Friday, January 19, 2007

Tunagate Ponderings

An update regard sthe Pelosi portion of this earlier post: The people of American Samoa will get saddled with the same minimum wage as the rest of us. It's unclear if this is actually good, but as was pointed out before if there is anywhere that the minimum wage might do good rather than ill AmSam is it........but mabey it is a bad thing after all.

(Representative)Togiola and (Governor)Faleomavaega says inclusion of American Samoa in the measure would be a disaster for the territory's economy.

Faleomavaega plans to meet either today or tomorrow with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said earlier that she plans to have American Samoa included in the measure before it goes to the President.

Faleomavaega is quoted by the newspaper as saying that increasing the territory's minimum wage to mirror federal levels would devastate the local tuna industry.

This could just be the efforts of 2 corrupt politicians to do the bidding of their corporate leash holders (and that is EXACTLY how it would be reported if they had "R"s by their names) but they may well have a point. With over 70% of people in the tuna industry, American Samoa is very vulnerable to a downturn or policy change at Starkist. The only thing they've got really is a fairly cheap labor pool and if they loose that it could well be a crisis.
(Of course the same issues hold true for The Northern Mariannas as well, though they have a somewhat more diverse economy...this has been a rallying point for the Dems for a while, though there the Representatives have "R"s by their it's news.)

Unnerving is the ease that Starkist would have in relocating to Samoa (they have recently begun work on a processing plant there. The Governor may well have a legit point.

One perfectly fair and uncontroversial thing we could do for our oldest overseas territory...we COULD make them citizens rather than residents! The citizens of ALL other US Territories are full citizens....

That Samoans are not is really annoying.

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