Visitor tells Big Island how she sees it

I’m enjoying WHT during our vacation at Waikoloa Beach but George Will’s opinion column on Thursday, March 8 was too much for a Trumpster like me.

The Big Island is admittedly very liberal to my politics and lifestyle but I come here almost every year for two reasons, I like the climate at Waikoloa and Hawaii is a state in the good old USA. One would think that a conservative like me would gobble up the rhetoric of George Will compared to the tax and spend politics of the Big Island.


First, I want to stake my claim to Hawaii by saying as an elder citizen, Air Force vet, and taxpayer (self-employed as a professional), I appreciate when I read in the WHT about the fed dollar at work on the island. There’s some good stuff being done to the benefit of residents and tourists so that gives me a sense of ownership, if you know what I mean.

Secondly, I was 63 days old when Pearl Harbor was bombed and before my fourth birthday, my father and three of his brothers were serving in Uncle Sam’s military. Dad came home in 1945 but his brother, Richard “Chick” Stephens, was killed on Okinawa in April of 1945. Stephens’ blood on the Pacific sand extends a bit more ownership to this island, if you know what I mean.

Now back to Will, he says, “Trump’s protectionism is a scythe that slices through core conservative principles,” yet Will and all his pure “conservative” buddies like Romney, Cruz, Rubio, McCain, Ryan — the list goes on — are all part of the Republican RINO establishment who couldn’t get elected outside their own district. How did they get elected in the first place, by bringing fed dollars home as pork projects? To keep things fair and balanced, Google the nine richest women in the U.S. Congress.

When Trump says “America First” Will says “protectionism,” but President Lincoln stated during the American Civil War when faced with the decision of buying French steel to build railroads for the Union, “seems to me if we use our own steel to build our railroads we end up with the railroads and get to keep our own money.” The North went on to win the war.

The fact is, the voice of those RINO Republicans in the Congress would be like shouting into the wind at Waikoloa if Donald Trump didn’t mop up the field of 16 other candidates. Those RINOs have done more in one year under Trump’s leadership than they did since taking control of the Congress.

Will’s piece also prompted me to think of the 1986 writing of Charlie Reese of the Orlando Sentinel titled “545 People.” Anyone who cares can Google that piece as a great reference to explain what has been happening in America (and Big Island) for the past 30 years.

The challenges here on the Big Island center around the fact there are no makers on the island except the small agricultural segment of the economy. Makers take something, a natural resource, that is unencumbered and create a commodity for consumers who purchase said commodity which creates value and true wealth. The politics of the Big Island are pretty much caught up in taking fed dollars, which are taxes paid by the maker part of the U.S. economy, or ‘wealth’ dollars of the rich and famous, which has it root in some kind of a maker endeavor, and taxing the resorts, renters, cars, fuel, etc.

When we first came to the Big Island in 1997, we bought a timeshare. Timeshares were the vehicle for an average income earner to enjoy the lifestyle of the rich and famous at the luxury resorts. And enjoy we have, but now we observe that the gap representing costs to live on the island and the truly very wealthy keeps getting wider. The island does not have enough makers and as long as the liberal political machine keeps looking to the U.S. mainland makers to provide your operating capital the gap keeps growing. Case in point, minimum wage, why stop at $12 or $15 per hour? Other takers are getting $25 or $30, why not everybody?

What is the tipping point? Well, a $30 breakfast, $60 lunch and $100 dinners for two takes a deep pocket. I said I came here because of the climate and the 49th state. Being a Trumpster, I don’t believe in climate change so if the volcano doesn’t get any more violent, Hawaii will stay on top of the climate list for decades to come.


Ah, but for the other reasons, your liberal political and economic policies may make other places more desirable or you could just price yourself right out of the market.

Lynnwood Stephens is a resident of East Jordan, Minnesota.