Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
A strange mix of piracy and racketeering
By Michael Hansen @ 12:33 AM :: 1005 Views :: Jones Act

Does the Jones Act lead to robbery?

by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council, August 21, 2017

The American Spectator magazine published on August 18, 2017, the opinion-editorial, “How Congress abets seaway robbery,” with the subtitle, “The Jones Act protects a strange mix of piracy and racketeering.”

The author of the piece is Jon Cassidy, a reporter for the Texas Monitor and a contributing editor for the American Spectator. He was formerly the Texas bureau chief for Watchdog.org. The non-profit American Spectator Foundation publishes the conservative online The American Spectator magazine, which was founded in 1924 by George Nathan and Truman Newberry.

A particular target of the piece is five-term Congressman Duncan D Hunter (R-CA-50) who has represented the San Diego area of Southern California since January 3, 2013, and is currently the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Previously, Cong. Hunter served three tours of duty as a U.S. Marine Corp officer in the War on Terrorism (two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan) joining in September 2001 and discharged honorably in December 2009.

Cong Hunter is a staunch supporter of Jones act cabotage and the General Dynamics NASSCO (National Shipbuilding and Steel Company) shipbuilding yard in San Diego, which is one of the seven active major U.S. shipbuilding yards constructing self-propelled seagoing ships over 1,000 gross tons. NASSCO is the only one of the seven that constructs both commercial merchant and military ships.

NASSCO delivered in late 2015 and early 2016 to the Saltchuk Resources Inc. TOTE Maritime subsidiary two Marlin Class 3,100 TEU containerships for the Puerto Rico trade. Matson Navigation Company Inc. has on order two combination Con/Ro (Container / Roll-on Roll-off) ships (2750 TEU / 500 autos) from NASSCO for delivery in 2020 and employment in the California / Hawaii trade.

Several reports appear4d in the media on March 23, 2017, that the U.S. House of Representatives Ethics Committee referred a complaint against Rep Hunter to the U.S. Department of Justice for the misuse of campaign funds. U.S. News & World Report reported, “On Aug. 26, 2016, the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent panel, referred Hunter to the ethics committee in August.”

The Los Angeles Times reported, “U.S.. Rep. Duncan Hunter is under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice for possibly misspending tens of thousands in campaign funds.” The San Diego Union Tribune reported, “A federal law enforcement official familiar with the investigation confirmed Thursday that the FBI is investigating Hunter for campaign finance violations.”

Key excerpts:

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R — San Diego, once spent $600 of campaign money on a plane ticket for his cat.

So you wouldn’t expect Hunter to see the problem with a law that forces ranchers in Hawaii to charter a weekly 747 to get their cattle to market.

Yet Hunter’s views on interstate cargo transportation prevail, for reasons that probably have more to do with the tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funds he has spent on personal items, such as oral surgery, a family trip to Italy, Disneyland gift shop purchases, and dozens of video games on Steam.

You see, there is a simple, pain-free solution to congested freeways in most of our biggest cities, a way to make a lot of those semi trucks clogging the lanes just disappear. It’s simply to put the ships back in shipping.

The reason we don’t is petty bribery: a few companies and unions have a nice racket going, and pay Congress to protect them from competition.

The act has produced two effects: one obvious to anyone with a remedial knowledge of economics, one less so.

The obvious effect of “protecting” the domestic shipbuilding industry has been higher costs. The U.S. International Trade Commission puts these as high as $15 billion annually, but I would venture that the true cost is unknowable, and probably far higher.

The unmistakable effect is felt in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the island territories. Puerto Rico is in its bankrupt state for three reasons, primarily: its own lawless profligacy, the federal minimum wage, and the Jones Act. To ship a container from the East Coast to Puerto Rico costs double what it does to send one to Jamaica or the Dominican Republic.

Why are these costs so extreme? Is it that hard for the U.S. to build ships competitively? The answer is yes. The reason is the Jones Act.

Consider boxing. Imagine trying to become a world champion sparring with palookas, while forbidding them from hitting you in the head.

Markets work the same way, imposing discipline on fancy. Where there’s a carve-out, a guaranteed source of income, companies will adapt to those political demands, filling up that space even as they become completely unsuited for the larger market.

The U.S. shipbuilding industry represents only about one percent of the world market, as its only customers are Jones Act shippers, who prefer to ride their existing rusty hulks to collapse before spreading any of their legally guaranteed wealth.

The domestic shippers control a legal choke point, and the unions that unload the cargo control the physical choke points. The shippers squeeze the customers, and the unions squeeze the shippers.

Of course, there’s no money in actually choking anyone to death. If you’re in the business of highway robbery, you can’t scare the travelers away. Just take your cut somewhere up the supply chain, share it with a politician, and trust that consumers will never wise up.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A'ole Eradication

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Friends of Lanai

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

GoGoGMO!

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii Open Budget

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Hawaii Votes

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu TEA Party

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

Hunting, Farming and Fishing Assoc.

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

OpenHawaii.org

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

TFB Micronesia

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

YAL UH Hilo 

Yes2TMT

 

 

 

Maui TEA Party
Maui TEA Party