THANK YOU STAR-KIST
I like the opportunity to say “thank you” to Star-Kist for all the good they intentionally and unintentionally do for our territory. While you’ve been bashed publicly for your relatively low wages (compared to the mainland not globally), you have yet to be praised for the blessings your business has made possible in the past, the present and hopefully, well into the future.
Though you don’t intend it, your presence in our territory has helped us realize an economies of scale in territorial transportation and utility costs. Simply put, without you, our families would have to pay more for electricity, water and gas. Because everything we have is imported, prices at the checkout counter would have been higher if you weren’t around to help spread transportation costs. You actually raise wages by helping us to lower prices.
You’ve also been bashed for your corporate greed. If corporate greed is what got you to start your business, if corporate greed is what got you to be the best at your business, if corporate greed is what makes you want to expand your business, then I unabashedly thank you for your corporate greed as well.
When many of our family go off island for medical treatment, they don’t want the most charitable doctor, the most environmentally friendly doctor or the most equal opportunity employing doctor. They go off island expecting the best damn doctor and treatment their money can buy. In this respect, we need you too to be the best damn tuna company money can buy.
Your success is unintentionally lending to our success; the pursuit of your self-interest is affording our people the opportunity to do the same. It’s almost as if it were by some invisible hand.
But instead of thanking you for all the good you may not intend to do, many want to raise your taxes, force up the wages you pay, and restructure electricity rates in what seems to be an attempt to just shift more of the burden onto you. How does one operate a business in a den of thieves?
Politicians, like Faleomavaega, on the other hand, don’t employ thousands of our people with their own money, and if it were not for the federal government and all those hard-working Palagi and Asian taxpayers, they would be paying our people a minimum wage of ZERO. You, not them, are our hero.
Star-Kist, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving our people an opportunity many around the world would die for. It’s a tough job for a tough people, but hopefully most of us don’t want to be fish cleaners forever. I hope most of us take the job, learn something, expand their knowledge and skills and move on to bigger and greater things in life. And hopefully those bigger and better things prepare us so that one day we can say, “If you have to go because our people won’t work for less, then good bye, no hard feelings and thank you for your business.”