To Our Readers

By John Flanagan

Saturday, October 11, 1997

Finding political
will to change

CARL Sagan once observed, "It often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change their minds...I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion... "

Well, Carl, some political minds have been a-changin' in Hawaii. Sen. Mike McCartney and Rep. Tom Okamura reported to the Chamber of Commerce a week ago that the rails are greased for economic revitalization -- now we just need to start the engine.

Okamura said the 47 House members who attended a recent three-day strategic planning retreat emerged with a strong consensus on the direction to go to improve Hawaii's business climate. As Professor Irwin Corey says, "If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."

Proposed action steps include: income tax relief; elimination of excise tax pyramiding; right-sizing government by freezing non-critical jobs and collapsing six departments into four; results-oriented, performance-based budgeting; public education tailored to the needs of employers; one-stop permitting for new businesses; time limits on government approvals; massive deregulation; tort reform; workers comp reform; and ongoing, sustained promotion of tourism. This was true Chamber music.

Still, don't forget, Hawaii leads the nation in resistance to change. There's a battle brewing.

John Flanagan is editor and publisher of the Star-Bulletin.
To reach him call 525-8612, fax to 523-8509, send
e-mail to or write to
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802.

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