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LETTERS for the August 6 issue

By Staff | Aug 6, 2020

Hurricane Douglas and Hawaii government

Everyone “Ohana” has to admit that Hawaii State Government completely and efficiently handled this last hurricane incident extremely proficiently. Wow what great coordination. Much better than California and other states that have similar problem – kind of puts California looking inept when it comes to challenges due to nature’s natural incidences.

President Donald Trump immediately jumped to support Hawaii, as he has with other problems that impact our financial status. Trump supports Hawaii hands down! He deserves your vote.

Maybe, for the first time, we in Hawaii can support Trump – a Republican – who has increased our job opportunities. We have seen income increases, as opposed to the old bull we have seen for too many years from the Democratic Party on our Island State. Without Trump, we have no government support.

Seems to me that Hawaii State Government has kind of put the screws to property owners. Look at your tax statements due this Aug. 20. I’m sure that 90 percent of the property owners’ tax assessments are so high, so much over actual values of sales in your areas, that it is obvious.

Our assessments are either mistakenly put at the highest values, or criminally increased, so that the State of Hawaii gets more of our money due to manipulation of the assessment process. This is a ripoff of our hard-earned income.

The Property Assessment Bureau and the governor should correct the illegal/unethical/mistakes that are annually made that increase our property values over and above the actual values. Such a crime or mistake in the governor’s and mayor’s policy is criminal at least.

Seems like a simple matter that government should correct before lawsuits prevail.



Candidates should grow up

What’s up with all the campaign bashing and defaming of people’s character in the process? For we all know that blowing out someone else’s candle does not make yours shine any brighter. Instead of ripping apart candidates that are willing to stand for change, and having the courage to run for office to face-off and expose the inadequacies in our government systems, we should be greatly supporting and commending them for their efforts.

Without sheepdogs for candidates, who would be there to protect the flock from the wolves? The difference between winners and losers is winners do everything they can to not only improve themselves but their communities. Losers belittle other people’s achievements, usually to get a competitive edge on their opponents.

But the reality is those that engage in gratuitous physical or verbal attacks on others actually envy their opponents and/or those they are intentionally trying to shame and defame. They do this out of jealousy, fear and an inferiority complex. This only intensifies through discouragement, failure and low self-esteem or self-worth.

With so many concerned candidates vying for much-needed change on behalf of all of us, you should show a lot more appreciation toward the very ones that are willing to stick their heads out on the line for the people. Grow up!



If you value workers, raise the minimum wage

Every day in these hard times, grocery workers and delivery drivers, healthcare aides and cleaning staff, childcare workers and fast food cooks, go to work for $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage. It’s been $7.25 since July 24, 2009. That’s 11 years without an increase – the longest period in history without a raise.

Hawaii’s minimum wage is $10.10 per hour.

Some people say we can’t raise the minimum wage now because times are hard. Well, if we hadn’t raised the minimum wage in hard times, we wouldn’t have a minimum wage to begin with.

The federal minimum wage was enacted in 1938 during the Great Depression to put a floor under wages nationally and boost the economy by increasing consumer purchasing power.

President Franklin Roosevelt called the minimum wage “an essential part of economic recovery.” He said millions of workers “receive pay so low that they have little buying power. Aside from the undoubted fact that they thereby suffer great human hardship, they are unable to buy adequate food and shelter, to maintain health or to buy their share of manufactured goods.”

The minimum wage reached its high point in buying power back in 1968, when it was worth $12.06 in today’s dollars, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator.

Minimum wage increases have been too little, too late to keep up with the rising cost of living – much less provide workers a fair share of economic growth since the 1960s.

The federal minimum wage amounts to just $15,080 a year for full-time work. Millions of people working for low pay at the minimum wage and above it couldn’t make ends meet even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Local businesses depend on local customers who make enough to buy what they are selling, from food and clothes to haircuts and car repairs. Raising the minimum wage will give needed raises to workers, who will then have more to spend as customers.

Consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of our economy. Raising pay at the bottom is a very efficient way to lift the economy, since it puts money in the pockets of people who most need to spend it.

Many businesses support raising the minimum wage. They have seen the benefits of higher pay in lower worker turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, lower error rates, increased productivity and greater customer satisfaction. They know it will increase consumer spending and help level the playing field. Costco, Amazon and Target already pay a $15 minimum wage throughout the country.

We can’t say we value people’s work and not pay them enough to live on. It’s time for action in the Senate and for more action in the states.

Working together, we can save lives, save livelihoods and build a shared recovery.

HOLLY SKLAR, CEO, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage