Strangling cost of living


Additional costs pile up against family obligations and debts in inexplicable ways. It literally strangles and suffocates households all over. The corrosive impact sends most folks to the subterranean level of misery. This daily experience isn’t a concoction but completely realistic on every front.

Let’s jointly review what the beast is all about: For instance, take the annual salary of $30,000 and spread it out for family obligations and debts. It’s a salary above the median income that pans out to about $1,250 per month or $625 biweekly.

Assuming that a family has taken out a real estate loan to build the first family home and pays about $500 monthly for it. This doesn’t include paying for real estate insurance or life insurance funneled to the bank as guarantees against the loan for a total of about $745 per year or $62 per month.

There’s also the family car that costs about $300 per month and auto insurance. Tag the health insurance of $600 per month for a family of four; health deductible of $1,000 per year and 40-percent increase in medication, including $450 for utilities per month. Other obligations include helping our children with student loans, clothing, school supplies, dental, monthly power, and food necessities.

The monthly obligations and debts is about $2,000 monthly. There’s a shortage of about $750 per month the family must scrounge for or cut down every corner of expenditure. Aggravating the family pocketbooks is the stagnant salaries for nearly 10 years. So while the cost of living shoots into the heavens like 4th of July fireworks, there’s the vicious dampening of the buying power of families heading south. Am I making sense or is this a concoction of my imagination?

With 52 percent of underemployed folks—people with jobs whose salaries fall within the federal definition of poverty level income—how do these folks pull through it all?

We’ve heard arguments to raise or defer raising the federal minimum wage beyond $5.50 an hour. But there’s the misconception that it would lift all boats. Not quite. The federal minimum wage law also provides that companies with annual sales of $500,000 are not required to dole out minimum wage pay for their employees. So its universal application or bump effect is a total fallacy.

And so we yawn once more hoping for some divine intervention in the steadily sinking economic canoe berthed at the Tanapag Harbor. I heard the captain and crew are now on board a rescue boat all standing at the bow yelling at the iceberg before them. Politicians have done nothing but massage their tearful performance while imposing sterile policies!

Injurious spouts against others

We’ve followed assertions and refutations against the “pathway to citizenship” for some 14,000 foreigners. The discussion has escalated into the ugly virulence of condescending racism.

We no longer limit viewpoints to the merits or demerits of suppositions—what we thought the measure says versus what it actually says—to promote and secure clarity and understanding.

The racist infraction is still struggling to find a bearing or appropriate framework for decent discussion. It stumbled and has started down the path of unnecessary injurious diatribe.

Be that as it may, there’s provision under the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act for all foreigner seeking U.S. citizenship to apply for their aspired goal. If you pass it, you’re in and there’s no two ways about it either.

Obviously, skirting this provision of law brings into focus Kilili’s motive seeking to grant carte blanche citizenship to 14K foreigners that would instantly turn the host into a minority. Is there an explanation beyond the politics of his shallow hideous agenda?

It’s a political miscalculation that has triggered vicious incivility among the indigenous people. It’s an upstream swim for Kilili from A-Z to justify a proposal that is riddled with the query: Who are you representing?

In its very basic form the issue is the same for everyone: the search to improve opportunities for posterity. But this is sufficiently provided for under pertinent U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act. It’s a very troubling issue Kilili would find difficulty explaining on the campaign trail. Sorry, but our people are conversant on this and the Obamacare you gifted them in advance of Christmas `14.

Debate on inequality

President Obama tried to divert attention from his failed signature healthcare policy discussing, again, his shortsighted views on inequality. If he’s in charge, is he doing national television acknowledgement of his failed health and economic policies?

The term “inequality” keeps bouncing back as I ponder what is he trying to spin. Mr. President, are we not all supposed to be equal under the law? If I’ve invested in myself securing academic competency and professional experience on a given field enabling my getting a high paying job, do you blame me for the failure of a hamburger flipper at a fast food service?

This issue brings forth a more critical review of the essence of equality when viewed against Article 12 of the NMI Constitution. Is it really the foundation of inequality? Is there validity and truth to such claim? I bring this for further discussion pointing to an historical fact: the granting of Native Americans (Indians) of their land ownership that is limited to their own people.

If the feds accommodates it, why can’t it extend the same rights to NMI Islanders in the name of equality?

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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