On the Power of Planning for the Really, Really Long Term

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    Planning, vision, dedication … it works.

    [See the full post at: https://underthemarkets.com/long-term-planning/]

    Justin Moorhead

    Thanks for writing and allowing the article to be posted on this site, Doug. Brings back many memories.

    A lot of credit is given to Chairman Peterson Zah for spearheading this effort. Zah does deserve credit because without his support it would not have moved forward to the Council.

    The individuals who initially ran with the concept and sold it to those within the Nation who could make it a reality is Bobby White and Leonard Haskie, who if I remember correctly, was head of the Finance Committee on the Council. Leonard passed away a few years ago. His name does not appear in much of the write-ups I now see dealing with the trust fund. I have considerable respect for the foresight of both of these gentlemen.

    Regrettably, we were never able to conclude the bond financing back in 1985 for the Nation. Nevertheless, this achievement that you write about far exceeds what that bond offering would have achieved. It remains the singular accomplishment of the time I spent at Dean Witter of which I am most proud. Something we can both look back on and be proud to have worked with Bobby White, Leonard Haskie and others on. Thank you for allowing me to collaborate with you.


    This is really interesting.

    First, I applaud the Navajo for the foresight and political will to implement this policy decades ago and not spend the money in the interim.

    Second, its impressive that a group, not members of the tribe, were able to sell the idea.

    Third, what if we did something similar here in the VI?

    We do not have natural resources but we do get about 2 million visitors every year.  Suppose for the next 25-years we set aside only $2.00 from what government agencies collect from tourist visiting the Territory. Invested at say 5% that would result in a trust fund greater than $200,000,000 at the end of the 25-year period.

    The income derived from that fund would approximate $10,000,000 annually. We could dedicate that exclusively to improving our tourist product.

    In additions, dollars would continue to be added to the fund well beyond the 25-year period. Also, the spending on improving our tourist product will increase the revenues we realize each year.

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