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Thursday, August 14, 2014
Changing Hawaii – Fred Hemmings
By Grassroot Institute @ 2:36 AM :: 3605 Views :: Jones Act, Republican Party

Changing Hawaii – Fred Hemmings

E Hana Kakou with Keli’i Akina Think Tech Hawaii Broadcast August 11, 2014


Transcript of Jones Act discussion beginning at 39:34 minutes:

KA: You know one of the issues that I know you feel needs some negotiation – actively – on the labor union level is our protectionist shipping laws – the Jones Act and so forth.

KA: But how do you make headway – I don’t want to get technical on the Jones Act – how do you make headway with something that has been so much a part of union doctrine or a party doctrine?  How would . . . . .

FH: I wouldn’t blame the unions.

KA: Okay, good.

FH: I wouldn’t blame the unions. In this case it happens to be one of Hawaii’s big monopolies, its Matson.

KA: Alright, there you go.

FH: Matson, Matson loves the Jones Act because it keeps their exclusivity, helps to keep their exclusivity in Honolulu Harbor.  I don’t think the labor unions should get blamed at all.

KA: How do we bring any shift in monopoly culture?

FH: A wise person recently told me you make an exemption for the Jones Act.  You don’t, you don’t, you don’t change the Jones Act per se across the board.

KA: In other words you don’t bring down unions or the monopolies themselves.

FH: Yeah, you say give Hawaii an exemption so we can afford to have transportation alternatives number one and competition in the market place so we can ship things for cheaper.  That’s one of the hidden taxes of Hawaii.  Now it’s not a direct tax, but what we paid …. The reason why our goods and products cost more here is not because they’re shipped 2,000 miles from the West Coast it’s because of all the additional costs we pay in direct taxing and hidden taxes such as the Jones Act.

FH: If an orange is grown in California it should cost no more in Hawaii Safeway than it does in Safeway in New York City – it’s the same distance.  But it does.

FH: So we’re paying a premium not because of the distance from commodities that can be sold, but because of taxes and hidden costs of transportation.


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