Voters need more economics knowledge
The column "Vote for me, Dimwit" (Star-Bulletin, June 24) really spoke to me. In my two bids for state office I spent time and energy simply trying to provide a basic economic education to as many voters as I could. In my 1996 campaign, I did a half-hour public access TV spot where all I discussed was basic economics. When I ran in 2002, I published a 4,000-word pamphlet explaining how markets operate.
As for fear of foreigners, decades ago Albert Einstein called nationalism the measles of mankind. Yet the same flag-waving tribalism that ruined the first half of the 20th century seems rife today. The misplaced goal of full employment instead of full production needs to be constantly opposed. The goal of individuals is to gather the most wealth with the least amount of effort. Why should we think that good national policy entails increasing the efforts instead of finding more efficient ways to increase the wealth?
The problems discussed in the column by Bryan Caplan are solvable if there is leadership from someone who has the public ear. Such leadership is just too rare among elected officials.
Libertarian Party of Hawaii
Return only inmates with real ties here
Lorenn Walker's comment (Letters, July 16
) has issues missing. Why not just return those inmates from Hawaii who still have ties here, and are part of a family? That could be shown by correspondence and visitation lists.
Those inmates, and those who came here to escape and continue their mainland crime life, should be released in the state they came from, or be deported.
Not all inmates should go back to the same place where their criminal careers started, and inmates might just choose to be released in another state to start fresh, especially if they do not have a support system in place. Hawaii still has a high cost of living, and jobs are not easy to come by with a criminal record.
McDonald's workers treat flag respectfully
In June the Star-Bulletin published a series of letters to the editor regarding flag etiquette challenges among the Sheriff's Department staff responsible for raising and lowering our state capital's U.S. flag at sunset.
Wednesday evening I had the unexpected pleasure and privilege of observing staff at the Beretania McDonald's near Linekona Art Center lower the colors and their corporate flags with appropriate ceremony and respect. A young woman of Japanese ancestry and a young man, both in white shirts and dark pants, exhibited all the appropriate behaviors from lowering the U.S. flag last to folding all the flags in the "three-cornered hat" fold.
I stopped and thanked them for showing the appropriate respect for our flag. The young lady responded "Thank you. Four years of ROTC, I know what to do."
As we experience the continuing stream of returning military war casualties, the folded flag becomes a symbol of our patriotic men and women who gave their lives in pursuit of democracy for Iraq. At the gravesite the flag is folded with great reverence and precision. The carefully folded flag is then respectfully given to the family as a keepsake. With so many of our citizens serving in harm's way, our state government should do no less in handling our U.S. flags.
The people at the sheriff's department can make all the excuses they want for failing to show the flag the respect it's due. If they still need training on flag etiquette, I recommend they seek out the staff at McDonald's Beretania.
Return licenses to DUI drivers sooner
Let's restore the driver's license to DUI offenders not after 10 years, but three years.
Is it a privilege to eat, to work, to raise a family, to have sex, to walk, to talk, to be clothed, to breathe air, to see the light of day? Necessity is an inalienable constitutional right.
A system lacking alternatives is obligated to that lack.
In big cities, urban mass transit, rural trains and motels are all fashionable. But this is not so in Hawaii.
Hawaii's transportation system is poor and unfashionable. Driving is a necessity. It is sad that people die because of DUI; but our crosswalk law taught us a lot. The burden is on pedestrian and driver.
When my wife and I see a potential DUI, we don't hang around. With defensive urban skills we check the rear view mirror, look both ways or open the window for air. We avoid surprises.
Until we are better equipped, dispensing punishment should reflect our humility.
Michael S. Teruya
Rail a success as part of transit system
I was born and raised in Hawaii and now attend college on the mainland. Every time I come home I am amazed by the changes, especially the amount of new construction and growing traffic congestion.
On the mainland I use transit regularly. Many cities on the East Coast have good systems, which include rail and bus connections. Public transit is convenient and inexpensive, and that reduces the number of cars on the road.
When I'm home for summer, I work downtown and take TheBus every day. The bus is OK, but the problem is reliability. Buses are often late and often full.
Honolulu is a world-class international city, a vibrant, exciting, bustling place full of attractions and activities. But it should have world-class transportation infrastructure to serve both residents and visitors.
A rail system is perfect for Honolulu. It would provide a transportation mode separate from our streets and highways and be more dependable and reliable.
Honolulu can learn from other major cities in building and investing in a modern, efficient rail transit system for our future transportation needs.
Sara A. Lee
Free college for all would lessen crime
A solution to overcrowded prisons: In the first year of middle school, let students know that the state of Hawaii will finance their college educations. Then the kids with poor parents will know that there is hope. The state will save on welfare payments and on building more prisons.
The confidence a college degree gives a person -- that he or she can learn, earn good money and be productive -- will be a blessing for all.