comscore Letters: Economic freedom is the real ‘multiplier’; Trump’s COVID policies derailed U.S. economy; Convert rail guideway to two-lane highway | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Letters: Economic freedom is the real ‘multiplier’; Trump’s COVID policies derailed U.S. economy; Convert rail guideway to two-lane highway

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It’s become a mantra in Hawaii that every dollar of government spending produces $1.50 in economic benefits. This is known as the “multiplier effect,” and is cited often by unions, research organizations and even the media (“More than 10,000 Hawaii state employees face furloughs starting in January,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 10).

Logically it would follow that if we gave 100% of our money to the government, our economy would grow by 50%, but that would leave us without any food, clothing and shelter. Each dollar spent by the state comes from private workers, thus depressing business activity.

In other words, trying to “stimulate” the economy through government spending is like trying to raise the water level of a pool by taking water from its deep end and pouring it into the shallow end, spilling a lot in the process.

The government multiplier is a myth that has been disputed by serious economists. The only real “multiplier” that benefits us all is economic freedom.

Ken Schoolland


Harry Messenheimer


Gale Pooley



Progressives want unity after vilifying opposition

After four years of labeling Donald Trump supporters racists, xenophobes, homophobes, misogynists, entitled, bigoted and, of course, deplorables, suddenly the progressives are calling for “unity.”

Have conservatives magically shed all those epithets as a result of Joe Biden’s apparent election, or are we to believe the progressives have suddenly adopted the conservative agenda?

For there to be “unity,” it’s one or the other. The hypocrisy of the left is stultifying.

Dick Porter

Ewa Beach


Republicans challenged America’s democracy

President Donald Trump’s last-ditch effort to overthrow the election was thrown out of the Supreme Court. The many Republicans who supported overthrowing the election need to be held accountable.

They have gone against our Constitution. Our democracy is being challenged by these Republicans, even after more than 50 lawsuits have been thrown out of court. How do we remain united as a nation when the Republican Party is talking about this being a fraudulent election?

History will be forever changed by the many Republicans who supported this president and challenged our democracy. This is treason.

William Pirtle



Trump’s COVID policies derailed U.S. economy

Cal Thomas suggested that President Donald Trump deserves more credit for the resilience of the economy (“Trump deserves more credit for resilience of economy,” Star-Advertiser, Dec. 8). His examples ignore one basic fact. Trump took over a good economy and ultimately badly damaged it by mishandling the coronavirus issue. So much for the Democrat hoax.

Thomas cites statistics about new jobs and lower unemployment rates. They sound impressive until one realizes they reflect an economy that has yet to regain its level of March-April wealth. His blindness leads him to ask why “so many Black Americans continue to vote for Democrats.”

Perhaps the millions of workers who, regardless of color, lost jobs and/or fell out of the labor market didn’t see themselves benefiting from Trump’s “resilience.”

In brief, Trump gets full credit for ruining the economy over a pandemic that he once was in a position to control. He let that situation slip away. There is a word for that: Loser.

Edward B. Hanel, Jr.



Convert rail guideway to two-lane highway

It is time to stop the rail project on Oahu. The latest estimates to finish the last segment would cost more than $2 billion and take six years to complete, let alone operate. In the meantime, due to the pandemic, Hawaii is suffering through a worse recession and financial crisis since 2007-2009. Our economy, which is largely based on tourism, is in shambles. Our unemployment rate is at 15%, our governor is talking about furloughs, citizens are having a difficult time paying rent, mortgage and taxes. Even with a vaccine, it is estimated to take two to three years for conditions to stabilize.

We need to go to Plan B: Dismantle the rail and convert it to a “superhighway in the sky” for a two-lane car and bus system to Downtown Honolulu, merging at Middle Street. Add entryways in Waianae, Kapolei, Ewa and Pearl City. I’m sure this “highway in the sky” will be much cheaper, be finished sooner, and be better utilized by our commuters.

Wilbert Kubota



Happy Hanukkah and enjoy a joyous season

We wish you all a very happy Hanukkah. As the menorah lights are lit this evening, we are thinking of all of you. We reflect on our blessings of living in Hawaii, a beautiful place full of compassion, love and aloha. A place that is full of hope with a brilliant future ahead. Although we will not be able to gather together in person as usual, we reach out to each other in many ways every day to stay positive and to realize that we are truly never alone.

We always look forward to this Festival of Lights and may this joyous season be even better next year.

Sandra and Don Armstrong



The Honolulu Star-Advertiser welcomes all opinions. Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor.

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2020 has been a whopper of a year: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic hurt, politics and elections. But surely there is much to appreciate, much that brings joy.

In the spirit of the season, we are accepting letters (150 words max) and essays (500-600 words) with uplifting messages to share during this holiday season; the deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Email to; or send to 500 Ala Moana Blvd. #7-210, Honolulu 96813, c/o Letters.

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