Don't confuse competition with inflation
HAWAII'S painful gas and home price increases are not due to inflation; they result from an education system whose graduates (and drop outs) are ever less prepared to compete in a global economy for Hawaii's land and world oil. Here's why I believe that.
There are two types of cost increase: "inflation" and "value shifts."
» "Inflation" occurs when a government "creates" more money while the amount of available goods stays the same. For example, when a government doubles the number of dollars, it cuts each dollar's value in half, and prices double. However, inflation doesn't change the amount of goods available or the number of people who want them. Hence, the average share/per person stays the same. Evil shifts of wealth occur -- from savers to borrowers, and retirees to workers -- but heavy-handed government actions, like taxing workers to increase aid to retirees, can mitigate that.
» "Value shifts" occur when the world adds people to compete for resources that cannot increase, like oil and land. For example, a world with 1,000 gallons of gasoline/day, and 250 people, can deliver four gallons/day/person almost for free (i.e. just a few dimes to deliver it). However, if people wanting gas become 500, the average gallons/day available drops from four (1,000/250) to two (1,000/500). The government can do nothing to make it four again, or to stop prices from increasing until people use less or drop out, e.g. 100 people still buy four gallons/day, 300 make do with two, and 100 buy a bike (back to 1,000).
The danger is that elected officials will mistakenly, or deliberately, blame "value shift" cost increases, over which the government is powerless, on "inflation" wealth transfers that government can mitigate, to justify increasing government's power over the economy. That slides us down socialism's path toward worse problems, because a government can redistribute, but never create.
INSTEAD, the federal government can decrease unfair competition it foolishly unleashed by, for example, permitting Chinese businesses to sell goods in America that they produce with stolen technology, without environmental safeguard costs, and free of U.S. wage and benefit standards.
Remember, cheap goods enjoyed today accumulate trillions of U.S. dollars (IOUs) elsewhere that we must someday redeem with land, natural resources and labor, i.e. the dollars return to compete with us for Hawaii's land and world oil. People from elsewhere own ever more Hawaii land. Hawaii's citizens must earn more just to keep the gas they now use.
AND, Hawaii's governor can increase Hawaii's competitiveness by fighting for the superior education its children will need to win this competition by: completing the $500 million of overdue school maintenance before declaring another $500 million "surplus;" fighting to end government favoritism of tourism -- which is an industry that must compete with places that rely on poor education for cheap labor; spending Hawaii's political capital in D.C. to get more for public education that benefits all -- not just the Akaka Bill; and ending the tradition of granting Bishop Estate an $80 million, or so, tax exemption for which it doesn't qualify. Then use the tax money to rebuild Hawaii's schools. (No tax deduction exists for a bloodline-based admission policy -- lawful or not.)
Let's fight to educate all Hawaii's children to compete and win, not offer them a growing dependence on the state for minimal, government-subsidized, housing and services.
George L. Berish is a Republican candidate for governor.