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‘We have a leaking economy,’ says former Speaker Paduna

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FORMER Speaker Pedro “Paduna” R. Deleon Guerrero said the CNMI has a “leaking” economy.

“We should not be dependent on foreign investments,” he added.

In an interview, Deleon Guerrero said everyone wants quick money and no one wants to think about long-term solutions.

“When the garment industry was phased out, did they [the policy makers] look for other ways and means? They just wanted quick income so they resorted to casino gaming.  Now that the casino is down, what other plans do we have?” he asked.

He said an economist should be appointed by the government to conduct a study on what is the best industry for the CNMI.

“But we are not doing that,” he added.

“We can and should develop fisheries, fish farms, copra production, root crops, breadfruit, and bananas, which can be exported,” he said.

“The good thing about producing quality exports is you reduce imports and you also reduce exporting money, which stays here, and that builds your economy,” Deleon Guerrero said.

But according to T. Norman Van Cott, a professor of economics,  nations export goods primarily so they can import the goods they need.

In an article posted on the Foundation of Economic Education website, he said the gains associated with exports are ultimately traced to imports. “Virtually all of us organize our own economic lives consistent with this idea. In the marketplace we produce goods and services which we sell (export) to buyers. This is the source of our incomes which we use to buy goods and services from others — that is, import. The more imports, the better.”

He added, “People who choose to export while importing as little as possible will find themselves ill-clad, ill-housed, ill-fed, and possibly dead in short order. How can it be that what is economic wisdom for the individual not apply to a nation? Hint: it can’t!”

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