Debt, crime and rugby

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Dear Editor,

It’s been interesting to read a number of issues covered in the paper lately and thought I’d comment of a few things:

Government Debt

A number of comments in Letters to the Editor this week caught the eye.  One was about big nations like Japan and China and government debt. Yes the Japanese government has a large debt. But it’s mostly domestic in origin. 

In other words it’s the Japanese government borrowing mostly from its own people to fund its spending. 

Some of that borrowed money is spent on helping countries like Samoa.

But the cost of such borrowing in Japan is very cheap because the Japanese people are big on saving and small on spending.  Interest rates in Japan have been in negative domain for long periods. 

China’s debt is also of domestic origin. 

But it’s the debt of the inefficient and bloated state owned enterprises that is the problem. This is being addressed by current economic reforms and the new normal for the Chinese economy. Otherwise, China is a big lender to the world including the US government and Samoa.

Samoa’s debt on the other hand is almost all owed to foreign lenders, in case the reason for the comment was to compare Samoa’s high debt to these two countries and create fake news for government. 

Any such comparison is meaningless and fake news will always be fake news, unless it is alternative news.

 

Crime on Seawall

Crimes like the attack on tourists on the Apia seawall also happen in Australia and NZ as one correspondent correctly wrote. 

But are they worse there as our correspondent suggested? 

These are countries with populations many times bigger than ours. 

On a per capita basis, which is the only relevant basis for comparison between countries on criminality, I suggest Samoa beats our two Pacific neighbours hands down. And don’t forget, we also make a not insignificant contribution to crimes of violence in these countries. 

But the real significance of such crimes in Samoa and the reason they should be of concern to all of us is that Australia and NZ are established tourist and migrant destinations. 

People from all over, including our own flock there in great numbers.  Samoa on the other hand has big problems attracting tourists to flock our way.  

Violent crimes of this type against the few tourists that come, make the problem that much more difficult to crack. Besides, we need to be safe too in our very own front yard.

 

Of Congratulations and no Apology

Good to see the Samoa Rugby Union man up and congratulate Mr. Damian McGrath for lifting Canada to sevens rugby heaven, while Samoa languishes here on Earth and at risk of falling off in to empty space. 

But what a feat, and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. I for one have always admired the down-to-earth and professional way Mr McGrath handled his time with our team and with our SRU brains trust. 

His humility and humanity made us all look rather shabby and children-like.  

An apology would have been the noble thing to do while the whole rugby world is watching, but that would have been too much to ask of our rugby moguls.

By the way, perhaps it’s time to sack Sir Gordon and appoint his son as coach don’t you think? About time to blame another foreigner and soon!

 

S.G.L

Observer of Times and Events

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