Blessed Are The Deal Makers

By Jackson Henry —-

USPresidential hopeful Mitt Romney delivered a riveting message to an audience during one of his political rallies when he said, “Free enterprise has liberated more people from of poverty, created more jobs and improved more lives than all government programs combined”. Bravo ! I could not agree more. It is a thrilled to hear leaders who are Gung Ho on business. Romney’s words motivate and inspire us folks inPalau’s private sector.

I recall President Roosevelt during the Great Depression when he said, “The business ofAmericais business !”.Rooseveltwas emphatic on the power of free enterprise as the greatest force to lift a country out of its economic nightmares.

Since the end of WWII,Palau’s economy has operated on pass-through financing, thanks to our benefactors and donor countries. Heavy government programs and political engineering still occupy 99% of our national menu. After 16 years of nationhood, the picture is becoming clearer that indeed, free enterprise is a better change agent and the best vehicle forPalauto achieve financial self reliance. However, some still downplays its significance because of their political agenda.

One incident that highlights my point occurred during an Economic Symposium recently at theNgarachamayongCenterwhen a prominent citizen took the microphone and lambasted at the World Bank panelists. He grilled them and questioned their mission in helping develop and growPalau’s economy. The panelist’s short response was, “because someone has to pay for it”. Yes, if we do not pay our own expenses, then we feed on someone else’s paycheck or eat crumbs that fall off another man’s table. The problem gets worst when entitlement mentality sinks in.

The common question these days is no longer what free enterprise can do for us but how fast can it “deliver the cargo” and boost our bottom line. Low income earners want instant gratification. The speed of economic development depends on foreign dollars, foreign markets and foreign skills combined with local knowledge and local assets. We cannot do it alone.

With free enterprise now thriving, it is the deal makers and agents who are on the front line of new businesses and forerunners of economic growth inPalau. Previously, agents and deal makers were considered as “used car salesmen” who cannot be trusted. Today, history proves that many trophy investments inPalauwere brokered and initiated by agents. In theUS, 67% of business deals are brokered by agents. Professional agents with negotiation skills, experience and vast networks worldwide arePalau’s drivers of economic growth and expansion of the private sector. For that, they deserve our respect and support.

Blessed are the dealmakers, for they will build economic bridges to Palau’s future.

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