Letters for Sunday, September 2, 2018

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

  1. Just Saying September 2, 2018 2:07 pm Reply

    The Federal Government has a limited workforce that is nearly all professional. For example, air traffic controllers and their supervisory hierarchy are federal employees. Those who do janitorial services and wash the control tower windows do so under private contract and become part of Beeksma’s private sector average. Even the endless cafeterias in Washington DC and all their cooks and servers are privately contracted and join the millions of minimum wage burger flippers at McDonald’s, and Burger King, and all the others that become part of Beeksma’s private sector average and for which the government has no equivalent for comparison.
    The troubling part of this is that Beeksma studied economics once and he knows this is dishonest. He also knows it’s dishonest to add the average benefit potential, without saying he’s done it and without deducting the average high costs government workers pay for those (Oh yes they do!!!). This is a classic apple and orange comparison and is a disgustingly dishonest game played with statistics!

  2. I saw a Vampire once September 2, 2018 7:05 pm Reply

    Who said county councilmen or women were employees? And you need smarts. $67,000 salary.

  3. kauaiboy September 3, 2018 6:54 am Reply

    Yeah, Ann, you tell ’em. To Mr. Diament, don’t try to speak for all when dissing the man-child Trump.

    There are at least 15 of us right here on Kauai who think that Trump is the cat’s meow, and believe in him to Make America Great Again. After all, we have some serious money, our stock portfolios are way up, and we will enjoy lower taxes on our profits. To heck with anyone else who is not like us.

    We agree with Donald in believing that we prefer warriors who did not get captured and politicians who did not obstruct Trump’s deconstruction of the health care plan brought to us by that dark dog from Kenya who connived his way into the Presidency, twice!

    We are so proud of our hero whose loud mouth and obnoxious manners shout down a free press and create a vitriolic and violent and divided nation. Also very proud that he wormed his way out of military service by claiming heel spurs. Fantastic!

    In hopes that Trump continues to create an autocratic non-democracy that is becoming more prevalent in our world. Fake News! No Collusion! Witch Hunt! Those who question Trump’s authority should be contained. After all, he could shoot them in the street and get away with it.


  4. MKGA September 3, 2018 5:53 pm Reply

    Beeksma needs to run for a county seat! Then he can get the money he so desires and will no longer feel ill-will towards the folks making a living wage on Kauai. Once elected, he will then change his tune and lobby for a higher salary. HA!
    Beeksma, you can help make Kauai great again! Stop writing letters… please!

  5. Just Saying September 4, 2018 4:09 am Reply

    It’s a Witchunt I tell you; a Witchhunt!

    Hey….what are all these broomsticks doing on Pennsylvania Avenue?

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