Quality of life

Reportedly, more than half of employees here are earning poverty-level and below. It’s a tale that the local economy is under unlivable dystopia—unpleasant and bad—adversely affecting the quality of life of families throughout the islands.

Politicians may deny it but, sooner than later, it knocks viciously at the front door. It deals with the livelihood of people you represent. These are hard-hit families who still pay for the first family home, food, car, medical care, utilities, and insurance policies such as life, health, real estate and auto, among others.

Have you done your homework like probing percentage increase in basic goods and what have you done to neutralize it? Or do you simply ignore it altogether,praying it evaporates like morning dew?

It’s diabolical to brave the assertion that “things are good” amidst 14,000-plus employees literally struggling to survive poverty-level income. How did Guvana Raffet and Da Boysis miss this daily reality among families here? Obviously, the elitist assertion speaks volumes of the wealthier class boasting comfortable lifestyle against the downtrodden.

As life in troubled paradise deteriorates, villagers are curious what’s up the sleeves of their representatives to help them deal with the skyrocketing prices of basic goods. Do you have concrete programs to help meet the impending increase?

The deepening condition is pestilential—expands and worsens daily—found in most households throughout the NMI. How do we sail a canoe with a captain still a greenhorn in his navigational skills?

You can’t continue perpetuating la mañana in hopes that your political snooze falls out of the blue skies of paradise. Must rein in the beast and this, mind you, requires leadership, not followership! Is Guvana Raffet anywhere near the building so we ask him for a set of blueprint to review?

Trade war: The two economic giants, China and U.S., are out to enlist economic partnership with nations in Asia and the Pacific. Each has its own set of economic programs for this purpose. China has her Road and Belt initiative, the U.S. its Indo-Pacific Economic Vision.

In either case, it boils down to military expansion fronting economic programs as subtle diplomacy to gain regional political partnership.

Interesting, too, the mass production of items in China relocating to places like Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

The NMI is under the Stars and Stripes Forever! We’ve thrived under the flag since the end of World War II. Our loyalty is to our country! We’re equally wary of the pluses of economic trajectory of Asian countries that would benefit the islands, especially in tourism.

Trump just slapped a 10-percent tariff on imports worth $200 billion annually, a move that follows two previous rounds of 25-percent tariffs on shipments worth $50 billion a year. The tariff rate on the latest batch of goods will rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2019. China plans what it calls “synchronized counter measures” against the Trump tariffs. Regardless, the world needs China’s 1.4 billion consumers!

Health: One costly family obligation we face yearly is medical care. If you’re not a Medicaid or Medicare recipient, you’re in for some rough times with co-payment and the final bill. The national debate is how to keep health insurance affordable for all citizens.

According to Sen. John Barrasso: “Republicans are providing alternatives to Obamacare that lower costs for families and protect people from catastrophic medical bills. More people will now be able to choose affordable insurance that works for them.

“It’s this competition that Democrats fear. Thirty-one Democrats in the Senate are trying to keep people from getting access to expanded popular short-term plans. Democratic politicians in several states and Washington D.C. are blocking these plans and suing to stop association health plans as well.”

Fatal: Cancer would kill about 10 million people worldwide this year, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, per an AFP report.

“Asia, unsurprisingly given its enormous population, accounted for nearly half of all new cases and more than half of cancer deaths worldwide in 2018.

“Lung cancer remains the biggest killer overall, responsible for some 1.8 million deaths—nearly a quarter of the global toll.

“For women, breast cancer caused 15 percent of cancer deaths, followed by lung cancer (13.8 percent) and colorectal cancer (9.5 percent).

“The figures highlighted a worrying rise in lung cancer rates for women. It is now the leading cause of female cancer deaths in 28 countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, China, and New Zealand.” Statistics has it that in the islands’ lung, mouth, prostate, breast and vaginal cancer are leading causes of death.

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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