New Ideas, New Opportunities

By Jackson Henry —

“Has the world leaders run out of ideas on managing this planet”, CNBC questioned a Wall Street banker, in view of the recent 512 points Dow Jones plunge and S&P’sUScredit rating downgrade from top rank AAA to AA+. Equity markets around the world are tormented by the stomach wrenching roller coaster rides with jittery investors fleeing the market to safety elsewhere. 

The Average Joe on the street wonders if the status quo of manning the economy is dysfunctional. In theUS, an Economist postulated that, “the oldWashingtonmantra of printing money to pay bills has failed. We need to cut government spending and increase revenues”.

What may apply inWashingtoncan be detrimental toPalau. If we reduce government spending, we also reduce the level of services and employment that our people depend on badly. Our mantra should be: revenues, revenues and revenues. This is evident by the Senate hearings on the national budget and semi-autonomous agencies. Every states and agencies disclose their long wish lists but, short on revenues.

To bolster revenues, we need new ideas. As a village Ruback once said, “if you want something that you do not have today, you should try something new that you have not done tomorrow”. While the world leaders squabble on inventing new ideas, which appears to have run out,Palaustill has abundance of ideas and opportunities to exploit to create new revenues.

Our friends in CNMI, whose economy has been dragged over the rocks for years, are focusing on boosting revenues predicated on new and untried ideas. Governor Fitial is granting an audience to professional Asian consultants to present their new ideas on ways to ignite the CNMI tourism industry and boost government revenues.

With rising fuels prices and costs of imported goods,Palauis sailing into an economic headwind. We need to fasten our seat belts put new ideas to play. First thing is to shift our national focus from being grant oriented to revenue oriented. This involves providing our private sector the proper tools to operate efficiently and competitively. Permits must be issued quickly and government regulations made business friendly. The proposed QC, Special Resident Permits and the National Economic Authority are new ideas that the private sector could use to leverage technology and foreign capital to achieve high entrepreneurial performance and drive innovations forward.

Remember when Henry Ford introduced the historic Model T car in 1908. The cynics said, “why change from the reliable horse to those noisy clunkers?”. Wow, imagine the world today without cars.

In paraphrasing Ali Veshi’s statement, “you cannot transform to a new economy with outdated ideas. New and revolutionary ideas are the forerunners of economic opportunities”

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