Monday, December 25, 2006

ECONOMIC LIBERTIES

When the federal government had laws on the books that infringed on the rights and liberties of African Americans, citizens of all races stood up against such tyranny through peaceful protest.

The civil rights movement did more than just correct government to protect every individual's rights regardless of race; it also challenged every American's morality to justify their own private prejudices and hatred for their fellow man.

Today, it's against the law for the government to discriminate or to segregate based on race, and most individuals have learned that the content of a person's character is more important than the color of his skin or the shape of her eyes.

But the ideals of hatred, prejudice, bias, jealously, discrimination and segregation have found a new minority to pick on. It's the minority of success, entrepreneurship, hard work, profit-seeking and risk-taking. The new minority is business.

Not only are businesses small in representative numbers, but the very nature of free enterprise discourages unified political action.

Businesses compete with one another in their own particular industries, and they don't see government harm against one industry to be any threat to their own. They are not only a minority; they're a divided one as well.

There will have to come a time when businesses have to realize that they all have a common interest (and a common cause?) to fight for their rights together. Will businesses control the prices for their own property or will the government? Will businesses continue to stand by as government uses their own tax dollars to compete against them? Will businesses simply allow the government to slowly make business itself a crime?

One or two businesses cannot risk losing market share or their government license by standing up in peaceful protest on their own. Why sacrifice only for others to reap the rewards? But if there is commitment by many businesses to act together, then there is both reason and confidence to stand up to the actions of the Anti-Business ASG.

Bus drivers and taxi drivers, for example, should come together in peaceful protest against the Commerce Commission and Governor Togiola and go on strike. Refuse service until they allow this local (and successful) enterprise to be free as it should be from price controls and threats of license revocation. And hopefully, the rest of the business community will come to their aid as well.

Or businesses can continue to just grovel for mercy from the hands of tyrants. They will neither receive it nor deserve it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

OUR CHILDREN WILL PAY BACK THE $20M BOND

It's funny how our politicians want to tie the $20 million bond to our children, because it will be our children who will have to pay back the loan with interest. How appropriate! Nothing says "I love the tamaiti" more than putting a higher tax burden upon their backs.

ABC's John Stossel did a 20/20 report titled "Stupid In America." He reveals how despite the fact that spending per American child in public schools increased "by 100% since 1971", "national graduation rates and achievement scores" remained flat. Makes sense. Money doesn't teach. Money doesn't get up in front of a class and explain things. Throwing money at a problem apparently doesn't solve it.

It's what you do with the money you got that counts. Senator Lolo Moliga saw for himself how well Faasao maintains their property and their computers, and I doubt the school is rolling in dough. The private school understands that if they don't provide a clean environment and live up to parents' expectations, parents will take their money elsewhere. That's the benefit of freedom of choice.

Parental and community involvement and religious and cultural values shouldn't be the only incentives for schools to make their services to our children better. Pegging funding to performance works in the private sector. It will work in public sector as well, and a properly implemented school voucher program will be the vehicle for that to happen.

Once we see our tax dollars working in a competitive environment, then we will see if public schools really need more money. Medicare Part D, for example, came in $7 billion below '06 projections due to competition between insurance companies over this elderly entitlement.

Meanwhile, I question the sincerity of our politicians' concern for the plight of our children's education. If they were truly concerned, they would prioritize government spending to reflect that. But it's hard to see how that's the case when you have a 100% increase in Fono allowances, exorbitant personnel payroll expenses and assets that the private sector should handle: a government airplane, hotel, telecommunication, broadcasting, library, hospital, golf course, boat and bank.

But like the poor, our children are being used as reason for our government to spend irresponsibly and feel good about it at the same time.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

WELFARE VS WORKFARE

I am obviously not a champion of welfare. I hate how politicians use welfare to buy votes. We're never short a politician to cut ribbons, break ground, pose for photo ops or claim credit for some program that came at other people's expense. I would really like our politicians to start thanking mainland taxpayers (in specific) whenever our territory gets a new handout.

I hate how welfare pits a man against his brother. Case in point: the Political Status Commission's clergy meeting. The two ministers, Senator Tuaolo and their laughing audience targeted foreigners as enemies of the welfare state. And they're right! There's not enough freebies to go around.

I champion workfare. Work for your healthcare, work for your food, work to go to school, work to build your house. Work with your brother, both foreign and domestic, to better your lot in life. Believe in yourself, educate yourself, accept responsibility for your actions and don't blame the White Man or the Bogey Man for your shortcomings. Look at yourself in the mirror everyday and say, "I'm going to work to improve something about myself".

I will champion the hardworking Asian over the lazy Samoan and the hardworking Samoan over the lazy Asian any day.