Is it really so much better to have the highest food, gas and medicine prices in America on the lowest wages in America? Here is one thing this government can't sustain: $500,000 to the Rota Mayor to dole out to friends for this casino when the commissioner of education is saying they don't have the money to open schools next August or make payroll past June. Let's see if Taotao Tano Greg Cruz blasts this one. My bet is no.
As to the part of population declines, good. This place doesn't have the infrastructure (load shedding anyone) to handle the population it has, and God forbid we lose some of those $3.55 per hour jobs. Don't run off with all those Mcjobs, please. The $16.50 thing I suppose is some kind of nonsense about percentage increase. Yes, because our minimum wage was so scandalously low before and for so long. Essentials like food, power, medicine and gas aren't cheaper here -- they're more. If anything, our minimum wage should be higher than the mainland to account for that fact. “I think any major stakeholder in the wage issue will agree that the next increase should not be implemented, " the Governor's Press Secretary Charles P. Reyes, Jr. said. Again, go ask the broke parents of my students from Dandan, Kobler and San Antonio. They're not major stakeholders, so I guess they don't matter, but I don't think it is quite so unanimous among the working or non-working poor.
'Suspend further wage hikes'
Armed with the federally prepared wage hike impact report, the Fitial administration vows to lobby intensely against the next scheduled increase in the local minimum wage.
“Just about everybody is in agreement that the Commonwealth cannot sustain additional increases to the minimum wage. We will do everything in our power to communicate this message to the U.S. Congress,” press secretary Charles P. Reyes Jr. said yesterday.
In its report submitted to Congress last Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor said that raising the local minimum wage to the federal level would have adverse impacts on employment and lead to additional population declines in the Commonwealth. Increasing the CNMI wage to $7.25 an hour, the report said, is comparable to raising the U.S. minimum wage to $16.50 an hour