Letters for Aug. 30, 2015

Letters for Aug. 30, 2015

Jones Act helps Hawaii

A thought on the Jones Act: This is an issue of state and national security. What would happen if, in the name of competition for cheaper shipping, U.S. ships and merchant marine gave way to the cheapest foreign bidders and eventually withered away in the name of the “free market”?

Do we want to be at the mercy of another country, even economically? What would food and goods cost if there was no possible recourse to assistance from a weakened American shipping industry?

Like it or not, Kauai is the so-called “tip of the spear” in the Pacific. The very isolation of the Hawaiian Islands is both their strength and their weakness. (Imagine shore leave for low-wage sailors with Ebola, or a bomb coming into a harbor along with fresh produce.)

Does Hawaii want to lose the security of legal immigration and anti-terrorist measures in favor of a “whoever or whatever also comes off the boat so we can have cheaper stuff at Walmart”?

The Hawaiian Islands are the last place in America that should seek to lose the protections inherent in the Jones Act.

Suzan Kelsey Brooks

Lihue

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