Don’t try and speak for all
Under the heading of “McCain’s service demands respect from all” (TGI, Aug. 29), Michael Diamant writes: “The president has politicized Sen. McCain’s death and we, as a nation, are ashamed of our president and his actions.”
While I may wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Diamant, I resent being included in the statement that EVERYONE is ashamed of our president. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc., gives him the right to say whatever he chooses. However, since Mr. Diamant does not know me, he really has no business expressing how I (or everyone else in the nation) feel about ANYTHING. In the future, Mr. Diamant, please leave my feelings out of your statements. Thank you.
Ann Underwood, Waimea
A pampered caste
On Aug. 30, President Trump announced that he will prevent a regular, 2.1-percent blanket pay raise for civilian federal employees for 2019.
In 2016, the U.S. average annual employee compensation package for the private sector was $70,764. For the same year, the average compensation package for federal employees was $127,259. This pay package average is 80 percent higher than the rest of us.
Logically, government employers should be able to attract employees with the same or even lower compensation. Government jobs are safer from internal and external competition. This is an attractive benefit.
However, pay packages for government employees are not based on what is fair. Instead, government employees have used their political influence to create a caste system. They are the high caste who are paid 80 percent more than the rest of us. At the same time, they can enjoy the lower stress of not having to compete as much as we do.
The federal employees will probably be angry at Trump. But even with this 2.1 percent change, they will still be a pampered caste, enjoying 76 percent more pay than us, instead of 80 percent.
By the way, in 2015 the average compensation for the Hawaii private sector was $55,432, while the Hawaii state employee average was $68,216 and the Hawaii county employee average was $86,712.
With the county employees making 56 percent more than the rest of us, we have a similar caste system operating here in Hawaii.
Mark Beeksma, Koloa