Monday, May 23, 2022 |
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• It’s all connected
• Chasing our tails
• Freedom and health care
It’s all connected
In response to Mr. Burns letter on Thursday I would like to posit another view on the effects of global warming.
Pathogenic viruses such as malaria increase due to favorable climates for vectors i.e., insects. So while avian malaria may be partially responsible for the decline of Kaua‘i’s Creeper, it’s climate change that makes climate more favorable for the carriers of the disease. You see, it’s all connected.
I am heartened to write this letter because I have been listening to reports from the Copenhagen Climate Conference all week on Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!”
I imagine right-wing pundits are doing what they can to downplay the information disseminating from there for obvious fears related to changing economic policies such as cap and trade.
I encourage Mr. Burns and anyone else who may have doubts about the fact that global warming is happening to check other sources for information as opposed to corporately sponsored news stations. Also, I would encourage people to hear what stories come from places that have more prominent evidence than an increase in mosquitoes. Residents of Alaska, for example, are losing roads and other infrastructure due to defrosting tundra or permafrost.
A new era is ushering in and it couldn’t be happening any faster. I look forward to the day when my generation controls policies and does away with the current status quo which seems more interested in keeping their coffers filled than any other consideration.
Shannon Dye, Wailua
Chasing our tails
I was recently walking and sniffing my way down Hanalei Bay. When I stopped to scratch a flea, I looked up and spotted three helicopters.
The noise was doggone obnoxious! I immediately knew my afternoon dog nap was not to be. This made me want to pee on something, and since I couldn’t reach the helicopter, I chose a coconut (forgive me).
Now, I have a keen sense of smell and I know what stinks. I don’t think I am barking up the wrong tree when I say humans are spending too much time and money searching for green plants instead of using the money to keep schools and libraries open.
And humans think dogs are ridiculous when we chase our tails.
Rick “Knuckles” Dierker, Hanalei
Freedom and health care
Freedom is a precious gift, purchased for us by the blood of our forefathers (and mothers). Obama’s planned government takeover of health care would be one more loss of our freedoms.
Folks, it isn’t that complicated. The government can be useful to regulate some industries, but it cannot run a business as well as the free market.
Just look at the government takeover of our retirement budget, Social Security. The government takes 15 percent of our income over our lifetime and invests it for our retirement. If you did this in the free market, a median U.S. household income of $50K invested at 8 percent for 40 years would yield you a retirement nest egg of $1.9 million. With a 5 percent return at retirement, you would then earn $97K per year and still have the $1.9 million to pass on to your children or favorite charity.
What does the government have to show for the same amount of money paid in? It is best described by the scene from the movie “Dumb and Dumber” where Lloyd and Harry start out to return a briefcase, stuffed with $2 million in cash, to its owner. By the time they catch up with the owner, the dimwits have spent all the money and filled the briefcase with IOUs. If a businessman ran an investment scheme like Social Security has been run, he would be thrown into prison.
Look at the government takeover of education. The U.S. has one of the worst education systems in the developed world. Hawai‘i’s education system is one of the worst of the 50 states.
Our state spends over $11,000 per student per year, and the buildings are already paid for. What if we were to replace this with a voucher program and offer $9,000 (adjusted to include those already in private school) per year to families to spend at the private school of their choice? I will let Obama’s actions answer this question. Of course, he sends his children to private schools.
Our government has already driven up medical costs. Malpractice insurance can cost $100K per doctor per year. The award size that drives this cost is the government’s doing.
The cost of drugs is going through the roof. The FDA approval, drug patent approval and patent period are under the government’s control. The government could simply regulate this system to discourage drug companies from charging exorbitant prices. For example, those companies who charge too much will lose their patent protection sooner.
The government’s decision to make company health insurance a tax-free benefit has also driven up costs, by pressuring people to use a system with less accountability for costs. Instead of taking over health care, the government should change the way it uses the regulatory power that it already has.
If Obama gets his wishes, I guarantee you that our health care system would be worse than what a regulated free market could offer. This means your life expectancy will be shorter than it would have been.
• Mark Beeksma, Koloa
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