Letters for Monday, February 5, 2007

• Where the trouble lies

• The fog of glasses

• Lack of knowledge, no reason

• The gridlock solution

Where the trouble lies

I’ve often wondered why the state of Hawai‘i has so much trouble with its infrastructure, schools, roads, homelessness etc.   

Now I know.

According to U.S. Census data, Hawai‘i has 66,929 people on the state payroll, giving us the highest per-capita number of state employees in the country. Why does it take almost 67,000 state employees to take care of a million people in Hawai‘i? With 2 percent unemployment and a need for workers, many of the state workers could fill the gap. That would reduce the cost of government.

If one adds the number of union members to this list, it becomes obvious why the Democrats have stayed in power for so long in Hawai‘i. The government employees almost always vote the Democrat ticket and the union bosses put all of their union dues money assigned to political campaigning into the Democrat coffers.

As any “critical thinker” knows the most efficient way for an enterprise to be successful is for it to be a “for profit” organization. That way the employees are motivated to do the best  for the organization. Without a profit motive it takes a very dedicated worker or boss to care if things are done in the most successful and efficient way. Unfortunately most humans don’t have that dedication. Also, most humans are very selfish, so they end up looking out only for themselves.  

If politicians and union leaders had to show that they were creating a profit for the companies and counties they represent, things would be much different and all of our lives would be much improved.

Think about it … those government employees will keep on voting for the party that gives them the most security, the most days off, the best pensions, and the most fellow workers to help with the job. Likewise the union people will do the same. After all, neither of these entities have to show a profit and if they need more money they just raise the taxes or the dues.

Gordon “Doc” Smith


The fog of glasses

In the Feb. 1 issue of The Garden Island, the writer of the (letter) “Heavy things” mentioned my letter in connection with the bike path. I never wrote a letter on the subject of the bike paths. The TGI archive can prove this.

On the subject of the Iraq war protest, the writer is using the typical approach of character assassination by calling the demonstrators frustrated, drugged-out hippies instead of explaining in their own words why protesters are wrong. The protesters merely want peace instead of war and death. Those “frustrated, drugged-out hippies” included social workers, teachers, artists, 10-, 12-, and 13-year-old students, our congressional representative Mina Morita, Linda Estes, housewives, builders etc. and none of them fit the “drugged-out hippy” profiling.

As to his accusation of blaming the protesters for millions of deaths in Vietnam and Cambodia I want to remind him that it was not the protesters who dropped the napalm bombs on Vietnamese villages and covered their fields with Agent Orange. The flowers in the protesters’ buttonholes did not kill anyone.

I think that the writer’s glasses were fogged up. Very much fogged up. They may even need replacement. He also needs a different crystal ball, because when he is predicting a disaster if we pull out of Iraq he is using the same one George Bush has been using, whose “fortunetellings” on the Iraq war have proved to be dead wrong — with a lot of dead — for pun’s sake. Why should we believe him after four years of continuous failure? And why should we believe the letter writer after so many mistakes in such a short writing?

Anyway, I am glad that the majority of Kauaians who showed their support for the peace movement wipe their glasses clean every day.

János Samu


Lack of knowledge, no reason

Dana Bekeart recently published a letter (“A load of fertilizer,” Letters, Jan. 30) complaining bitterly that the clerks in a big box store were not knowledgeable about how to use the product they were selling. I assume she intended that this be a reason for the county government to proceed with its ill-considered big box ban.

As a matter of fact, she proved why big box stores will not shut down all the mom and pop stores — the main reason given for the proposed ban. People who are not sure what they need or how to use a product can (and should) always go to a local supplier with clerks that are knowledgeable, able, and willing to help. This is called “service” and local dealers will always be able to compete favorably in this area.

If a shopper has a bad experience in one store (of any size) the solution is to go elsewhere — not try to ban the offending retailer or category of retailer. Ms. Bekeart has the freedom to choose any supplier — why should those who like to frequent large stores not have the same freedom.

I’m sure it will fall on deaf ears (since I do not make big donations to politicians as do Ishihara’s and Big Save) but I once again ask the County Council and the mayor to allow businesses to operate any size store that meets zoning codes for the parcel in question, and to allow the residents of Kaua‘i freedom to choose where they shop.

Stan Godes


The gridlock solution

In a recent letter it was stated the Eastside traffic problems have been a concern for at least 15 years.

How is this problem going to be solved?

The all wise and powerful planning commission has decided that a 550 room resort just south of the Waipouli Beach Resort will fix the problem. I’m assuming that a permit condition is that the developers will bus the guests to the resort and they must stay on the resort grounds because the permit will not allow them to have rental cars.

One of the all wise and powerful commissioners went so far as to say, “The project is too big,” then voted to approve it.


I’m beginning to think that keeping the highway as it is and enduring the traffic may be the only way to stem this insanity and drive the developers away.

Ron Koczaja



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