Letter for Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Hard to agree on role of government

In response to my letter pointing out why free enterprise alone cannot rectify the lack of affordable housing, Mike Curtis writes (Aug. 26, TGI Forum) that the best government is that “which governs least.”

He does not offer an explanation why public anorexia best serves civic goals, an omission consistent with my comment that many conservatives have a religious belief in the free enterprise system so that its infallibility is simply assumed. He describes government as “bloated” and decries the “onerous, and unreasonable” regulations to which he attributes the lack of affordable housing.

My letter agreed with him to the extent that it recognized that without zoning, density, set-back, building codes and similar government regulation, free enterprise would build affordable but substandard slum housing. This “solution” to the housing crisis is apparently quite acceptable to conservatives, as shanties are all that the less than wealthy deserve. I demur.

The sole example of unnecessary government interference which Mike’s letter gives is the TAT, a tax supported by a majority of the members of the largely conservative Chamber of Commerce when enacted in 1986.

That tax built the Hawaii Convention Center, but the portion now spent on promoting Hawaii tourism is, as Mike points out, probably no longer needed, although in 1986 the tourist industry was unwilling itself to fund such image-making.

Mike amazingly blames progressives for budget deficits, although the major records of massive deficit spending in non-recession periods have been set by conservatives. I have never hesitated to point out that spending money is necessary to solve problems not amenable to the free enterprise system because no profit is anticipated.

But conservatives view any tax as stealing from their pockets (ignoring that the wealthy, by any economic analysis, obtain the most benefit from government services). Spending more on a better car is fine, but spending more on a better society is stupid?

So Mike would have the government do as little as possible. What about Hawaii’s issues with housing, the homeless, education, effects of climate change, pollution, infrastructure, etc.?

As Marie Antoinette is reputed to have said about the French people starving for lack of bread: “Let them eat cake.”

I demur.

Jed Somit, Kapaa

25 Comments
  1. gordon oswald September 5, 2018 3:54 am Reply

    Marie Antoinette said “let them eat cake”? You do know that her starving people were living under a big Government, Socialistic regulated Monarchy, RIGHT??? Government is not the answer to your problems Jed, it’s the cause of them. You must have worshipped at the Obama Socialist temple? What a fool.


    1. Just Saying September 5, 2018 2:06 pm Reply

      As per usual, and in accordance with white trash trump rules on historical facts, Oswald gets it completely backwards. The socialist movement was actually born in the post revolutionary period following the French Revolution of 1789 that overthrew the Monarchy that included Marie Antoinette!
      I mean…….even if you tried to be…………..you couldn’t get more wrong than Oswald has here!


  2. RG DeSoto September 5, 2018 8:02 am Reply

    “My letter agreed with him to the extent that it recognized that without zoning, density, set-back, building codes and similar government regulation, free enterprise would build affordable but substandard slum housing. This “solution” to the housing crisis is apparently quite acceptable to conservatives, as shanties are all that the less than wealthy deserve. I demur.” Jed
    This is pure nonsense. There are many areas of the country where government interference with the provision of housing is far less than we in Hawaii encounter. Moreover, in those areas, such as Houston, the houses constructed by more purely market forces are anything but “shanties”. If you watch several HGTV programs you will see some very nice homes that are very affordable and definitely not “substandard slum housing”…all of which were built under more free market conditions.
    The truth is Jed, if you want slums then you need look no further than the disgraceful government housing projects that are prevalent in cities & municipalities across the country—all of which were built by federal, state and local governments. You are on the losing side of this argument and are just too enamored with the progressive big government vision to realize it.
    RG DeSoto


    1. James September 6, 2018 6:47 am Reply

      Is this the same Houston that allowed greedy builders to build homes in flood zones? Is this the same Houston that, because of the lack of even minimal building regulations not requiring building raised homes in know flood zones, is now embroiled in multiple class action lawsuits due to the devastating loss of homes because of flooding? Home buyers were not told they were buying in flood zones because there was no requirement for the builders to disclose this info to them. No disclosure was required because there were no zoning regulations. As I’ve said previously, building regulations are a necessity. The lack thereof, only hurts home buyers and only helps developers.


  3. Oingo boingo September 5, 2018 9:59 am Reply

    Imagine how many affordoble homes could be built in hawaii with all the billions of dollars our state is wasting on that corrupt rail project…
    Just saying……think about it….


  4. I saw a Vampire once September 5, 2018 4:07 pm Reply

    Why the government’s job? Affordable housing for the working. Default mortgage makes them low income housing. Anywhere. Waimea . Who will Buy? 100,000 by 2020. Residents


  5. gordon oswald September 6, 2018 3:22 am Reply

    “Just Saying” the anonymous troll rears it’s meandering dogma nonsense again, claiming Socialism and Progressive pap is the answer to all our problems. Why JS? You addicted to free stuff and incapable of making the living of your dreams? The more lazy, ineffective, greedy, failures among us love Socialism. Problem is JS, “REALITY”, you know that thing that keeps reminding us that the liberal philosophy is a mirage and formula for eventual pain and suffering of the masses? JS should change it’s stage name to THINK VENEZUELA!


    1. Just Saying September 6, 2018 1:12 pm Reply

      Where did I write one single complimentary word about socialism? Using the white trash trump twitter rules, first you imagine what you’d like to easily argue about; then you gleefully claim that was written and smash it. Such an activity is known as a “straw man argument and” it applies here.
      A white trash trump supporter would, if the concept could be realized, call this “dumb” or use some other one syllable word!


  6. gordon oswald September 6, 2018 3:28 am Reply

    Tiny minded trolls claim Socialism was created in 1789? Wow! That means the successful Republic in Rome that morphed into an Oligarchy under the Caesars and their “SOCIALISM” experiment, which led to the collapse of the most powerful and effective government of it’s time, was all a mirage? There is nothing worse than a pseudo-intellect and google addicted troll reaching for any stupid statement and rewrite of history that meets their feeble minded agenda.


    1. Just Saying September 6, 2018 2:16 pm Reply

      The accurate term is “revising history” and Oswald is the one doing it. The sentence used was “the socialist movement” and you can scroll right on up and check that!
      First, Roman economics could not be described as socialism even with a wild imagination. The Fall of the Roman Empire was not an economic collapse although they did have big problems with trade, mining and inflation about the same time.
      Next, the French Revolution was one of the major events in human history. It accelerated the rise of republics and liberal democracies worldwide. It’s ideals led to the birth of most, or all, modern political ideologies, such as liberalism, radicalism, nationalism, socialism and secularism, among many others. It immediately ended feudalism, slavery and the so called rights of noble birth in France. François-Noël Babeuf, and his Conspiracy of Equals, is credited with providing a model of socialism for the 19th Century (and was executed for it) where it changed into many varieties as it continues to do.
      The very idea that socialism can be defined in a single sentence or simplistically hurled as an epitaph at any and all opponents is the mark of a moronic idiot and quite likely a white trash supporter of white trash trump!


    2. Flash in the pan Gordon Oswald September 6, 2018 6:53 pm Reply

      Advice for you and Trump: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.


  7. Mark Beeksma September 7, 2018 5:07 am Reply

    The Federal Government was set up for military protection and to facilitate free trade among the states. Our founders were wise. Anything beyond that in Washington DC has been a big mistake. It is simply too big of a bureaucracy.
    The federal war on poverty was a disaster, creating more broken families and more poverty, not less.
    The states are free to try providing other government services. They can experiment and see what works.
    On the local level, I think zoning can provide benefits to the community.
    In the case of Kauai, there are probably hundreds of thousands (or millions) of people who want to live on Kauai and would live here if it was more affordable. So, as affordable housing is made available, more people will move to the island until there is a shortage again.
    Zoning or not, I think it is impossible to have enough affordable housing here, since there are vast numbers waiting to move here if it becomes more affordable.


    1. Observer September 7, 2018 1:40 pm Reply

      “LOOK, over there winding up the drawbridge, isn’t that Beeksma!”


  8. gordon oswald September 8, 2018 4:35 am Reply

    Mark Beesma – a voice of reason in a sea of swamp clowns! Thank you Mark for some logic that goes way beyond “Anonymous” cowards “Just Saying and Flash Monkey’s ability to comprehend! Little emotional neophytes whining and sniveling about personality instead of contributing and being thankful for the best economy our Country has had in decades! Thank you President Trump! Keep up the great work of keeping the cowardly anonymous swamp creatures exposed and confused, while showcasing their well earned and most obvious status – “IRRELEVANT”!!


    1. Just Saying September 9, 2018 8:40 am Reply

      Do you have a little cheerleader outfit on when you write about white trash trump?
      Remember when fast moving inflation spoiled the late 70’s. You’ll be the first to cut and run this time!


  9. gordon oswald September 8, 2018 5:03 am Reply

    Has anyone thought about the reality of this? President Donald Trump is undoubtedly THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD WITH REGARDS TO ACCOMPLISHMENT! I can’t wait to see what he will accomplish for the United States of America, which he loves so much! In just two short years, even with the unmitigated obstruction by the entrenched “political” monkey’s and their swamp creature sheep, WE HAVE THE BEST ECONOMY IN DECADES! We’re getting so tired of WINNING! Thank you President Trump!


    1. Just Saying September 9, 2018 8:34 am Reply

      The most successful and flamboyant criminal since John Gotti would be more accurate. John Gotti got his in the end. So will white trash trump!


  10. Craig Millett September 9, 2018 8:46 am Reply

    G.O. The only honest response to your endless regurgitation is: delusional.


  11. gordon oswald September 10, 2018 4:55 am Reply

    Little Craig and JS very sad. Very angry boys because Donald Trump is their President and Making their miserable lives better along with all the other citizens of our great Country! Sorry Boys. You’ve been on the wrong track for years, and now a real leader has your little panties all in a twist? Perhaps you should get jobs, or risk it all to start a business? Impossible just 2 years ago, but now? The American dream is back! Sorry for your Socialist nonsense set back. You’ll have to wait until the next liberal idiot takes office. By the way, you watch the Obama speeches? Hahahahaha…..if you can stay awake ladies, it’s the best comedy programming since “All in the Family”!


    1. Craig Millett September 10, 2018 9:51 am Reply

      G.O
      Utterly laughable, T-rump is far below the very bottom of the list.
      Still deluded.


    2. Learn how to drop a mic, not a deuce in the bowl! September 10, 2018 7:44 pm Reply

      It’s funny how Gordon Oswald just seems to get crazier and crazier with each response, just like his man-crush Donald Trump. Both are wordsmiths that like coming up with snappy comebacks on the “porcelain bus”… it’s where both do their best work. Very sad, very sad.


  12. Just Saying September 10, 2018 2:29 pm Reply

    Yes, the American Dream is back; but, only for aging white males with corporate stock portfolios and deep resentments for anyone different. This is really all that Oswald has ever cared about, or ever will.

    As for “Leadership,” who knows, maybe in ten years we will look “real leader” up in the dictionary and read: “Chaos, high turnover, public feuds, ongoing leaks, low employee morale, indictments, impulsivity, ego enrichment, and bullying are the main characteristics of the modern real leader.”


  13. gordon oswald September 11, 2018 2:02 pm Reply

    Now who’s delusional? Unemployment rate is lowest for Blacks, Hispanics IN THE COUNTRY’S HISTORY! Unemployment for women OF ALL COLORS is at it’s lowest in 65 YEARS!! Manufacturing jobs Obama said would never return ARE BACK! The President waved a magic wand Obama said he didn’t have? HOUSEHOLD INCOME, OF ALL COLORS, HIGHEST IN OVER A DECADE! Only white people celebrating? You pathetic ignoramuses and spinners of reality for your own personal, greedy, lying agenda is what’s either very laughable, and/or very sad at the same time! You both really should get a proper education, or, go to work building your own businesses and employing others so you can recognize societal and economic success when you see it! Last option for you is to GET OFF WELFARE AND GET A JOB! President Trump has made that easier for you than at any time in our Country’s History! Time to celebrate girls.


    1. Just Saying September 12, 2018 2:49 pm Reply

      Yes, the national number is down to 3,7 fro 2016’s 4.7; but, unemployment for blacks is at 7.5, nearly twice the average. In areas where many blacks live, it’s in double digits. Why is that? Is it because hiring practices haven’t changed in forty years or is it……what do you guys say…….they’re lazy and addicted to free stuff. Yeah, I think you’ve said that a few times and now you can play with statistics and “prove it” to your fellow white trash trump lovers!


    2. Amonymoose... Amoneeous... Anayomous September 12, 2018 6:01 pm Reply

      I rest my case Gordon Oswald. Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

      Hey kids! This is an example of what happens when you don’t take school seriously… you just start ranting like a lunatic and don’t know when to unlock the caps key! Hahaha.


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