Friday, May 2, 2008

Remit me not

The Inter-American Development Bank estimates that three million Latino immigrants have stopped sending money home.

I thought of Saipan immediately.

According to the
New York Times "As a result of the difficulties, among immigrants who had been here less than five years, 49 percent said they were thinking of returning home, while 41 percent said they planned to remain in the United States."

Looks like times are tough all over.

Really, I wonder what those figures would be like here.

After thought

The above was a quick post as I was headed out the door.

The article caught my eye because it agrees with what I've been hearing on the street locally. Whipsawed by rising prices, a lot of our visiting workers are having a hard time sending money home. It's a double whammy because the strong Philippine Peso (Bush Dollar) means their families are asking for more.

Maybe a reporter will do another story on CNMI remittances.

Too many people are chasing too few jobs, so there's no security. As in the article, a cushion is needed, and that's another factor in holding back.

The imminent signing of S.2739 is no panacea. That's immigration legislation, it won't affect the job market.

Hope springs eternal

A lot of guest workers are hanging on because they hope long-term employees will get immigrant status. A chimera, in my view, but hey, it never hurts to ask.

Someone who's been here less than five years (or any arbitrary number of years) doesn't even have that hope. That's why I plucked the quote from the story. It matches what short-term employees have been telling me:

“If things don't get better...” (they won't)

“If I can't find another job...” (probably not)

U.S. problems are caused by a recession. We passed that milestone locally a long time ago.


Bruce A. Bateman said...

Remittances are way down here too, Ken. Even so they constitute a large drain on the economy. They should be taxed, and taxed heavily (20%?) to dissuade wage earners and others from sending money offshore. That hundred million kept here and circulated here rather than in Manila would make a positive difference.

You are right, Ken, it would make an interesting study to find out what the corresponding numbers are here.

KAP said...

BS. It's their money and it's already been taxed once.

Hire locals, let 'em stay if remittances bother you--that would keep more money here. Don't blame (or punish) aliens for acting in their own self-interest.

Sorry to be so vague.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Hiring locals is an even better way to do it. I do, and I know you do too.

That form of taxation isn't punishment, it is inducement. That's what taxes do...induce people to act in certain ways by affecting their pocketbook. Always have.

I certainly don't 'blame' them for acting in a particular way (remitting) and spending their cash as they see fit.

Hey, it's in vogue to be vague.