Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Freemarket Solution

Talifaitasi W. Satele


Whenever the ASG attends those DOI sponsored business conferences, I always wonder what the attendees think of our officials’ statements about how welcoming our great territory is to investors.

With just a little research, they could find out for themselves that if they don’t pay enough in wages or benefits (like unemployment or health insurance), they’ll be attacked for corporate greed and mismanagement.

If they happen to be the only game in town, they’ll be attacked for establishing a monopoly. And if they stick around long enough, they are bound to become some politician’s target for a new “revenue” measure.

Instead of rolling out a welcome mat, the ASG puts out a blatant warning sign to potential businesses with all its policies and rhetoric, and it reads: Run like hell! And like the old saying goes, actions speak louder than all the flattering words our officials could ever say at any business conference.

Why not reform our tax system to level the playing field and tie taxes to the services one receives? That way there is a sense of fairness and the idea that one doesn’t pay something for nothing.

Why not resolve to not dictate to businesses what they should pay in wages or benefits, and leave the matter between employers and employees (with collective bargaining if need be)?

Why not put up for sale assets that should clearly be in private hands (ASPA, ASTCA, KVZK-TV, DBAS and LBJ) and get the government out of the business of competing with the private sector?

And there are plenty of other unresolved matters that we need work on. We need relief from Cabotage laws to free up the airline market. We definitely need relief from the federal minimum wage law. We don’t just need the increases stopped; we need to have the law rolled back!

The free market solution simply asks for relief from government intervention. Mind you that while it is a simple request, it won’t be easy for our politicians to discard their policies unless they believe that the private sector (meaning the people) can succeed as well as achieve the ends (higher wages or benefits) for which their policies were founded.

Above all, the free market solution asks that the people believe in themselves and their fellow citizens. That belief alone should be the engine upon which we rebuild our economy.

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