Private industry expansion

There was casual discussion among friends how do we get out of the economic contraction that has pushed both investments and revenues south.

Initially, I thought it could be done with a set of plans. But my hope was dashed by the departure of Nippon investments in recent past. Why did they leave?

The net effect is the huge loss in both money and jobs! Didn’t anybody on the hill see this coming? It leaves mind-boggling uncertainty on the economic posture of the NMI, both short and long-term.

It means expansion of private industry is compromised, given the exit of the most powerful investment here. It’s hard to expect appreciable growth when this happened. Shouldn’t this be a matter of critical concern for the elected elite or “not yet, already?”

The contraction is nothing less than $7 billion. Add another $7 billion in rebuilding cost after two storms for a total of $14 billion that isn’t being recycled in the local economy. How do we recoup such huge loss beyond vacuous posturing?

How do we restore credibility in our relationship with friends from the Land of the Rising Sun? Any idea how this could be re-established? Is a diabolic genius ready to embrace the challenge? It’s all about good relationship and its refinement. But it’s sayonara, isn’t it? What’s the local elite’s reaction other than arrogance wrapped in ignorance and its grand excuse for complacency in “not yet, already!”

Shortfall: If you recall the local government submitted a budget to the Legislature with a shortfall of some $18 million for this fiscal year. Revenue fluctuation is an issue we must contend with in hopes it stops its downward trend. The answer is in a healthy economy!

I was at a loss how to approach the issue given the billions of dollars in investments funds that have exited without notice recently. We’re talking about $14 billion big ones! Wary of this or “not yet, already”? Better yet, how do we recoup such huge loss? Imposing more taxes isn’t the answer!

Investors: When investors come to the islands they bring two things upfront: wealth and jobs! Their investments bring new wealth (money) and jobs for our people. The money generated supports services in many areas here, from healthcare to education.

Private industry expansion is the only sure pathway to building upon prosperity. Like high tidal shift, it lifts all boats in the harbor. Not sure if this has happened or exited the prevailing malaise.

Government isn’t in the business of profit making. What it spends are profits that came from the other side of the fence—taxes paid by private industries—and others. The funds are appropriated by the Legislature and spent per a set of purpose.

Negligence: Apparently, it doesn’t matter the depth of hardship this would impose on people you represent. Thus, the seeming arrogant contentment in ignorance lest you’d be scrambling for solid answers!

The point I find woefully troubling is the obvious attitude of inconsequence on a deepening financial situation prompted by your ignorant arrogance.

It’s about the economy. What’s the beast about?

In its simplest form, it’s money found in family pocketbooks. With it, families have the chance to meet basic needs that includes paying for the family home, car, food, and clothing, among others. Without it, it’s sheer filial hardship!

The apparent negligence has placed 15,000 employees deeper in poverty income while the cost of basic goods skyrockets. With inaction how do you help people you represent attain higher quality of life? Isn’t this your primary fiduciary duty you’ve opted to treat with ke sera? Sorry, didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers!

Without any appreciable private industry expansion, we’re basically dead in the water. It’s back to ke sera, crossing fingers that nothing contracts any further. Appalling your grand complacency amidst the deepening hardship at home. Isn’t this a glaring failure of fiduciary duty? Or did I aggravate your apparent disorientation further or “not yet, already?”

Setting sail: Time would be tight navigating between parsing behind the headlines for materials for discussion on this page and completing two books both of which would be written in the vernacular.

One focuses on several major issues I came across over the last 40 years, the other mundane stuff including local humor. It’s a worthy final personal assignment.

Language professors across the Pacific are in agreement that written language cements culture. Scribbling a complete sentence in your mother tongue rewards confidence and cultural perpetuity. PSS should continue this form of instruction to our children. Must learn your mother tongue first before moving forward.

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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