Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Invitation to Chaos (Welcome to Paradise)

The recent news reports on the Democratic caucus in Hawaii omitted the most appropriate headline -- “Invitation to Chaos.” Fortunately, in this country, there aren’t factions exploiting the confusion by bombing sites wherever people are gathered. At least the separatists/terrorists have not gone that far -- yet!

But it remains to be seen what is in store for Hawaii in the coming years as everything reaches crisis proportions. Obviously, housing prices cannot keep going up higher -- or can they? Automobiles, buses, ferries and eventually rail, cannot continue to run around mostly empty, most of the time before there is virtual gridlock.

“Solutions” must solve problems -- rather than just create jobs to do nothing but discuss how bad the problems are and seem to be getting worse -- and there is nothing they can do about it, but hire more people because federal subsidies are available if the problems get bad enough. And so the state’s gross economic product, is to create ever-increasing problems -- to create more jobs, so that the problems get worse, and chaos is actually the measure of “success.”

Most businesses and societies cannot operate in such an economic environment -- in which it doesn’t matter if something is done well, or something is done poorly -- and the only work being performed, is to convince everyone that the job being done poorly, is actually being done well -- and in fact, this is the best of all possible worlds, and paradise compared to every place else.

The weather was undoubtedly better for the Hawaii caucus than the Wisconsin caucus, the Hawaii media will point out. And yes, nobody died. Thus, it was an overwhelming success, though all the rules to ensure a valid election, had to be ignored because people actually showed up! I don’t know what they were expecting -- that nobody would and they would just stuff the ballot boxes themselves. Anybody was allowed to vote as many times as they wanted to so as not to be inconvenienced, creating even greater delays.

Such bottlenecks seem to be a specialty of “organization” in the islands, in which there is no anticipation and intent to ensure an orderly process -- but only crisis management and intervention, wishing things will turn out well because of good intentions, or wishful-thinking.

That’s basically the government game plan for problem solving -- wishful thinking, that anything ignored long enough, will solve itself -- or somebody else will do something. Then the strategy of life in the Islands becomes, who can ignore the corruption, abuses, and injustices -- and outlast everyone else so that those who remain, are those who cannot see that anything is wrong.

Meanwhile, at the lower end of experience, the newcomers come in enthusiastically, thinking they just don’t know how to do it right, and if they did, surely they would choose the right over the wrong way, and then in a few years realize, that everybody’s efforts have been going to see that nothing can ever be done, and that the more the productive did, was nullified and undermined by the collective efforts of everybody else to maintain the status quo to ensure their job security of not having to do anything (productive).

And thus, history merely repeats itself, without ever improving or showing progress -- as heaven on earth. Welcome to the chaos!

Monday, February 11, 2008

“It’s Not My Job!”

Ultimately, government has to do more than just create high-paying jobs for government employees; they have to create some kind of tangible benefit to society, and not just fuel the high cost of living by inflating the value of “jobs” -- that erodes the value of every exchange and relation of that society. When society’s highest value is getting “something for nothing,” very few will get a fair exchange, when it is that fairness, that defines every society.

A fair exchange, is the feeling that one gets far more in the exchange than they give up, or they would never enter such an agreement, but would only do so under false pretenses and tricked into doing so. Often, it is the advertising, or “professional” manner, that leads one to believe they are getting the absolute best deal -- rather than that they are on the wrong end of something for nothing.

So it came as a shock out of the blue that the newspapers broke their silence and revealed for the first time the obvious truth that the proposed rail system solution is no solution at all but merely one of the innumerable pork barrel projects to create high-paying jobs on the promise they will do something they cannot possibly do.

Meanwhile, there is no government plan to do anything that really will solve the problem -- because all the money would be diverted to such a grand purpose -- in a time when all the economics and demographics indicate the urgency for real solutions. Public mass transit solutions were a wonderful idea for its time -- one hundred years ago! They were supplanted by personal transportation models -- and obviously, the solution is even better, more efficient personalized transportation devices, rather than leapfrogging back into the past of mass anything solutions.

The world is increasingly personalized and customized -- and no longer forcing everyone into a one-size fits all, no matter how badly and ill-suited. It doesn’t make more sense just to drive to the centralized transit station -- instead of to one’s actual desired destination. And that would be the logical step forward -- and not backward, farther away from our ultimate destination -- and then proclaiming, one has built a better mousetrap because it can now catch the family pet.

And then there is the admission that pretty much the entirety of the recent economic boom was caused by that which is unsustainable -- even if it could be, which is rampant real estate speculation. Eventually though, the music stops and there are no greater pockets to drive prices even higher -- and the “smart money” goes where they can get a real deal and live like a king, in a life of ease and contentment that is now possible to the average intelligent wage earner and consumer.

Although many insist that this place (Hawaii) is paradise, it seems that every conversation and discussion, is about everything that is wrong and needs to be solved, often with a simple, commonsense solution -- that cannot be discussed because it would immediately eliminate many high paying government jobs -- and so government, has become (in)vested in the problem rather than its elimination -- and hence, progress and evolution. And so these problems are repeated, perpetuated and transmitted as its heritage and culture -- of endless problems that create more high paying jobs for the problem-solvers -- as long as they promise never to solve the problem.

But the prosperity and success of any culture is not in how many high-paying jobs are created for government bureaucrats but the actual success they have at solving these problems so that every discussion in society is not about how bad things are and how they could easily be solved -- but cannot, as the job of the lawmakers and politicians to impede and prevent.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Making A Difference (More Than Different)

People living in Hawaii for a while, develop a tunnel vision that makes one think that the only difference, is more of the same -- and so their only option is more or less, and not surprisingly, regard more as better.

But real difference is something else entirely -- making such a huge difference, that there is no comparison possible -- but something different entirely -- and that is what they are not conditioned (indoctrinated) to see, only more or less of the same old thing that doesn’t make any difference, or not the difference they want. This is quite deliberate in that there is no real choice but only the "choice" of more or less.

Does one want to be paid more or less? Does one want to have more money or less? More friends or less? More fame or less? More talent or less? More food or less? But never are they given a moment to pause and wonder, do I really need or want this? “More or less?!!”

Real diversity is meaningful when it creates greater choices -- and not when the “diversity” is predetermined and then one is asked, “More or less?” We need to have the choices upfront, before we even entertain the need for any at all -- and not just how much, of that which won’t make a meaningful difference in one’s life.

That is the premise of primitive societies and limited choices -- even when they seem to have most of the modern conveniences and options. Many choices will be socially banned or disapproved that no law-abiding person in their right mind would ever choose -- and therefore, to choose such options, is immediate proof that one should not be allowed such choices, and such freedoms. Then the powers that be (government bureaucrats), think they are well within their rights and responsibilities to make these decisions for everybody else -- because they are the self-designated experts on what is best for all.

It’s not unlike lot of tyrannies, or the rule of a self-chosen few (oligarchies), no matter how enlightened they have proclaimed themselves -- and therefore, deserving of most of the wealth of that society, except for the minimal amounts necessary for those who don’t know better and do most of the work. Those at the top of the exploitation hierarchy started off being exploited like everyone else, and now it is their turn to do nothing while getting most of the money, and not that such exploitation can ever end -- and all those paid to do the work, will share it equally -- instead of the one person (newcomer) doing all the work, while all those who now know better, don’t do anything anymore -- even before their official retirement.

So rather than paying the nine others not to do anything productive, government in Hawaii should allow those in the private sector to do what they can -- rather than prevent them from doing anything too -- and making everybody else look bad. Nowhere is this more visible than in the local newspapers, in which writers of merit, vision and talent, are suppressed and censored so that nobody can ever tell what good writing and thinking looks like.

It would just ruin it for everybody else and make them look bad.