Friday, February 22, 2008


A short while ago I commented on and posted a story about the fact that David Cohen was now in a position to advise interested businessmen about doing business in the Pacific region. I noted that some local government officials, upon his departure criticized and bad mouthed him as he was leaving. (Post # 978) I also mentioned they had burned their bridges and maybe that wasn’t a very smart thing to do, seeing the position he is in now. I also suggested that if I were in his position I would get the last laugh at the CNMI’s expense.
I got a comment that Mr. Cohen would rise above all that and tell the real actual truth, which I firmly believe he will do also. I had another comment as to what should he really tell new interested investors who were interested in placing and opening a business here in the CNMI. That got me to thinking along this line. What are the real facts that should be told to them?
Just how does he view the CNMI and what should his comments be on several important issues facing new businessmen and new businesses. Now I really don’t know what HE might tell them, but here is the most truthful assessment of the facts that I would give them.. In my own opinion as I see them..
When ask about….
The government:
The government is presently flat broke and getting flatter.
The government operates on a ‘job’s for votes system’. You vote for me and you will get a government job. This causes a bloated over staffed government run by incompetent people who are not qualified to do the jobs they are placed in, but simply relatives and friends positioned according to their votes. The legislature cannot seem to pass an operating budget giving further chaos to an already confused and lost government. This in turn causes the government to operate at a less then efficient rate and puts great pressure on the government to fund all these positions and to deliver the simple basic services.
Such as…..
Medical Services:
The CHC (Commonwealth Health Center) is not staffed by a qualified director but a political hire. It is under staffed and is also unable to provide basic health services.
Again understaffed, overcrowded and lacking basic tools such as books and learning materials. The buildings are in a state of repair and learning levels are low.
Utilities: Power and Phone
A power company charging twice the rates as it did a year ago, is unable to keep the power on, causing at sometimes daily rolling blackouts and an unreliable source of power. It is in dire need of replacement, with no remedy is in sight for this continual problem. Phone Company: One of the best in the pacific region, comparable to mainland companies. Is privately operated.
The water in undrinkable and at many times unusable due to bacteria’s found in the water. Many times there is no water available. Again no changes are seen in the near future.
Public Safety:
Tourists are robbed when asking for assistance. Purses are snatched, copper wire thieves run unabated, poked rooms and mini-markets, even churches, are being held-up and robbed. The police force must be commented for their resiliency but are under staffed and short budgeted.
At this point I don’t think they would be interested anymore and we didn’t even get to the important parts, the business aspects of doing business here.
Land ownership: Not available, leases only, otherwise never mind trying to have your business appreciate in value as they will continue to depreciate as the lease closes in on its experation date.
Labor force: Stays repressed by the local government. Only federal mandates give yearly .50 cent raises. Has one of the lowest minimum wages in the U.S. Labor laws force workers of their choice upon the businesses giving the employer no say in his hiring and requires the employees to exit from their jobs every 3 years for 6 months, unacceptable to most employers. This is complicated and unstable, could change with each election.
Taxes are on a you pay now and wait years for your rebate which may never happen. The government has no concern for the taxes owed as rebates. The best position is to owe them at tax time.
Rules and Regulations:
These are not consistent at all, and are changeable every election depending on the whims of whoever was elected. Permitting is a nightmare and every agency is independent within itself, there is no interfacing of regulations and you will visit many offices and be spread island wide, running back and forth until you are completely frustrated.
Recreation while living here:
Beautiful beaches when the trash is cleaned up. Beaches are constantly ‘red flagged’ due to E-Coli in the water and are unsuitable for humans during these occurrences.
What David Cohen might say, It's your guess. Would it be true, absolutely !
Why would anyone even need to lie about a place that operates like this? It's head is up it's own ass anyway!
So the question of the day is.. What would you tell a businessman who has $200 million dollars to invest and asks you your opinion as to where he should put it and should it be in the CNMI?
I don’t know, I’m getting depressed even writing this piece... Do you have any additions, comments or suggestions? Or an answer to todays question?
Add them below…


rev said...

ey be careful, SBlogger is threatening bloggers with don't say bad things about her gf...;-)

bradinthesand said...

rev, relax...

glend558 said...

What is SBlogger 'rev'ed up about?

bigsoxfan said...

Wow, my internet connection picked a hell of a day to pack up and leave town. They are eating their own young over on MiddleRoad. I haven't even made it to the papers today, and I'm holding on to Sbloggers page as a tab, to enjoy a little later. I'm not sure sure, having the blogs in the papers has worked out so well. It's raining coconuts everywhere. That freak rantin' on Tamara yesterday, over here, for example. Nice and quiet in Mongolia.

To the point, the beaches and ecoli. I'm not convinced that the positive samples are that much of a danger to human health. Only problem is the testing can't tell the difference between actual bad flithy crap in the water and what is referred to as "non-point" (not the exact term, but the DEQ web page has a decent example. "non-point" contamination is from natural sources and not 'as' harmful as raw sewage contamination produces. I take the red flags with a grain of salt, but the one place I feel uncomfortable swallowing seawater is the beach front near the hotels. I quess, I just made your point, but had to quibble over semantics. Happy day and say a small prayer that my internet will come back, soon.

glend558 said...

Here's to your internet, Amen
Always used to make me shudder to see people fisning beside the Puerto Rico dump, uugh!

bigsoxfan said...

I came too late to realize how bad the dump is, but I did have troubles in the old gs, following a dip by the hyatt. I never could figure if the trouble was related to my beer consumption during the volleyball game, the poki/sushi following, or the crap in the water. I usually swam at the Tanapeg meeting house and that isn't the most buccolic setting, if one is worried about untreated runoff. I always held my breath, until I reached the strong seaside current. Of course, I'm not a micro-biologist, but I've seen on played on tv. Wait a minute. I am a micro biologist. Never mind. Hold your breath, until you reach the rip current, the water is cleaner there.