Saturday, June 28, 2008

Half of what?

This is what I hate about stories based on unreleased reports.

Dick Pierce, the Governor's elfin trade adviser, apparently leaked parts of the draft Government Accountability Office report and a Department of Interior funded economic report on federalization effects to the Saipan Tribune.

Nothing wrong with that, you might say. We all want to know how federalized labor and immigration might affect us. Yeah, but. What assumptions are made in both reports? Are the prospects as bleak as painted and planted? Gov. Benigno R. Fitial cited a 50 percent decline in Gross Domestic Product in his Sue You speech and Pierce dutifully repeated that "Our economy would be cut in half." Half of what? Our now threadbare garment economy? The Japan Airline years?

Spin cycle

The spin doctor is in. These reports are being used to justify the Governor's quixotic quest for legal action. It's hard to argue against them if they're State Secrets.

They may be right. I don't know. How can I? What I see now is a parade of locals and non-residents asking for work. That parade is very likely to stop in a year or two. For now, Shell, Mobil, CUC and the shipping companies are driving businesses into the ground. It's not the threat of federalized immigration or the $4.05 minimum wage.

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