Rebuilding our economy
The new administration has pledged to “rebuild trust,” which they have already began by keeping their word and incorporating some Democrats into their transition and hopefully this trend will continue in their administration. I have talked to the governor-elect and he is dead set on keeping his word to rebuild the trust in our government by being honorable, open, fair, and truthful. But the hard part is rebuilding our economy.
Every child who has blown a bubble knows that a bubble has a very fragile and short life span, yet that is what Ralph did with his “bubble tourism” that has burst, when the CNMI needs real new infrastructure—attractions, promotions/marketing and the cooporation of the governments in the countries of our primary tourists. To do this, the CNMI also needs the help of Washington, D.C. in the State Department as rebuilding our economy is a monumental task that will take the support and help of the feds and all the major stakeholders, as the AD administration can’t do it alone. The CNMI has virtually never used the Covenant for the practical purpose of improving the CNMI, as “technical assistance” is part of our Covenant, but we had leaders who seem to think they didn’t need the help of the feds unless it was money. We need the feds help so we can make our own money, which I’m sure the feds are willing to accommodate, but if we never ask them for technical help with our economy, they can never say yes.
There is also the need to fix the existing economic variables that can contribute to our economy, but they have been neglected and are just wasting away. Ralph has been only concerned with one thing: spending all the ARPA money as fast as he can, which is why he wanted 100% reprograming authority.
Economics state that a city, state or nation must have an expanded economic base, as one crop economies can easily be devastated. We have been depending upon “one crop”—gambling—that is clearly not working out and now that the Chinese government has refused to allow their citizens to come here to gamble, we must change our economic game plan.
I have been trying to get our leaders to expand our economic base for over two decades, but they could only think about gambling, which died as being the most effective economic engine nearly two decades ago. We can learn from one of the most prolific gambling destinations in the world, Las Vegas, that had to change to become a family-oriented destination as it’s one big theme park now, with gambling being a byproduct of their tourism. We must do the same for the CNMI that must transition from being solely a gambling destination to a family-oriented destination and a destination for cannabis users. Las Vegas ran out of marijuana the first week they started cannabis tourism, but we haven’t done a single promotion for our cannabis tourism. So, if you voted for change, change is coming soon with AD!
Ambrose M. Bennett
Kagman III, Saipan