M&M Cheats Palauans in Numbers

By Santy Asanuma —-

M&M has got to be the favorite for most children when I was growing up in the 1960’s. But who would think in early 1990’s that M&M candies would play an important part in our culture. Today the funeral foods in plastic or Styrofoam tray are not complete without M&M’s, especially the one in yellow package. There are times you would see middle age women going through all the stores in town buying all yellow M&M’s because there are more funerals than M&M’s coming in. As a result, you would at times get a pre-packed food during funerals with brown pack of M&M and you kind of feel that it is not the real thing.

Several years ago M&M business was in trouble for not making enough money for it to be profitable. The best brains were recruited to solve the problem so that a company would continue to exist and provide this favorite candy to kids in America and ultimately to Palauan kids in Palau. All complex and sophisticated solutions were thoroughly considered (ng mlo meringel el meketiit) by market experts but none seemed to be workable or acceptable.

Corporate folklore has it that a person of lower status or not an expert in the industry made the monumental suggestion. He reasoned that the main idea was to make more money. Well making money was not restricted to one way so he looked at reducing expenses. It made sense to this guy that to not spend more money in paying expenses was another way of making money. Keeping money in your hands was the central point by this guy. So he opined that three pieces of M&M’s were to be removed from each package but retained the same size of the package. This made the appearance that one was getting the same deal. Bingo! Less was the solution. Up to this day nobody had made any complaints.

Two things in our Palauan life can learn from this practical lesson. These are our traditional customary practices and our democratic form of government. The common thread in both sectors for Palauan life is that the burdens involved have become unbearably hard for the people. The cost of doing one’s customary responsibilities is eating through most people’s financial security. Most people have emptied their life savings even borrow against their future earnings to make food or contribute monies to such customs. Moreover, this is every week now that not only a relative will die but at times number of them in the same week or one after another. As a result, dying has become a big expense for the living. So don’t die to save money for everyone. Less dying is indeed profitable to our families. If we are using it for our customs, we might as well use its bright solution. If people must die, reduce expense for food is the M&M solution.

Now our government needs money to run it. However, lots of expenses keep driving the cost of running it beyond our means and resources. It has become somewhat a culture for our government to keep people in the government even though they do not have real work to do. Because both states and national governments are overloaded with workers, one way of making money to pay them is make the public pay more taxes. I am sure if they consider the M&M solution it would be far more practical and definitely will save money.


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