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Letters for Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017

August 1, 2017

Socialism comes with a cost

My friend Jed Somit, retired attorney, offers some very good points on the value of the governmental services we’ve come to enjoy and expect. We are provided many valued and appreciated services by our county,state, and national agencies. Sadly, he almost proves my point of the threat of socialism.

Jed is much smarter than I, so I must rely on the wisdom of others.

This theory is attributed to Sir. Alex Fraser Tyler (1742-1813) Scottish jurist and historian: “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

1. From bondage to spiritual faith;

2. from spiritual faith to great courage;

3. from courage to liberty;

4. from liberty to abundance;

5. from abundance to selfishness;

6. from selfishness to complacency;

7. from complacency to apathy;

8. from apathy to dependence;

9. from dependency back again into bondage.”

In Sunday’s Star-Advertiser, the front page article, below the fold, “Tax collection too scant, analyst again tells state,” tells of the state of Hawaii’s underfunded liabilities for state employees, amounting to an estimated $12.44 billion. The estimated unfunded liability for public workers’ health insurance is an additional $11.7 billion.

Now, I can hold my own in math. The two unfunded liabilities total over $24 billion. With a rounded Hawaii population of about 1.2 million, the per capita debt is about $20,000. That’s what every man, woman, and child effectively owes our government workers pension and healthcare, contractually. Now, with approximately 120,000 beneficiaries of these funds, the individual shortfall is about $200,000 per.

Prior responses to this line of thought alluded to Venezuela, and the social upheavals it is currently experiencing. Greece’s public workers were greatly distressed when the European Union forced reduction in benefits. In the United States, Detroit is another example of Socialist largess.

Jed notes many government services we’ve become accustomed to expect. We’re entitled! But at what future cost? We’re not currently meeting our operating expenses. He’s right, it’s not a profit motive, it’s our Gross Consumption!

The solution I would offer is to use our magic digital communication capability to move to Sir Tyler’s #3, from our current #7 or 8. We are too apathetic, when we are responsible for our individual choices and consequences.

Michael Curtis, Koloa

More reasons for citations

Tonight on television I watched the news that Honolulu passed a law that can cause people to be cited while using any electricdevice (cell phone, iPads, etc.) while crossing in a crosswalk on Oahu.

What about reading a book, searching in a bag/purse, or just looking down? The effect is the same as using electric devices.

“All is fair!”

Howard Tolbe, Eleele

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