Grassroot Perspective: Hawaii Leadership, Ron Paul Was Right and Using Sin Taxes For Credit Ratings

by Danny de Gracia, II A weekly liberty briefing and news guide to keep you informed and prepared on what’s UP to more freedom or DOWN to bigger, more intrusive government. Quote of the Week: “We have depended on government for so much for so long that we as a people have become less vigilant of our liberties. As long as the government provides largesse for the majority, the special interest lobbyists will succeed in continuing the redistribution of welfare programs that occupies most of Congress’ legislative time.” – Rep. Ron Paul Local News After Akaka: The Next Generation of Native Hawaiian Leaders (Civil Beat, 10/25) Michael Levine of Civil Beat reports that the retirement of Sen. Daniel Akaka –  the only Native Hawaiian ever elected to the upper chamber of Congress – leaves an unknown future.  “With nobody ready to take Sen. Daniel Akaka’s place, will the void created by his departure provide the kick in the pants the Native Hawaiian community needs to incubate and organize a deeper “bench” of leaders?” Levine writes. ANALYSIS: The “reset” that comes with the departure of long-standing leader of an organization indeed creates uncertainty, but it is also a golden opportunity to change the atmosphere and bring about new reforms and higher levels of excellence. Leadership consultant John C. Maxwell writes in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership that the major barriers to successful planning are “fear of change, ignorance, uncertainty about the future and lack of imagination.” Whoever wins the November 6th election will need to recognize thatHawaiineeds a paradigm shift in both leadership and representation that makesHawaii’s congressional delegation...

Grassroot Perspective: The Senate Ignores the Rules, GOP Goes Gold, And More

This article originally published in the Hawaii Reporter here. Scanning the week’s national news, views and clues with you and yours in mind By Malia Hill Quote of the Week: “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”—Thomas Jefferson Each week, we’ll be monitoring the web to find the most interesting, challenging, or important items for those who are concerned about liberty, accountability, and big government.  Here are some of the highlights from the past week: The Senate Breaks Its Own Rules…Constantly It is kind of amazing that so (comparatively) few people have seen this video clip of Senator Rand Paul, making what are a few stunning confessions on the part of the Senate.  Sure, it doesn’t involve kittens or babies dressed in strange outfits, but every once in a while, something of actual importance to the future of democracy ought to seep through into our consciousness.  Here, Sen. Paul is officially objecting to the fact that the Senate broke its own rules by not allowing the required 48 hours between proposal of a piece of legislation and the vote on it, a gap that is supposed to allow everyone the chance to read it.  Of course, at 600 pages, with new additions only hours old, it is ridiculous to expect that even the required 48 hours would be sufficient to read and digest the bill in question.  As anyone who has ever attempted to read legislation can tell you, we’re not exactly talking about snappy, well-constructed prose.  Your average legislative item makes a Game of Thrones book look tightly constructed and...

Hawaii Jobs: Outlook for Jobs in Education, Government, Military and Tourism

by Panos Prevedouros There are basically four main industries in Hawaii: Education, Government, Military and Tourism. And a fifth large one serving these four is Services. In round numbers, education (DOE, UH system and private) employed 63,000 people in 2010, civilian federal, state and county government employed 77,000 people, the hospitality industry including entertainment, restaurants and bars employed 90,000 people, the armed forces employed 50,000 people, and professional, business and other services employed 100,000 people. These five types of industries employ 60% of Hawaii’s people. While we have been inundated about a need for “construction jobs,” the construction industry typically employs less than 5% of the workforce as the detailed breakdown below indicates.(1) This article presents a brief analysis of Hawaii’s four main industries and assesses their growth potential. Education At roughly $15,000 per pupil, the annual expenditure Hawaii’s state based education system is among the highest in the nation. This level of expenditure all by itself indicates that this is certainly not an area of future growth. Part of the Education industry but separate from the state DOE is the UH system which has become administratively bloated in the last two decades and its diversity of campuses has added more to its costs as a system. UH-Manoa is one of the top pork-barrel research funding recipient universities in the nation which is unsustainable past the retirement of Senator Daniel Inouye. Several units will continue to excel, but the UH as a whole is not a promising locus for job growth in Hawaii. Private education will continue to hold its own but escalating tuition costs place a ceiling on...

Jobs: Fundamental Trends – 2000 to 2050. How Did We Get Here and What’s in Store?

by Panos Prevedouros There are three fundamental trends at play in this half century: Aging of both population and infrastructure; Advanced economies cannot absorb unskilled and low skilled laborers; and, Too many crises in one decade took our eye off the ball. The first trend affects the US more than other nations. Baby-boomers have started reaching the age of retirement and the age when health maintenance expenses increase. As a result many state pension and health funds are under substantial stress and their situation is likely to rapidly worsen as more workers age and fewer workers find high paying jobs that pay high enough taxes to sustain pension and health expenses. One of the proposals toward retirement fund solvency is to raise the age of retirement from the typical of 65 year of age to 70. Along with the baby boom in the US also came the second infrastructure boom (the first one was during the Great Depression.) The second boom focused mostly on transportation and the road and air modes in particular, along with a misguided urban rail renaissance* of the late 1970s till the 1990s. For example, BART in San Francisco and Metro in Washington. DC are facing work backlogs in the order of tens of billions of dollars for required refurbishment and rehabilitation to bring those systems to a top operational condition. The bills are in the billions for bridges and elevated highway sections, and for the strengthening and restoration of millions of lane-miles of roadways. While infrastructure presents a great opportunity for boosting the job count, a lot of the work is both highly technical...

Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

by Panos Prevedouros Seth Godin, marketing guru, ex-VP at Yahoo! and author of 13 books, believes that “the current recession is a forever recession” because the industrial age has ended and this means that the days when people were able to get above average pay for average work are over. Self-improvement, continuous learning and investment on oneself are key to employment otherwise “never mind the race to the top, you’ll be racing to the bottom.” While this is useful advice for those currently employed, the pressing problem is unemployment and under-employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculates the official unemployment rate by looking at those who are employed or who have actively looked for work within the last four weeks. As a result, the official rate excludes workers who have decided to drop out of the labor market altogether. The official rate also ignores those who settle for part-time work since they are unable to find a full-time job. Recognizing this shortcoming, the BLS also reports the U-6 rate, which includes those who have sought a job sometime in the last 12 months and those who have accepted part-time jobs but would prefer full time. The U-6 rate is a better representation of the ability of the economy to provide jobs. Let’s take a look at the numbers as summarized in NCPA’s Tracking the Unreported Unemployed: The 1948-2007 unemployment average is 5.6%. The unemployment rate moved from 5% in January 2008 to a high of 10.1% in October 2009, and a current rate of 8.6%. The U-6 rate moved from 8.8% in December 2007 to 17.4% in October...