Our View: Share your ideas to help make our island more self-sufficient | Opinion | Daily News Byte

Our View: Share your ideas to help make our island more self-sufficient |  Opinion

 | Daily News Byte

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A frequently used criticism of the government of Guam is its reliance, or over-reliance, on the federal government.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program supported our vulnerable families. Federal funding for more than 30,000 public school students and highway funds that improve our transportation infrastructure are just some of the things that are important to our fragile economic recovery.

But these federal programs weren’t just pandemonium favors. They were a tool of broad economic policy and relief.

By providing emergency unemployment, providing child care support, investing in our roads and bridges, issuing housing benefits and stimulus checks, a national effort spanning both political parties has worked to inject cash into our hands and, by extension, into our local economy.

Buying local, where possible, should be a positive outcome of these policies. Maybe a few dollars saved on childcare or electricity bills can mean an extra bag of fresh produce at the farmers market or sashimi at the Fisherman’s Co-op.

As islanders, we know that so much of what we consume is imported. This makes our economy hypersensitive to world events such as supply chain challenges, a turbulent oil market and inflation.

Moreover, our reliance on imports means that our dollar is likely to circulate through the local economy more quickly than elsewhere, subjecting Guam to a constant form of capital flight.

We understand that the struggle is real. And your hard-earned dollars should go where they make sense. But with federal money being such a significant part of Guam’s economy, it would be nice to keep that money in Guam as long as possible.

But what can we do to fix this?

Aside from the hard news and events that affect our daily lives, these are the topics we look forward to exploring in the year ahead.

What are the topics you want to learn more about and what ideas and solutions can you contribute here?

We want to hear from you tips and ideas you may have on how to make family and small business entrepreneurship ideas and budgets work for you.

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