Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SARS is killing this economy?

Is there some talking points site that offers all the same ridiculous reasons for the decline of the CNMI economy? Every time someone brings up the topic, here is what follows:

"The effects of September 11, 2001, the rise of oil prices, the collapse of the
Asian economy, the threat of SARS and other economic influences including our
bloated government employment practices have all contributed to our economic
The above is from a Tribune letter today. I've seen the same thing said countless times -- usually by political figures making excuses. This guy forgot to mention it was "beyond our control." Often the bloated government is left off the list as well. My favorite absurd reason is SARS. This was a media scare frenzy that lasted about two weeks more than four years ago and hasn't been heard from since. People who reason that I'm not going to Saipan because of SARS are probably too stupid to find their local airport anyway.

The Asian economy collapsed? Why not add the stock market crash of '29. There was an Asian currency crisis ten years ago that is long since over. Japan has weak growth still, largely because they actually save money, but it is hardly an economy in crisis. China is growing rapidly, as is India. Korea is also doing well. Maybe the factors of theft from tourists, the lack of a casino in a convenient location, lousy restaurants truth be told, red flagged beaches and apparently a lack of attractive shopping are the impetus for low arrivals, and of course the lack of convenient direct flights here.

The oil prices are a negative for sure, but that is probably because this government never planned for the inevitability of a dramatic rise in oil prices. That one wasn't hard to predict. We are now left with a lousy, unreliable, expensive, broken down power plant to kill both businesses and resident morale.

I don't think 9/11 much matters anymore, either. It certainly doesn't matter for Guam as people seem to go there despite 9/11 six years ago. For a brief period after the event, a bunch of ninnies were afraid to go anywhere. That hysteria seems to have subsided, despite the horrors of American airports and planes more crowded than CNMI classrooms.

There are lots of reasons why we have a lousy economy. I would note the awful credit market with the 29 percent loan sharks at Wells Fargo the main financier, the low wages for most of the population, the wildly overpriced retail items, massive monetary outflows through many activities, the outrageous power costs and an unstable government as far more telling causes for economic collapse than the drivel usually cited.


bradinthesand said...

...but how do you really feel?

Jeff said...

Have you ever known me to pussyfoot around?

Melissa said...

Yo, neighbor, a birdie told me you had people over for dinner... and I didn't even get an invite for a measley drink of Sangria? What gives?

bradinthesand said...

Don't worry, Melissa. I wasn't invitd either. Let's have dinner without inviting Jeff! Drop me a line via email, blog comment or cell. Do you have any of the three?

3. 287-2723

Disclaimer: Jeff did invite me over for some pasta a week earlier so I have nothing to gripe about. I just like having dinner with people and am seizing the opportunity here.

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Don't forget non-existence of a fee-simple real estate market and lawmakers that write, edit then delete legislation quicker than you can say "federalization!"

glend558 said...

You forgot the ever noted 'War in Iraq.' I'm sure that causes our problems here too.

Melissa said...

Brad, I have email and phone... I'm the only Simms in the Saipan phonebook... and my email is

And I wasn't even invited for pasta with Brad?!! What gives, Jeff?

Brad, I'm officially inviting you over for dinner sometime soon... if you want to hang out with chicks, Bree, Caitlyn,, come over to watch Big Love at my place and we can have dinner then...

dominic said...

There seems to be a thousand reasons why tourists aren't comming but very few reasons for why they SHOULD come. People keep looking for a one shot cure like casinos. Thats just being lazy, I think.

Keep it diverse.

My good friend who used to be a salesman used to say "WHAT AREN'T WE DOING?". That usually keeps you from sitting on your hands.