Thursday, October 13, 2005

Salvation in Entrepreneurship and Self-Ownership

A possible departure of the canneries or a decline in federal funds is worrisome for the people of American Samoa. Our very standard of living would be at stake.

For either of the above to happen would force us to face the pains of reform. The ASG may have to eliminate many free or low cost services to reflect the lost of revenue. Public schools, LBJ, the golf course, the new ASG airplane, ASTCA, ASPA and others may see significant cuts in the event the worse occurs.

However, the demand for these things will not go away. The private sector, ordinary people like you and me trying to do business, would have to step up to the plate.

But why should we?

Why should Samoans at home and abroad and people in general come to the rescue when the government dictates how much we should pay our workers? With minimum wage laws, it’s either pay your workers this rate or don’t pay them at all. Therefore, many of us choose the latter by not opening up shop.

Why should we come to the rescue when we have to face discriminatory licensing requirements? Are they supposed to ensure quality? Nope. They’re there to limit competition and hold prices artificially high.

Why should we come to the rescue only to succeed and later have the government take what they did not help us to create and use it to compete against us? An ASG airplane, ASTCA, Rainmaker Hotel, KVZK-TV, public schools and the list goes on.

Why should we come to the rescue when the government would most likely scorn us for wanting to make a profit? A profit that would entice others to also come to the rescue, increase supply, and lower prices.

Why should we come to the rescue when government can tell us how much our property is worth, whether it be gas, food, beer, hardware supplies, medicines or even, the shirts on our backs? It’s either we charge below this price or this interest rate, or we don’t provide goods or loans at all. As a result, many of us choose the latter, again, by not opening up shop.

There are people all over the world and here at home waiting to rescue us. The question remains:

Will we let them?

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