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• Jones Act of 1920 • Don’t want laws? Behave responsibly • Gas prices locked within 3 major companies
Jones Act of 1920
In 1920 the Jones Act, designed to protect American Merchant Marine Commerce, was put in place.
Because of issues in planning a cruise, I did some research on this antiquated piece of legislation. I found that the latest attempt to repeal was in 2010 by John McCain and others. The reason being is that it hurts commerce in Hawai‘i, Alaska and Puerto Rico.
I don’t pretend to understand the law, hardly anyone does, as it’s extremely complicated. But take a look at Wikipedia and you will be amazed at what it is costing you.
In 1998, a study revealed that Alaskan households are paying between $1,921 and $4,821 and Hawaiians $1 billion, or $3,000 per household, in additional costs because of this act each year.
The number now must be astronomical, 14 years later.
A study done by the Internation Trade Commission in 2002 found that an overall annual welfare, true stimulus, for the United States of $656 million would result if the law were repealed. Again, that number would be far greater today.
Waiver’s are granted for emergencies such as the Hurricane Katrina and areas of little shipping such as Guam, American Samoa and the U. S. Virgin Islands are exempt, which demonstrates that it’s not so much the protection of Merchant Marine Commerce as it is about the money being made. Big business is behind this antiquated law.
We are paying dearly to keep it in place. I, for one, am going to protest. Anyone want to join in?
Don’t want laws? Behave responsibly
The June 23 letter “Need a ride to the airport?” is an example of the kind of rampant bigoted nonsense that is the real cause of “Aloha death” on this island.
I was teaching at Waimea High School briefly when sugarcane was still being harvested.
On the days when the cane field burning was underway, it was nearly impossible to breathe.
Many of my students were having respiratory problems. I had a constant headache on such days. What a wonderful learning environment that was!
Fantastic education conditions and a strong emphasis on education isn’t exactly a hallmark of Kaua‘i, so I can totally understand how someone might not be very concerned about schools being completely smoked out.
If bad air is what certain people feel is representative of what was “good” about “old Kaua‘i,” I really have to question their mental faculties.
The burning ban was enacted because too many people here are completely irresponsible doing it, much as they are with a great many other activities. The purpose of laws is to try to curb irresponsible behavior.
If you don’t want laws, then behave responsibly.
It really is that simple.
How can people who claim to be so caring for the ‘aina not understand the importance of clean air? Is it really that difficult to understand that your lungs were not designed to be filled with the products of combustion?
Maybe Kauaians developed along some other evolutionary track where natural selection chose garbage breathers. Unfortunately, you are in the vast minority, and extinction is inevitable. I suggest you build yourself some isolated smoke chambers to continue your existence.
Gas prices locked within 3 major companies
Regarding Michael Mann’s letter June 22, “Gas prices illustrate capitalism in action” in reply to my June 19 letter, though he raises some interesting points, I respectfully disagree with him.
There is absolutely no problem with “capitalism” at work but here on Kaua‘i, under the continual guise of “it’s the price you have to pay for living in paradise,” we find price gouging and possible collusion going on. Certainly shipping is a cost factor but is it really double and triple what it costs on the Mainland when O‘ahu has a refinery and we have storage facilities at our harbor?
The point of my letter was to show that, outside of independent gas offered for sale at Costco, we are locked into whatever the three major oil companies charge.
And, no, Mr. Mann, since there is only one Costco gas station on Kaua‘i in the Puhi area, it would not be cost effective for those living on the North, East and South side of our Island not living close enough to save the money and time it takes to go to Costco.
The people, as you insinuate are not perpetrating a scam on themselves nor are they willing to participate in the ruse. They buy their gas at the most convenient and cheapest places they can find and use Costco if they are a member and are in that area.
Sometimes gas prices at Costco are only pennies less a gallon than other stations. So if they can now buy and sell fuel at a price much cheaper, then either the Majors are ripping us off or they better get their gas from Costco’s supplier.
And your argument that, “I don’t see very many of the 95 percent of Kauaians who drive vehicles giving up their vehicles or transitioning to more fuel efficient alternatives.”
The majority of people need their vehicles and cannot afford the cost of a hybrid or an EV so they are locked into what they have.
Again, I would like to see a consumer advocate (here or on the Mainland) find the truth about the way gas prices are manipulated — these prices (at least on Kaua‘i) certainly do not track the price of a barrel of oil as TGI has shown.
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