax soft-count money in the casino, violation of immigration laws, affluenza, and inability to plan for our future are well known features in Washington. We would be excoriated into colossal embarrassment for ignoring simply fiduciary duties. Internal assessment to square our inadequacies is imperative!

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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