Letters for Sunday, August 21, 2011

• Our economic mess • Not smart, not healthy • Bring back Pine

Tree Inn

Our economic mess

Macro economics is the study of highly complex economic systems. I majored in economics (summa cum laude), but I still see a lot of mysteries when trying to analyze what is going on in our economy. That said, there are some basic concepts that shed light on what is happening.

There are three roles in an employment transaction. The buyer, the employer, and the employee (self-employed folks, like me, occupy two roles). In order for someone to get a job, there must be enough total motivation in all three parties.

Buyers are less motivated now because of the drop in home values and their lower net worth. In order to return to full employment, employers and employees would need even greater levels of motivation to bring the buyers into a transaction. For employees to entice the buyers, they may need to be willing to work just as hard for less pay.

Regarding employers, most big businesses spend their energies figuring out how to do the same output with less employees, or cheaper employees, like using people who live in India to answer your questions on the phone. It is the small and medium businesses that can create the most new jobs for U.S. citizens.

Small business owners are de-motivated by heavy government regulations and high tax rates. Some wait for years just to get a county permit to take the next step. Others have learned the hard way that when the government takes more than a third of your earnings in your good years, you will not have enough left to pay off the debts you accumulated in the early years or bad years. Obama is pushing to raise taxes on the good years even higher.

 Employees are de-motivated by too many government handouts. Obama’s administration is heavily recruiting people to get on food stamps and has raised the number to 46 million people. He has also pushed to keep lifetime unemployment benefits. When you lose one job, you can receive a weekly unemployment check for the rest of your life. Add this to food stamps, and staying unemployed starts to look pretty attractive. And, it is the employers who have to pay for lifetime benefits for anyone who loses their job. This further frightens employers away from hiring anyone.

It is the government who, through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, kept buying mortgages even when the borrowers could not afford the homes, causing the real estate crash, leaving people less motivated to make purchases. It is the government who is de-motivating both employers and employees. All three necessary parties to high employment have been and are being de-motivated by big government.

The current Great Recession was created by and is being sustained by big government. Until big government stops mucking things up, this recession will be here a while. If it continues, the national debt will get out of control, causing the value of the dollar to plummet. This will cause more unemployment, as we have trouble doing any business when the value of the dollar is dropping so fast.

Sorry, friends and neighbors, I wish I had brighter news to share with you.

Mark Beeksma, Koloa

Not smart, not healthy

My parents on the Mainland are dealing with smart meters (“KIUC prepares to roll out smart meters,” The Garden Island, Aug. 17). They are neither smart, nor healthy.

I urge Kaua‘i residents to go online and read about smart meters, about powerful Pacific Gas and Electric, and testimonies from physicians, scientists, activists and concerned citizens.

Junior McCabe, Kapa‘a

Bring back Pine Tree Inn

Wow, what a wonderful place to visit. We stopped at the Kalapaki Beach and sat under the pine trees at a table with many local people who were also enjoying the day with children playing.

So it was fun talking to many of the very nice local people and learning about the culture. I was told that this location had park equipment for everyone to enjoy next to the beach, but because some local people felt it had become a place for bad kids to hang out, all of the equipment had been removed, and that the local people were not nice.

I have to say my wife and I never felt threatened at any time while enjoying the afternoon sitting at a very nice place.

The idea that taking away such equipment just because a group of kids hang out at night making trouble should not have to punish all the local families from using the beach and adjacent area.

Sounds more like someone wants to put in a parking lot and destroy a wonderful picnic area.

Please help bring back the equipment and restore the park so not just the local families have a place to play but even visitors like us, from Southern Oregon.

Gary Davis, Brookings Harbor, Ore.

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