comscore Letters: Social programs don’t create upward mobility; Ige should follow CDC, relax COVID restrictions; Offer big cash prizes to boost vaccinations | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Social programs don’t create upward mobility; Ige should follow CDC, relax COVID restrictions; Offer big cash prizes to boost vaccinations

We may wonder: Why wasn’t the war on poverty started in the late 1960s more successful? Part of the reason is that it wasn’t so much a war on poverty as a war on the instability caused by economic inequity.

In fact, the money coming from programs for the poor typically doesn’t end up in their hands. Consider food stamps (SNAP) or Medicaid. The end recipients of the cash are the food and health industries. Money trickles up, even after forcing it down to the bottom.

I’m not against these programs. I’m only pointing out that because wealth is correlated with ownership, and these types of programs are not designed to create economic mobility. We don’t get to good policy by pretending that our programs do things that they don’t.

Lloyd Lim



Keep number of visitors to 5 million per year

After a year of cleaner beaches, intelligent traffic, dumps not getting overfilled, roads not disintegrating, new home-based businesses doing creative work, better home life and time spent — can we please have a new goal of 5 million visitors and not 10 million? Who is making all the profits? Certainly not Hawaii.

It’s time to take back our state, set limits on visitor arrivals and park access times, and allow residents and visitors to actually enjoy the roads and not sit in a snarl on the H-1 freeway for an hour to drive five miles.

Monocropping does not work. Let’s get creative and take back our home state.

Susan Hassett



COVID-19 no excuse for choosing fans over AC

When Gov. David Ige was elected he promised air conditioning for schools, but very few actually obtained them. Now I read that the state is investing in stand-up fans for classrooms using good air circulation to combat COVID-19 as an excuse (“1 in 10 classrooms need better ventilation,” Star-Advertiser, June 4).

I suggest that all state offices, including the Capitol, turn off their AC systems, open their windows and use fans. Perhaps the fans in the classrooms are an excuse for not carrying through on Ige’s initial promise.

Teresa Mary Tugadi



Ige should follow CDC, relax COVID restrictions

Oahu’s Tier 4 limits indoor dining to 25 people. Recently I had lunch with friends at a restaurant in Kaimuki. For nearly two hours, there were more than 100 customers packed into a large room with no walls and poor ventilation. Most tables were about 2 feet apart. Is this a violation?

Further, fully vaccinated Hawaii residents are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to avoid quarantine when returning home from the mainland. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides states with guidelines to reduce and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It also says that “fully vaccinated” individuals can move about rather freely indoors and outdoors, with reduced masking and social distancing rules because they most likely will not be affected by the virus and have little chance of being a carrier.

Yet Gov. David Ige is putting the lid on many activities that can be done with caution. For those who are fully vaccinated in Hawaii or on the mainland and coming to Hawaii, why does Ige continue to play hardball?

Personally, I will continue to mask outdoors, in a plane, in a casino and in a restaurant when not eating or drinking to keep myself healthy.

Gilbert Horita

Ala Moana


Low-income countries can’t afford vaccines

Gov. David Ige announced that Hawaii will drop all COVID-19 restrictions once 70% of its residents are fully vaccinated. With the “Hawaii Got Vaccinated” incentivizing campaign, this goal seems within reach.

But what does this look like in other places?

In low-income countries, campaigns like our own are unavailable. COVID-19 cases continue to climb, vaccines are not expected to roll out for several years, and goals like ours in Hawaii are far from anyone’s reach. However, with an investment in global health security, Congress can provide funding and international assistance to fight COVID-19 globally while simultaneously furthering U.S. national security.

As retired Adm. James Stavridis and Gen. Anthony Zinni have said, “No matter how successful we are in fighting the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic at home, we will never stop it unless we are also fighting it around the world.”

The Borgen Project believes supporting the COVAX initiative for equitable access to vaccinations can provide relief for countries with limited resources.

Lucy Dustman



Offer big cash prizes to boost vaccinations

Here is the answer to Hawaii’s slow vaccination rates: 20 individual cash prizes of $25,000 each (tax-free!). The half-million-dollar cost will pay dividends worth many times over that amount when we finally reach the 70% threshold for herd immunity.

While some people have no qualms about ignoring science and experts, no one can turn their back on cold hard cash. When trying to motivate people to do anything, the lowest common denominator will always be green. Just do it already.

Matt Nakamura

Kalama Valley


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