"FSM, CNMI, and other parts of the Micronesian islands should break all ties with the US!"

edited March 2017 in General
Hearing rumors about this and I personally want to know what are your thoughts.... and what will happen to the islands (economically) and people (who are in the states both legal and illegal immigrants) if we do break ties
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Comments

  • Why SHOULD we, Hadley? Some good reasons to ponder on.
  • there are a lot of good reasons on why we should not.... its just i don't get why people do want to break ties with the U.S.... they have been sending us millions and millions of $$$ yearly so that we can make improvements on our islands and we have been well protected under U.S.
  • On the one hand, relying on the United States--or any hypothetical benefactor for that matter--arguably decreases one's agency. A common frustration I hear is that when the FSM and the US meet in a room, the latter treats the former as if they're a child.

    On the other hand, if the goal is independence--and is that our goal?--withdrawing from US support at this moment benefits our bourgeoisie far more than it benefits our proletariat. Our National and State Strategic Development Plans frequently don't address the question: How? If we want to have a tourism industry, how do we build it? If we want to have superior fisheries, how do we build it? Without tools to generate revenue for the nation, i.e. the citizenry as opposed to an opportunist elite, we can't fund ourselves. We don't fund ourselves.

    Using the Pohnpei State Department of Education for example, if you were to ask how much of our $10,000,000 annual budget comes from the Compact, the answer is about 99.99%, via the Education Sector Grant and the Supplemental Education Grant. Your FSM income tax withholding doesn't directly go to our budget to help Pohnpeian children. If the FSM were to hypothetically withdraw from all ties with the US tomorrow, the people who get hurt the most are our children.

    Certainly I'm supportive of a truly independent FSM, but that independence cannot be in name only.
  • thank you for sharing your thoughts RichardAndrewClark
  • You have a good wandering mind, Hadley. Just look up the term 'independent' and see how or if it applies to FSM's current condition socially and economically. If we were to just let loose our relationship with the US, how can our government support the basic needs of the people? And what if we were to completely apply the literal meaning of the term, what do we foresee gonna happen to us in general?

    Will the children of unemployed parents be able to provide classroom type education? Will the government be able to heal the sick child and elderly? Will our government be able to defend our islands against foreign Intruders?

    So we break ties with the US. HOW LONG BEFORE OUR ECONOMY IMPROVE? OR WILL IT EVER WITHOUT A JUMP STARTER?

  • Atefon Sinbad, i suspect the answer to your last question is...long time based on past and current governing practices..our Chuuk landowners wont give an inch, the business folks just keep taking and the poor gets poorer..
  • They just did, SakaSaka in Tonoas. 2 plus $ for a square meter of private land for public use.
  • edited March 2017
    Saka, I guess so, man!

    And kinen, is it really? I was hearing tens.
  • Dublon agreement excluded and is a sign of hope for others to emulate...all prior alleged state land debts remained unresolved, same as those allegedly owed to municipalities. Yet we have $120 mill in compact fund on hold as these parties remain unfazed by the dire financial outlook facing Chuuk post 2023.

  • From the CNMI perspective, majority natives Chamorros and Refaluwasch have stated to retained political relationships with the US indefinitely. To become an independent nation is never/will never be 'totally independent'. No such nation is 'totally independent. All nations relied on another nation for something. Just saying.
  • China and Russia would love this thinking of fragmenting the islands, break their relationships with the USA, and/or declaring independence at their current economic, political, and social state. One, or both will spring into action for their military interests.

    And some influential voices in the Micronesian islands are singing tunes which these two nations are itching to hear. Some of these voices might have been paid to sing 'em tunes.
  • In some respect, we share the same outlook such as the need to work hard for the initiatives on climate change, protection of our EEZ from poachers, and other matters. Politically, we sail on different canoes. Palau, though does not have a perfect relationship with the US, it does not have an imperfect one either. We struggle like every nation in Micronesia, but we strive to put our people and our agenda in the forefront of our nation building.

    Bottom line, you need to look far and wide before you jump the gun as some in this post reiterated. Just some food for thought on this bright sunny day at the Rainbow's End.

    Cheers!
  • lets just break ties with the U.S... U.S has been using us.... manipulating our minds and especially recruiting our people to fight for U.S... taking Micronesian lives.... we can do so much better without the U.S.... we can make our own business and we have resources we can use for trade..... F.S.M can do better if we learn how to cooperate with each other..... we don't need help from the U.S..... we don't need them to be bossing us around and telling us what to do..... we should break all ties with the U.S.
  • Anything better than Chinese. Break up with US, Chinese will come in with a lot of free money. In 10 years your kids will be looked down as they will be working for the Chinese.
  • If the U.S is out then who ? Russia? China? The E.U? U.K? People should understand that not 72 years ago Micronesia was ruled by the Japanese with a Iron fist. Before that the Germans and before that the Spanish. All 3 (Spanish-Germans-Japanese) had one thing in common and that is they ruled by our way or the highway. The US is the better because one it does not rule us directly like those 3 did. The US could have do so but it has a history of fighting wars to liberate people not conquer unlike those 3. Under the COFA we give them the "strategic denial" and in return they give Micronesians access to fundings, schools, jobs, medical, section 8, in time of national emergency the they send aid and doctors. And let me repeat if not the US then who?
  • if we didn't make ties with US in the first place.... do you think we could be a better nation? if yes, how so?
  • I beg to rephrase your question which would be more sound. So with no further adieu, "If we don't make ties with the US, do you think it would be better or worse? I put the question in the present form because what happened in the past cannot be unchanged, so it would be pointless to argue about it, unless you are doing some academic paper or the like. In other words, "Don't cry yourself dry over spilled milk."

    Now that we are crystal clear, the floor is yours.......................
  • No Belas, you didn't rephrase his?. You put forth your own form of his?. You omitted a very important part of his?,. "in the first place". The tense of his ? was OK with that phrase.
  • You seem to lack the simple, yet profound, intention of this vital change of "tense" which I alluded to. Wouldn't you agree to answer the question in the present form rather than speculating about "what should have happened in the past?"

    Why not answer the question with a concrete answer based on today moving forward? Is this too far-fetched to comprehend? Or are you just too far-behind to grasp my point?
  • I knew it Belas but it's a ok. You have your tense, I will have mine. Ngmo waisei malechub?
  • Haha..greetings from this sunny Republican controlled state of Texas to you Kinen and Belas.
  • well lets just break ties with the US and see what happens....... i think we can be a better nation without the help of the US
  • All the rosy projections, 20 years or 30 years ago, by outside experts, consultants and the then Micronesia government officials saying that our small islands could become economically independent and viable in the future--all appear to have not come to fruition.

    I don't want to be pessimistic about our future and the capability and potential of these islands and our people, however, I am beginning to believe that we will never reach the level of economic viability and independence that were touted and sold to us from the beginning of these Compacts.

    And then what makes it worse is that the current leadership, particularly those in the FSM Congress, are not helping. The fishing revenue which is one good source of revenue for the nation is being squandered; and not shared with the states. Other than that, there is no potential for exports of other products from the FSM states.

    Palau is putting a lot of efforts to develop its tourism; and seem to be doing okay. However, it's clear that Palau's needs will not always be met by the tourism revenue alone. So there is need to maintain good relationship with the US; so that perhaps some funds could come in the future after its 50-year current Compact comes to an end; they will go back to the negotiating table.

    It's not clear what will become of the FSM states' government funding if the FSM Trust Fund does not reach its goal by 2023.

    What is clear, in my mind, is that small island nations cannot become totally independent. We will always need additional financial help. My hope is that the relationship between the COFA nations and the US will continue to be good; so that some future funding in connection with our Freely-Associated States status with the US will continue.

    Our small islands with small population, minimal exportable resources, far distance for transportation all are negative against our efforts to be economically independent. We don't have the know-how, resources, and other advantages that the bigger countries like Fiji has, to make exports viable.

    Other small islands like Guam, CNMI and A. Samoa, with all of their expertise and resources, will not be able to be economically independent; thus they will always depend on US federal funds to supplement locally-generated revenues.

    I don't want to appear as if I have given up yet on our ability to achieve economically viable. But from all evidence since the beginning of the Compacts until now convince me that economic viability is an elusive dream that can not be achieved--not because of our fault but because economic viability has to do with economy of scale. Just some thoughts.
  • Your analysis is accurate, marc, but your conclusion - "that economic viability is an elusive dream that can not be achieved" - may not be.

    As Belas has pointed out many times. Palau is much smaller that the FSM yet Palau has a vibrant, growing economy.

  • At times like these where individuals bring forward their debating points on the why's and how's economic situation, I tend to agree with AG Azor's speculating fragmenting the federation so each may prosper without the other clinging on to its back and delaying its progress.
  • FM, I agree with your pointing out what Belas had posted regarding Palau's improving economic development situation. But I think in the end, Palau's economic development will not be sufficient to provide all the revenues that Palau wants or needs to have--to replace the Compact funding that they are now receiving or the extra benefits under their COFA.

    I believe that is one of the underlying reasons that Belas expressed his belief about the need to maintain good and productive relationship with the US into the future--I think he's not buying the main point of this post which says we can or need to separate from the US. I think Belas' view is a realistic view of our need to maintain our relationship with the U

    So I am saying that the nature of our small islands--lack of exportable resources, distance from export destination, etc., will always make us unable to be totally economically independent.

    I've come to the conclusion that our small island nations can never be economically independent until each island nation reaches a consuming and contributing population of over 500,000 people per islands nation. Thus, we need to be tethered or linked politically and economically to large and more economically viable countries like the US.

    We already have a COFA with the US; our people can migrate in and out of US; they have freedom in the US much like the freedom as afforded to the US citizens; many who cannot find jobs in the islands can go and be temporarily on welfare until they get jobs; etc.

    So I don't see any benefit in severing ties with the US, as expressed by the initiator of this post. I don't think there is any other country that can offer us the same benefits that we are now enjoying under the COFA with the US. Just my thoughts.


  • Your assumption into my views is dead on marc. We need to have some sort of reliance on an outside power to aid and support us because we are not economically able to do it on our own. Yes, if we would have established better priorities toward our overall scheme in our governmental affairs, both internal and external, once we signed our COFA, I honestly believe all of us Micro Nations would be at a much economically prosperous situation then we are at this moment. But again, we have to face the realities of the "Now"- What do we need to do "Now".

    We need to invest on our infrastructure for example. I think Guam, Saipan, and Palau are doing a lot better economically because we have the infrastructure set up to accommodate the development. As for Palau, our biggest obstacle (which is actually a blessing in disguise) is evaluating these infrastructures on its possible effects on the environment and more profoundly, our culture and dignity as the people of this one and sacred home we call Palau. I think any islander can attest for their love of their homeland and the feeling of wanting to protect it for future generations to come.

    Bottom line, we need to continue to foster our diplomacy for our "friends" (other countries) which a lot are more than willing to lend a helping hand. We have a lot more friends out there besides the US so let us not forget that.
  • Are we going to rely on the US or some other nation for the rest of our lives, maybe. But that reliance does not mean we cannot prove it to them and to ourselves that we can after all build our nation for our people with our own set of goals and priorities that we set for ourselves. The US might have an enormous impact on our decision-making to some extent, but we are still in charge because our constitution says so. We have to take pride in ourselves and start looking forward because there is an ocean of opportunities out there. We just have to know where to look, instead of having others feeding us with whatever soup is in their pot.

    We can make our own soup!
  • Belas, your points are spot on. Let me add an additional important perspective to this discussion. If I understand it correctly, Palauans can look beyond 2023 with a different perspective compared to the perspective from the FSM and RMI's view. Palau's COFA's duration is only 50 (fifty) years as compared to "indefinite" duration for COFA for RMI and FSM. As such, Palau will soon have the freedom to make deals about its future with any country that it wants, whether Australia, Japan, S. Korea, any country in Europe, etc.

    I just hope that it does not open itself too much to China or Russia or other such countries whose intentions might use Palau as stepping stone in attacking US or other countries. I have a lot of Palauan friends. Palauans are reasonable; firm with their beliefs and convictions, at times; don't allow other people to walk over them; don't want to go back to the past where outsiders came in and dominated.

    Palauans want peace; they want protection such as the kinds that can be provided by the US; there are a lot of Palauans who are already US citizens and living in Guam, Hawaii and the US mainland. Most likely they will insist on continuing a close relationship with the US after its' Compact's 50 years come up.

    Belas, is my understanding of the 50-year only Compact between the US and ROP correct? If yes, when is the 50th year?
  • So were back to square 1. If not the US then who? I for one am for the status quo. The US give Micronesia a lot then aanyone did (Spanish-German-Japanese).
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