Simple villagers

Heading into the weekend, I usually prepare to partake in the radio show “Marianas Agupa” hosted by Glenn Manglona.

It’s an outstanding forum where simple folks call in to express and share views on current events and issues here. I listen intently to their expressions that provide the bridge and insight into their concerns.

The most prominent complaint relates to poverty income wages and salaries in the CNMI. The economic contraction lends to this view as revenues and job opportunities disappear. Thus, aspiration for more income disappears in dreamland. Economic contraction leaves no extras for other needs.

The unhinged expressions entail everyday family issues literally struggling in the marshland of abject poverty. It’s a painful experience that needs tons of money (about $750 million per year) to successfully free folks from the vicious hardship of poverty income wages and salaries.

Money
Indeed, it takes more than vacuous political posturing to fulfill economic prosperity. It’s far more complex than meets the eye. It must be founded on a healthy economy. It requires a fully thought-out set of plans. Are you up to the task? Or “not yet, already?”

Lest we forget, a decent family income is supposed to pay for the first family home, automobile, food, clothing, and healthcare, among other basic needs. How many of nearly half the workforce in poverty income categories could decently afford such obligations? Poverty income is between $15K and $42K per year.

Difficult as it may be, I’m still optimistic that economic prosperity is attainable, if only we converge in a single room to trump our cards why an economic plan is definitely in order. It allows policymakers to contribute actively to a set of ideas that would improve the lot of people they represent.

The prevailing “que sera” attitude has only fanned the fire of economic stagnancy to our demise. It’s time to embrace working together to form a fully thought-out set of plans. It allows for refinement as we move forward.

Blame
The liberal media blames President Trump for the mass shooting in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. “Media commentators who have been quick to blame President Trump for recent mass shootings are engaging in the same rhetoric they claim to despise,” according to Howard Kurtz.

“The suspects in both the Dayton and El Paso shootings are deranged individuals whose actions do not reflect upon the politicians they may support, Kurtz said Tuesday on “The Story.”

“There is a massive difference between criticizing President Trump for his sometimes divisive language—that’s fair game—and coming out and saying the president wants mass violence,” he said.

“He is outright accused as if it was an undisputed fact of being a racist, of being a white supremacist. …Here’s the irony, that some of these commentators are allowing their own very intense anger toward Donald Trump to lead them into the kind of inflammatory rhetoric that they accuse him of spreading.

“These shootings have produced an absolute media frenzy.”

MW debate
Interesting the debate on minimum wage between here and D.C., where the focus is on what’s fair for both employer and employee.

In nearly every debate, the one convenient issue turned folly that is skipped altogether relates to the cost of living. Understood why the seeming fear to face the music squarely. If you take cost of living, what would be our MW here?

Would $7.50 suffice or is it more like $36 an hour, considering the cost of living here is triple the cost in the U.S. mainland? Moreover, most everything here is imported, thus the high cost of basic necessities. We don’t have anything else other than the mini-tourism industry that seems to be doing well. As fickle as it may be, it’s the only thing we have at this juncture.

Investments
Indeed, most employees situated away from the powers-that-be ask: How do we improve income to grant families some relief from vicious hardship at home?

Definitely, policymakers are probably at a loss how to provide realistic answers to resolve poverty income at home. It requires real-time planning to welcome more investments to spur additional revenues. And it takes investments, not empty rhetoric, to get from point “A” to point “B.”

Unless real hard pennies, nickels, and dimes are in the coffers there’s nothing up this alley except long sighs and yawns while looking intelligently disoriented. Must exit the comforts and convenience of grand complacency! Must encourage more investments.

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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