Essays

Essays related to the history, geography, economy, population and
social issues of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Those interested in examining the following  essays are requested to please
read the qualifying statement in the Introduction. The personal views
expressed are those of the author.
There are several redundant statements and thoughts  presented in some of
the  essays. This is a result of an article being prepared for different
audiences or media at different times. No attempt has been made to edit or
organize the essays by subject matter, rather they are presented as they
appeared intermittently in published form based upon the available data at
the time.


Introduction

 

      Being interested in various economic and social issues effecting the
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands I have written and published
a series of essays on a variety of subjects over the years. Much to my
surprise a number of students and others have asked for reprints. It
occurred to me that the internet might be a suitable forum to provide this
information to anyone interested in the subjects.   My only request
being that should any of the information contained in the essays be
utilized in published form or otherwise quoted that an appropriate
acknowledgement of the source be made.
     Several articles concerning future projections were written before
many Asian countries experienced unforeseen and unanticipated economic
difficulties which first began to appear in 1997 not attempt has been made
to revised the projects. Someone once observed that” those that peer into
the crystal ball to divine the future should also learn to eat ground glass.”
      Many of the essays appearing here-in were published over a period of
several years in various Saipan media while others were college lectures.
While I rarely write in the first person  some articles  have been composed
in this manner.
    Many people do not particularly care for statistics, and I apologize
for relying on them so frequently in these articles. I am reminded that
legend has it that the Greek philosopher Thales fell into a well while
strolling along gazing at the stars. It was his penchant for gazing at the
heavens that made him great. But failure to keep his eyes on the ground
killed him. That’s the way it is when making economic observations. This is
where accurate and reliable statistical data  can be so helpful when it is
interpreted. They give us the ability to look for “holes” so that in turn
we can avoid them. They are the only device we have to measure economic 
performance and  are useful  in attempting to ascertain what the future may 
hold by looking at the past. The reader many discover statistics in one 
article which may occasionally appear slightly contradictory in another. 
This is a consequence of using estimated data in earlier articles which, 
after a census or actual survey, were revised and presented in more recent 
articles. Where the data are not precise they may, at least,  be considered 
indicative. 
     There are several redundant statements and thoughts  presented in some 
of the  essays. This is a result of an article being prepared for different 
audiences or media at different times. No attempt has been made to edit or 
organize the essays by subject matter, rather they are presented as they 
appeared intermittently  in published form based upon the available data at 
the time. 
    Within the approximately 128,00 words presented here-in involving  some 
80  subjects, many of which  involve  serious issues for the Commonwealth 
while others may be frivolous, the latter has been more fun to write than 
the former. The essay  entitled, First Encounter, was selected as a point 
of departure for this presentation, recounting as it does my first 
experience with the islands so long ago and at a time when everything was 
so very different from that of 1998. I liked the old days better than those 
near the end of the century. Many of the essays span the period of the 
CNMI’s economic history from that of the listless backwater of the 
seventies through the economic roller coaster boom and the carefree days of 
the mid eighties to the sobering recession of the mid to late nineties. 
      Finally, I have long been interested in the history of the Northern 
Mariana Islands and World War II in particular. For information related to 
the role of Saipan and Tinian, the Atomic Bomb, Enola Gay and the loss of 
the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis, the greatest disaster in United 
States’ naval history, please visit  the World War Two history section at 
the following web site http://www.cnmi-guide.com
Copies of maps of the islands mentioned in this series of articles may be 
examined on the internet at http://www.cnmi-guide.com/phm/

William H. Stewart
Economist

 
Copyright 1995, ‘96, ‘97 & ‘98 By Economic Service Counsel
P.O. Box 5201, Saipan, MP 96950
Web page: http://www.cnmi-guide.com/phm/
e mail: william.stewart@saipan.com
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